Monday, September 28, 2009

South Africa thrown out

South Africa, having suffered a big defeat against a much improved English side by 22 runs, is out of the tournament. This is the second defeat for South Africa; the first one coming against Sri Lanka by 55 runs in a rain curtailed match.

Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to field first. Joe Denly and Andrew Strauss began the innings for England. England had a reasonable start. After a couple of wickets, it was Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah, who gave strength to the team and soon these two started hitting South African bowlers all over the park. Especially, Owais Shah was crueler on South African bowlers, hammering 5 sixes. He was unlucky, not to get a hundred and was dismissed for 98. Paul Collingwood then took the charge with Eoin Morgan, who hammered 67 runs in just 34 balls. Collingwood made a well crafted 82. Eoin Morgan got out with few overs left but he managed to secure a strong total of 323 for the team. For South Africa, Wayne Parnell took 3 wickets and Johan Botha chipped in with 2 wickets.

In reply, Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith started well and South Africa looked to adopt the right path to chase such a huge target. But wicket of Gibbs came sooner and Kallis followed him shortly. Then South Africa came back in the game with a great partnership between Smith and AB DeVillers for the third wicket. Together, they put on 78 for the 3rd wicket. Again, after DeVillers got out, it looked that South Africa might collapse, but J P Duminy played well for his 24. Together with Smith, Duminy put on 67 for the 4th wicket. After Duminy’s wicket, South Africa started to lose their wickets at regular intervals. Though, Albie Morkel did hit some lusty blows, but they weren’t sufficient. Graeme Smith almost carried his bat and was the last one to got out. His innings was an outstanding one, scoring his 9th ODI century off just 104 balls. He made 141 in 134 balls, with 16 fours. After it looked that no one could stay at the wicket, Smith decided himself to finish the job; though he couldn’t do so. His innings were larger than life and would be remember for days to come. James Anderson and Stuart Broad were the pick of the bowlers to take 3 wickets each.

Owais Shah was declared the Man of the Match for his thundering innings of 98 runs.

Meanwhile, another player has got out of the tournament. The latest victim is England’s wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior due to illness.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kiwis thump Sri Lanka

In a huge match of ICC Champion Trophy 2009, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 38 runs. This could be possibly the end of road for Sri Lanka as they lost second game in a row.

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangkkara won the toss and elected to field. He didn't though that New Zealand would make such a start. Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum destroyed the Sri Lankan bowling and made 125 for the first wicket. Ryder, in particular, was more sever on the bowlers. Also, he was the first to go. McCullum soon departed, when he was dismissed for 46. Ryder made a brutal 74 off just 58 balls. He sent 11 balls to the boundary, 10 fours and 1 huge six. New Zealand then seemed to lost their way, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Captain Daniel Vettori, though stood tall and contributed 48 from the bat. His 48 came off just 44 balls, with 4 fours and a six. James Franklin and Kylie Mills ended the Kiwi innings in style, as Mills scored 18 off just 6 balls with 2 fours and 1 six. Both of them ensured that New Zealand get passed 300. New Zealand finished on 315. For Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya took 3 and Angelo Matthews took 2 wickets.

In reply, Lanka started in similar fashion with Jayasuriya and Dilshan scoring 66 off just 8 overs. But then, just like Kiwis, they also began losing their wickets at regular intervals. Though, there were 2 half centuries, one came from ex captain Mahela Jayawardene and second from young Angelo Matthews. Jayawardene scored 77 off 85 balls and along with Matthews, he took Sri Lanka very close to victory. But then, there were some disciplined Kiwi bowling at the end and all the bowlers contributed well. For New Zealand, Mills took 3 wickets, whereas Tuffey, Franklin and Vettori took 2 wickets each.

Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori was declared Man of the Match for his allround performance.

Meanwhile, Jesse Ryder has been ruled out from remaining matches of New Zealand in the tournament due to pulling out of left abductor muscle. He become the second Kiwi player to get knocked out of the tournament after Jacob Oram.

