Thursday, December 23, 2010

ICC- Cricket World Cup 2011

ICC World Cup is 57 days away, and the fever is catching up.Who will hold the World Cup, is going to be a tough question to answer.

For the first time, ICC World Cup do not seem to have a clear favourite. This is good for cricket and spectators. Lets us wait and watch.
The Teams:
Group A : Australia, Newzealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Zimbabwe & Canada
Group B : Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland & Netherlands.
The first match is a day night match on 19th February, between India and Bangladesh,
to be played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Nirpur, Bangladesh.

Will start with tid bits on and of till the tournament starts. After the start, hope to write sequentially, without missing any match. Bye for now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

C L T.20-2010. Grand Finals Chennai Super Kings vs Warriors.

The much talked about finals between Warriors, the champion team from South Africa, taking on Chennai Super Kings the champion team from India, turned out to be a tame and drab affair. Chennai Super kings 132 for 2, won the match beating Warriors 128 for 7 by an extraordinary margin of eight wickets.

Warriors won the toss and elected to bat, on Johannesburg wicket, which normally slows down as the match progresses. A score of around 150, is generally difficult to chase under the lights. Warriors started as if they would end up at around 180 plus, the first four overs yielding 39 runs, when Prince fell, bowled Bollinger of a beauty curving in from off for six runs. The leading run scorer of the tournament at that stage, Jacobs, fell for 34 of 21 with eight fours. Ashwin and Murali took control of the middle overs, with spells of and respectively. Thyssens 25 of 18 in the end, just helped Warriors to finish at 128 for 7.

With abvout 6.4 runs per over to score, Vijay and Hussey gave a grand start to the King's innings, putting on 105 for the opening wicket. Vijay fell trying to finish the match early, caught by Kreusche of Boje for a well made 58 of 53 with six fours and two sixes. Raina fell early heaving Ntini to Botha for just 2. Dhoni joined Hussey and with out much ado, finished the match in the 19th over remaining unbeaten on 17 of 12. Hussey played in a customary professional way and remained unbeaten on 51 of 46, with just three fours, which speaks volumes of this man's talent and cricketing brain. . Ntini and Boje took a wicket each.

Chennai Super kings pocketed $2.5 million prize money and the CL Air Tel trophy. Warriors pocketed $1.5 million and finished runners up. The whole tournament was run like a clock work, and no praise is enough for the South Africans and the IPL organising teams.

IPL 4 will now have ten teams, with new team combination and new formats. 2011 will be an year to cherish in the South Asian cricketing calender, with the cricket World Cup, and IPL.4.

Signing off for now, and will see you in 2011, with more cricketing news and comments.

C L T.20-2010. Semifinals II , Warriors vs Redbacks

semifinalsII, between Warriors and SA Red Backs, turned out to be another tame affair, as the first one between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers. Warriors 175 for 6 comfortably beat Red Backs 145 for 7 by 30 runs, to set up a final meeting with Chennai Super Kings.

Jacobs have been having an extraordinary CL.T20. He made an enterprising 61 of 41 balls, with ten fours and a six, to set the Warriors on way to a good score. Prince fell first ball duck caught by Harris of an express lifting delivery, hurled at 151 Km/hr, by Tait. Ingram joined Jacobs and took the score steadily to 105 for a second wicket partnership of 104 runs in 74 balls, when Jacobs fell in the twelfth over, caught and bowled by Harris. Ingram followed at the score of 119 in the 15th over, caught Christian bowled Bailey for a well made 46 of 35 with four fours and a six. Boucher made 25 of 23, before falling in the 18th over, to be quickly followed by Botha, the score reading 146 for 6 in the 18.3 overs. Red Backs did not know, what hit them in the next nine deliveries. Boje just blasted every one out of the ground for a quickfire 22 of 7 balls, with two fours and two sixes. Warriors from an expected score of 150 plus, finished with a match winning 175 for 6. For Red Backs, Harris bowled intelligently for, supported by Tait and Bailey

Red Backs lost out in the first ten overs, losing four wickets for 60 with Klinger making just 13.Fergusson 79 of 49 with eight fours and two sixes, added runs in the mid overs, but the Red backs were never in the game, to fold to 145 for 7 in twenty to lose by 30 runs. Botha, Tsotsobe, Theron and Boje were among the wickets, with Tsotsobe being outstanding.

Warriors will now meet Chennai Super Kings for the title and the prize money of 2.5 million dollars on 26th Sept at Johannesburg. On present form both teams appear well matched, with Chennai Super Kings marginally ahead, because of players with lot of international experience and a more balanced bowling attack.

Friday, September 24, 2010

C L T 20-2010. Semi Finals I - Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers

The first semifinals at Durban, between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers, will long be remembered for the demolition act by Suresh Raina.

Batting first on winning the toss, Super Kings were given a steady start, by now the best opening pair on view, Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay. At 15 for none after 2.5, the heavens opened out. The match was under suspended animation, as a no result would have automatically qualified the Super Kings. as they had finished top in their group. However, it would have been harsh on the paying public, who had weathered the weather, and had gathered in huge numbers for a good bash.
The weather God and the excellent work by the ground staff, helped continuation of the match, however now down to 17 overs apiece.Hussey fell to an uncharacteristic heave of Vinay Kumar, to be caught in the deep by Steyn for six. Steyn seriously injured himself in the process and was ruled out of further part in the game. Royal Challengers were perhaps 25% down in morale with their main strike bowler down.

Raina joined Murali Vijay, and took the score to 100 in the eleventh over, when Vijay fell for 41 of 32, clouting four fours and a six . Dhoni joined Raina and added 33 runs in 13 balls for the third wicket before getting castled by du Preez for 11. Morkel was next in and added 37 in 16 with Raina, before holing out to Kohli of White for five.The CSK innings closed at 174 for 4 in seventeen overs, a very healthy score to defend. Raina remained unbeaten on a masterly 94 made of 48 balls, with five fours , six sixes, and a strike rate of 167. Excepting Vinay Kumar 2 for 28 in four, all the other RC bowlers were taken to the cleaners. RC dearly felt the absence of Steyn.

Royal Challengers was a beaten team even before they started the innings, which showed in their performance. With a good total to defend, Dhoni could use the luxury of adopting two slips, a gully, a short cover, a short mid wicket, point, and almost all the men in the thirty yard, reminding one of a test match field then a T.20 field.

Bollinger and Morkel bowled to the field and finished with 3 for 27 and 1 for 13 in three overs apiece. Balaji bowled his three overs intelligently to finish at 1 for 13. The spinners were given the full quota of four overs. Murali was at his usual wily best with and Ashwin Both the teams fielded well, with catches taken by Steyn and Kohli, being extraordinary. Royal Challengers folded to 123 all out with Steyn unable to bat.

With this mammoth win by over fifty runs, Chennai Kings must be the favourite with the bookies. The second semifinal is slated for 25th at Centurion, between the Warriors SA and Red Backs. The teams are evenly balanced and one could look forward to an exciting finish.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

C L T.20-2010. Day.12. Match.20. Chennai Super Kings vs Warriors SA.

In a match slated as virtual quarter finals, CSK 136 for 6 came up trumps beating warriors 126 for 8 by ten runs.

SuperKings batting first were again given a steady start of 63 runs for the first wicket in nine overs, by Michael Hussey 50 of 39 and Murali Vijay 35 of 27 . From 89 in the 12th over to 136 for in the 20th, it was a crawl, with CSK scoring under 6 runs a over. The pitch offering vicious spin and low bounce was cleverly used by the Warriors. Kreusch was at his best taking 3 for 19, supported by Theron and Botha with a wicket each, complimented by athletic and superb fielding.

CSK was thought to be short of a winning score by about 20 runs. For warriors,a score of 109 was enough to take them to semis, where as clear victory was required by CSK to make the cut. Warriors batted staedily , with Jacobs making 32 of 31, Ingram 17 of 24, Kreusch 25 of 26, Boucher 25 of 18 and Botha 12 of 8, tro keep them in contention. Ashwin 3 for 24, Jakati 1 for 27 and Raina 1 for 12, took wickets at regular intervals supported by good fielding and catching.But it was the magician Murali, who bowled a great 20th over, giving three runs and taking two wickets, who saw CSK through to the semifinals.

Super Kings finished at the top of Group 'B' and will meet Royal Challengers runner in Gr'A',in the first semi finals at Durban on 24th. Redbacks the topper in group'A' will meet Warriors the runner in Gr'B' in the second semi finals on 25th at Centurion.The semifinals should be top of the table affair and should dish out the best of T.20.

