Sunday, September 30, 2012

ICC.T.20.WC-2012. Match.20. Gr.2. India vs Pakistan

In a do or die match, a steady India thrashed an over anxious Pakistan by eight wickets in a Gr.2. super 8 match.

Batting first on winning the toss, the Pakistanis never really got going and were bowled out for 128 in 19.4 overs. The fragile Pakistani top order failed again, and the Indian bowlers, including a Kohli a part time bowler, were all over them.

Balaji, Ashwin and Yuvraj , bowled to the field and were rewarded. Shoib Malik 28 of 22 and Umar Akmal 21 of 15 were the only contributors of note.

Pakistan started with the slow left arm spin of Raza, and were immediately rewarded, with  Gambhir falling to a tossed up delivery, to be caught and bowled for no score. The only way Pakistan could have saved the match was by taking wickets. With a very low score to defend, Pakistan with its grand set of bowlers, were expected to attack the opposition.

Surprisingly, skipper Hafeez decided to defend and paid the price. Kohli and Sehwag put on 74 runs in ten overs for the second wicket, before Sehwag fell, caught by Umar Gul of Afridi for a well made  29 of 24. Yuvraj joined Kohli and took India through in seventeen overs. Virat Kohli 78 of 61 and Yuvraj 19 of 16, remained unbeaten in an unbroken third wicket partnership of 54 runs in 6.3 overs.

With this victory, India kept its chances of making to the semis alive. They need to beat the South Africans convincingly in their last super 8 match. Pakistan will need a good victory against the Australians to make the grade. The matches slated for 2nd October, will be humdinger affairs.

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.19. Gr.2. Australia vs South Africa

The Australians have approached the T.20.WC-2012, with a single minded  target of winning, and have succeeded till now.

In a group.2, match of the super.8., Australia 147 for 2 in 17.4 overs beat South Africa 146 for 5 in twenty by eight wickets, to almost make certain of their place in the semis.

Batting first after losing the toss, South African top order failed again, with Levi, Amla and Kallis getting out cheaply, and were 64 for 4 in the 11th over. Duminy30 of 25, AB D'Villiers 21 of 24, Behardien 31 of 27 & Petersen 32 of 19, took the team score to 146 for five on a slowish pitch.

Doherty, and Watson, picked up wickets regularly to restrict the South Africans for an under par score.

Warner went for five in the fourth over. Watson70 of 47 and Hussey 45 of 37, were involved in a methodical 99 run partnership, to take Australia, nearer to the target, when Watson fell to Petersen. Cameron White joined Hussey and took the Australians past the post with an unbeaten 21 of 13.

With this loss, South Africans are almost out of the tournament. It is surprising to see, South Africa copulating repeatedly in tournaments that matter. What is ailing them ?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.18. Gr.1. SriLanka vs West Indies

In a group.1 match of the super eight, SriLanka, almost ensured itself a slot in the semi final of. T.20.WC-2012.

Batting first on winning the toss in a slowish wicket, West Indies could just muster 129 for 5 in twenty overs, in spite of a good 50 in 35 balls by Samuel and 40 in 34 by DJ Bravo.

Ajanta Mendis bowled brilliantly for figures of, well supported by Mathews, Kulasekara and BMAJ.Mendis, who picked up a wicket each.

Mahela 65 of 49, Dilshan 13 of 15, and Sangakara 39 of 34, steadily took SriLankans to their victory target for the loss of one wicket. Ravi Rampaul took the lone wicket to fall.

The match between NewZealand and West Indies to be played on 1st October at Palekele, will decide the fate of one of them, for a semifinal spot.

ICC.T.20.WC-2012. Match.17. Gr.1.England vs New Zealand

In a Gr.1. match of super 8, England's Finn was at his bowling best, with figures of, when NewZealand were reduced to 148 for 6 . England 149 for 4 in 18.5 overs, won the the match by six wickets with seven balls to spare.

Batting first on winning the toss, NeZealand made 148 for six with a well made 50 of 33 by Frankline. For England, apart from Finn, Briggs and Swann took a wicket each.