Pakistan wins against India

The much awaited game between India and Pakistan was electrifying and ended with Pakistan defeating India by 55 runs. It was second victory for Pakistan against India in Champions Trophy.

Pakistan's skipper Younis Khan won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry pitch of Centurion. India started off reasonably well having struck 3 Pakistani wickets for just 65, as Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal and skipper Younis Khan got out within the first 15 overs. It was then Shoaib Malik and Mohd. Yusuf who set the things for their team and shared a 206 wicket partnership for the 4th wicket. Shoaib Malik went on to score his 7th One Day international century. Yusuf was the first to depart, from the two when the score was 271. Yusuf made a well crafted 87 off 88 balls with 7 fours. The Pakistani middle and lower middle order failed miserably and wickets tumbled at one end. Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul and Mohd. Aamer departed one after the other. Shoaib Malik also lost his cool and got out when the team's total was 300. He made 128 off 126 balls with 16 fours. Pakistan ended their innings at 302-9 off their 50 overs. For India, Ashish Nehra bowled superbly and took 4 wickets for 55. Ishant Sharma also bowled very well and took 2-39 off his 8 overs.

In reply, India lost the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar very early, when the score was just 23, but Gautam Gambhir was joined by Rahul Dravid and together they scored 67 off just 64 balls. Gambhir in particular was severe on Umar Gul and he went on to score his 16th ODI fifty. When he departed, Indian score was 90 in 13.5 overs. Virat Kohli, who was included in place of injured Yuvraj Singh and skipper M S Dhoni didn't do anything special. But When Suresh Raina joined Dravid, it looked that the two will pull the victory for India, as Raina, especially was severe on the bowlers. Together they brought the required run rate down to 6 runs per over, which, at one time, got to 7.50 runs per over. Raina was adjudged LBW off the bowling of off spinner Saeed Azmal. Raina scored a quickfire 46 off 41 balls with 5 fours and 2 towering sixes. Yusuf Pathan didn't scored much and felt to Mohd. Aamer. A severe mix up between Dravid and Harbhajan resulted in Dravid's departure and India's hope. Rahul Dravid got run out, when he was trying to take the 3rd run. Dravid scored 76 off 103 balls with the help of 4 fours. With Dravid's departure, India's hopes also got over and the Pakistani bowlers cleaned up the Indian tail pretty cheaply. For Pakistan, young pacer Mohd. Aamer and Rana Naved took 2 wickets each; also, spinners Saeed Azmal and Shahid Afridi also took 2 wickets each.

Shoaib Malik was the unanimous choice for the Man of the Match award for his brilliant century.

India will now play against Australia on Monday, 28th Sept; and mind you, they have to win this game in order to stay in the competition.

Australia manages to win

It looked at one point of time, that we might have the first upset in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009, but Australia managed to pull off the things, just in time, thanks to some controlled and disciplined bowling by Shane Watson and Nathan Hauritz.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl first. They couldn't have better start, Kevin Roach bowled out Shane Watson on the very first bowl of the game. Tim Paine also looked in 'Pain' and scored a slow 33. However, on the other hand, skipper Ricky Ponting made a patient 79. Hussey again missed out today and apart from him, Ferguson, White and Hopes felt cheaply. At that point of time, when Australian score was looking normal, tailenders Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson shared a 70 runs partnership that strengthened the things for Aussies. Brett Lee scored 25 off 28, but the real hero of the day was Johnson, who scored 73 off just 47 balls, with 8 fours and 3 massive sixes.
For West Indies, Kevin Roach, Nikita Miller and Dave Bernard took 2 wickets each.

West Indies started off brilliantly and till the 45th over, they were very much in the game; thanks mainly to half centuries by Andre Fletcher and Dowlin. Captain Reifer and Darren Sammy made useful contributions, but just when the knockout punch was required from the Windies, they failed to do so and were bundled out for just 225. The worst thing was that they lost their last 5 wickets for only 10 runs. Pacers Peter Siddle and Shane Watson took 2 wickets each. Off spinner Nathan Hauritz also took 2 wickets.