C L T.20-2010. Day 12. Match 19. Wayamba vs Central Dist NZ.

Wyamba 144 for 6, finally won a match in Group'A', beating Central Districts NZ 70 all out by 74 runs.

Wyamba batting first, made a healthy 144 for 6, in a pitch offering spin and of low bounce. Mahela 20 of 17, Udawatte 23 of 37, Jehan Mubarak 30 of 26, batted sensibly. For the Stags, Mason took 2 wickets for, supported by McCleanaghan, Worker, Barnett and How with a wicket each.

Stags, put up a pathetic batting display and folded for a paltry 70 runs in 15.3 overs. For Wayamba, Udana came up with the first hat trick of the tournament, scalping 3 for 22. Ajanta Mendis 3 for 14 spun a web around the stag batsmen. Herath 2 for 7 was unplayable. Perera and Lokuarachchi picked a wicket each.

C L T.20-2010. Day 11. Match18. Lions SA vs Royal Challengers

In a nail biting finish slated as the first Quarter Finals, Royal Challengers 160 for 4 in 19 overs, beat Lions SA 159 for 6 by six wickets.

Vandiar and Petersen , gave Lions an explosive start scoring 29 in three overs. Vandiar and Cameron fell in successive balls at 29, of Vinay Kumar, snapped behind the wicket by Uthappa.Petersen 45 of 29, Jarsveld 24 of 18, McKenzie 39 of 35, and Frylinck 22 of 9, built up the Lions's innings to finish at 159 for 6. On a smallish ground and a good batting wicket, Lions were probably short of 25 runs. Vinay Kumar 2 for 23 bowled well, supported by Steyn and D du Preez, in spells. But the bowler of the day was the wily veteran Anil Kumble, who held all the batsmen under a tight leash, and finished with a test match figure of

Royal Challengers, handicapped by the non availability of injured Kallis, opened with Dravid and Pandey. The pair gave a brisk of 53 in 8 overs, when Dravid fell for 33 of 26. Kohli joined Pandey and the pair played sensibly before Pandey fell for 44 of 36 in the 13th over with the team score of 85. Kohli got in to a rut at this stage and departure of Taylor did not help the cause either. Uthappa was run out for 7, thanks to the poor call of Kohli with team score reading 112 at 15. With 47 to get in 5, O'Reilly was taken to the cleaners in the 17th by Kohli scoring 18 runs in the over. Royal Challengers got through in the 19th over, and took the second spot in group, for a place in the semi finals. Cameron, Deacon and Phangiso picked a wicket each.

The loss put the Lions out of contention. Redbacks and Royal Challengers will play the semifinals slated for 24th and 25th.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Champions League T.20-2010. Day.11. Match.17. Redbacks vs Guyana.

South Australian Redbacks 191 for 6 beat Guyana 176 for seven by 15 runs to score 4 on 4.

In a non consequential match, Redbacks , riding on a strong middle order performance by Ferguson 55 of 37, Borgas 48 of 36 and Christian 23 of ten finished with a strong 191 for 6. Wintz 2 for 11 and Bishoo 2 for 29 bowled well for Guyana.

With nothing to lose, Guyana played a stress free game and almost won the match, just losing by 15 runs. Ramdeen 35 of 22, Sarwan 70 of 46 and Jacobs 32 of 19, batted brilliantly against a strong side, and almost touched the finishing pole. Harris 3 for 33 and Christian 2 for 20, bowled well for the winners.

Redbacks with 4 on 4, topped the pool and await the runner up from from group A, in the semifinals.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Champions League T.20. 2010. Day.10. Match.16. Bush Rangers vs Wayamba

Victoria Bush Rangers 108 for 2 in 13.2 overs, pulverised Wayamba 106 all out in 16.3 overs, by eight wickets,to strengthen their chances of a Semi Final berth.

It was a pathetic display by Wayamba, as they crashed to a 106 all out in 16.3 overs. Only Jayawardene 51 of 40 balls, and Mubarak 44 of 30 balls could offer some resistance. Peter Siddle finished with a career best figures of, in a T.20 match. Pattinson2 for 14, McDonald 2 for 22 and Nannes 1 for 10, were the other wicket takers.

Bush Rangers needed an explosive finish to hike their run quotient, and they did exactly that.Finch 38 of 36 and David Hussey 47 of 28, added 77 of 48 balls for the third wicket and finished the match in style in under 14 overs.

Chennai Super Kings need to win and win well against Warriors in their final group match at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday the 22nd Sept. for a Semi Final slot. Wish them luck.

Champions League T20-2010, Day.9. Match 15. Lions SA vs Guyana

Lions SA 149 for 1 beat Guyana 145 for 9 by nine wickets, in a one sided match at New Wanderes Stadium Johannesburg.

Sarwan 21 of 16, Jacobs 34 of 37 and L J Kush 19 of 10, batted well for the team cause. There were no worthwhile partnerships at any stage and wickets were taken at regular intervals. For Lions, Reily was at his best scalping 4 wickets for 27. Frylinck, Alexander and Phangiso picked up a wicket each.

Guyana had to be content with only Vandiar's wicket in the third over for 8. Petersen 57 of 38 and Cameron 78 of 42 , carried Lions through in 15.1 overs with an unbroken partnership of 133 runs. The lone wicket to fall was taken by Crandon who finished with 1 for 34. With the win, Lions are better placed in the group to join Redbacks in the Semi Finals.

C L T-20. 2010. Day.9. Match.14. Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers

Mumbai Indians 165 for 7 beat Royal Challengers 163 for 5 by two runs. In spite of the win, Mumbai Indians are out of the race for a semi final berth, due to a lower quotient.

At fve down for 85 in the thirteenth over, it appeared curtains for Mumbai Indians. Tiwary 38 of 30 and Bravo 29 of 17, took them to a fighting 165 after a good 41 of 37, by Shikar Dhawan upfront. Steyn bowled his heart out to bag 3 wickets for 26 runs. Praveen, Vinay and Kallis picked up a wicket a piece. The caught & bowled chance missed by Kumble of Bravo was the turning point of the match, which ultimately proved to be an expensive miss.

Royal Challengers were given a steady start of 41 in five overs by Kallis 15 of 14 and unbeaten 71 of 58 by Rahul Dravid. Uthappa, Taylor and White perished early, before a blistering 47 of 24 by the young Virat Kohli. Kohli was stumped last ball, with RC -163, tantalisingly close to MI score of 165. Bravo 2 for 23, was supported by Zaheer, Ahmed and Harbhajan with a wicket each.

In spite of the loss RC will fight for the second spot in the group, with Lions. Challengers match with Lions will almost be a quarterfinals, with the winner going throughin spite of a three way tie between RC, Lions and MI.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Champions League T.20-2010. Day.9.Match.13. CSK vs Bush Rangers

Victoria Bush Rangers 162 All out in twenty overs tied with Chennai Super Kings 162 for six wickets, but lost the match in the super over, Victoria scoring 23 to Super Kings 13. The thirteenth match of the League proved unlucky for Chennai Super Kings as the lost their match in the Super over.

Vijay and Hussey gave a steady start to CSK and added 68 for the first wicket when Hussey fell for 25. Marginal contributions of 10 by Raina, 22 by Dhoni was overshadowed by a brilliant 73 in 53 balls by Murali Vijay. Kemp mad a quick 12 of 7 and CSK finished with a fighting 162. The pick of the bowlers Hastings 2 for 22 and McKay 2 for 33. Nannes and McGain picked a wicket each.

For Bush Rangers, Finch started bang bang and was the first to go at 43 making 41 of 17 deliveries in the fourth over. Hodge went for 6 of 8, before Wade and David Hussey added 55 in 44 balls, when Wade fell for 31 of 23 in the 11 th over. Wickets were taken at regular intervals, and Raina with his slow left arm spinners, almost won the match for CSK. Rangers were bowled out for 162 for the scores to remain tied. Raina 4 for 26, Murali 2 for 17, Bollinger
2 for40 and Ashwin 1 for 24 shared the spoils. Balaji was clouted for 26 runs in two overs.

With the scores tied, Super over rule was introduced. With Finch and Hussey to face, Dhoni opted for Ashwin, ahead of Bollinger and Murali. Probably Ashwin getting Finch weighed in MS's mind. Finch just kept the first ball out for a single. Hussey stroked the second ball bang out of the ground for six. The next four balls were flat and short and Hussey scored 2,2,6 and 6 to finish with 23. May be MS erred in his judgement, bowling Ashwin lacking experience ahead of Bollinger or Murali.

