Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First Series win for Bangladesh against a "Strong" team

Bangladesh defeated West Indies in the second ODI to seal the One Day International series after the Test Series. This would surely boost their confidence in the days to come.

West Indies captain Reifer again won the toss & elected to bat first after getting a defeat from the same team while fielding first in the first match of the series.West Indies had a fair start as openers Dale Richards & Andre Fletcher shared 33 for the first wicket in just 5.1 overs when Fletcher was dismissed by the Bangladeshi skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who came to bowl in the sixth over. Richards followed his opening partner soon when the score was 52 in the 11th over. Devon Smith & Dowlin shared a good partnership of 68 runs for the third wicket & West Indies were looking solid when they were 118-2 in the 29th over. Dowlin went on to score a brilliant century & took West Indies to 274 in 50 overs. Though at the completion of 40 overs, it looked West Indies would be able to manage just 240-250, as they were 176 in 40 overs.

For Bangladesh, Syed Rasel, Skipper & left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan took 1 wicket & so did Abdur Razzak & Naeem Islam.

Bangladesh began their innings on a slow note as their openers Tamim Iqbal & Junaid Siddique looked to defend their wicket against the Windies pacers. Mohammad Ashraful & skipper Shakib Al Hasan scored brilliant half centuries to take their team to the doors of victory. When Shakib got out, the scoreboard read 238 with 39 runs remaining for victory with 47 balls to go. Wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim then rose to the occasion, scoring an important 31 in just 30 balls. When he got out, Bangladesh was almost their with just 16 runs remaining for the victory in 24 balls. Abdur Razzak scored 11 not out to ensure their victory in the 49th over itself.

What a victory this has been for Bangladesh, however there were some glitches here & there, but under the captaincy of Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh is looking very confident side. After their victory in Test Series & first two ODIs, none should dismiss their chances of a whitewash in the ODI series.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bangladesh Completes Yet Another Historic Victory

Bangladesh registered yet another historic victory when they beat a weak West Indies side by 52 runs at Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica.

The stars of Bangladesh were left arm spinner Abdur Razzaq(4-39), Mahmudullah(42 runs & 1-38), Ex Captain Mohammad Ashraful(57 runs)& Captain Shakib Al Hasan(54 Runs & 1-26). In totality, it was a complete team effort as almost every Bangladeshi player chipped in with useful contributions from either bat, ball or in the field.

West Indies captain Floyd Reifer won the toss & asked Bangladesh to bat. Bangladeshi batsmen made good use of the wicket & some weak bowling by West Indies bowlers to take their total to 246. West Indies paceman Roach took 5-44.

West Indies made a horrible start by losing both their openers, when the scoreboard was reading 2-8. They continue to lose wickets at regular intervals. No batsman other than Devon Smith looked capable to face the Bangladeshi bowlers. Dave Bernard though, made 38 but other than him & Smith, who made 65 runs, there was no other batsman who showed some character. Abdur Razzq was declared the 'Man of the Match' for his excellent bowling & match winning performance.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

John Wright may take charge of KKR

Former Kiwi batsman & India Coach John Wright is a strong contender to replace controversial coach John Buchanan as the new coach of Kolkata Knight Riders. Wright’s name arrived in a discussion between KKR’s franchise & co-owner Shahrukh Khan & Captain Saurav Ganguly in UK recently, where both of them are to collect their respective Doctorate Degrees.

Saurav Ganguly shared a cordial & successful relationship with John Wright when the former was Indian Captain & the latter was the Coach. However, there are other contenders too for the job; Wright looked the most formidable of all. Knight Riders sacked their Coach John Buchanan, after poor show of the team in IPL Season 2, earlier this year in South Africa.

The other names that were discussed include National Cricket Academy Director & former Sri Lankan Coach Dave Whatmore, former Indian opener W V Raman, former stumper Chandrakant Pandit, former Pakistan’s Coach Richard Pybus & former Indian pacer Paras Mhambrey.