Wright guided England to victory with a calculated 76 of 43, well supported by Hales 22 of 15 and Morgan 30 of 31. For  NewZealand, Mills, Vettori, Nathen McCullum and Bracewel took a wicket each.

England kept its hopes of making the semifinal grade with this victory and need a victory against hosts SriLanka, to make the grade.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ICC. T.wo WC-2012. Match.16.Gr.2. Australia vs India

India were annihilated by Watson's alround display and Warner's blistering innings, as they went down by a huge nine wicket margin to Australia in a Group.2. match.

Batting first on a good wicket, India batting poorly and Australians bowling brilliantly, made 140 for seven in twenty overs. Watson, Cummins and Starc were among the wickets.

 For the Australians, who have entered the tournament with a desire to take the one world cup trophy, they have not won, 140 was a cake walk, supported by some very very poor bowling by the Indians.

Watson and Warner plundered runs at will, and were separated  at 133 in the14th over, when Watson was taken for a well made 72 of 42 of the bowling of Yuvraj Singh. Warner remained unbeaten on 63 of 41 balls and Australians were through in 14.5 overs. Excepting Zaheer Khan, every other bowler, particularly Harbhajan and Chawla were cleaned up by the Aussie machinery.

The way Australians have been performing till now and  Pakistanis coming out of difficult situations when needed, I would not be surprised, if these two teams meet in the finals of T.20 WC-2012. The dark horse could be my all time favourite West Indies.

ICC.T.20 WC-2012. Match.15.Gr,2. Pakistan vs South Africa

Umar Akmal and Umar Gul, carved out an unexpected two wicket win for Pakistan over South Africa in a crucial Gr.2 match in super eight . 

Batting first on winning the toss, South Africa were mesmerised by the Pakistani spinners, for an under par score of 133 for 6 in twenty overs.Other than Duminy's 48 in 38 balls, no other South African did anything of note.

Raza Hazan, Saeed Ajmal, Md.Hafiz and Afridi, bowled judicially and South Africans could do nothing of note.

A score of 133, should have been an easy task even for Pakistan's fragile batting order. South Africans bowled and fielded their hearts out, and in no time Pakistan were 4 down for 37 in the seventh over and precariously placed at 7 down for 76 in the 15th. 

South African's had the match in their pockets at this stage, with Pakistanis to get 57 in five overs, with just three wickets left. In came Umar Gul, and single handily turned the fortunes around with a whirlwind 32 in 17 balls, to take Pakistan to 125 for 8 in the 19th over.

Umar Akmal and Saeed Ajmal saw their team through for a memorable victory.Steyn, Petersen, Duminy, Botha and Kalls, all bowled well, but their efforts were in vain.Akmal remained unbeaten on a match winning 43 of 41 balls.

The Pakistani batsmen and bowlers are clicking exactly when required. They could be the most dangerous side in this competition. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Gr.1. Super 8. Match 14. West Indies vs England.

An opening stand of  103 in 10.2 overs between Chris Gayle and Charles, powered West Indies to a match winning 179 for 5 in twenty overs. Gayle made a power packed 58 of 35 and Charles, who was subdued in the first six overs, blasted his way thereafter for  84 in 56 balls. Broad was the most successful bowler with 2 for 26. Swann, Dernbach & Finn, picked up a wicket each.

England were reduced to two for nothing in the first over, with Rampaul at his brilliant best. Sammy had read the Pallekelle wicket well and had packed his team with spinners, bringing in Badree the Leg Spinner to replace, Edwards. This turned out to be a clever move with the spinners restricting England to just 55 in the tenth over,
 for the loss of three wickets.

Thereafter, Hales 68 of 51,who was batting well, was joined by Morgan and West Indies were taken apart for 107 runs in 9.4 overs and almost took England through. Hales fell at 162, and England could finish at 164 for four to lose the match by 17 runs. Morgan remained not out on a blistering 71 of 36 balls, recording the fastest fifty in WC.T.20-2012. Badree bowled an economical spell of Apart from Rampaul, Chris Gayle and Samuels picked up a wicket each.