CSK had to face the wily McKay, who has mastered the art of slower balls bowled at around 100-105 KM. McKay did exactly what was expected of him and CSK could muster only 13 runs, leaving Bush Rangers victorious by 10 runs in super over. A good match over all worthy of a final. Who is it going to be in Semis, CSK or Bush Rangers ?

C L 2010. Day.9. Match.12. Warriors SA vs Central Districts.

Warriors 181 for 4 beat Central Districts 175 for 3, by six wickets, to book their berth in Semi Finals.

Warriors electing to bat first scored a fighting 175 for 3 wickets in a placid wicket offering even bounce for stroke making. How made 88 of 57 stroking 12 fours and 3 sixers. Paton made a quick 24 of 18, helping Howe in a second wicket partnership of 64 in 38 balls. Sinclair fell quickly LBW to Botha for six. Barnett joined How and was involved in a unbroken century partnership in 61 balls. Barnett made quick 53 of 34 balls, scoring five fours and three sixers. Tsotsibe, Boje and Botha picket up a wicket each.

For Warriors, Jacobs 74 of 47 and Prince 64 of 50, added 147 in 94 balls for the first wicket.Jacobs, Ingram and Prince fell with in a matter of four runs in 15 balls, and the runs required rate mounted to almost nine per over. Thyssen 18 of 9 and Boucher 13 of 6, scored the required runs and finished the match in 19.1 overs. Barnett picked two wickets and Milne & Bracewell picked a wicket each.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

C L 2010. Day.8. Match 11. Royal Challengers vs SA Redbacks.

South Australia Redbacks 155 for 2 eased in to the semifinals 3 on 3, beating Royal Challengers 154 all out, by eight wickets.

Batting first, Royal Challengers with out the services of Kallis, did nothing of note other than two blistering innings of 46 of 33 by Ross Taylor and 46 of 22 by D du Preez. Cameroon White laboured for 56 deliveries to make 25. Others came & went. Christian was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 23, supported by Tait 2 for 23, Putland 2 for 37, O'Brien 1 for 28 and Bailey 1 for 29.

For Redbacks, Harris 57 of 38 and Klinger 69 of 57, gave a 124 runs opening start. Manou was out for a duck, but Ferguson, joining Klinger made 21 of 14 to finish the match in the 19th over. Kumble took the lone wicket to be taken by a bowler.

Royal Challengers looked a jaded side, and need to pull their socks in the remaining matches to be in contention for semis.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Champions League 2010. Day.7. Match.10. Mumbai Indians vs Guyana

Mumbai Indians 184 for 4, beat Guyana 153 for 6 by 31 runs. Pollard's mercurial 72 of 30 deliveries, kept alive, Mumbai Indians chances of making it to the semis.

Played under slight drizzle, the match at Kingsmead turned out to be a spectators delight. Mumbai Indians winning the toss promptly elected to bat. Dhavan and Tendulkar, made a steady start and added 82 in 11 overs, when Tendulkar was consumed by Bishoo for an uncharacteristic 48 of 42. Pollard joined Dhawan and the second wicket partnership just added 16 runs in 19 deliveries, Dhawan labouring in the most crucial mid overs. Dhawan fell for 39 of 59, which came in as a blessing in disguise for MI. Tiwary departed for a duck facing two balls. Pollard and Rayudu added 53 of just fifteen deliveries, from over 16 to 18.3, when Rayudu fell just making 4. Duminy joined Pollard and played a sweet 14 of seven and Pollard continued his assault and remained not out on 71 of 38, comprising of nine sixers, with a six clearing 128 meters. Bishoo with 3 for 34 was the pick of the bowlers. E.A.Crandon took the other wicket to fall.

Pollard's innings took the wind out of the Guyana team, and they finished at 153 for 6 to lose by 31 runs. Sarwan 46 of 55, Naresh Deonarain 27 of 21, Barnwell 24 of 20 and R.T.Crandon 16 of 20, played well. There was a marked improvement in Mumbai Indian's Fielding and catching. Jhonty seems to have worked wonders in the fielding area. Zaheer 1 for 17, Malinga 1 for 28, Bravo 2 for 18 & Harbhajan 2 for 33, shared the spoils.

Mumbai Indians now need to win their match against Royal Challengers convincingly and hope the other matches go to their expectations for a slim semi final berth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Champions League 2010. Day.6, Match.9. Chennai Super Kings vs Wayamba SL

CSK 200 for 3 beat Wayamba SL 103 all out in 17.1 overs, by a massive margin of 97 runs.

The Super Sport Park at Centurion offered a batting beauty with short boundaries. Wayamba won the toss and surprisingly elected to bowl, which suited Dhoni. CSK finished with 200 for 3 in a whirlwind fashion throughout the twenty overs, without taking undue risks. CSK think tank seem to have worked overtime in formulating a game plan. Hayden was of colour again and plodded for 18 deliveries for a poor 10.

Murali Vijay 68 of 46 and Suresh Raina 87 of 44, were involved in a match winning partnership of 137 runs in 12 overs. Both fell one after the at 180 in the 18th over. Dhoni and Morkel added 20 in the last two to finish at 200 for 3. Walagedera 2 for 47 and Mendis 1 for 45 shared the wickets to fall.

Wayamba was never in the game. They lost wickets regularly and folded to a miserly 103 all out. Morkel 3 for 23 and Ashwin 4 for 18 were at their best. Bollinger, Balaji and Murali supported superbly and shared a wicket apiece.

CSK with 2 on2 are well placed for semifinal berth. Wayamba with 2 loses out of 2 are more or less out of the next stage. However you never know. This is T20.

C L 2010. Day.6.Match8. Central Dist NZ vs Victoria Bushrangers

Victoria Bushrangers 166 for 3 beat Central Districts NZ 165 for 5 by seven wickets.
On a placid wicket at Centurian, with short boundaries on the leg side , and a fast outfield, the captain's are clueless to the target to be set. NZ riding on a brilliant 77 of 55 by Howe, with supports from Worker 29 of 25 and Diamanti 19 of 11 set a score of 166 for the Bush Rangers to get.
The Victorian team which faltered in their first meet, played to a plan. Peter Siddle getting back to the side made early inroads and finished with 2 of 30. McKay, Hastings and McGain picked a wicket each. Dirk Nannes was at his usual best in the end overs.
Bushrangers had a rousing start, but lost Quiney for 15 in the fifth over for a team score of 40. Finch unbeaten on 93 of 60, was supported by Hussey and McDonald, to take the team to victory in 19.4 overs. Bracewell and Rance picked a wicket each for the Districts.
The match was well contested with brilliant fielding from both the sides.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Champions League 2010. Day.5. Match.7. SA Redbacks vs Mumbai Indians.

SA Redbacks 182 for 5 smashed their way to a possible semifinal spot, with a five wicket victory over Mumbai Indians 180 for 7. You may call it curtains for Mumbai Indians after their second successive defeat in the Group.B match played at Kingsmead, Durban.

Batting first, Mumbai Indians lost their way in the initial twelve overs, making just 79 for 4 wickets in the 13th over. An avalanche hit the Redbacks thereafter and 104 runs were added in just under eight overs. Rayudu 38 of 43, Tiwary 44 of 36, Pollard 36 of 36 and Bravo 22 of 21, contributed to the innings in which ten sixes were hit. The six of Pollard would have made any golfer proud, going over 120 meters and out of the stadium. O'Brien 2 for 44 was supported by Tait 1 for 27, Putland 1 for 24, Christian 1 for 37 and Bailey 1 for 30.

For Mumbai Indians, it was a case of missed chances. Dropped catches in plenty, Sloppy fielding, unimaginative field placements & very poor bowling, let them down. Cashing on four dropped catches, the first wicket pair of Klinger 50 of 62 and Harris 56 of 57, put on 112 runs in 13.3 overs. Some of the chances dropped by Tendulkar, Tiwary and Duminy were school boyish. Borgas 14 of 16 and Cooper 19 of 8 finished the match in 19.2 overs. A good victory for Redbacks.

On the Mumbai Indian front, the team with an awesome bowling power on paper, turned out to be novices in practice. Zahir Khan and Harbhajan Singh the bowlers expected to lead India in world Cup 2011, just had no clue in bowling the last two end overs, conceding 27 runs and the match. Malinga 2 for 22 and young Murtaza 2 for 29 were the pick of the MI bowlers.