Sanga denies Pak victory

Sri Lankan Captain & Wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten hundred to deny Pakistan a victory in the third & last test match between Pakistan & Sri Lanka. This was first test series victory for Sangakkara.

The left hander made 130 not out as Sri Lanka faced with a world record target of 492, defied Pakistan bowlers to finish on 391/4. Along with Sangakkara, young gun Angelo Matthews & experienced batsman Thilan Samarweera scored brilliant & solid half centuries to defy the Pakistan attack. Matthews scored an unbeaten 64 not out & Samarweera scored 73.

Sri Lanka clinched the series 2-0, their first at home against Pakistan after five unsuccessful attempts. Sangakkara hung on for nearly seven hours on a placid pitchto frustrate Pakistan’s bid to record a face saving win ahead of the five match ODI Series starting at Dambulla on July 30.

Kumar Sangakkara was declared the 'Man of the Match' & Fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara was declared the 'Man of the Series'.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Malik’s Century Gives Pakistan Control

Ex Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik scored a brilliant unbeaten hundred to handle Pakistan the control of the third & the last test. Along with Wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal, Malik scored an unbroken 114 for the sixth wicket.

Sri Lankan batsmen need to put an out-of-box effort to make it 3-0 in the series. Earlier, Pakistan seemed to lose the 66 runs lead advantage, when they lost three quick wickets to slip to 67/4 before lunch. However, Misbah-ul-Haq scored 65 to rescue Pakistan & along with Shoaib Malik, took the score to 186 before handling his catch to Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling of Angelo Matthews.

If Sri Lanka could pull things up quickly on the fourth day, there would still be 425-450 runs needed to victory, which would be a Herculean task.

Akhtar out for Champions Trophy, Asif is in

Speedster Shoaib Akhtar was excluded from an extended 30 player squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa in September. However, another paceman Mohammad Asif was recalled for the same. Incidentally, his doping ban would end on the day, the tournament starts.

Shoaib Akhtar tried two times earlier to come out of blues, since 2007. The Indian Premier League banned Asif for a year as he tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone. His ban will end on September 22, the day Champions Trophy starts in South Africa. He was also fined $12,250 (1 Million rupees) for possessing a small amount of Opium in Dubai lat year.

Pietersen out of Ashes

Kevin Pietersen was ruled out of Ashes as he had a surgery on the Achilles tendon injury & he has been ruled out of all sorts of Cricket for six weeks. It had also hit England’s hopes of regaining Ashes, as he was one of their key players.

“Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with world’s leading Achilles specialist Kevin Pietersen underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon” the England and Wales Cricket Board’s chief medical officer Nick Pierce said in a statement.

Ian Bell could be the most favourite batsman to replace KP. KP was however, very disappointed to ruled out of the series at this juncture as according to him, he was at his pinnacle of game.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sri Lanka bowled out for 233

Pakistani spinners, Danish Kaneria & Saeed Azmal bowled exceptional spells to bowl out Sri Lanka for just 233 & got their team an important lead of 66 runs. Kaneria took 5 wickets & Azmal got 3.

Before the Lankan innings, Pakistan got out by adding only 10 runs to their overnight score of 289/7. Their last three batsmen got out by adding just 10 runs. Thilan Thushara finished by taking 5 wickets & Nuwan Kulasekara took 3.

Sri Lanka started disastrously, losing both their openers for just 23. Then Caaptain Kumar Sangakkara joined hands with Ex-Captain Mahela Jayawardene to weave a partnership of 40 runs. Sangakkara was brilliant in his short innings. He scored 45 off just 56 balls including 7 fours. Angelo Matthews scored 31 & Tilakratne Dilshan, who batted very late down the order scored 44. Jayawardene ended his struggle off the bowling of Danish Kaneria when the score was 174. He scored a brilliant 79 including 10 fours.