Mitchell Johnson was the obvious choice for Man of the Match.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Real won starts now

This is it; India v/s Pakistan. India will miss Yuvraj Singh, who is out for six weeks, but Pakistan would be having a full strength side. India, though looking as hot favourites, you still can’t predict anything in this format. India’s main strength lies in batting, with Sachin Tendulkar having scored a century in the finals of Compaq Cup, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and captain M S Dhoni. The bowling attack involves offie Harbhajan Singh, pacer R P Singh, Ishant Sharma and good looking Ashish Nehra.

On the other hand, Pakistan would be banking on their pace bowling trio of Umar Gul, Rana Naved and young Mohd. Aamer and spinner Saeed Azmal. Their batting line up includes names like Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir and Misbah-ul-Haq. The X factor lies in Umar Akmal. One should not even forget the lusty hitting of wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal.

This should really be a cracker of the tournament.

Clinical finish for England

England registered an easy victory against Sri Lanka in the Group A Match here in Johannesburg. With this defeat, Sri Lanka now has 1 win and 1 defeat from 2 matches. The other two teams in the Group are New Zealand and South Africa.

England won the toss and elected to bowl first. Sri Lanka suffered early blows inflicted by English pace battery – Graham Onions, James Anderson and Stuart Broad. They shared 8 wickets between them. Sri Lanka was in deep trouble as they lost their first 4 wickets for just 17. Then Thilana Samarweera and Thilana Kandamby shared a useful partnership for the 5th wicket. Samarweera scored 30. Kandamby, along with Angelo Matthews took the score to 163. Then Anderson and Luke Wright finished the things and limited Sri Lanka to 217 runs. Kandamby scored a useful half century, as he finished on 53. Also, Matthews scored 52.

In reply, England started off badly losing opener Denly and skipper Andrew Strauss early. Both were dismissed by Kulasekara for 5 and 9 respectively. Former skipper, Paul Collingwood played a handy knock of 46 off 51 balls to ease the things a bit. Owais Shah played a solid knock of 44 runs off 74 balls. After Collingwood’s departure, Shah continued the innings with Eoin Morgan who was equally impressive with the bat. The M-M-M magic was not at it’s very best as Muralitharan and Malinga were able to take only 1 wicket each. Kulasekara took 2 wickets. Morgan remained unbeaten on 63, along with wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior who remained not out on 28.

Paul Collingwood was declared the Man of the Match.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yuvraj out for six weeks

Ace Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh was ruled out of India campaign in ICC Champions Trophy 2009, due to a hairline fracture in the little finger of his right hand, while having a practice drill, here at Witwatersrand University Cricket Ground. India’s first game is against ach rivals Pakistan on Saturday. The ball scraped past the little finger of Yuvraj’s right hand, and the Indian vice Captain screamed in pain.

In the last Champions Trophy too, he got himself injured just before a crucial game against Australia. At that time, Yuvraj’s knee got injures, and now it was the turn of his little finger. It is too early to say, what effect it would have on India’s chances in the tournament, but it is a big blow for M S Dhoni and company, for sure. Though, Yuvraj was given immediate First Aid, but nothing seemed to work for the southpaw. Promising young talent from New Delhi Virat Kohli may take his place, but with Yuvraj in great form, it would be really hard to fill his boots. With four frontline players, pacer Zaheer Khan, opener Virender Sehwag, opener Gautam Gambhir and now Yuvraj Singh are either absent from the team or are struggling to get back into full fitness.

Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir has been made Dhoni’s deputy for the tournament.

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Results

Sri Lanka wins the opening game

Sri Lanka defeated South Africa by 55 runs to win the inaugural match of ICC Champions Trophy 2009. Chasing a victory target of 320, South Africa could manage only 206-7 off 37.3 overs, when rain interrupted play, which causes the calling up of the game. Sri Lanka scored 319, thanks mainly to a brilliant century by Tilakratne Dilshan and an expressly scored 71 by former captain Mahela Jayawardene. Dilshan was adjudged the Man of the Match award.