Srikanth & Company, are you following the matches and the Indian bowling strengths particularly ??

Monday, September 13, 2010

C L 2010. Day4.Match6. Warriors SA vs Victorian Bush Rangers

Warriors SA 158 for 6 beat Victoria Bush Rangers 130 for 9 by 28 runs at Port Elizabeth, to score 2 on 2.

Davey Jacobs the skipper of Warriors, single handedly, annihilated tournament favourites, Victorian Bush Rangers, scoring a blistering 59 of 39 balls, taking two breathtaking catches at crucial moments and marshaling his bowling resources well.
A good opening partnership of 81 in nine overs between Jacobs 59 of 39 and Prince 16 of 42, should have taken the Warriors to a score of 190-200. This was not to be as the Victorians pegged the Warriors with some sustained medium pace, to restrict them to 158 for 6 at twenty. Boucher made a gritty 31 of 44 supported by Botha 20 of 27. Nannes who went for plenty in the first two overs, came back strongly for 1 of 25. McDonald bowled brilliantly for his 2 of 22. Harwood and McKay finished with a wicket apiece.

For the Victorians, Quiney fell for one at the third over.The danger man Hodge was caught acrobatically by Jacobs, for 16 in the fifth over. Finch and Hussey played sensibly to take the score to 59 by 9th over, when Jacobs again came up with a breathtaking catch to dismiss Finch for 25 of Boje. Hussey fell at 94 for a well made 29 of 39. This opened the flood gates as further five wickets fell for an addition of eleven runs in little over three overs. Some lusty blows by Harwood at the end did not prevent the Warriors from taking the match by 28 runs.

All the Warrior bowlers bowled well, with Theron getting 3 for22, Ntini 2 for 33, Tsotsobe,Boje, Botha and Kreusch taking a wicket apiece. Warriors with 2 on 2 are well placed for a position in the semis.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Champions League 2010. Day.3. Match5. Royal Challengers vs Guyana

Guyana 103 all out lost to Royal Challengers 106 for 1 in 12.2 overs by nine wickets.
The Guyana side can at best be termed as a senior club team. The match was one sided and with nothing interesting to write about. Barnwell's 30 of 54 and Chattergoon's 18 of 31 were the only bright spots. All most all the Royal Challengers had test match bowling figures. Praveen 2 for 22, Steyn 1 for 23, Kallis 3 for 16, Kumble 1 for 10 Doshi and Akhil gave away 22 runs between them for a wicket by Doshi.
106 in 20 overs is the kind of situation best suited to Kallis & Dravid. Kallis 43 of 46, Dravid 33 of 37 batted RC nearer to the winning post and Uthappa blasted 25 of 9 to finish the match with clinical efficiency.

Two out of three for IPL teams. Good show.

Champions League 2010- Day3. Match4. Redbacks AUS vs Lions SA

South Australia Redbacks 178 for 7 beat Lions SA 167 for 8 , in a match between captains. In what turned out to be a match, matching the skills of skippers, Redbacks captain Michael Klinger's 78 runs of 48 balls scored over Alviro Petersen's 56 runs of 35 balls.

Redbacks innings was steady, without being spectacular. Ferguson 47 of 34, supported Klinger ball to ball. Reasonable partnerships, wicket to wicket, helped Redbacks to score a decent 178 for six, at twenty.Phangiso, bowled well for his one wicket for 22 runs. Three run outs brought forth by de Bruyn, Petersen and Frylinck, were spectacular.

At 3 for 93, with Petersen and McKenzie in the 11 th over, Lions looked a sure shot winner.Unfortunate run out of McKenzie, by Putland for 15 was the turning point and Lions never recovered thereafter.Petersen's wicket in the 13th over, for a well made 54 sealed the fate of Lions.Tsolekile 23 of 31 and Frylinck 17 of 9, did their bit. Tait 3 for 36 was express fast with some deliveries going over 150 KM .Christian with 2 wickets and O'Brien with a wicket bowled well.

In a way, Lion's losing to Redbacks will be blessing in disguise for Mumbai Indians. If MI beat the Redbacks, it is all square one.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

C L T20. Day2, Match3. Central Districts NZ vs Chennai Super Kings

In a clinical display of total cricket, Chennai Super Kings 151 for 4, beat Central Districts NZ 94 all out by 57 runs.

The square at Kingsmead Durban, was juicy with a good lift of the pitch and swing of the air. CSK found themselves in the back foot with 2 down for 5 in the second and 3 down for 40 in the 9th over. The out field was slow due to earlier drizzle.

Young Anirudha Srikanth, made his father proud by playing fearlessly and effectively for 42 of 29. His type of play rubbed also on Badrinath, who batted intelligently for an unbeaten 52 of 42. Morkel blasted 26 of 15. CSK finished with a healthy 151 for 4. Bracewell 2 for 28 was supported by Mason and Milne with a wicket each. The Central Districts were brilliant in the field and must have saved more than 20 runs by excellent fielding at the rope.

CSK bowlers were at the best, restricting the Central Districts for 94. Bollinger was unplayable with 2 for 10, well supported by balaji 3 for 20, Ashwin 2 for 28 and Morkel 1 for 20. Murali the Magician needs no mention and was at his usual best with 2 for 15, pocketing Sinclair & Barnett in the eighth over . Bracewell and Mason added 38 runs at the later stage which was the only bright spot in Central innings.

CSK is in a tougher half and the good win will go well as the tournament progresses.

Champions League T20. Day 2. Match2. Warriors vs Wayamba

It was two on two for the South African Teams. Warriors SA beat Wayamba SL by seven wickets.

Wayamba batting first lost Mahela for zero and Udawatte for 2 in the second and sixth ball of Theron's first over of the match, and never recovered effectively from it. Kulatunga 59 of 44 and Perera 39 of 24 played explosive innings. Nothing of note from the others and Wayambe finished at 153 for 9 for an innings average of 7.65. Theron with 3 for 23, Ntini 2 for 34 were supported well by Botha, Boje and Tsotsobe with a wicket apiece.

Warriors paced their innings effectively. Contributions from Jacobs 26 of 10, Ingram 34 of 28, Kreusch 37 of 29 and a peach of an innings of 40 of 26 of Boucher, took the Warriors to their Target with out any hiccup. Wayambe bowlers were of colour and were wayward in line & length.
Warriors is a well knit unit and should be a team to watch in this CT20.

Champions T20 League 2010, Lions SA vs Mumbai Indians. Day.1. Match.1.

Lions SA 186 for 5 beat Mumbai Indians 177/6 by nine runs. Lions played as a team, and it was evident they have been playing together for long. No major star material other than McKenzie, who made a brilliant 56 of 43, well supported by, Vandiar 71 of 75.
Lesser said about Mumbai Indians game plan the better. Sachin batted like a champion for 69 of 62, but skippered the team like a novice. Using McLaren for just one over, trying eight bowlers with out a plan, using Satish a part time bowler and Zaheer who has not bowled for long , at crucial times, a pathetic batting order, and a shoddy fielding display , let MI down. Anyway, it is early days, wish them luck.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Asia Cup 2010. India vs Pakistan

In a Humdinger of a match, India 271 for 7 piped Pakistan 267 all out by 3 wickets with just a ball to spare.Pakistani top order did a reasonable job to post 267 all out in 49.3 overs. Major contributions came from Salman Butt 74 of 85, Shoaib Malik 39 of 46, Imran Farhat 25 of 46, Shahid Afridi 32 of 25, Umar Akmal 21 of 26 and Kamran Akmal 51 of 41. Praveen 3 for 53, Zaheer 2 for 41, Harbhajan 2 for 47 and Jadeja 1 for 43 were among the wickets. The turning point was the brilliant run out of Salman Butt by Ravindra Jadeja.
India played a sensible game and at 207 for 3 wickets in the 41 st over were sailing towards victory, with useful contributions from Gambir 83 of 97, Dhoni 56 of 71 and Sharma 22 of 24.Sharma fell at 209, followed quickly by Dhoni in the 43 rd over and Jadeja in the 46th over, to leave India tottering at 219 for 6 in the 46th.
Raina played a gem of an innings of 34 of 27, and fell to a brilliant work by Kamran Akmal to be runout. Harbhajan with a brilliant 15 of 11 finished the match in 49.5 balls with a lofted six of Md.Aamer, which reminded every one of the last ball six over mid wicket by Miandad of Chetan Sharma at Sharja. Saeed Ajmal with 3 for 56 was the most successful bowler. It will be a confidence booster for Dhoni and his men, having chased a large score at Dambulla under the lights.Both the teams played a brilliant game and at the end team India held its nerves and won the battle.
India now need to look seriously at its fast bowling strength. Nehra was a jaded bowler. In absence of a seaming wickets, our quickies Zaheer, Nehra, Pravin and a host of others will be ineffective, since they lack pace. It is time India looked out for genuine quickies and mould them for the World Cup, which is not too far away. For Pakistan, they are slowly grooming in to a decent outfit under Afridi and will be a force to reckon. Afridi has matured in to a good captain, and leading by example both in bowling & batting. Wish him luck.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Zimbabwe Tri Series. Match 2. India vs Sri Lanka

India 243 for 3 in 43.3 overs beat Sri Lanka 242 all out, comfortably by seven wickets.