However, Pakistan received an early setback in their second innings losing opener Khurram Manzoor early, when he was bowled by spinner Rangana Herath. Khurram scored just 2. Fawad Alam saw the day safely with the captain Younis Khan.

Historic win for Bangladesh

Bangladesh clinched their first ever overseas series win (in Test Cricket), when they defeated West Indies by 6 wickets in the second test match. Stand-in-Captain Shakib Al Hasan scored a brilliant 96* to take the game away from the West Indies team. Darren Sammy tried very hard & took 5 wickets out of the 6 wickets fallen. Raqibul Hasan also played an outstanding innings to shoulder his captain.

Earlier, West Indies were bowled out on a meager total of 209, thanks mainly to excellent bowling by the spinners, specially the captain Shakib Al Hasan. He took 5 West Indian wickets & Enamul Haq (Junior) supported him well with 3 wickets.

Shakib Al Hasan was the only choice left for the Man of the Match & Man of the Series Awards.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Cricket News

West Indies Struggling

West Indies were against Bangladesh in the 2nd test match as they were 8 down for 195 with a lead of 197. It will be really interesting to see how much can they stretch their lead. Any score near 250 would be a really competitive one for Bangladesh.

Pakistan Lose Late Wickets

Pakistan lose three late wickets to go down to 289/7 from a comfortable position of 202/2. Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq & Umar Gul lost their wickets in quick interval, wasting the efforts of young Khurram Manzoor(93 runs, 10*4) & veteran Mohammad Yousuf(90 runs, 7*4 & 1*6). These two added an impressive 167 for the third wicket.

For Sri Lanka, returning veteran pacer Chaminda Vaas took 1 wicket & Thilan Thushara took 3 wickets. Nuwan Kulasekara chipped in with 2 wickets.

Flintoff end England's 75 year's drought

Andrew Flintoff took 5/92 in his last bowling spell in Lord's to make England victorious in the second Ashes Test match. This was England's first victory against Australia in last 75 years. Michael Clarke played a splendid innings & Mitchell Johnson too, scored a gritty half century but it wasn't enough as Andrew Flintoff bowled exceptionally well to make England fans bounce off their seats. Flintoff was apparently declared the 'Man of the Match'.

A disappointed Ricky Ponting said that he cannot question umpiring as Engalnd was a better side for major part of the match & they defeated Australia by more than 100 runs.

The game ended 17 minutes before lunch when G P Swann, another major contributor in England's victory, cleared the stumps of Mitchell Johnson. Australia ended up on 406. Flintoff didn't mind giving up even after bowling 10 overs in a single spell. He knuckled Brad Haddin by making him to give a catch to Paul Collingwood. Michael Clarke tried very hard to pull the issue but he ultimately got out on the bowling of Andrew Flintoff.

England are now 1-0 up in the series & it will be really exciting to see how can Australia level the series. Stay tuned for the third test in Edgbaston, Birmingham starting from July 30.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strauss, The First Day's Hero

Andrew Strauss scored an unbeaten 161 to take England past 350 on the first day of the second Ashes test series. His opening partner Alastair Cook also scored an impressive 95, though he was unlucky to miss his century. But, Andrew Strauss gave a strong reply to Ricky Ponting's 150 at Cardiff. In the process of scoring a century, Andrew Strauss also completed 5000 runs in test cricket. Though, other batsmen didn't supported Strauss very well & because of that, England are looking in a little uncomfortable position.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Johnson completed his century of wickets when he took the wicket of Alastair Cook. Together with Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss took England to 196, before Alastair Cook departed, trapped LBW by Mitchell Johnson. Ravi Bopara go out cheaply & so was one of the hero of Cardiff, Paul Collingwood.Kevin Pietersen, though looked good & scored a quickfire 32 off 42 balls, but he edged the ball to Brad Haddin off the bowling of Peter Siddle. Andrew Strauss, on the other end, saw the dismissals of his partners & completed his 150. He also saw the end of Wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior & soon retiring from test cricket, allrounder Andrew Flintoff. Stuard Broad survived the day on 7 & Andrew Strauss will try to complete a double century on Friday.

