Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Rise of Steven Smith

From the Land where there had been several best batsmen were produced. Steve Smith is something special. Indeed, with the development of Starc and Lyon. Australia look really formidable as a team. The Rise of Steven Smith has been wonderful to watch, a bird on the field, he brings so much of intensity to the game while he guards the boundary. Australia's success story has always been a very good example, a player believed to be talented given ample amount of chances and SPD Smith is certainly one among them. Steven Smith a world No. 1, was not immediately apparent to people on the outside, but the Australian team management must have spotted something special, indeed very special.

Those were the the times when SPD Smith has just started to grow up with respect to the test match cricket. His average, just above 46 with the ball and a little higher than 29 with the bat. He started out at No. 8 and then moved to No. 6. When Ricky Ponting retired, he moved up to No. 5. His highest score was 92, by then. 

The Ashes 2013, England had already beaten Australia with lead of 3-0 having played 4 tests. The fifth test at the oval saw how good Smith could be. After the fall of Michael Clarke's wicket, England were in a celebration party. Steven Smith walks in, playing in his 12th Test match and generally regarded as an all rounder, bats a bit, bowls some leg Spin. This test match saw, the up coming Aussie star scoring a unbeaten century that had helped Aussie draw the game. A match to remember that, Watson (176) and Spd Smith (138*) both the scores came on the course of first innings, Aussie post a first inning score of 492/9 and declare.

Recent times, Smith has been so good and had already been a popular figure in the cricketing arena, a world cup winning champion and regarded as the next to-be the captain of the Australian Side. When Australia toured West Indies few days back, the series that saw Spd Smith Rising to the top position in the ICC test ratings. A score of 199 and 54* in both the innings, moving up the order at No.3 and he was a treat to watch. . His technique is still way out there, he played some quick, full-length, swinging deliveries from Jerome Taylor off the back foot with tremendous solidity and patience. Man of the Match in Australia's victory in the second Test in Kingston, making 199 in the first innings.

Spd Smith has jumped to the top of the ICC's Test batting rankings, the first Australian since Michael Clarke in 2012 to hold the No. 1 position.The Biggest Achievement and Test cricket's leading run scorer over the past year, with 1226 at an average 102.16.He has just beaten Sangakkara and Ab.De.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Brothers in Arms - Sanga Mahela!

Countless number of times we have seen them play together and wining games together. The pair, no one could ever hate, we have celebrated their success thanks to the live television coverages. Their records were huge as a pair and equally brilliant as an individual. Mahela and Sanga, friends and comrades, the nicest men you would ever know, among the most prolific run-getters of our times and this world cup, one last time they batted together in the nets, the final tournament, the world cup 2015.  
Jayawardene only managed one significant contribution at the World Cup - but that was a match-winning hundred against Afghanistan to get Sri Lanka up and running in the group stage. Having made his international debut in 1997, Jayawardene has played through a period of huge change in the game - including the introduction of T20. One of the best slip catchers, and batsmen with a sounded technique, the cover drive, and those delicate late cuts through the third man will always remain in our thoughts for ever.
For Sanga, this world cup has been a sensational tournament, four hundreds in a row, a world cup record and he was among the top run getter. He would have been so happy, if sri lanka had won their match against South Africa in the quarter finals, Sri Lanka being termed as knock out specialists had to surrender to South Africa In World cup 2015.

 As a pair, Sanga-Mahela, emerged as second most successful pair in international cricket, Tests and ODI's respectively. In test cricket, the pair scored 6556 runs at an average just above 56 and 5992 odi runs at an average just above 41. 

A test of character at Colombo : 

 Flash back 2006, Having won the toss, it was a below par score for South Africa, 169 in their first innings. The tourists were given a glimmer of hope when Dale Steyn removed both Sri Lankan openers inside four overs. Sangakkara began shakily, as he was put down in the gully and bowled by a no ball and from there, no let down for Sanga. Mahela was at his usual best at the other end. History awaited, they had put on a world record stand of 624 runs    and each milestone was greeted by fireworks. Sanga was dismissed after playing for 675 minutes, scoring 287 runs, and Mahela immediately declared the Sri Lankan innings after his enormous knock of 374 runs that went long for 752 minutes came to an end. Sri Lanka had scored a mammoth 756/5  in their first innings and had comfortably won the game with an Innings to spare. A classic test innings, remembered for ever. 
The T-20 world cup victory last year was another classic farewell to be remembered. Sometimes, cricket does write it's own script and the Sri Lankan legends signed off from t-20 being crowned as world champions of t-20 cricket beating India at Dhaka. Sangakkara played the decisive hand in the final with an unbeaten 52 off 35 ball and Mahela had contributed 24 runs on his farewell game. 
All they wanted was a world cup win this year and Sadly, they were knocked out by the South Africans. They came so close during the 2011 world cup, a classy century by Mahela in the world cup final, a knock went down on a losing cause, yet, an fighting innings. 
More than Sanga-Mahela missing cricket, the sport will definitely miss them. No one is bigger than the game! Thank you for the memories Sanga-Mahela. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The First T-20 World Cup Finals-2007