India won the toss and elected to bowl first on a slow, but docile wicket. Indian seamers lead by Dinda did a great job in restricting Sri Lanka to moderate scores in the initial overs. Upul Taranga was run out and Samaraweera was consumed by Ojah to leave Lanka struggling at 39 for 2 in 11. When Dilshan fell for 61 of 94 in the 25th over, & Kapugadera for a painstaking 20 of 54 at 38th, even 200 seemed a distant task for the Lankans. Perera 32 of 29 and Kulasekara 19 of 21 added some quick runs in the power play overs, to lead Sri Lanka to a respectable 242 all out. Dinda, Ojah and Jadeja took two wickets apiece.

The Indians had a scratchy start, with both Vijay and Kartik labouring for 14 of 31 and 18 of 47 before both were consumed by Kulasekara and Ajanta Mendis. Their departure came in as a blessing in disguise, as Rohit Shrma and Virat Kohli put on a methodical workmanlike partnership of 154 runs, before Kohli fell for a well made 82 of 125 in the 38th over. Skipper Suresh Raina joined Sharma, and saw the Indians through, to a comfortable seven wickets victory in 43.3 overs. Rohit with a back to back century remained not out on 101 of 126 and Raina unbeaten on 24 of 26. Kulasekara, Mendis and Randiv picked up a wicket each.

A satisfying victory for the young Indians, and the planning had all Gary Kirsten written over it.Sri Lanka meet Zimbabwe in a crucial match on June 1st, and need to win to make it one apiece at the half way stage.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Triangular Series India vs Zimbabwe

The first match of the tri series involving India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, was played between India and Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe,289 for 4 in 48.2 overs, comfortably beat India 285 for 5 by six wickets. Zimbabwe was definitely stronger of the two sides on the day, and won the match with clinical efficiency.

India won the toss and promptly elected to bat in a placid wicket. Indisciplined overs from Chigumbura and Price, gave India a flying start of over 50 in six overs, mainly constituted by wides and no balls. Immature run outs of Vijay and Kohli, and some good bowling in mid overs, swung the game Zimbabwe way, before Rohit Sharma 114 of 119 ( his last 69 coming of 31 balls) and unbeaten 61 in 61 balls, by Ravindra Jadeja, gave India a fighting 285 for 5.Mpofu 2 for 63 and Utseya 1 for 46 shared the wickets.

Zimbabwe were given a rousing start by Brendon Taylor 81 of 103, and Hamilton Masakadza 46 of 43. before Hamilton fell in the thirteenth over. Every one of the Zimbabwe batsmen did their bit. Lamb 27 of 43, Coventry 32 of 25, Chigumbura 24 of 16 helped Ervin unbeaten on 67 of 60 to finish the match in the 48.2 overs. The Indian new ball trio of Vinay, Dinda and Yadav were ineffective, though Vinay took two wickets for 51. Jadeja and Mishra took a wicket each.

A good win by Zimbabwe. Watch out for this team in the remaining matches. They are getting back to some of their past glory.

Monday, May 17, 2010

WC.T.20. Finals Australia vs England

Two old adversaries in the final of WC.T20, which it self was a record of sorts. The match played at Kensington oval, Bridgetown, Barbados turned out to be a tame affair, the mighty Aussies succumbing at the tape.

On a bouncy wicket, England won the toss and invited the Australians to have the first go. England with Sidebottom,Bresnen, Broad, Swann and Yardy were a better balanced outfit, than the Aussies, who packed their side with pacers Nannes, Tait, Johnson, Watson and Smith.

Like the semifinals against Pakistan, Australians had a poor start at 8 for three wickets, in the third over. Watson, Warner and Haddin were gone for 2,2 & 1. Sidebottom was running through the Aussies at this stage. Clarke 27 of 35 added 37 runs in 43 balls with David Hussey, before he was consumed by Collingwood of Swann. The next 50 runs between David Hussey and Cameron White came in 36 balls, when White fell for 30 of 21, caught by Broad of the part timer Wright. Fifteen overs were gone at this stage for 95, when Mike Hussey joined his brother David. Unlike the semifinals, Mike could not fire away, and added 47 runs, before David was run out for 59 of 73 balls. Australians finished at 147 for 6, with Chris Broad bowling an economical 20th over. Sidebottom 2 for 26, Swann one for 17 and Wright one for five, shared the spoils.

England lost Lumb for 2 runs in the second over. There after, it was England all the way. Man of the match Kieswetter 63 of 72 and man of the series, Kevin Pietersen 47 of 59, took England to safety, before Collingwood 12 of 15 and Morgan 15 of 11 , won the match for England by seven wickets. England finished at 148 for 3 in 17 overs. Tait, Johnson and Smith took a wicket each.

England a team without any superstars, have won the cup due to shear determination, precise planning and disciplinary approach. They thoroughly deserve the victory.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

WC T20. Day.10. Match.19. West Indies vs India. Super.8. Group.F

West Indies169 for 6, kept their chances of reaching the semi finals alive, by beating India 155 for 9, by 14 runs. India will play their final match against Sri Lanka, and the outcome will decide the final four.

It is becoming difficult to fathom the team composition. Packed with batsmen,Two pacers one spinner and other's who bowl the up & down stuff,is puzzling. This was a match where a seamer like Vinay Kumar could have been tried. The pitch was a bit wet at the start of play, but rolled out in to a good batting track with in couple of overs. Other than Harbhajan & Nehra , bowlers bowled poorly. To add to their woes, the fielding was sub standard. Crucial catches were dropped. Chris Gayle with two lives, went on to make 98, and agonisingly fell short of a record second century in WC.T20. Chanderpaul 23 of 29, put on an opening partnership of 80 in 11. 5 overs with Gayle. Sammy 19 of 10 and Pollard 17 of 11 struck out in the end overs. Nehra and Harbhajan, bowled well. Raina & Jadeja went for 50 runs between them in four overs.

The pitch had rolled out in to a decent batting track and 169 was gettable. But the Indians virtually had no plans. They were 3 down for 38 in the eighth over and never recovered. Raina made a scratchy 32 in 25. Dhoni, Yusuf and Harbhajan used the long handle effectively, but the game was already lost by that stage. Sammy, Roach and Jerome Taylor , bowled with sustained pace exposing the Indians weakness for the short pitched deliveries.Bravo, Pollard, Gayle and Benn took a wicket each, to complete the tally.
Indians like the Pakistanis are out of the T20. World Cup. Too many games, in the IPL with an hectic game schedule & travel seem to have taken a toll of the players. Is IPL too hectic and the schedule too long and wrongly positioned ? This will remain a question mark and need to be debated by BCCI. But what ever said and done, the Indians played poorly and deserve to lose.

There is one more match, and it will be worthwhile to induct Vinay Kumar and Yadav, in place of Zaheer and Yuvraj. Let us see what they have in them.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

WC.T20. Day.9. Match.18. England vs South Africa - Super.8. Gr.E

In a clinical display, England 168 for 7 beat South Africa 129 all out by 39 runs, to make their way to the semifinals.

Electing to bat first on winning the toss, England lost Michael Lumb LBW to Botha for 3 in the first over. Pietersen joined Kieswetter, and they added 94 runs in under 10 overs for the second wicket, before Pietersen 53 of 33, fell to a good catch by Smith of Botha. Kieswetter 41 of 42, Collingwood 14 of 9, Morgan 21 of 14 and Bresnen 13 of 13, contributed to the team total of 168, which at one time looked to reach over 180. Langeveldt and M.Morkel, bowled their end spells, excellently and gave nothing away. Botha and Kallis, were very economical. M.Morkel 2 for 40 , Langeveldt 2 for 34 & Duminy 1 for 11 shared the other wickets.