For Australia, Ben Hilfenhaus & Mitchell Johnson took 2 wickets each, whereas Peter Siddle & Vice Captain Michael Clarke took a wicket each.

Due to the failure of middle order to capitalise on the beginning given by their openers, I guess many would agree that the first day went to Australia. Let's hope for another exciting day of cricket on Day 2.

Andrew Flintoff to Retire from Test Cricket

Andrew Flintoff has announced that he will retire from test cricket after the ongoing Ashes series; though he intends to remain available for ODIs & T20. The 'Big Freddie', who have missed 25 out of England's last 48 Tests, suffered another soreness & swelling in the same right knee, which rued him out of the IPL Season 2, earlier this summer.

"It's not something I have just thought of overnight, it's something that's been on my mind for a while regarding this series," said Andrew Flintoff. "With the knee flaring up again and getting the injections on Monday, now is a time I felt comfortable with doing it. There's been a lot of speculation over my future for the past few weeks, so I wanted to get it out there, and concentrate on playing cricket. I've had four ankle operations and knee surgery, so my body is telling me things, and I'm actually starting to listen. I can't just play games here and there while waiting to be fit. For my own sanity, and for my family's, I've got to draw a line under it. I've been going through two years of rehab in the past four, which is not ideal."

The Knee injury again came to haunt him when he gave away 128 runs & was managed to take only 1 wicket in the 1st Ashes test at Cardiff.

Meanwhile, England players (both present & current) have hailed 'Freddie' for his achievements, especially for his heroics in the 2005 Ashes series, which Engalnd managed to won.

Surprisingly, since Andrew Flintoff started missing Test cricket from 2005 Ashes series, Engalnd have performed better in his absence. England have won 12, drawn 10 and lost on only three occasions in his absence. In the 23 matches in which he has been present, the numbers are almost exactly reversed - won 3, drawn 7, lost 13.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bowlers did the job

Sri Lanka finally won the game in which fortunes swing at a wild pace. They sealed their first home series win against Pakistan with a magnificent performance in the second test match. Pakistan suffered another batting collapse because of which they lost nine wickets for 35 to go from a commanding 285 for 1 to 320 all out. Sri Lanka, who was then left with a victory target of just 171, cruised to a big win in just 32 overs to finish the game in just three days!

Earlier, Fawad Alam and Younis Khan shared a 200-run second-wicket partnership in the morning. Pakistan was looking good & was heading for a big score; but Sri Lanka had other plans.

Surprisingly, Rangana Herath took the new ball, and equally surprisingly, he struck immediately, dismissing Mohammad Yousuf with his 2nd ball. The collapse began there, as seven more wickets fell in the next 92 balls.

Nuwan Kulasekara looked brilliant with the new ball in overcast conditions. He took four wickets, all lbw. Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Abdur Rauf and Saeed Ajmal all got it horribly wrong, though the dismissal of Misbah-ul-Haq was debatable.

Rangana Herath, just like the first test match, took the wickets of Yousuf, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul, while turn & bounce ended Fawad Alam’s outstanding innings of 168, the second-highest by a Pakistan debutant.

The Sri Lankan opening partnership added 60 runs in a mere ten overs, and even when that pair was separated, with Paranavitana playing a casual sweep shot, Pakistan were never in the game as Sangakkara carried on from where he had left off in the 1st innings. Still, when he got out, with Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera around, though, that hardly mattered.

Spinners ensured historic Bangladesh win

Bangladesh sealed a historic second victory (in Test Cricket), when they beat West Indies by 95 runs in the 1st test match at St Vincent. Bangladesh's spin twins Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah were enough for a weakened West Indies to defeat. The only resistance came from David Bernard, who defied everything thrown at him for 134 balls to remain unbeaten on 52.

