Friday, August 28, 2009

Ponting agree to share captaincy

Australian Captain Ricky Ponting said tha he is ready to share captaincy with his deputy, Michael Clarke in the shorter version of the game. He is very much agreed to hand over the captaincy of Australia in ODIs & T20s to Clarke.

“If that’s the way that I or others, outside of what I’m thinking, decide (is) the right way to go, there’s absolutely no reason why that couldn’t happen,” Ponting told reporters at Sydney International Airport.

History seems to repeat itself, as Ponting himself was elevated to One Day’s captaincy in 2002 and he shared the leadership with Steve Waugh until Waugh retired from Test Cricket in 2004. “It happened in the past with Australian teams. It is happening with other teams around the world right at the moment”. “Paul Collingwood is captain of the England T20 team and Andrew Strauss is captain of the One-Day and Test Cricket teams. Those things are things that need to be thought long and hard abot, but if it means that I’m going to be better off for Test matches and bigger series when they come around…” said Ponting.

Vettori becomes the first left arm spinner to take 300 wickets

Daniel Vettori, left arm spinner and New Zealand skipper, has completed his 300 Test wickets and with it became the first left arm spinner to accomplish the feat. England’s Derek Underwood has the next best tally as a left arm spinner – 297 wickets in 86 Tests. Vettori is also the second New Zealander after Sir Richard Hadlee (431 wickets) and the 24th overall to have bagged 300 wickets or more in Test Cricket.

Having already aggregated 3000 runs (3329 in 94 Tests to be precise), Vettori became the 2nd New Zealand all-rounder after Haadlee and the 8th overall to accomplish the ‘double’ of 3000 runs and 300 wickets.

Meanwhile, Lanka moved to a comfortable position after the end of Day 1’s play, as they end the day on 262-3 in 90 overs. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samarweera scored brilliant half centuries to take Lanka to a comfortable position. Sangakkara scored 50, whereas Jayawardene was unbeaten on 79 and Samarweera was batting on 78. Vettori took 2 wickets out of the fallen 3.

“I see myself as a bowler rather than an all-rounder,” said Vettori.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ponting Has to Face the Music

James Sutherland - the Chief Executing Officer of Cricket Australia said that sacking Ricky Ponting from the post of Australia's test captaincy would be unfair. "Ricky's had a very, very good series," Sutherland told reporters. "He's been under incredible pressure. I thought the dignity and poise that he showed in defeat was something that all Australians should be very proud of." He also dismissed the blames made on the selection committe about the non inclusion of the off spinner Nathan Hauritz. "I think everyone will be looking for people to blame. I don't think that in any way we can hold the selectors accountable for us losing the Ashes," Sutherland said. "At the end of the day, the players go out and do the business on the field".

Sutherland is also hopeful that good days for Australian cricket would return soon an he is very hopeful of coming strong in the tournaments to come.

Ex Australian players and former greats of the game has to say a lot of positive and negative things about Ricky Ponting, The Australian team, Selection Committee and other issues related to the humiliation Australia and Ponting received after the Ashes debacle.

England Wins The Ashes

As I said at the start of the series, England have won back the Ashes Series in style. England beat Australia by 197 runs to won the 5th test and the Ashes Series. The crowd got mad when Michael Hussey was caught by Alastair Cook on the bowling of off spinner Greame Swann. England won the second Ashes in a row (in England). They also won the last Ashes series, back in 2005 under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan. He wasn't this time round but he would have certainly watched England thrashing Australia in style.

Also for Andrew Flintoff - it was the perfect farewell. As we all know, this was the last test match of 'The Big Freddie'; he enjoyed every second of it. Flintoff, though didn't took the wicket but he looked pumped up during the celebrations.