South Africans, were reduced to 53 for five under ten overs. Smith 19 of 24, Kallis 11 of 13, Gibbs 8 of 8, AB de Villiers 5 of 9 and J.A.Morkel zero of two, were gone in a jiffy. Wickets kept falling and excepting Duminy 39 of 25, there was not even a resemblance of a fight. Swann, Broad and Yardy, broke through the South African top order. Sidebottom, ran through the middle and finished the match bowling M.Morkel out for one in the 19th over.

South Africa now need to do extremely well against Pakistan, to overcome New Zealand, who are better placed in the run quotient.

WC.T.20. Day.9. Match.17. New Zealand vs Pakistan. Super.8. Gr.E

In a nail biting finish, New Zealand 133 for 7, defeated Pakistan 132 for 7, by one run in the last ball of the match.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl on a juicy wicket. Mohammad Sami, Abdur Rehman & Shahid Afridi, picked up the wickets. But the credit of bowling intelligently and tightly goes to Md.Aamer & Md.Hafeez They held on to one end, and the wickets kept falling at the other. B.McCullum 33 of 29, Daniel Vettori 38 of 34 and Styris 21 of 17 were the main scorers. Nathen McCullum, finished the innings with a six.

Pakistan were to score 133 at 6.65 runs per over. They were reduced to 58 for 5 by the tenth over. Salman Butt unbeaten on 67 runs of 54 balls and Abdul Razzak 29 runs of 29 balls, put on 53 runs in 48 balls for the sixth wicket.

At the end of the 17th over, Pakistan were 108 for 5 requiring 26 runs of 18 balls, with Salman Butt and Razzak going strong. Nathen McCullum bowled a brilliant 18th over giving away just four runs and consuming Razzak caught of a top edge, by Taylor at deep mid wicket.

At the end of 18 Pakistan required, 22 of 12 balls still gettable. The 19th over by Mills, eleven runs were taken, a first ball six by Butt followed by five singles.

20th over, and Pakistan required 11 from six, with Butler bowling. Ball one was a well directed bouncer and no run, and no wide. Ball two, Butt top edges through third man for four, knowing the third man was up. A classy shot. Seven of four. Ball three, a good fast ball at 136 km, Butt misses, no run. Seven of three. Ball four, Butt charges, and slashes Butler, over point boundary for a four, with the sweeper cover Styris giving a chase and missing out at the rope. Three of two.Ball five, Butt misses the ball but runs for a bye. Hopkins late in throw, but hits the stumps, with Abdur Rehman in. Two of one. Ball Six. Every one were tense,what if Butler bowls a wide or no ball ? Butler keeps his nerves, bowls a length ball aimed at the pads. Rahman swings, but caught at deep square leg by Guptil, a simple catch.

Pakistan lose by one run ,and are out of T.20 World Cup 2010. What a match. Butler deservedly was the Man of the Match.

Friday, May 7, 2010

WC.T.20. Day.8. Match.16.Gr.F. Sri Lanka vs West Indies.

Match 16 was almost a replica of Match 15 between Australia & India. Sri Lanka were in in the Aussie position and West Indies crumbling to a 57 run defeat in the Indian position.

Sri Lanka won the toss, and elected to bat. Sri Lanka played with three pacemen, spearheaded by Lasith Malinga and two world class spinners, in Muthia Muralitharan and Ajanta Mendis. Mahela has been in sublime form from the time he has moved to the top slot in batting. Mahela and Sanga, put on a record 167 runs partnership in 16.3 overs, to guide Sri Lanka to a match winning 195 for three. Mahela played a gem of an innings of 98 of 56, with Sanga scoring 68 of 49. K.A.J. Roach was the only bowler, who commanded some respectability. Taylor, Bravo, Benn, Sammy & Pollard were all hit out of rhythm.

West Indies, could not match up with the target and were reduced to 138 for 8 in twenty overs, to be beaten by 57 runs. However unlike the Indians, there were performance by almost all the West Indians, which was not enough to take them through. Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga, bowled their heart out, well supported by Kulasekara, Angelo, Perera and Murali Sarwan top scored with 28 of 33 and Bravo 23 of 23.

Both West Indies and India need to win their next two matches convincingly to be in contention for the last four.

WC.T.20. Day.8. Match.15. Australia vs India Gr.F.

Australia 184 for 5 beat India 135 all out in 17.2 overs, by a massive margin of 49 runs.

India just didn't know what hit them. It is also difficult to fathom the team selection. At Barbados, the pitch compared with Perth for its bounce and pace, India played with two pacemen and one spinner and other so called spinning all rounders. Other than Harbhajan and Nehra to an extent, all were clouted round the field. There were as many as sixteen sixes to six fours. The Aussies were not bothered about the field positions, since they were clearing the field every time. Lesser said about the Indian fielding the better. The batters could not bear the pace. Yuvraj, Vijay, Gambhir & Raina were found wanting to short pitched pacy deliveries, diverted at the rib cage.

Australians were given a rousing start by Watson and Warner who put on 104 for the first wicket. Watson was the first to go for a well made 54 of 32. Warner 72 of 42 and David Hussey 35 of 22 played brilliantly and Australians were 166 for 3 in the 17th. When over 210 runs were anticipated, three brilliant overs by the Indians with Nehra's 20th being hit for just five, restricted the Australians to 184. Bajji & Nehra bowled well under the conditions. Jadeja was taken to the cleaners. His last three deliveries of the first and first three deliveries of second were hit for sixes. Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj were the other wicket takers.

India was expected to do well with its famous batting line up. But the line up just remained on paper, and excepting for a excellent unbeaten 79 of 46 by Rohit and some lusty hitting by Bajji at the end, no one was able to stand up to Aussie pace. The Indian batting card was pathetic at Vijay-2, Gambhir-9. Raina-5, Yuvraj-1, Dhoni -2, Yusuf-1, Jadeja-4, what more can you ask for.
Nannes, Tait, Watson, Johnson & Smith with a wicket each, bowled relentlessly, to reduce the Indians to 135 all out.
Winning or losing is a part of the game. But when you lose without a fight and do not control the run rate which may come to play at a later stage, you need to be spanked for your effort. Nothing however should be taken away from a classic Aussie performance. they have come to WC.T.20 with a goal and appear to be on way to achieveing it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day.7. Match.14. Super 8 Gr.E. South Africa vs Newzealand

South Africa 170 for 4 beat Newzealand 157 for 7 by 13 runs, in another Group E match of Super Eights.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. Steady contributions from Kallis 31 of 26, Smith 14 of 12, Gibbs 30 of 24, Villiers 47 of 39, and J.A.Morkel 40 of 18 made up the score. After being 97 for 3 in the 14th over, Villiers and Morkel added 72 runs of 36 balls, to set up the score. Nathen McCullum, Southee and Oram took a wicket each.

Brendon McCullum fell for six caught by Gibbs of Langeveldt, in the first over. Jesse Ryder 33 of 28 and Guptil 18 of 19 took the score to 51 when Guptil fell in the 8th over. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and the game was a foregone conclusion at 123 for 7 in the 17th over. Bit of slogging by Nathen McCullum 26 of 17 at the fag end of the innings was not enough to stop the South Africans from a well deserved victory. Langelveldt, Steyn, Morty Morkel, and Botha, shared the wickets to fall.

Newzealand and Pakistan need to play their remaining matches well to be in contention for last four slot.

Day.7. Match.13. Super 8 Gr.E. Pakistan vs England.

England 151 for 4 beat Pakistan 147 for 9 by six wickets, at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Batting first after losing the toss, Pakistan, were rounded up for 147 for 9, by some spirited bowling by the Englishmen. Pakistan had a reasonable start and were 71 for 1 when Salman Butt fell in the 10th over, for a well made 34 of 26. Umar Akmal who was batting at his best was brilliantly taken on the rope, by Pietersen of the bowling of Sidebottom for 30 of 25. Saeed Ajmal's cameo of 13 of 5, adding 15 runs in the last over, took Pakistan to some sort of respectability. Sidebottom3.0.28.2, Bresnen, Broad, Yardy and Swann, were the wicket takers.

Lumb and kiesetter gave a resounding start of 44 in 5.4 overs, supported by some spineless fielding effort by Pakistan, who dropped sitters. Kieswetter fell at 65, when Pietersen and Collingwood, settled down to a methodical partnership of 60 runs in 48 balls, which took the game away from Pakistan. Pietersen stroked to an unbeaten, match winning knock of 73 of 52 balls, to take the man of the Match award. Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Razzaq, and Shahid Afridi shared the four wickets to fall.