Not many would have known about the t-20 that time, the game provided at most entertainment and nail biting finishes. Way back in 2007, this tournament hosted by South Africa had top cricketing nations participating to win the first ever t-20 world cup. I still remember the league matches and the very first match between India- Pakistan ended in a bowl out and India winning the opener. Not many would have predicted to watch an India-Pakistan final. As the tournament proceeded further India were one of the favorites, they had beaten Australia, South Africa and no one would have imagined that a Dhoni led young team India would be one of the finalists.

The Toss : 24 September 2007, India had won the toss and they elected to bat first at Johannesburg. Sehwag was out with an Injury and India would play Yusuf Pathan. 180 looked a good score to defend.

Indian Openers Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan were out in the middle. Particularly for India Gambhir(227 runs in 7 matches) was the second top run getter in this tournament and in fact he had scored heavily, it was lovely to watch him play this format of the game with so much ease and he did not disappoint in the final as well. As the game proceeded Yusuf Pathan hit the 4th ball of the game for a 6 and he had scored 10 runs of the first over. Yusuf as opener was a brave decision by Dhoni. India loses it's first wicket, Yusuf Pathan for 15 and there comes another youngster Robin Uthappa and without any further impact he quietly goes back to the pavilion for just 8 runs. India needed a good partnership, Yuvraj Singh the king of 6 6's in this tournament added 63 along with Gambhir, but Gambhir had scored majority of runs in this partnership. Gambhir, standing firm and he got those quick one's and two's, and boundaries were coming often too. Yuvraj had scored 14 runs before he got out, Dhoni gone for 6. India, 4 down for 111. India had lost it's middle order and it was Umar Gul (3/28) who had ran through India's middle order. Gambhir's prime form made him score 75 in the final and that had helped India put on a respectable score of 157 and thanks to Rohit Sharma's 30* down the order.

The Chase : 

Pakistan lose Hafeez early and R.P.Singh (3/26) who had bowled a brilliant spell against South Africa provides the vital break through in the very first over. Imran Nazir never looked disturbed losing his partner early, he was on a rampage and Sreesanth was going for plenty, things looked out of control for India until Uthappa fired a direct throw at the striker's end and Nazir  was caught  short of his crease. India were right back in to the game, there was no looking back for India after Imran Nazir's wicket.Irfan Pathan(3/16) bowled a tight spell and wickets kept falling, Kamran Akmal(0), Younis Khan(24) and Shoaib Malik(8) were back to the pavilion in quick time. Afridi getting out on a duck was a huge set back for Pakistan.

When wickets kept falling, this man stood tall and played a never die attitude innings, Misbah-ul-haq. Misbah, the world had not much known him at that time, the kind of innings he had played in the final, won many hearts.When Pakistan were struggling 7/104, Misbah decides to take on Harbhajan, three 6's and 19 runs were scored at the end of 17th over and Harbhajan who had bowled reasonably well, goes for 36 in his 3. This final was heading towards an exiting finish, Sohail Tanvir joins in the party and decides to hit out of the park in Sreesanth's over, a couple of 6's and Pakistan needed 20 of the last two. RP Singh was given the ball, the penultimate over caused India just 7 runs. When 13 needed from 6, Dhoni had thrown the ball to Joginder Sharma, the one match wonder. The first ball, a wide and a dot to follow. The second ball of the final over goes for a 6, full-toss outside off and Misbah was cool as an Ice. Drama all over Johannesburg, people on the edge of their seat. Pakistan needs just 6 from 4 and this happened,19.3 full on stumps, Misbah(43) goes for a scoop shot over short fine-leg and he has been caught by Sreesanth, bowled Joginder Sharma and the rest were History.