Australian second innings started off disastrously on the 4th day. The set opening duo of Shane Watson and Simon Katich could manage just six runs to their overnight partnership of 80. Katich and Watson got out in the space of four runs, England started smelling a sense of victory. But then skipper Ricky Ponting tried his level best and score 66 valuable runs to change things back in the Aussie favour. Michael Hussey joined him and together they added 127 runs for the third wicket. England bowlers had this lean patch and they started looking flat when an Andrew Flintoff throw from the deep shattered his stumps and he ran himself out when the two were set. Vice Captain Michael Clarke got out on a duck and the hero of 4th test Marcus North also followed soon. Hussey then got the company of wicket keeper batsman Brad Haddin and the two added 89 runs and it looked that Australia will surely give England a run for their money, but then Haddin got out, thanks to a good catch by the England skipper. This was the opening England was looking for. England then wrapped the things in style and took the last four wickets for just 21 runs. Michael Hussey was the last one to got out. He scored a brilliant century, as he scored 121 off 263 balls. He spent almost five and a half hours in the middle.

England spectators then roared and it was almost impossible to hear anything in the ground. Steve Harmison took three wickets and the off spinner Swann took 4 Aussie wickets. Andrew Flintoff remained wicketless in what was his last test innings as a bowler.

English pacer Stuart Broad was adjudged Man of the Match for his excellent bowling performance in the first innings and England Captain Andrew Strauss was given the Man of the Series award from the England side and Aussie Vice Captain Michael Clarke from the Aussie side.

Th World of Cricket is stunned by the Great Aussie downfall. Australia has now slipped to the fourth spot - their worse since the rankings were started in 2003, behind South Africa, Sri Lanka and India.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Advantage Australia

Australia managed to restrict England to 307-8, thanks majorly to Peter Siddle’s scintillating fast bowling, which got him 4 English wickets. Though, for England Captain Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell & debutant Jonathan Trott played well scoring 55, 72 & 41 respectively. After the first three wickets, wickets fell at regular intervals. Sadly for English fans, Andrew Flintoff managed to score only 7 in what would be his last test match. He however has second innings to make it a memorable farewell. Stuart Broad was batting on 26, at the stumps. England need the last two batsmen to score at least 50 runs + the important time so that they can bank on their bowlers to restrict Australia.

A new desktop cricket application

The 7th chamber has launched a new desktop cricket application named Wicket Widget. The Wicket Widget has a community chat function to IM fellow cricket fans, aggregates news content from online cricket sources including BBC Sport, the ECB and Cricinfo as well as video content from sites such as YouTube, they can even bowl cricket balls from their desktops to their friends!

You can also have fun & download it here.

Download & Enjoy!

Cricket News

Morne Morkel left out

South Africa declared their ODI squad for upcoming Champions Trophy. They left out fast bowler Morne Morkel from the 15 men squad. Left arm pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe has returned to the squad. The squad for the Champions Trophy is:

Graeme Smith (Captain), Johan Botha (Vice-Captain), Herschelle Gibbs, J P Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers, Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel, Robin Peterson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof Van Der Merwe, Makhaya Ntini & Wayne Parnell.

Afridi turns down Tasmanian offer

Pakistan all rounder & T20 Captain Shahid Afridi turn down Australia’s state Tasmania’s offer as he wants to concentrate on the upcoming series against New Zealand, followed by the tour of Australia. “I declined as Pakistan is already due to tour Australia in December and I want to focus on that”. Afridi said

Sri Lanka gets the edge

Sri Lanka has gained advantage over New Zealand in the first test match. At the end of Day 2 of the first test, New Zealand lost their 8 wickets for a mere 281 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 452.