A good victory for England, which has taken them a step ahead towards Semi Final berth

WC. T20. Day.6. Match 11- Australia vs Bangladesh . Match-12. South Africa vs Afghanistan

Match 11. Australia vs Bangladesh

Michael Hussey's classic finisher act and brilliant spell by Dirk Nannes, saw Australia through to the Super eight stage after their match against Bangladesh. Batting first at the Kenningston Oval, Australia were cut to ribbons for a paltry 65 for 6, at 12. 5 overs. Bangla bowlers particularly Mashrafe Mortaza 2 for 28, Shakibul Hasan 2 for 24, Abdul Razzak 1 for 29 and Md.Ashraful 1 for 24, bowled brilliant start and mid overs, before Michael Hussey 47 fo 29 took over the rescue act. Hussey and the youngster S.P.D.Smith 27 of 18,put on 74 runs in 41 deliveries, before Smith was run out in the 20th over. Their partnership gave the Australians a fighting score of 141 for 7.

Australians bowled and fielded brilliantly and gave nothing away. Nannes and Tait, gave demonstration of good and accurate fast bowling to the Bangladeshis. They were brilliantly supported by Harris 1 for 28, Smith 2 for 29 and David Hussey 2 for 8, to reduce Bangladesh to 114 all out to win the match by 27 runs and enter Super eight stage with two played two won.
Match 12. South Africa vs Afghanistan.

Batting first South Africa made 139 for 7 in twenty overs. Useful contributions from Smith 27 of 14, Kallis 34 of 33, Villiers 25 of 21 and J.A.Morkel 23 of 17 added to the team total. South Africa need to do a lot of homework, before they meet the power houses. In the match against India, they struggled with the run rate chasing, and against the minnows Afghanistan, though they had a brilliant start of 41 in four, struggled with their run rate in the mid and end overs. Hamid Hassan bowled well for his 3 for 21. Zadran, Nabi and Mangal picked up a wicket each.
South Africans spearheaded by Steyn, Langeveldt and Mort Morkel, ripped through the Afghans with some incisive Fast bowling. Steyn, Langeveldt and M.Morkel, bowled out the Afghans for 80 in 16 overs.South Africa won the match by 59 runs and take their place in super eight.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WC.T.20. Day.5. Matches 9 & 10

Match.9 : Zimbabwe vs Newzealand

Zimbabwe, came to the tournaments high on form, after beating Australia & Pakistan in warm up matches. They however came a cropper against Newzealand at Providence, Guyana, falling to 84 all out, one of the lowest scores in T.20.

The match was once again done in by the weather, and Newzealand 35 for 1, won the match by D/L method by seven runs. Taibu 21 of 14 and Masakadza 20 of 20 up the order, and Lamb 14 of 21 down the order, were the only worthwhile contributions. Nine wickets fell for 26 runs, and Zimbabwe crashed from 1 for 57 to 84 all out. Nathen McCullum, Styris, Vettori & Southee bowled well.

Newzealand were 36 for 1 in 8.1 when the weather intervened and the score was good enough to beat the Duckworth Lewis.
Match.10. England vs Ireland.

England 120 for 8 beat Ireland 14 for one by better run rate on a match ruined once again by the weather. Ireland won the toss and elected to field. England were 4 down for 49, when Pietersen was taken by Mooney of O'Brien in the tenth over. Morgan 45 of 27 and Wright 20 of 24 helped England to finish at 120 for 8 at the end of 20. Rankin 2 for 25, O'Brien 2 for 22, Johnston 1 for 14 and Botha 1 for 29 took the wickets between them.

Keeping Duckworth scores at their back of their mind, Bresnen and Sidebottom bowled excellent spells of and, before the weather intervened and the game was abandoned as No Result. England got through by better run rate.

WC.T.20. Day.4. Matches 7 & 8

Match 7.

Sri Lanka 173 for 7 beat Zimbabwe 29 for 1 in five overs by Duck worth Lewis method by 14 runs.
Mahela stroking a brilliant hundred of 64 deliveries with 10 fours and 4 sixers, in a one man show, where the next best was 23 of 19 by Perera and 13 of 6 by Kapugedera. Price 2 for 31 and Lamb 2 for 34 were the main wicket takers.
Rain played spoil sport, and when the match was halted after five overs, Zimbabwe were at 29 for one against 43 required to beat the Duck worth Lewis.

West Indies 60 for 2 in 5.5 overs, beat England 191 for 5, thru Duck worth Lewis method by 8 wickets. England must consider themselves as extremely unlucky. A full match of twenty overs, would have seen England in the drivers seat.
England batting was evenly distributed and was a total team effort. Every one at the top contributed. Lumb 28 fo 18, Kieswetter 26 of 14, Kevin Pietersen 24 of 20, Morgan 55 of 35 and wright 45 of 27, took England to a healthy 191 for 5. D.J.G. Sammy 2 for 22, was supported by Bravo, Gayle and Miller with a wicket each. West Indies with an asking rate of over 9.55 runs per over, batted strongly to beat the D/L asking rate of 60 in 6 overs. They lost two wickets to Swann, but finished the match with a win by 8 wickets. Gayle 25 of 12, Chandrapaul 15 of 13 and Fletcher 12 of 10 saw them through. There were 8 wides in the score of 60, which ultimately proved costly for England.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

WC.T.20. Day.3. Match.6. Australia vs Pakistan

Australia 191 all out beat Pakistan 157 all out, by 34 runs. The new look Australians have heralded their arrival in WC.T20. 2010, in a convincing manner trouncing the Pakistanis, in a game of total cricket.

Warner and Watson gave a rollicking start to the Australian innings, adding 51 for the first wicket in 34 balls, before Warner was taken by Umar Akmal of Md. Sami. Clarke fell early, bowled by Md.Hafeez's wrong one. 98 runs were added for the third wicket between David Hussey and Watson, before Hussey fell in the 17th over, for a quick 53 of 29 deliveries, misreading Ajmal and holing out to Fawad Alam. Watson fell in the same over to a low full toss of Ajmal and out LBW for a well made 81 of 49. At the completion of 19th over, Australian's were 191 for 5.

The 20th over bowled by Md.Aamer, must be getting in to the record books of T.20 format. Five wickets fell for no run. Balls one & Two, wickets to Aamer, Balls 3 & 4 runouts by Kamran, Ball 5 no run & Ball 6 Wicket to Aamer. Australia from 191 for 5 were all out for 191. Md. Aamer and Ajmal bowled intelligently. Afridi's reading of the game was poor and experimenting with Md. Hafeez was poorer. Md. Sami and Md.Hafeez were expensive for their solitary wicket going for 101 runs between them.

Chasing 192 for victory, Pakistan were never in the hunt. They lost wickets at the initial stages, and were 3 down for 34 in the 5th over. and 4 down for 70 in the 9th over. Misbah and Afridi added 47 for the 5th wicket, when Afridi fell for33 of 24, bowled by an express delivery from Tait. No one else did anything of note and Pakistan folded for 157 to lose by 34 runs.The quickies, Nannes, Tait and Johnson bowled relentlessly. David Hussey and Smith took the remaining two wickets.

Pakistan need to wait for the match between Australia & Bangladesh on 5th May at Barbados,to confirm their entry in Super Eight.

WC.T.20. Day.3. Match 5 . India vs South Africa

India 186 for 5, made sure of their berth in super eight, by defeating South Africa 172 for 5, by 14 runs at St.Lucia.

Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to field, to take advantage of the juice in the pitch in the first hour of play. Vijay fell first ball caught by Boucher of Kleinveldt for nought. Dinesh Kartik fell for 16 of 17 balls in the sixth over. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj put on 88 runs for the third wkt in quick time, when Yuvraj was taken by Smith of Kleinveldt for 37 of 30 balls, in the 16th over. The last four overs produced 66 runs, Raina going berserk, to be the last man out for a well made 101 of 60 deliveries. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 16 of 6balls. Kleinveldt with 2 for 48, Steyn with 1 for 24, Kallis with 1 for 30 and Morkel with 1 for 37 were amongst wickets. India finished at a healthy 186 for 5.
Chasing over nine runs per over, South Africa lost Bosman in the fifth over for a team total of 21. Kallis 73 of 54 balls and Smith 36 of 28 balls took over and put on 97 runs for the second wicket in 65 balls, before Smith was run out . South Africa had to get 69 runs in 27 deliveries at over 15 runs per over. Dhoni had the advantage of high asking rate, and bowled all his spinners to full quotas. The worrying factor however is that all Indian spinners were taken for plenty, and they generally bowled with out any clue. Harbhajan gave away 33 in 4, Yusuf 42 in 4 for two wickets, Piyush 27 of 3 for one wicket and Jadeja 37 in 4. Praveen bowled a solitary over for 3 runs, and did not get to bowl again. Our pace men are doing better and it may be saner to play with three instead of two.