Rubel Hossain & Shahdat Hossain also supported the spinners well. But it was the spinners actually, who did the most of the damage. Shakib and Mahmudullah ensured no other batsmen would deny them a slice of history.

Common, WIPA finish your strike or West Indies could possibly lose the series. Guys like Chris Gayle, Chanderpaul & Sarwan were badly missed by the West Indies team.

Tailenders save England

James Anderson and Monty Panesar played the most important innings of their lives as England's last pair survived 11.3 overs to pull off a thrilling escape at Cardiff. The Australians did everything possible into the final hour in an electric atmosphere with the crowd cheering the two unlikely batting heroes as though the Ashes had been captured.

James Anderson played Peter Siddle, Nathan Hauritz & Marcus North calmly (though inside he must have been churning). Meanwhile, Monty Panesar, the most unlikely of batting saviors, watched the cricket ball like a hawk. He received a huge cheer of the crowd when he cut Marcus North for a boundary.

Anderson and Panesar’s efforts wouldn't have been possible without Paul Collingwood's most determined innings for his team. He came in early after Kevin Pietersen got out, and soon faced an England card that read 70/5. He found vital support from Andrew ‘Freddy’ Flintoff, Stuart Broad & particularly Graeme Swann, to share a 20-over stand.

Ponting however was not happy with the ‘Dirty Tactics’ adopted by James Anderson. He said that how somebody’s glove could get wet from sweat, if he would have changed it just a couple of overs back. However, he admitted it was a tough result to take & Aussies were ahead of the game throughout the final day.

However, despite the scoreline reading 0-0, the reality is that England was easily second-best for much of the match. Australia appeared as a unit of huge desire who will take some beating. At least this time, though, it won't be a whitewash (for England)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Crisis in West Indies

Due to a strike called by West Indies Players Association (WIPA), almost all the star cricketers of West Indies are on strike & are not taking part in the first test against Bangladesh. Though things are not looking good at the moment, still West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is hopeful of reaching on an agreement.

Meanwhile this is the squad which is playing against Bangladesh in the first test headed by Flyod Reifer: Floyd Reifer (capt), Omar Phillips, Travis Dowlin, Dale Richards, Darren Sammy, Chadwick Walton (wk), Ryan Austin, Kemar Roach, Nelon Pascal, Tino Best, Kevin McClean, Kraigg Brathwaite, Andre Creary, Nikita Miller, David Bernard.

Meanwhile things are not looking good for the Bangladeshis at the moment. They are 121/6 (till the last news came in). The returning Tino Best took 2 wickets & D. Bernard also chipped in with two wickets. The highest scorer from Bangladesh was Imrul Kayes, who scored 33.

Heading for a Draw

The 1st Ashes test match between England & Australia at Cardiff, is heading for a draw. First a stubborn batting by English lower order, then brilliant centuries by Australian Captain Ricky Ponting & opening batsman Simon Katich pushed the things a bit. Then both of them got out quickly & it seemed we could have an exciting finish, but the Michael Clarke & Ashes debutant Marcus North played superbly to keep the things under control for the Aussies.

Finally rain has also arrived which has really limited the chances of a possible result. We have to wait for July 16th when the second test will start in the 'Mecca of Cricket' Lords.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mixed Feelings

The first day of the Ashes series was superb. England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss & elected to bat first. England started off shakily & Alliaster Cook went cheaply. But English middle order responded brilliantly, as Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood & Wicketkeeper Batsman Matt Prior scored brilliant half centuries to ensure that England doesn’t lose the momentum they got. Kevin Pietersen was more solid than his usual attacking style of batsmanship. Paul Collingwood was also solid. Matt Prior also scored a good looking knock of 56. But Australian bowlers strike lately to pull off the things. England end the day on 336/7: a scoreboard which could have looked far better.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ashes: The Preview

England’s Cardiff will host its first ever test match & what a match this would be. It will be the first test match of the great Ashes Series. The two teams will have many new faces in their respective squads, but mind you – the passion will be the same in the 122 year old rivalry.