Sri Lanka, earlier scored 452 in their first innings, thanks to a massive innings by Thilan Samarweera & Ex Captain Mahela Jayawardene. Samarweera scored 159 with 24 fours & 1 massive six, whereas Jayawardene scored 114 with 15 fours. New Zealand, though, managed to pull things back as they grabbed last 5 wickets for just 44 runs. Sri Lanka were 408-5 at one stage and were set for a total of 500+. But then Kiwi Skipper Daniel Vettori & pacer Chris Martin claimed 2 wickets each to dismiss the last five batsmen. They, eventually managed to take 4 wickets each. Sri Lankan innings also saw a record breaking innings from returning batsman Tilakratne Dilshan who scored 92 off just 72 balls with 12 fours & 1 sixes. Dilshan, when got dismissed become the fastest to score a fifty who has been dismissed in the Nineties (in Test Cricket).

New Zealand started their innings very well with the opening batsmen Macintosh & Martin Guptill added 45 runs for the first wicket. Guptill was the first to got out when he was bowled by left arm Sri Lankan pacer Thilan Thushara. Daniel Flynn also didn’t last long when he was dismissed for a mere 14 when he was bowled by mystery off spinner Ajantha Mendis. Daniel Vettori’s decision of sending Jeetan Patel as a night watchman gave good results & he scored 26 useful runs with Macintosh. Both of them added 49 runs for the third wicket. There was again a useful partnership between the new batsman Ross Taylor & Macintosh for the fourth wicket as another 41 runs were added between the two. Taylor got out at individual score of 35 (3 fours, 1 six). He was caught by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawerdene off the bowling of Thilan Thushara. Macintosh was batting very slow & he finally got out after scoring a patient 69 with 6 fours & 1 six. He was trapped plumb LBW by champion off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. This started the down slope of the Kiwi innings as another as wicket keeper Brendon Mccullum & all-rounder Jacob Oram went cheaply. Jesse Ryder scored a useful 42 & Daniel Vettori took the charge once Ryder got out. Vettori was unbeaten on 33 & Ian O’ Brien was giving him company when the day’s play ended.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pakistan....once again

It was Pakistan who was once again victorious against Sri Lanka in a T20 game, when they defeated the Island country by a big margin of 52 runs. Pakistan, under the new T20 captain Shahid "Boom Boom" Afridi won the toss & elected to bat first. The wicket was a good one to bat on & they said that even 175-180 would be chaseable.

Pakistan started off disastrously when Nuwan Kulasekara bowled Kamran Akmal on the very first ball of the innings. Shoaib Malik joined Imran Nazir & the two added 35 in just 3.4 overs when Shoaib Malik was bowled by Malinga when he was on 14. Then came the Captain himself & mind you, he is now a completely changed batsman, as he plays those huge shots but with responsibility & patience. He scored 50 off just 37 balls with 4 fours & 2 big sixes. Imran Nazir also scored a brilliant 40 in just 28 balls with 5 fours & 1 six. The young Umar Akmal took the charge with Shahid Afridi, when Imran Nazir got out off the bowling of Thilan Thushara. Umar Akmal scored 31 off just 20 balls & Abdur Razzaq scored 25 off 17. There were useful contributions from almost all the batsmen & that really set up the pace for Pakistan.

Sri Lanka began their chase well. The openers Udawatte (11 off 8 balls, 2 fours) & Sanath Jayasuriya (23 off 17 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) scored briskly & the team's total shot to 39 in just 3.5 overs. Jayasuriya seemed to be in a blazing form, but his innings didn't last long as he was dismissed by Mohammad Aamer. Former Captain Mahela Jayawardene joined hands with current captain Kumar Sangakkara & it seemed that Sri Lanka would sail easily to victory. However, Jayawardene top edged an Iftikhar Anjum delivery to Abdur Razzaq when the score was 71. The next wicket was probably the biggest blow when Captain Kumar Sangakkara was bowled beautifully by off spinner Saeed Ajmal. It was a major setback for Sri Lanka as they lost their captain. Sri Lanka then saw a sudden collapse of their innings & the last 5 wickets managed only 20 runs! It was off spinner Saeed Ajmal & returning pacer Rana Naved-ul-hasan who took 3 wickets each.