Pakistan thrashed Windies

As expected, Pakistan thrased the second string West Indies team by 5 wickets in the second game of ICC Champions Trophy 2009. West Indies, who won the toss, batted first and was 51-7 at one stage, when young Nikita Miller scored his maiden half century to rescue his team. He took the score past 130. Pacers Rana Naved, Mohd. Aamer and Umar Gul were the major wicket takers. In reply, Pakistan was also in the same league with West Indies, as their first two wickets fell cheaply. Shoaib Malik and Mohd. Yusuf looked good together in a small partnership, but soon the two also got departed. Then young Umar Akmal played a patient innings, with first Misbah-ul-Haq and then with Stand-in Captain Shahid Afridi (as Younis Khan was not playing because of fitness). Umar Akmal was declared the Man of the Match.

South Africa crushed New Zealand

South Africa crushed New Zealand by 5 wickets to win their first game in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009. New Zealand batted first and scored a modest total of 214. Thanks to Wayne Parnell’s 5 wickets, South Africa could limit New Zealanders. In reply, South Africa won comfortably and it didn’t looked even for a second or two, that South Africa will be having any sorts of trouble chasing the target. A.B. de Villers scored a splendid half century and stayed till the victory. Wayne Parnell was declared Man of the Match.

Monday, September 21, 2009

England Wins the Last ODI

England, finally managed to win the final One Day International against Australia and avoided an embarrassing white wash. They won the game by 4 wickets; thanks mainly to off spinner Graeme Swann, who took 5-28 to restrict Australia to 170.

England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and decided to bowl first. They have an early success when James Anderson dismissed Shane Watson for 0. Soon, Graham Onions got his first One Day International wicket when he dismissed Tim Paine for 4. After two wickets, Australia counter attacked the English bowling with some aggressive batting by Captain Ricky Ponting. Ponting played lavish strokes all over the ground and scored his 68th One Day International half century. At the other end, Michael Clarke was very slow and managed to score just 38 off 81 balls. After Ponting and Clarke was dismissed, Michael Hussey took charge and scored 49 off 54 balls. Hussey didn't got ample support from the other end and no batsman was able to stay at the wicket. Swann bowled superbly and never allowed any batsmen to take control. Australia got dismissed cheaply for 170. Apart from Swann, Anderson, Onions, Bresnan and Owais Shah took 1 wicket each.

Chasing 171, England started brilliantly as the openers Andrew Strauss and Denly put on 106 for the first wicket. When these two got out, no English batsmen was able to stay on the wicket. Interestingly, after the openers, Extras (21) were the highest contributor in the score. However, they managed to pull out an unconvincing victory by 4 wickets.

Graeme Swann was declared The Man of the Match and Cameron White was declared The Man of the Series. This was one of the biggest margin of series victory (6-1). Hope, we'll have a better performance from English side in Champions Trophy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Row in South Africa over ICC Awards

ICC's prestigious annual awards appears to have run into a controversy in South Africa. The main reason behind this row is that no South African player is included in the list. Even, prominent figures like national cricket board's chief executive, Gerald Majola is also not happy with ICC. He even said that it seems that South African players have to play Ashes to get a nomination in this elite list. Incidentally, ICC awards are also scheduled to be happen in South Africa only.

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said that nomination in these awards would have motivated his players to play better in the tournament. Former South African pacer, Allan Donald, is a member of the awards voting panel, admitted that he was surprised by the shortlist. "To me, it looks like the only way to get on these nomination lists is to play the Ashes," said Majola. "Unfortunately, our players don't play for England or Australia. That seems to be the criteria to select these awards. I don't know what the criteria are for these nominations but I simply can't believe that this has happened to South African players. My personal opinion is that this doesn't lend credibility to this year's awards, for sure. To rub salt to our wounds, the awards ceremony is being held in our country".