England, which came in to the tournament with the reputation of  top.T.20 team is struggling with just one victory against Afghanistan in Group stage. Will they recoup ? Only the coming days will tell.

ICC.T.20.WC-2012. Gr.1. Super.8. Sri Lanka vs New Zealand

In the first Gr.1 match of Super.8, Sri Lanka 174 for 6 beat New Zealand 174 for 6 in the super over.

Batting first on winning the toss, New Zealand riding on fine 58 of 40 by Nicol, well supported by 38 of 30 by Guptil, 25 of 16 by McCullum and 25 of 15 by Taylor, made a decent fighting score of 174 for 6. Kulasekara and Dhananjaya picked two wickets each. Malinga and BAW Mendis took a wicket each.

Spurred by a 80 runs first wicket partnership in just 7.2 overs, between Jayawardene 44 of 26, and Dilshan 76 of 53, Sri Lanka were cruising to their target in style. Sangakara fell at team score of 119 in 12.1, from where Sri Lanka lost their way to be 174  for 6 in twenty overs, to tie the scores and letting a super over decision thrown in.

The unexpected turn of events, however did not deter Sri Lanka from winning in the super over. Sri Lanka just made 13 for one in their super over. With McCullum and Guptil on play Malinga bowled a superb six ball spell, to restrict  New Zealand to just seven runs. Sri Lanka got home comfortably in the super over.

In group one,the weaker of the two groups, Sri Lanka are clubbed with New Zealand, England and West Indies, and now appear to be with a reasonable chances of making the semi final.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ICC-T.20.WC-2012. Match.12. Gr.D. Pakistan vs Bangladesh

The last match in the group stage between Pakistan and Bangladesh to determine the second team from Gr.D to make the super eight stage, went the Pakistani way. Batting first on winning the toss, Bangladesh made a good score of 175 for 5, with Shakib Al Hasan, making an enterprising 84 of 54 balls, to give Bangladesh an even chance of making way to the super eight. Pakistan had to score a minimum of 139 in twenty overs, to make the grade.

However Pakistan with a brilliant 124 runs in 13.3 overs opening  partnership between Imran Nazir 72 of 36 balls, and skipper Md.Hafeez, 45 of 47 balls, supported by Nazir Jamshed 29 of 14 balls, and Kamran Akmal 22 of 15 balls, reached the target of 176 with loss of two wickets in 18.4 overs.

Pakistan now joins New Zealand from group D, to the super eight.

For the super eight, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are placed in group one, and India, England, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan are placed in group.2.  Australia, South Africa, India and Pakistan, all strong contenders for the title,have not lost any match in the group stage.The grouping with all winners  in one group and one match winners in the other look a little unbalanced.

However this is T.20 cricket and the team that plays well on the day is the winner. The next six days are going to be interesting, with all the  teams vying for honours, and no team can be written of at this stage.

Monday, September 24, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.11. Gr.B. West Indies vs Ireland

The rain gods played spoilsport again for the third time in eleven matches, and the match between West Indies and Ireland, ended with out any result.

West Indies moved to the super eight stage on a better run rate.

West Indies won the toss, and elected to field in an overcast conditions. Ireland skipper Porterfield, went bowled first ball . by Fidel Edwards, for the second time in the tournament. In came the rains, and the match was stalled.

Match started again, and was rescheduled to 19 overs a side. Ireland were restricted to 129 for 6, with contributions from almost all batsmen, with out any one being spectacular.

Chris Gayle was the pick of the bowlers with Edwards, Rampaul,Sammy and Narain picked up a wicket each. West Indies were posed with an easy 129 in 19 overs, when the rains came again with venom and the match had to be abandoned as No Result.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.10. Gr.A. India vs England

The most awaited match in Group.A. , between India and  England, turned out to be an one sided affair, with India 170 for 4 , spinning out England 80 all out in 14.4 overs by 90 runs.