England would be playing under a new Ashes captain in Andrew Strauss & two iconic players – Kevin Pietersen & Andrew Flintoff. All three were the part of that Engish team which defeated Australia in the drama in 2005. On the other side, some fans are calling it last Ashes series for the Australian Captain Ricky Ponting (at least in England). Just like the last time, Australia would be without the ‘Fab 4’ – Shane Warne, Glenn Mcgrath, Adam Gilchrist & Justin Langer. This time, Mathew Hayden would also be not there. Team Australia is now under a re-building process & this might just excite the English team.

England can even gain No 1 Test spot if they beat Australia 5-0 in the series, but for me, that would be the dream of the century. On the other hand, Australia could be dethroned from their top spot if England could even manage a draw.

I hope for a great Ashes Series & join me regularly for more updates on the series.

Dravid among Champions Trophy probables

Rahul Dravid is the surprise inclusion among India's probables for the ICC Champions Trophy in September this year. The Indian selectors picked a long list of 30 players for the tournament, to be held in South Africa in September, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.

Dravid played his last ODI in October 2007 against Australia in Nagpur. He averages 39.49 from 333 games with a strike-rate of 71.22 and is the third Indian to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs.

His inclusion follows the recent struggles of Indian batsmen against short-pitched bowling, in the ICC World Twenty20 & in the West Indies, where Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan were troubled by bouncers from the West Indian and England fast bowlers.

Dravid played a key role in the success of Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL's second season, scoring 271 runs at a good strike-rate of 115.81 as the team finished runners-up in the tournament held in South Africa.

All the 16 members of the team touring the West Indies were also included, as are the regulars who missed that due to injury and fatigue concerns - Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer and Suresh Raina.

Among the players who failed to make in the list of 30 probables are medium-pacers Irfan Pathan and S Sreesanth. Irfan's last ODI was against Sri Lanka in February, Sreesanth is struggling with his back injury for more than a year since the first IPL.

Probables: MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Abhishek Nayar, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath, Dinesh Karthik, Munaf Patel, M Vijay, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashish Nehra, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh, Pankaj Singh.

Continuous rain ensures India’s series win

India won the four match ODI series 2-1 after torrential rain terminated the fourth ODI. With this win India have won their fifth straight ODI series. The previous four came against Sri Lanka (twice), England & New Zealand.

The game got off to a delayed start and M S Dhoni made the obvious decision to bowl on a damp pitch that offered some help to the fast bowlers. Ishant Sharma dismissed the West Indies Captain Chris Gayle and along with Ashish Nehra, didn't allow the Windies to get off to a breezy start. But before, much could happen rain stopped the play & didn’t allow the Windies to level the series.

Earlier, India defeated West Indies in the rain-hit third ODI in an exciting finish. Indian batsmen came to party with Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik & skipper M S Dhoni scored brilliant 40s to ensure the Indian lead in the series.

Sri Lanka spinners did the trick!

Pakistan began their 2nd innings with just 167 needed for victory. They started the day with just 91 required for victory, with 8 wickets in hand. Salman Butt & the Pakistani hero of 1st innings, Mohd Yousuf was there in the middle. But Sri Lankan bowlers have other ideas. Thilan Thushara & Rangana Herath bowled excellent spells of left arm pace & spin to help Sri Lanka take the last 8 wickets for just 46 runs.

Pakistani batsmen looked vulnerable against left arm spin bowling. Especially, Ranagan Herath’s previous best performance was also against Pakistan. He started the Pakistani collapse with his first ball of the day, trapping Yousuf leg before. He followed with the crucial wicket of Salman Butt without giving a run.