India will have a long period of rest before they start their campaign in the Super eight. They will play the runner up in group "B" comprising of Newzealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on 6th May at Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

WC.T.20. Day2. Match.4. Bangladesh vs Pakistan

Pakistan 172 for 3 beat Bangladesh 151 for 7 by 21 runs in the Match 4 played at the beautiful Beausejour Stadium, St.Lucia.

Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt, laid a foundation with a 142 run stand to take Pakistan to a match winning 172 for 3 in twenty. Both were out at identical scores of 73. Bangla skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Shafiul Islam were the wicket takers.

Bangladesh played poor cricket for most part of the game, first with the bowling stint, then with the start. They were 21 for 3 in the sixth over when Tamim Iqbal fell. Ashraful and Shakib, collared Pakistani bowlers and scored a whirlwind 91 run partnership in ten overs, which almost took them to the winning post.

Sami rolled the game back in Pakistan favour taking Shakib 47 of 31 in the 16th over, followed by Mahmudullah. Ashraful fell to Md.Ameer for a well made 65 of 49, at the team score of 140 in 17.5 overs. Pakistan then finished strongly by taking Rahim and Murtuza, to restrict Bangladesh for 151 for seven, to win by 21 runs. Amer and Sami, were at their best. Hafeez and Ajmal picked up a wicket each.

Pakistan now faces Australia in a Group. A. fixture. A win against Australia will take Pakistan to the top position in Group.A.

WC.T.20. Day.2. Match3. Afghanistan vs India

India played the match like any other important fixture and finished with clinical efficiency, to beat Afghanistan by seven wickets.

Since India started with out any practice fixture, Dhoni won the toss, and invited Afghanistan to bat first, to get a better feel of the conditions. Soon the Afghans were on the back foot, loosing three wickets for 29 to short pitched deliveries raising just above the midriff. Noor and Asghar Stanikzai, who play most of their cricket in Pakistan, took over the reins and scored 80 runs of the total of 115 between them. The spinners were taken for runs, when Dhoni brought back Zaheer. Zaheer was lacking in pace and line and was carted for fours. But Praveen and Nehra pulled Afghanistan back. Noor, Asghar and Nabi had no clue to the bouncers and were caught in the front foot. With the backbone gone, Afghanistan finsihed with115 runs, which itself was creditable playing against a powerhouse. Nehra, Praveen & Jadeja were the pick of the bowlers. Zaheer took the other wicket at

Vijay, Raina, Yuvraj and Dhoni played as only they can and won the match comfortably scoring 116 for 3 in 14.5 overs. Vijay scored a match winning 48 of 46. Dawlat, Samiullah and Hamid picked up a wicket each.

India has made a good start and face South Africa, which will determine Group C winner.

WC.T.20. Day1. Match2. West Indies vs Ireland

West Indies 138 for 9 beat Ireland 68 all out by sixty runs. The score line looks good on paper.What a day Ireland had on field. They restricted West Indies for a modest 138 of twenty overs.

Six of the top seven West Indians, contributed in small measures, highest being Sammy's 30 of 17, followed by Sarwan's 24 of 26. Rampaul , Botha and Cusack picked up two wickets each. Dockrell had an excellent analysis of

Chasing qa score of 138, Ireland were never in the hunt. They lost wickets regularly and folded to a low 68 in the 16.4 over. Wilson was the lone bat to get 17 of 34 to get in to double figures. The highest scorer was Mr.Extras at 19. K.Roach, Miller, Bravo & Rampaul were all amongst wickets. Sammy with picked up the Man of the match tag.

On day two, India plays minnows Afghanistan. But looking at Ireland's performance, They should be guarded and win a good match.

WC.T.20. Day1. Match.1. SriLanka vs Newzealand

The first match at Providence, Guyana between Sri Lanka and Zealand turned out to be a nail biting affair. New Zealand winning by two wickets. It was clear from ball one, that the pitch will play slow, and a score of 150 would be defendable.
Sri Lanka in spite of a classic 81 of 51 by Mahela, could finish only at 135 for 6. Chandimal 29 of 23 supported Mahela. Dilshan wasted too many deliveries. Sangakara did nothing of note. Nathen McCullum 1 for 17, Southee 1 for 21, Bond 2 for 35, Oram 1 for 23 and Styris 1 for 13, were among the wickets. Nathan McCullum, picked up three well judged catches in the deep.

Though the NewZealand's first wicket fell at no score, Guptil and Ryder put on 62 for the second wicket in 43 deliveries, before Ryder fell for a well made 42 of 27. Guptil followed soon after for 19 of 24. Wily Jayasurya and the magician Muralidharan spun a web in the mid overs and at 118 for 7 in the 18.2 over, when Hopkins fell, it looked a Sri Lankan game with the 20th over to be bowled by the accurate Malinga. 12 were required of the last over.

The first one was a good yorker played to mid on for a single. Second ball was a comedy of errors. Running for a bye, both the batsmen were at the same end. Sankakara's throw collected by Malinga and his flick misses the stumps, allowing the batsmen to cross over. Malinga had all the time in the world to walk to the stumps and take the bails off. Nathen swung the third ball between fine leg and deep square leg for a well timed four. Fourth ball Vettori was run out running an impossible second. Three needed of two balls. Nathan swung the fifth ball, cleanly over the Long of boundary for a six. New Zealand finished at 139 for 8 to win by two wickets. Nathan McCullum had a wonderful day picking three catches in the deep, taking a wicket and scoring the winning run for a crucial 16 runs of six balls.

Now Sri Lanka should win their second match against the dangerous Zimbabwe on the 7th March at Guyana.

Friday, April 30, 2010

FIDE. World Chess Championship- Sofia. Anand vs Topalov

Game.5. Drawn : Scores Anand 3 Topalov 2.

Playing Black, Anand slowly ground Topalov to a draw in 44 moves with a Slav Defense to lead by a solitary point at the end of game 5. The game was almost a replica of game 3, when Anand & Topalov, repeating the moves and ending in a draw.

Up to 14th, the moves were similar. Move 15th saw Anand pushing his King Rook Pawn, which was totally new and unexpected. By move 18th Topalov, seemed to have an edge, but Anand held on. By move 23rd, it was more or less clear that the game would move only towards a draw.
Anand will be playing whites again on Saturday. My gut feeling says that he would now slow down the sixth and seventh games and would go for the kill in 8th and 10th. Go Anand Go. We wish you Victory.

FIDE. World Chess Championship. Sofia, Anand vs Topalov

It is Chess time now, and how can we miss it with our own Visvanathan Anand in.

Game.1. Topalov took the first match playing white. Topalov opened with 1.d4. Anand adopted Gruenfeld Indian, which he used in most of the matches in 2009. Topalov, took the game to different levels by move 16, and by move 23 with a Rook lift Rf3 , exposed the fragile Black Castle. 29th Bb5 was replied by Qxe4, and Topalov finished of Rxc8 to take the match in 1 Hr 21 Mts.

Game.2. Anand takes the game playing white to tie at 1:1. Anand opened with Catalan. Topalov responded 4..dxc4, to create an imbalance. By move 15, the queens were exchanged, but the move of the match was a hasty Ne3 at 25 by Topalov, which perhaps costed him the match. Topalov's move to trade of Rooks was wisely declined by Anand, and by move 43, the game was Anand's in 1 Hr. 08 Mts.

Game.3. Drawn. Scores 1.5 : 1.5. In the third game Anand playing Black, dogged Topalov down to a draw.Topalov's self invoked Sofia Rule of no draws, came to a nought at the 46th move. It war a grand and calculated play by Anand, with only Bishops, Rooks and a Knight each after 13th. The game ended in a draw in 46th move in 1 Hr.07 Mts.
Game.4. Fourth game to Anand , Scores 2.5 : 1.5
Topalov saw another Catalan opening with Anand on white. Anad just ripped through Topalov's Queens side, by creating weakness in the pawn structure. By 18th move it was only Anand on board.The match was over by 32 nd move in just 21 Mts.