Though both England and India have qualified for the super eight even before the start of the match, the victory by 90 runs over a top ranked and defending champions, goes only to prove the strength of the Indian team.

India batting first on a slowish Premadasa wicket, scored runs briskly. Good contributions from Gambhir   45 of 38, Kohli 40 of  32 and an unbeaten 55 of 33 by Rohit Sharma, posted a reasonable score of 170 for 4. Finn, Dernbach and Swann, shared the four wickets to fall.

A score of 170, presumably gettable, was made a distant dream by reborn Harbhajan and Piyush Chawla Bowling in tandem, the pair mesmerised the English batting, sharing six wickets between them. Harbhajan returned to form with his old guile, with a mixture of off spinners, doosras and top spinners,bowled just wide of the crease and a great loop. The English were made to look  like novices, facing the spin duo.

Chawla also disguised his googlies well, concentrating on an outside off stump attack with his leg spinners. The English were bundled out for an humiliating score of 90 runs in 14.4 overs. Other than Kieswetter 35 of 25, no English batsmen did anything of note.

With two out of two, India top the Gr.A. They would be meeting Australia on 28th September at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo in their first of the three super eight matches.

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match9. Gr.D. Pakistan vs New Zealand

Pakistan's weak link in this tournament is their batting. But their top order stood up to the challenge, and posted a challenging target of 177 for 6, which was comfortable for their supreme set of bowlers to defend. Pakistan defeated New Zealand 164 for 9, by 13 runs at Pallekele cricket stadium.

Batting first on winning the toss, Pakistan top order Md.Hafeez 43 of 38 balls, Imran Nazir 25 of 16 balls and Nazir Jamshed 56 of 46, rattled up a over par score of 177. Southee and Jacob Oram picked couple of wickets each,with Vettori and Frankline picking up a wicket each.

Almost all the New Zealand batsmen contributed, but there was not one of higher proportions to take them through. Their efforts however, narrowed the margin of loss, and have kept them in the top of the table, with a good chance of making the super eight. For Pakistan Saeed Ajmal was at his spinning best with

Pakistan meets Bangladesh on 25th September, and the result will determine 1,2 & 3 in Gr.D.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

ICC- T20. WC-2012. Match.8. GR.B. Australia vs West Indies

In another match decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method. West Indies lost the match to spirited Australians by 17 runs.

Batting first on winning the toss, West Indies lost DR smith in the second over, with the team total of eight. Chris Gayle and Charles added 39 runs in under four overs, before Charles  was bowled by Christian for 16 in 12 balls. In came Samuel and was involved in an entertaining 46 run partnership with Gayle, when Gayle misread a slower delivery by Watson, to be caught and bowled for an entertaining 54 of 33 deliveries. Samuels made a quickfire 50 of 32, and with reasonable contributions from, DJ.Bravo, Pollard and Sammy, West Indies finished their 20 overs with an impressive 191 for 8. Watson 2 for 29 and Starc 3 for 35, were the most impressive bowlers.

Australians started in a whirlwind fashion and supported by some poor bowling by the West Indies, made 30   runs in 2.1 overs when  Warner fell for a blistering 28 of 14 balls. Michael Hussey and Watson, carved out an unbroken 70 runs partnership in just seven overs to reach 100 in 9.1 overs, when the heavens opened out and match had to be abandoned.

Australia were 17 runs ahead in the Duckworth Lewis method at this stage and were declared winners. the weather again playing spoil sport to a match that could have gone to the wire. Australia move to the super eight stage topping the group. The group runners will be decided after the match between Ireland and West Indies, slated on September 24.

ICC-T.20.WC-2012. Match.7.Gr,C, South Africa vs Sri Lanka

In a seven a side affair, South Africa 78 for 4 in seven overs, beat Sri Lanka 46 for five in seven, by 32 runs.

The most anticipated match in Gr.C, turned out to be another one sided affair, thanks to the weather and 2 hrs. 45 minutes delay, reducing the match to a meaningless seven over a side match.

