Sunday, October 7, 2012

ICC-T20.WC-2012. Match.27. Finals. Srilanka vs West Indies.

The West Indians were back to their impressive best, when they defeated Srilanka in the final of the T.20 World Cup -2012.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat on a powdery wicket, tailor made for the Srilankan spinners. Down to dumps at 29 for 2 at the end of the 9th over, with fiery Chris Gayle gone for three of 15, and Charles for none of five, the West Indies almost gave up the match. But Samuels had his own script written for the match  power hitting his way to 78 of 56 balls. West Indies scored over ten runs per over in the second half of their innings, to finish at 137 for six, giving them a fighting chance. Ajanta Mendis, Angelo Mathews and the nineteen year old Dhananjaya, bowled their hearts out. However it was not Malinga's day, as he was mauled for, by Samuels and West Indian skipper Sammy 26 of 15 balls.

For Srilanka, Dilshan went early for zero, to reduce them to 6 for 1 in the second over. Sangakara joined Jayawardene , and the most experienced pair for Srilanka, played sedately to reach 48 in the tenth over, when Sangakara fell for 22 of 26. Srilankans lost their way in the match from this point and lost wickets regularly to some astute boling by the West Indian spinners, supported by aggressive fielding by their fielders.Naraine was used in two spells and returned excellent figures of Sammy, Badree Rampaul and Samuels, also mesmerised the  Srilankans to defeat. The run outs of Jeevan Mendis by Bravo and Perera by Ramdin, stood out in the match. Srilankans were bowled out for 101 in 18.4 overs, leaving West Indians victors by a margin of 36 runs.

West Indian team deserve their victory, as they played well as a team. This young team is moving in the right direction, and days are not far, when they would be the number one team in limited over matches. Viva West Indies, I personally feel proud, as West Indians were my pick for the trophy as the dark horses. Poor Srilanka. They played well, but it was not their day. 

Another T.20 chapter has ended, and is now the time for T.20. fun cricket at the Champions League at South Africa, commencing from 9th October. Watch the Trinad Tobago team. They have the cream of West Indies T.20 team.

Friday, October 5, 2012

ICC. T20.WC-2012. Semi Final.2. Match.26. West Indies vs Australia.

With an all round display, West Indies 205 for 4 in twenty, mauled over hyped Australians 131 all out in 16.4 overs by 74 runs, to set up a meeting with host nation Srilanka, for the T.20.WC-2012.

West indies won the toss, and promptly elected to bat on a good wicket . Australians did not know what hit them as sixteen sixes and fourteen fours flowed out of the West Indian batting machinery, to set up a mammoth score. 

Leading from the front were Chris Gayle 75 in 41, Manuel Samuels 26 of 20, DJ Bravo 37 of 31 and Kieran Pollard 38 of 15. All Australians were slaughtered, with Cummins picking 2 for 36.

Australians, batted poorly and did not seem to have a plan for scoring over ten runs per over. Five wickets were down for a paltry 42 by the seventh over. Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals, and Australia could reach a score of 131 only due to some lusty hitting by skipper Bailey, who made 63 of 29.  Naraine and Rampaul, were brilliant, well supported by Badree, Samuels and Pollard

When Australia lost to Pakistan in super 8, some felt that the Aussies had meekly surrendered the match to Pakistan, to keep the Indians away from a semi final slot. On seeing their performance against the West Indies, one will disagree with such a thought, as the Aussie machinery appeared  a big hype than quality.

Now Srilanka and West Indies, two unheralded teams at the beginning of the tournament,would be fighting for the ICC. T20.WC-2012. The teams are equally matched. Another Gayle onslaught, will take the match away from Srilanka, and they would be aware this. Their target would be "Get Gayle early and the trophy is yours ". How true !!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.25. Semifinal. Pakistan vs Srilanka

In the first semifinal between Srilanka and Pakistan at the Premadasa stadium, Srilanka elected to bat on winning the toss on a powdery wicket.

Srilanka brought in Rangana Herath to strengthen their spinning arsenal, and Tanivir added to the Pakistani side to bolster their pace.

Both the sides were getting in to the match with a good bowling attack. A score of 145 to 150 looked a good score to defend on this pitch.

Srilanka, were given a reasonable start by Jayawardene 42 of 36 and a subdued Dilshan 35 of 43. A score of 150 plus was expected, when Srilanka were going strong at 84 for 2 in the thirteenth over.

Pakistan kept Umar Gul for the final overs, and what a spell he bowled. Bowling in tandem with Hafeez and Ajmal, Umar finished with, sixteen of which came in the last over, through some lusty blows by Perera and Mathews. Perera  with 11 of 7 and Mathews 10 of 6 remained unbeaten, to take Srilanka to 139 for 4 in twenty. Apart from Gul, Hafeez, Ajmal and Afridi picked up a wicket each. 

A score of 140 can go any way. All it required from Pakistan was to bat through the twenty overs, without losing wickets up front. Pakistan started sedately, and were 55 for 2 in  9 overs. The story of Pakistan batsmen failing during crucial stages was repeated and soon they were facing defeat with seven down for 113 in the eighteenth over, and Srilanka closed the match with Pakistan finishing at 123 for 7 in twenty, to leave Srilanka victors by 16 runs. Hafeez was the only batsman to contribute with 42 of 40.