Pakistan Captain Shahid Afridi won the "Man of the Match" award for his all round performance. He was indeed blushing when he came to receive the winner's trophy.

Good Luck Captain!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dale Steyn caught in Doping Web

Dale Steyn - the lanky fast bowler from South Africa has been caught in the vicious web of Doping. It is said that he took some painkillers during IPL 2, when he was injured.

"We are aware of the result and submitted a report immediately to the IPL on why this has happened," said Gerald Majola, CSA's chief executive. "There was a marginal increase in the presence of morphine in the sample and that was due to painkillers he took during that period. We are awaiting a reply from the IPL authorities.

Steyn was however out of action for the most part of IPL 2, where he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, a Royal Challengers Bangalore official said that the franchise had no insight of this development. "Till Sunday night, Royal Challengers had no information or knowledge on this," Prakash Mirpuri, a vice-president of the UB Group, which owns the Bangalore franchise, told Cricinfo. "We can only comment if we receive official communication from CSA/IPL."

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, said Steyn had not failed in any dope test and that the procedure was at the clarification stage. "From what I gather, the agency that conducts these tests for IPL (ITDN) may have asked Cricket South Africa for a clarification on the results of Steyn's test since he is contracted to that board," he said. "The next step is taken only when the agency is not satisfied with the explanation provided. In Steyn's case, this process is at the clarification stage. Officially, the IPL is yet to come into the picture."

Dale had taken a painkiller on the day of the test and the morphine level in his sample was found to be slightly higher (1.1 to 1.3 microgram per ml) than the 1 microgram per ml that is permitted.

Dale Steyn is the 2nd pacer to come under the scrutiny for a failed drug test in the Indian Premier League; Pakistan's pacer Mohammad Asif was banned for a year after testing positive for nandrolone, which is a banned substance, in the inaugural season in 2008.

Northamptonshire can't play Champions League

Northants will not be allowed to take part in the upcoming Champions Trophy even if they qualify for the finals. The League chairman Lalit Modi said in a statement citing the reason of inclusion of rebel ICL league players Nicky Boje, Johan Wan Der Wath & Andrew Hall in Northants team. These three South African players have not severed their ties with the rebel ICL league.

"Champions League rules are very clear that no team with players connected to any unauthorised cricket can be a part of it. Northants will be disqualified from the league if they enter the final (of England domestic T20 cricket) and there would be a vacant slot," Modi said.

If there will be a vacancy, Chennai Super Kings, who finished fourth in the second season of Indian Premier League. Bangalore Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers & Delhi DareDevils have already qualified for the Champions League.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Australia level the series

Australia crushed England to win the fourth test comfortable by an innings & 80 runs. The bowlers already won the match in the first innings itself when England was bowled for a paltry 102. Believe me, it is looking the same Australian side which has ruled the world of cricket for over a decade.

Young Marcus North scored his third hundred in sixth test & with Michael Clarke, he ensured that Aussies get a huge lead to win the test by an innings. They also bowled beautifully in the second innings to restrict England to 82/5 at stumps on Day 2. Though there was some kind of a fight put on by English middle order & lower order batsmen Stuart Broad & Swann, but they were just reducing the winning margin.

Australia are now back in the groove. They have bounced back at just the right moment in the series & they can now even won the series. Well, we'll find out in the decider. Remember, even a draw will ensure that the Aussies will retain the Ashes & England have to wait for one more year for it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Master Blaster wants to score 15000 runs

Sachin Tendulkar - The man the legend has said that he is not satisfied with his current records & wants to score 15000 test runs. Also he want India to win the world cup in 2011.

"I am not pleased yet with what I have done," said the champion batsman. Tendulkar has scored a record 12773 test runs at an impressive average of 54.58 from 159 matches. "Sunil Gavaskar has told me that I have to get to 15,000 runs. He said he would be angry with me and would come and catch me if I didn't. I admire him so much and to score that many would be a terrific achievement, but that is not the only aim." His other 'big aim' is to 'win the World Cup in 2011'.