India!! India!! The winners of the first edition twenty-twenty world cup. The young team has just done it under the MSD's leadership.

Player of the match : Irfan Pathan

Player of the series : Shahid Afridi

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Not so far the best - Pakistan

Pakistan had not been the best in  recent past, losing both the ODI's and  tests against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and their bad run continues in their make shift home UAE. Australia's tour to the UAE has been a good start, they had won all the three ODI'S against Pakistan. This tour saw, Zulfiqar Babar, 35, making his debut. 

The Mighty Aussies looked comfortable. Pakistan looked belligerent with their pace attack, still they could have included Aizaz Cheema to their pace attack who had a good CLT-20 for Lahore Lions. Hafeez getting injured provided further setback for Pakistan, who missed the ODI's and the t-20. Having had a good CLT-20 Shoaib Mailk's inclusion needs to be overlooked, a solid middle order player who could provide resistance to Pakistan's batting line up that had been facing a collapse. Younis Khan's exclusion a vital decision by the selectors. With the World cup ahead, Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan's experience might help winning games for Pakistan 

This tour so far for Pakistan, Umar Akmal and Sarfraz Ahmed were under the spotlights. Misbah had been struggling all through this year, never had a good run unlike 2013, being Pakistan's highest run getter. The captaincy remains a question mark for Pakistan, Mishbah or Shahid Afridi. Unlike India, opening had been a worry for Pakistan. Ahmed Shehzad need to score runs on a consistent basis for Pakistan with just a 50 in this odi series as an opener. While his partner Sarfraz Ahmed would remain the right choice as an opener. With the World cup ahead, Pakistan would hope to sort out all their issues and would try bringing back Saeed Ajmal.

The Aussies, started off this tour with a t-20 win. Warner looked in great touch coming back to the side, scoring a half century. Aussies never looked like they missed their usual captain Micheal Clarke. Steven Smith, who embarked as Australia's key test player, notched up his maiden ODI ton against Pakistan in the first ODI. Batting at No.3, he scored a breezy 101 taking Australia to 255 and visitors winning a game by good margin. A captaincy material and a successor to Michael Clarke in the future, Steven Smith. Sean Abott makes his debut as well with the wicket of Shahid Afridi on his debut game and more to come from him, hoping to see him play for Australia in lot more games to come. Bailey looks like a complete leader. But, when it comes to scoring runs, he remains on the back seat, his  poor form with the bat would always remain sceptical for the selectors. Maxwell, another big name played a gentle knock in the second ODI scoring 76. Maxwell this series, though had not scored much, remained Australia's wicket taking bowler along side Nathan Llyon and Mitchell Johnson. The third and the final odi was the talk of all social media websites, when Australia turned tables for one run win. A match to remember, when Maxwell bowled a double wicket maiden in the last over of the game, Pakistan need just 2 runs from 6 balls and they failed to score chasing 231.

Monday, October 6, 2014

CLT-20 2014! To be Remembered

Congratulations CSK, the title winners for the 2014 champions league. They were almost knocked out of the champions league and that six from Bradley hogg against Lahore Lions made CSK qualify for the Semis. The every year CLT-20 had always something to be remembered, be that catches or brilliant knocks or economical bowling. While the tournament had just come to an end  this year, there had been almost five bowlers who were under the scanner for illegal bowling action reported by the on field umpires. Sunil Narine and SuryaKumar Yadav of KKR, Prenelan Subrayen of Dolphins, Adnan Rasool and Mohammed Hafeez of Lahore Lions. Sunil Narine's ban from playing the clt-20 final was a shocker.

Apart all these, some brilliant batting that troubled the bowlers and economical bowling performances that had troubled the batsmen and I have picked some of my favorites this year CLT-20.

Starting, Batsmen first.

Kane Williamson - Northern Knights Vs Cape Cobras

The first group match for the Knights at the CLT-20 and certainly a match to remember. Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson put on a match winning 140 for the first wicket. KaneWilliamson 101* of 49 balls, all class. The right handed Kane Williamson had been all his best for ODI's and test matches and was a bit shocked to see him play this way in the T-20's.