"I am totally dismayed and disappointed. The last season was one of the best ever for South Africa and there were a lot of outstanding performances by our players. In my personal opinion, there were at least three South African players who should have figured on the shortlist. But I am not going to name them because I don't want to drag our players into this issue when they are preparing for the Champions Trophy. I haven't spoken to them about this either."

ICC panel of awards include former greats of the game and this is also one of the reason that people in South Africa are amused by this.

Australia about to clean sweep England

Australia defeated England in the 6th One Day International played in Headingly by 111 runs. A victory in the last game would help Australia to clean sweep the series and finish their 2009 England’s tour on a high, despite loosing the Ashes tournament this year.

Ricky Ponting’s Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. Wicketkeeper batsman T. Paine scored first century of his career scoring 111 runs in 148 balls, though Australia lost Shane Watson early, when he was on an individual score of 4. Ricky Ponting though scored a brilliant century in the last game; he failed this time scoring just 6. At this stage Michael Hussey came to the rescue and shared a 163 runs third wicket partnership with Paine. In the death overs, Cameron White and James Hopes scored very fast runs and took Australian total to 297. For England, James Anderson took 4 wickets and took his tally to 145. With this, he became the third highest wicket taker for England in the One Day Internationals, equaling all-time great all-rounder Ian Botham.

In reply, England lost their first wicket on the second ball of the innings, when Andrew Strauss was declared out caught behind, off the bowling of Brett Lee. Though, replays suggested that there wasn’t a nick. Then it look for a while that Denly and Ravi Bopara are going the right way until Denly tried to smash James Hopes for a siz, repeating his act off the same bowler, in Hopes’ previous over. Then two run outs, (Bopara and Matt Prior) rocked the English innings. Ed Morgan and Owais Shah tried to bring the innings back on track, but their struggle was short lived. Lower middle order and tail-enders tried to rescue England, but apart from Tim Bresnan, nobody else had the courage to face the raw pace of Brett Lee and Peter Siddle. England got out on 186. Brett Lee took 2 wickets, whereas Siddle took 1 wicket.

Paine was declared the ‘Man of the Match’ for his brilliant effort from the bat.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ICC Champions Trophy Schedule

Date and Time Match
Tue Sep 22, 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT, Group B - South Africa v Sri Lanka
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Wed Sep 23 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group A - Pakistan v West Indies
18:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Thu Sep 24, 09:30 local | 07:30 GMT Group B - South Africa v New Zealand
13:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Fri Sep 25 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group B - England v Sri Lanka
18:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Sat Sep 26 09:30 local | 07:30 GMT Group A - Australia v West Indies
13:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Sat Sep 26 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group A - India v Pakistan
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Sun Sep 27 09:30 local | 07:30 GMT Group B - New Zealand v Sri Lanka
13:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Sun Sep 27 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group B - South Africa v England
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Mon Sep 28 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group A - Australia v India
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Tue Sep 29 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group B - England v New Zealand
18:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Wed Sep 30 09:30 local | 07:30 GMT Group A - Australia v Pakistan
13:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Wed Sep 30 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Group A - India v West Indies
18:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Fri Oct 2 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT 1st Semi-Final - TBC v TBC (A1 v B2)
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Sat Oct 3 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT 2nd Semi-Final - TBC v TBC (B1 v A2)
18:00 IST New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Mon Oct 5 14:30 local | 12:30 GMT Final - TBC v TBC
18:00 IST SuperSport Park, Centurion

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

India – The Compaq Cup Winners

India won the finals of the triangular series in Sri Lanka, The Compaq Cup, by a reasonable margin of 46 runs. It was India’s 3rd straight ODIs trophy in Sri Lanka, after defeating them 3-2 in last year August and 3-1 earlier this year.