Amla, Fdu Plessis, AB de Villiers and Duminy, all slogged as the situation demanded and posted a healthy 78 runs for 4 wkts. With the Sri Lankan strength, this was gettable but for Steyn,,who bowled at his speedy best to reduce Sri Lanka to 46 for five in seven overs, and to take South Africa to  their second victory in Gr.C. and to top of the table.Sri Lanka also qualified for the super eight stage with their lone victory over Zimbabwe.

It is time ICC do a rethinking in T.20 game rules. After all the whole match lasts for under four hours and reduction in overs or the D L system of arriving at the winner, has really no meaning. After all the game is for paying public, and they should get their full monies worth.

Friday, September 21, 2012

ICC- T.20 WC-2012. Match.6. Gr.A. England vs Afghanistan

Afghanistan bowed out of the tournament after a second straight loss by 116 runs, against England at the Premadasa stadium, Colombo.

Afghans elected to field on winning the toss, and were taught how elders play. In spite of losing Kieswetter for no score in the first over to Zadran, England played sedately for the second wicket, before Hales was unfortunately run out backing up too far, for 31 of 27 in the 10th over.

At 69 for 2 in the tenth over, it looked as if Afghans would be able to make a game out of the match. It was not to be and Afghans were bulldozed in the next ten, England scoring 125 runs in the second half of the innings. LJ Wright played a calculated innings and remained undefeated on 99 of 55. England finished the twenty overs at 196 for 5.Shapoor, Dawlat and Izatullah, shared four wickets to fall in the English innings.

There was nothing of note in the Afghan innings and they perished for a paltry 80 runs in 17.2 overs. England demonstrated, why they are rated high in T.20, with a professional bowling attack. Finn, Dernbach, Broad, Patel and Swann , shared the spoils.

Lookout for this English team. They seem to be most well equipped to lift the trophy.

ICC- T.20. WC-2012. Match.5. Gr.D. New Zealand vs Bangladesh

The 5th match of the tournament between New Zealand and Bangladesh, played at Pallekele stadium, turned out to be a tame affair, with New Zealand cruising to a 59 runs victory.

Bangladesh winning the toss elected to field. New Zealand coasted to an awesome 191 for 3 , with a brilliant unbeaten 123 of 58 by Brenden McCullum. McCullum was involved in two partnerships of 91 in 11 overs for the second wicket with JEC Frankline 35 runs of 36 balls and 78 runs in 5 overs, for the third wicket with Taylor 14 runs of 12 balls. Abdur Razzak was the lone impressive bowler with figures of

Bangladesh lost wickets regularly and finished at 138 for 8 wickets, to yield a  59 runs victory to New Zealand. KD Mills and Southee picked up three wickets apiece.

This Bangladesh team reminds me of the Indian team of sixties, when the Indians used to excel in domestic conditions, but were mauled overseas. One tour to West Indies in 1971, and the brilliance of Sunil Gavaskar paved a start for the glorious change in Indian cricket, to reach the position they are currently in. Do not despair Bangladesh, your good days are just around the corner.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ICC- T.20 WC-2012. Match.4. Gr.C. South Africa vs Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe crashed out of the 2012- T.20 WC, after a second straight defeat, in Group.C. In a match played at Hambantota, South Africa thrashed Zimbabwe to register a ten wicket win with 44 balls to spare.

South Africa electing to bowl first on winning the toss, demolished Zimbabwean top three  for a miserly 16 runs in the fifth over. Morkel brothers Albie and Morne shared the three wickets. Ervine and Matsikenyeri, added 35 runs for the fourth wicket in six overs, before Matsikenyeri was taken by Petersen of Kallis for 11 runs in 18 balls. From 51 for 4, Zimbabweans lost wickets regularly and could just manage 98 for 8 in twenty overs.Kallis4.1.15.4 and Steyn , bowled brilliantly. Ervine was the lone Zimbabwean with 37 of 40.