Aiden Blizzard - Hobart Hurricanes Vs Cape Cobras

He never had a great IPL, yet, he is turning the heat on for his big bash team, Hobart Hurricanes. Blizzard scores unbeaten 78 of 48 balls to win the game for Hurricanes, this would have went either way for Hurricanes as they need to score big in slog overs. Blizzard keeps his cool and finishes the game for his side. He was one among the consistent players who scored runs and was in terrific form

Suresh Raina - CSK Vs Dolhins

 He is considered as Prince and the Pride of the champion team Chennai Super Kings. Irrespective of which ever team you like/follow, you just cannot skip this guy's game and he had been one of those players who had been very consistent in this format of the game. This game against Dolphins, Raina hammered a 43 ball 90. Rained 6's at B'lore  chinnaswamy and would have been wonderful if he went on to score a century.

Cameron Delport - Dolphins Vs CSK

 Chasing a huge total, 242 on the board by CSK and you can expect this. A brave knock that went for a short period of time. Cameron Delport blasted a 9 ball 34 at strike rate of 377. CSK was well in danger until this man got out. A slower ball from Mohit Sharma that castled away. Well played Delport. He came, he hit, he got out.

SuryaKumar Yadav - KKR Vs Perth

 He had done that earlier in the IPL for KKR. He has grown as a finisher and this innings of 19 ball 43 against Perth was another innings, that showed KKR could bat deep despite the top order failing to score big in the chase. Keeping his cool, SuryaKumar Yadav finishes off the game with two balls to spare. Hope to see him soon wearing the Indian jersey!

Jonathan Carter - Barbados Tridents Vs Cape Cobras

A heroic innings 111* of 68 balls, while rest of the batsmen from his team fail to score runs. At one stage, Barbados had been struggling to score runs against the cape cobras and this guy  stands up and Smashes the second century of this tournament and certainly deserves an applause. A match that went down the wire, a super over finish. Cape Cobras won the game and Carter was in distraught and certainly needed to be consoled by the opposition for his brilliant batting.

Umar Akmal - Lahore Lions Vs Dolhins

In and out of the national squad, Umar Akaml took this opportunity to get back his form and earned him a man of the match. A quick fire 73 of 45 balls that included 5 four's and equal amount of six's. A crunch game and the innings that won the game for the Lions from Lahore. Hope to see this young lad playing for Pakistan again. Always an exiting feature.

Robert Frylinck - Dolphins Vs Lahore Lions

A game to lose despite some power hitting down the order by Frylinck. The Dolphins batsman had nothing to lose and was on a brutal hitting spree. He smashed 27 ball 63 with 6 six's and 4 four's at a strike rate of 233. An Exiting Protean all rounder.

Adam Voges -  Perth Scorchers Vs KKR
A Captain's knock on a losing cause, sounds a bit hard. This was one of those fine innings by the Aussie for Perth. A Valiant knock against the team that had been ruining their opposition with spin bowling. It was a known fact, Aussies struggle a bit to face spin and this knock of 71 from 52 balls came in quick time, facing spinners most of the time.

Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni - CSK Vs Perth Scorchers

They added some punch to CSK's innings which was far behind the par score. Jadeja's unbeaten 28 ball 44 and MSD's Blitzkrieg 16 ball 35 towards the end of the game took CSK to 155 from a struggling 5/79 and winning the game from no where.

Virender Sehwan,  Manan Vohra - Kings XI Vs Northern Knights

2014, IPL. Kings XI has been doing the talking, and no doubt they have qualified for the Champions league t-20. This game against the Northern Knights, Sehwag scores 37 ball 52 and the young Manan Vohra (32 ball 65) who was dominating through out his innings scores at a massive strike rate of 203. An opening partnership of over 100 runs and you expect some fire power down the order from David killer Miller, 18 ball 40 from the Protean and Kings easily score over 200 against the Knights and win the game.

Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa - KKR vs Dolphins

They had been the 2014 IPL champions for the second time. They batted like a champion this game too. Unbeaten partnership of 153 in just 15 overs between these two and that took the game away from Dolhins. Uthappa scores 85 of 55 and Manish taking the aggressor role scores 76 of 45. Both have been good throughout the tournament and hope to see their good run in future games.

Mitchell Marsh - Perth Scorchers Vs Lahore Lions

Mitchell Marsh starts and finishes off Perth's CLT-20 journey in style. 2 balls 12 runs, he hits couple of 6's and wins the game for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins in their first game. Again, he not only wins the game for his side and this win against the Lahore Lions make CSK qualify for the Semi finals. Marsh's brutal cameo down the order along with Bradley Hogg helps Perth win their last game of this CLT-20.  Marsh's 38 ball 63 stands one of the best innings under pressure this clt-20. Take a bow Mitch Marsh.