Then Thilan Thushara joined the party with his left arm fast bowling. He bowled exceptionally well in his eight over spell & didn’t conceded even one loose delivery. He got the wicket of Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal & Misbah-ul-Haq followed quickly, leaving Pakistan in a desperate situation.

The match was virtually over by this time & Ajantha Mendis was yet to bowl! He finished his part by taking Umar Gul’s wicket. Herath then finished the job quickly making Kumar Sangakkara flaunt his smile.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Adieu Vaughan!!!

Michael Vaughan, The former English Captain announced his retirement from all sorts of cricket from immediate effect. Vaughan confirmed his retirement at a press conference in Edgbaston on June 30th 2009. An Emotionally charged Vaughan said "I want to be remembered as a nice player on the eye to watch, and as someone who gave my all. I leave with no regrets". Michael Vaughan was the most successful English captain who lead his side in 51 Test matches, winning 26 out of them. His achievements also include leading the England team to their first Ashes series win against Australia for 18 years in 2005.

As a batsman, Michael Vaughan scored 18 Test Hundreds for England. Vaughan in his own words said "After a great deal of consideration, I've decided that now is the right time to retire from cricket. It has been an enormous privilege to have played for and captained my country and this is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make".

He said that he want to clear the way for young talent to make their way into the England team. "I want to give them the chance to play first-class cricket and go on to play for their country." said Michael Vaughan. Vaughan was very disappointed not to be chosen for this year's Ashes & that strengthen his decision to take retirement from international cricket.

Michael Vaughan also thanked ECB saying "I'd like to record my sincere thanks to the England fans and the ECB and the members and supporters of Yorkshire County Cricket Club for their unstinting backing throughout my career as well as my wife Nicola and the rest of my family who have been equally supportive." He also wished the current England Captain Andrew Strauss for the upcoming Ashes Series saying "I'd also like to wish Andrew Strauss and the current England team success in this Ashes series. I know they have the drive, ambition and abilities to repeat the success from 2005. Winning that series was most definitely the highpoint of my career, because we not only won the series, but captured the nation, which cricket hasn't done for a long, long time."

The World of Cricket would remember Michael Vaughan as a gutsy cricketer & a good captain who gave English fans, a chance to make merry after winning Ashes in 18 years.

Adieu Vaughnie!!!

Windies Level Series 1-1

India won the first game of the 4 ODI series against the West Indies by 20 Runs. Yuvraj Singh scored a brilliant 131 to secure a huge total of 333. He shared a big partnership with Dinesh Karthik & a useful one with M S Dhoni. Doni also had a good partnership with Yousuf Pathan.

West Indies, though gave a tough reply & scored 313 when the last West Indian wicket fell down. It was a brave effort from the team & they have given the indications for the rest of the matches of the series.

In the second game, India's skipper M S Dhoni said that he 'Misread the wicket', because of which he won the toss & chose to bat first. But Jerome Taylor & Ravi Rampaul had other ideas. Rampaul shocked the Indian top order & soon India found themselves in a tottering position with the top three batsmen getting out cheaply. Yuvraj, along with Dhoni tried to rescued India by counter attacking the West Indian batsmen & played a quick fire knock of 35. But once he departed, Dhoni became a spectator at one end witnessing tumbling of Indian wickets at the other. India were reduced to 92/8. Then R P Singh showed spirits to stay on the wickets & gave a good shoulder to the captain M S Dhoni. They shared a huge partnership of 101 runs for the 9th wicket. But it was too late.

West Indies in their reply, started off brilliantly as 'The Devil' Chris Gayle hit Indian bowlers insanely over the park. He scored 64 off 46 deliveries & notched up 150 sixes in the ODIs. Runako Morton, the other West Indian opener, was slow but steady in his approach & stayed till the very end, to ensure West Indies level the series. They chased down the target in just 34 overs. Rampaul was the lone choice for the 'Man of the Match'.