India, having won the toss decided to bat first. India made one change in the playing eleven from the team that played against Sri Lanka in the previous match. India replaced wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik with Delhi’s young batsman Virat Kohli. Sachin open the innings with Rahul Dravid and they together put on XX for the first wicket. Dravid got out scoring a useful 39 off 56 balls. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself to No 3 position and that move worked superbly. Dhoni scored 56 off 62 balls and together with the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, he pooled up 110 runs off 115 balls for the second wicket. Sachin Tendulkar went on to score his record 44th One day hundred. He scored 138 off just 133 balls with 10 fours and 1 six off mystery off spinner Ajantha Mendis. Yuvraj Singh joined Sachin and together they put on 71 for the third wicket. After the fall of Tendulkar’s wicket on 276, India lost two more wickets of Yousuf Pathan and Suresh Raina in a quick interval, but Yuvraj, on the other hand was scoring briskly and hit his 41st half century. India finished their innings on 319-5 off their allotted 50 overs. For Sri Lanka, Thilan Thushara was the highest wicket taker. Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Sanath Jayasuriya also chipped in with 1 wicket each.

In reply, Sri Lanka started briskly as Dilshan and Jayasuriya started the things in style. Dilshan in particular was superb and took full advantage of Indian pace bowling trio of Ashish Nehra, R P Singh and Ishant Sharma. He scored runs all over the park, with the trademark ‘Dilshan Scoop’, being the best. He scored 42 runs off just 29 balls with 9 fours. He was bowled superbly by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. Bhajji also dismissed Mahela Jayawardene with a simple caught and bowled. Another off-spinner Yousuf Pathan claimed the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya, with the catch gracefully accepted by Ashish Nehra, when he was on 36. It was then a feeling of suicide attempt by Sri Lankan batsmen as Angelo Matthews and Thilan Thushara lost their wickets cheaply against some quality bowling of Indian bowlers. The hero of the last match Thilana Kandamby came to rescue the team when 6 Lankan batsmen were already sent back to the pavilion. He scored 66 runs and was the last one to got out. He scored these runs with the help of 4 boundaries and along with Chamara Kapugedera, he added 70 runs for the 7th wicket. Kapugedera scored 35 off 42 balls. After the 7th wicket, it was just the formalities left.

Sachin Tendulkar was declared both, The Man of the Match and The Man of the Series. Sachin got his, record 59th Man of the Match award and 14th Man of the Series award. Harbhajan, though finished off with 5-56 and played the main part in limiting Sri Lanka to 273.

India will certainly take some advantage with this win, in the upcoming Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Clinical Finish for India

India won their league game against the Kiwis pretty easily. It was a joint effort by the Indians. They were pretty tight with the ball and perfect with the bat. Their catching was also up-to the mark and so was the ground fielding.

Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to bat first. Ashish Nehra, the returning Indian pacer, dismissed the New Zealander openers Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum in a space of 8 balls. Both were trapped LBW. With Brendon McCullum’s wicket, Ashish Nehra became the 13th Indian bowler to take 100 One Day wickets. R. P. Singh also bowled splendidly. Both the left arm pacers took 3 wickets each. Yuvraj Singh joined the party soon taking 3 more wickets and third Indian pacer Ishant Sharma also took 2 wickets. Daniel Vettori was the highest scorer for the Kiwis, scoring 25 (1X4). The other main scorers were Jacob Oram (24, 2X4), 22 runs each for Martin Guptill (3X4) and Grant Elliott.

India in reply also lost their 1st wicket very quickly as Dinesh Karthik lost his wicket when the score was 7. Rahul Dravid didn’t have a great comeback like Ashish Nehra and was struggling in his innings. He scored 14 off 45 balls. Sachin Tendulkar, was however in a great form and he scored a good looking 46 before getting out to New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori. Yuvraj Singh also had a bad outing today and didn’t scored much runs and was done by Vettori. But Suresh Raina looked from where he left in his last ODI and along with captain M S Dhoni, he took India home.

Kiwis have lost both their games, against Sri Lanka and India and are now in the bottom of the table. They have to pull their socks and have to bounce back in the upcoming matches of the series or they will get out of the tournament early.