The spinners Ajanta Mendis and Rangana Herath, spun Pakistanis out, supported by Angelo Mathews returning good figures of

Srilanka is through to the finals, and wait for the winners of semifinal.2. between West Indies and Australia. My strong cricket sense says, it will be  West Indies vs Srilanka, with Srilanka ultimately reporting trophy. May the better team on the day succeed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.24. Gr.2. India vs South Africa

India 152 for 6 beat South Africa 151 all out by one run, in a crucial gr.2 match to decide the semi finalists of the group.

The victory margin,  however was too small for India to make the grade. India needed 31 runs margin, since Pakistan had a very good margin of victory earlier against the Aussies.

The Indian team was looking for Dhoni to win the toss, which would have given them a chance to bowl first, so that they could control the game as per situations

It was not to be and South Africans sent Indians to bat on winning the toss. South Africans controlled the Indian innings, with just 127 for 7 in the 18th over. A late order lusty hitting by Raina and Dhoni took the score to 152 in twenty overs. Raina 45 of 34, Dhoni unbeaten on 23 of 13, Yuvraj 21 of 15 and Rohit Sharma 25 of 27, were the main contributors. Morni Morkel and Petersen picked up couple each and Kallis one.

South Africans were 46 for 3 in seven with their top order back at pavilion. Indians did not use the middle overs judicially and F du Pleissis, carved out 65 of 38 balls, to deny India an entry in to the semis. Yuvraj and Balaji, bowled their hearts out.

So it would be Srilanka vs Pakistan and Australia vs West Indies in the semis. It can be any body's trophy. I would however be rooting for West Indies, who are playing cavalier cricket.

ICC. T.20.WC-2012. Match.23. Gr.2. Australia vs Pakistan

Australia were humbled to a 32 runs loss, by Pakistan in a crucial group.2 match. In spite of the loss, Australia made the semifinal grade.

Nazir Jamshed 55 of 46 and Kamran Akmal 32 of 26, propelled Pakistan to a reasonable score of 149 for 6 in twenty. Starc was the pick of the bowlers with, with Watson, Doherty and Cummins picking up a wicket each.

Australia were never in the game and were reduced to 117 for 7 in twenty, giving Pakistan a good victory. The strong spin bowling machinery of Pakistan, Hafeez, Raza ans Ajmal, just swept through the Aussie batting. Other than Michael Hussey54 of 47, no other Australians had any answers for the spin trio.

Pakistan now appear to in be with a reasonable chance of making the semis. India need to beat the South Africans by a minimum margin of 31 runs to make the grade from group2, to upset Pakistan. Will it happen ?  With both South Africa and India playing unpredictable cricket in WC.T.20, only the final group match between South Africa and India, can tell.

Monday, October 1, 2012

ICC- T.20.WC-2012. Match.22. Gr.1. SriLanka vs England.

Lasith Malinga, single handily sent England out of the T.20.WC-2012, with another five wicket spell of

England which chose to field first on winning the toss were restricted to 150 for 9 wickets in 20 to give SriLanka 169 for 6 in twenty, a 19 runs victory.

 SriLanka made the semi final grade as the top team in group one, and will meet the second placed team from group.2 on 5th October in the semis. 

Jayawradene led from the front with a well placed innings of 42 of 38 balls, supported by everyone from one to seven. Broad , Swann, and Finn, were among the wickets.

For England  only S.R.Patel 67 of 48 did anything of note. A late order 34 in 20 by Swann, took England  to 150 for 9  in twenty. Malinga just destroyed them with the five wicket haul, with support from Danajaya, BMAJ.Mendis and Kulasekara .

Will this be SriLanka's year, the coming matches will tell.

ICC.T.20.WC-2012. Match.21. Gr.1. West Indies vs Newzealand

Newzealand, provided the maximum excitement, by providing two super over matches, but finished second in both the cases. West Indies 139 all out in 19.3 overs, beat Newzealand 139 for seven in twenty in the super over.

Playing against the West Indies to decide the team that will move to the semis, Newzealand requiring 14 runs of the last over, finished, finished with 13, in spite of just requiring 3 of two balls, with Taylor at the wrong end unbeaten on 62 of 40 balls.

Newzealand scored 17 in the super over, with Taylor making 12 of them. Gayle and Samuels made 19 runs to take the West Indies in to the semis.

Other than Taylor's unbeaten 62 runs, there was nothing of note on the batting front from both the sides. It was the day of the bowlers with Newzealand's Bracewell and Southee picking 3 wickets each, Nathen McCullum two and Oram & Hira a wicket each.For West Indies, Naraine picked three, supported by Rampaul, Badree and Sammy picking one apiece.

West Indies have made the semifinal grade the hard way and will meet the group leader of Group 2, in the semis  on 5th October. The dark horse seem to be inching forward and do not be surprised if there is an upset.