South African openers Levi 50 of 44 and Amla 32 of 33, guided South Africa to a ten wicket victory with an unbroken partnership of 94 in 12.4 overs.

South Africa and Sri Lanka, move to the next stage in Group.C, and their match on September 22 at Hambantota will decide the group leaders.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ICC- T.20. WC-2012. Match.3. Gr.A. India vs Afghanistan at Colombo

India beat Afghanistan by 23 runs in a Gr.A match played at Colombo. Afghans, won the toss and elected to field. Indians with a surprise eight batsmen eleven, were shaken by the spirited Afghans, losing Gambhir for 10 and Sehwag for eight in the fifth over. Shapoor Zadran was firing in all cylinders at this stage, picked up both the wickets.

Yuvraj joined Virat and added 46 runs in six overs, before he was snapped by Zadran of the bowling of Karim Sadiq for a well compiled 18 of 20 balls. Virat and Raina added 46 runs in five overs, before Virat was taken at long off for a well made 50 of 39 balls. Afghan fielding was shabby at this stage and both Virat and Raina were dropped of sitters. 

Dhoni and Raina batted sedately and India finished at a fighting 159 for 5 of 20, with Raina 38 of 33 and Dhoni clouting two fours and a six for an unbeaten 18 of 9 balls.

the Afghans kept the match alive till the eleventh over, Shahzad making 18 of 16, Nawroz Mangal making 22 of 19, and Karim Sadiq making 26 of 26. Yuvraj introduced during this stage, took 3 for 24 slowed  the Afghan charge. Ashwin 3 for 24 and Balaji 3 for 19 thereafter  reduced the Afghans to 136 all out in 19.3 overs.

The Sri Lankan wickets are not the place for Medium fast bowlers, and Zakhir and carted for 32  runs of 3 overs. Balaji was the most impressive medium pacer, bowling his slower in coming deliveries intelligently mixed with an odd chest high bouncers. But it was the spin combination of Yuvraj and Ashwin, which took India through.

India need to do a lot of homework in selecting the right eleven. Against England, playing Harbhajan in tandem with Ashwin keeping a batsman out of the eleven may be the right choice.

ICC- T.20-WC-2012. Match2. Gr.2. Australia vs Ireland

George Bailey's Australians, showed their intent, in targeting the only World Cup that is not in their possession by convincingly beating the never say die Ireland by seven wickets in a Group.2 match played at Colombo.

Batting first on winning the toss, Ireland put up a under par score of 123 for seven in twenty overs.The O'Brien brothers NJ 20 runs of 24 balls and KJ 35 of 29 balls, were the main contributors.

Shane Watson was at his devastating best, getting WTS Porter field of the first ball of the match, followed by the wickets of O'Brien brothers, NJ and KJ, to finish with an impressive Starc with 2 for 20 and  Maxwell and Hogg with a wicket each, bowled well.

Warner and Watson set up an opening partnership of 60 in 7.1 overs, when Warner was taken by KJ.O'Brien of Dockrel for 26 of 23 balls. When Watson was run out for 51 of 30 balls, the Australians were well on way to victory at 91 for 2 in 10.1 overs, Michael Hussey fell for 10, before Cameron White 22 of 19 and Bailey 6 of 8, took Australia to winning post at 125 for 3 in 15.1 overs. Dockrel and KJ O'Brien picked up a wicket each.

ICC-T.20. WC-2012. Match 1, Gr.C. Srl Lanka vs Zimbabwe

In a one sided opening match  at Hambantota, Sri Lanka 182 for four thrashed hapless Zimbabwe 100 all out in 17.3 overs by 100 runs.

Good contributions from Dilshan 39 of 29 balls, Sangakara 44 of 26 balls and BMAJ Mendis 43 of 30 balls, set up a SriLankan total of 182 for four in twenty. A.G.Cremer 1 for 26 was the only bowler of note for Zimbabwe.

BAW Mendis with figures of well supported by BMAJ Mendis routed the Zimbabweans for a paltry 100 for Sri Lanka to record a massive 82 runs victory.