Ashish Nehra was declared the Man of the Match for his excellent bowling performance, as his two wickets (in the early part of the innings set the tone for India).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Malinga thumped New Zealand

Laisth Malinga bowled some excellent yorkers to Kiwi batsmen and managed to secure a huge victory in the opening tie of Compaq Cup, here in Colombo. Malinga took 4-28 in 6.1 overs.

Earlier, Thilana Samarweera scored his first ever hundred in One Day Internationals to help Sri Lanka reach a respectable total of 216-7. Previous to this century, Samarweera had a highest score of 38 in 21 matches and was labeled as a Test Match player. But he proved his mettle yesterday when Sri Lanka was tottering at 38-4. He was ably supported by young all rounder Angelo Matthews who scored an important 51. For New Zealand, the returning fast bowling duo of Darrel Tuffy and Shane Bond shared 4 wickets out of the fallen 7, between them. Tuffy took 1 while Bond managed 3 Lankan wickets.

New Zealand found themselves in even worse conditions than the Lankans. They were reduced to 7-3 by Lankan opening bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara. Then Malinga came and rattled the Kiwi middle order by those slinging yorkers.

Thilana Samarweera was declared the Man of the Match for his gritty knock. This was an awesome performance and he deserved to be the Man of the Match. It was due to his performance that Sri Lanka was able to go beyond 200 runs. He's been brilliant this year in Test Cricket and now he's got a chance to show his batting talent in limited overs Cricket.

Cricket News

Pak allow Razzaq to play for KKR

Pakistan Cricket Board allowed all rounder Abdul Razzaq to sign a contract with Kolkata Knight Riders for next year’s Indian Premier League. PCB officials had a meeting with the lanky all rounder, on Tuesday, at the board’s headquarters in Lahore, and after that chairman Ijaz Butt allowed the cricketer to join the Knight Riders. Razzaq had informed Butt that the IPL team is seeking his services for the 2010 edition of IPL.

Graham Onions to replace Flintoff

The International Cricket Council said on Tuesday that fast bowler Graham Onions can replace injured all rounder Andrew Flintoff in the England squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy starting September 22, in South Africa.

Uthappa stands tall in AI – Red Victory

Powerful opener Robin Uthappa carried his bat through out the innings of Air India – Red, scoring 157 not out. Due to his heroics Air India – Red managed to beat Air India – Blue by a massive margin of 93 runs in the finals of Sahara BCCI Corporate Trophy, here in Bangalore. Uthappa was declared the Man of the Match and Chandan Madan was declared the Man of the Series.

Sehwag to lead Team Delhi

Virender Sehwag will lead Team Delhi in the T20 Champions League, which is scheduled to be held from October 8 to 23 in India. Shwag, who had undergone a surgery in England during the T20 World Cup, will miss the ongoing triangular series in Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in South Africa. The other teams from India in the League are Team Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Friday, September 4, 2009

West Indies found a new Tendulkar

If former West Indies batsman Keith Arthurton’s words should be believed, one should certainly watch out for a seven year old West Indian kid Aidan George. Keith Arthurton, who was busy conducting a three-day coaching clinic this weekend on the islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda, saind, “While he was batting, I heard someone in the crowd shout out that he looked like Sachin Tendulkar and I thought the same thing because of the way he bats, his stance and his attitude.” He is in no doubt that he has discovered the ‘Next’ Tendulkar.

Keith Arthurton continue saying, “You don’t really see that in kids who are that young but he has something special in him and the local coaches should work with him so that he can develop his cricket skills”.

Youngest participant of the camp, Aidan looks older than his age and has a stance which is almost a replica of Tendulkar’s, according to a report in the ‘Anguilla News’

Talking about the kid’s technique, Keith Arthurton said, “His stance is very good and he moved his feet at the right times and with ease. I certainly would like to work with him in future as I think he has the potential to develop into a very good player.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Favourites

Since I have started written this blog, I havn’t mentioned about my favourites; my favourite cricketer, my favourite captain, my favourite umpire, my favourite batsmen, my favourite Indian cricketer and so on. From today onwards, I will start writing about my favourites, starting from my favourite cricketer.