The Master batsman also spoke how he has played constantly in pain. "I always play in pain, all the time. I played with a broken finger for the last three months, but you know when pain is manageable or not, and most of the time I can do it," said Tendulkar. "I can still do what I did when I was 25 but the body is changing, so your thought process has to change too. I have had to change how I think, which is about taking less risk."

Just like batting legend Don Bradman, Tendulkar compared Virender Sehwag's batting style with him. He said "I would say Virender Sehwag comes closest to my style."

He admitted that life after cricket wouldn't be easy. "It's a scary thought. It has been there for my whole adult life, it will be difficult, I have been around for a long time, I can imagine when I finish I will long to face just 10 more balls but you have to move." said Tendulkar.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Match Results

It's been very busy few days. So again I apologise. I am again presenting the match results from last week.

Sri Lanka v Pakistan 3rd ODI - Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 6 wickets.
Pakistan 288-8 in 50 overs. (Umar Akmal 66, Kamran Akmal 45, Younis Khan 44) Sri Lanka Bowling: Matthews 2/41, Muralitharan 2/64. Sri Lanka 289/4 in 46.3 overs. (Jayawardene 123, Tharanga 76, Sangakkara 37 n.o.) Pakistan Bowling: Saeed Ajmal 2-54, Mohammad Aamer 1-45. Man of the Match: Mahela Jayawardene - Sri Lanka.

England v Australia 3rd Test - Match Drawn
Australia 1st innings 263 (Shane Watson 62, Simon Katich 46) England Bowling: Anderson 5-80, Onions 4-58) England 1st innings: 376 (Flintoff 74, Strauss 69, Broad 55, Bell 53) Australia Bowling: Hilfenhaus 4-109, Siddle 3-89). Australia 2nd innings: 375/5 (Clarke 103 n.o., North 96, Hussey 64, Watson 53) England Bowling: Broad 2-38, Anderson 1-47. Man of the Match: Michael Clarke - Australia.

West Indies v/s Bangladesh T20 - West Indies won by 5 wickets.
Bangladesh 118/9 in 20 overs. (Naeem Islam 27, Mahmudullah 21). West Indies Bowling: Miller 2-22, Sammy 2-33) West Indies 119/5 in 16.5 overs.(Dowlin 37 n.o., Smith 37). Bangladesh Bowling: Mohammad Ashraful 2-18). Man of the Match: Darren Sammy - West Indies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Match Results

I've been really busy from past two days; so won't be able to write the reviews, just a quick update on the results & brief scorecards of the two ODI matches played in the last two days.

Sri Lanka v/s Pakistan 1st ODI: - Sri Lanka won by 36 runs. (Sri Lanka 232-9 in 50 overs. Sangakkara 36, Jayawardene 33 & Muralitharan 32 runs. Pakistan bowling: Mohd. Aamer 3/45, Abdul Razzaq 2/33. Pakistan 196 all out in 44.4 overs. Umar Gul 33, Fawad Alam 31, Shahid Afridi 27, Mohd. Aamer 23. Sri Lanka bowling: Kulasekara 2/30, Thilan Thushara 3/29, Muralitharan 2/46) Man of the match: Muralitharan

Bangladesh v/s West Indies 2nd ODI: - Bangladesh won by 3 wickets. (West Indies 248 all out in 47.4 overs. Fletcher 52, Reifer & Sammy 40 each, Dowlin 38. Bangladesh bowling: Alam 2/42, Razzak 2/63, Mahmudullah 2/38. Bangladesh 249-7 in 48.5 overs. Siddique 55, Mahmudullah 51, Mushfiqur Rahim 31, Tamim Iqbal 30. West Indies bowling: Roach 4/63, Sammy 2/37) Man of the match: Mahmudullah. Man of the series: Shakib Al Hasan.