My Favourite Cricketer

It is really not a matter of surprise when I say that my favourite cricketer is former South African all rounder, Lance ‘Zulu’ Klusener. He is my favourite cricketer till date. No other player has leave an impact on me, till that famous Test Match in Kolkata’s Eden Garden where Lance Klusener took 8 wickets in the second innings of the Indian innings. Since then, my liking for Zulu developed so much that I still adore him as a cricketer.

For me, he is and will be the greatest ever all rounder the game has seen. When he used to bat, he doesn’t look as if he is an all rounder. When he came to bowl, he doesn’t look like a brutal batsman, who is just ‘trying’ his hand in the bowling. He is the genuine all rounder and the most powerful hitter of the cricket ball, in the era of late 90s. I still remember that sad 99 World Cup semifinal against Australia, when Alan Donald ran very late, which result in a tie and South Africa’s exit from the World Cup.

People might say that he was meant for One Day Cricket, but for me, he was ‘The Man of All Seasons’. He used to bowl long spells in Test Cricket also. His batting, especially his approach while chasing a huge victory target was very strange. He used to play calmly when the required run rate reaches beyond 6 runs per over. He used to play normal cricket when the run rate started to rise above 9 runs per over; and when the run rate started reaching 12 runs per over, he used to play a bit fast. He used to start hitting madly when the run rate reached 15 runs per over. Then he gets unleashed and swings his bat like a butcher swings his knife! He was just the perfect finisher (though some would name Michael Bevan).

After the loss in World Cup 2003, South Africa cricket saw a major change, with Shaun Pollock left captaincy and Graeme Smith was appointed the new captain (though he wasn’t even in the World Cup squad and was called after an early retirement by Jonty Rhodes). I still hold a very strong opinion that Smith was jealous from Klusener and saw him as a potential threat to his captaincy. Also, Zulu used to bat, the way he liked. Result, ego-hassles happened between them and Zulu was shown the exit door from the national team. Smith used to receive a ‘Boo’ from his own country’s public – thanks to his villainous role in Klusener’s controversy. Zulu used to be a Darling to most of the South African nation and to the rest of the world, as well.

I hold very high regards for the army man, Lance Klusener; a simple and straight forward guy who achieved the Pinnacle of his career, when he was adjudged Man of the Series in World Cup 1999. He scored 481 runs at a whopping average of 140.5 with a strike rate of over 130 and took 17 wickets – a true all round performance.

Zulu, I simply love you!!!

Sri Lanka V/s New Zealand: 1st T20

Jacob Oram took two wickets in two balls in the final over of Sri Lankan innings to pull off an improbable win for New Zealand against Sri Lanka, in the 1st T20 international Cricket Match here in R Premadasa Stadium Colombo.

New Zealand batted first and thanks to a good effort from Ross Taylor, they reach 141 in their allotted 20 overs. Martin Guptill also played a handy knock of 29 runs.

For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga took 2 wickets and Kulasekara, Mathews, Mendis and Bandara chipped in with 1 wicket each.

Sri Lanka didn't started well, when they lost Veteran left arm opener Sanath Jayasuriya for 1. Sri Lanka soon got into deep troubles as they lost their captain Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene cheaply. It was once again the dashin Tilakratne Dilshan who did the rescue work for the home team. What an effort from Dilshan! He scored 57 off just 28 balls to take care of the scoring, but none of the batsmen supported him.

Even in the end, it was looking like a Sri Lankan victory when they needed 19 off 18 balls. But first Shane Bond and then the lanky all rounder Jacob Oram bowled two very good overs to turn an almost sure defeat in a win. Jacob Oram dismissed Malinga Bandara and Nuwan Kulasekara off successive deliveries, thanks to excellent catching by Brendon Mccullum and Neil Broom, respectively to bring back things under Daniel Vettori’s control.

Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori was adjudged the Man of the Match for his excellent bowling spell of 11-2 in his four overs.