The Bowlers!!

It's hard to expect a bowler to be economical in this format of the game. But, still some bowlers managed to bowl a spell that saw them  pick wickets and economical as well! some of them.

Sunil Narine - KKR Vs Lahore Lions 

 Familiar name and a champion bowler of this shorter format of the game. The bowler who could trouble most of the best batsmen and this CLT-20 he was in trouble indeed, for his Illegal action. This game against the Lahore Lions, Narine picked up 3 wickets for just 9 runs in his 4 overs, how often do we see a bowler bowling like this? He needs to come back soon!

Ben Hilfenhaus - Hobart Hurricanes Vs Northern Knights
Easily, Australia's one of the consistent bowlers with not much aggression and his body language suggests he is such a calm bowler and this match against the Northern Knights, the Aussie picked up 3 for 14 in his 4 overs, economical best for a t-20 game in the Indian soil that earned him a man of the match. Well Bowled Hilfi.

Kuldeep Yadav - KKR vs Perth Scorchers

This young lad had been selected for Home game against the West Indies. probably he is one of those rare china man india had ever got. The game against Perth, he spun the web and picked up 3/24 in his 4. Usually, when the leg spinners were targeted so often in this format of the game, he is a rare talent. He was the player of the match too.

Ravichandran Ashwin - CSK vs Perth Scorchers

He has not been the best so far in this clt-20, but this game looked like Ashwin found his rhythm back. Three wickets for 20 runs in his 4 overs, defending a modest total of 155 on the board. Ashwin had not been so lethal as he used to be earlier, his carrom ball gets picked so easily and his pause delivery had not been probing the batsmen much these days. Hoping to see him coming back soon.

Karanveer Singh - Kings XI vs Northern Knights

This young Indian lad is a promising bowler with a surprising leg break googly. Following Narine's 9/3 this would be easily the next best. 3.2 overs and 15/4. He looked ecstatic throughout the match and with no doubts he was the player of the match, with Northern Knights clearly struggled to face his bowling. But, Vohra went picking up the man of the match award.

Xavier Doherthy - Hobart Hurricanes Vs Barbados Tridents

He is so unlucky to be out of the current Aussie squad touring the UAE. He is the best bowler for Australia in this format and he just proved in the game against Barbados picking up 4/27 and declared man of the match. Hoping to see him play for Australia soon.

Anureet Singh - Kings XI Vs Cape Cobras

Anureet Singh, picked up his personal best 12/3 against the Cape Cobras. Kings had missed their premier swing bowler Sandeep Sharma. But, Anureet has never let them down and was a decent performer. The same match, Akshar Patel too shared 3 wickets for 15 runs and was adjudged man of the match.

The Big Semi Finals and the Very Big Finals!!

Semi Finals 1 : KKR Vs Hobart Hurricanes : Jacques Kallis

Despite Shoaib Malik's unbeaten 66 for Hobart Hurricanes, Kallis scored an unbeaten 54 and saw Kolkata reaching the finals of the CLT-20 for the first time. Kallis who had quit all forms of Intl cricket earlier this year, had been running on a lean patch as far as KKR was concerned. Right on the money, Kallis played a genuine match winning innings with a cool headed nature that fetched him a man of the match.

Semi Finals 2 : CSK vs Kings XI : Dwayne Bravo
Bravo, the no doubt X factor for CSK, being Injured and missed almost every match of this year's IPL scored a massive 67 of 39 balls. Faf (46) and Bravo played the crucial role against Kings 11, that almost took the game away from Kings 11. One could always expect big hitting from the Caribbean on a big occasion. He can make you dance with his batting skills too, he hit those to the space! BRAVO!!

The Final : CSK vs KKR : Suresh Raina, Pawan Negi

You call him a prince, you call him a hero, or you call him "Chinna Thala" all refers to a name Suresh Raina, he bats so easy in this format of the game. A hundred in a t-20 is always special, a 100 in a t-20 final is Very Special and he had made the final so special by hitting a fabulous and a phenomenal 100. Chasing KKR's 180, thanks to their Captain Gambhir's mighty knock of 80, just went in vein in front of Raina's big hitting. The final had everything, a huge score on the board. Raina's 100 and Dhoni's helicopter finish! well done and well played.

Pawan Negi :

If Raina's 100 was much sparkling, Pawan Negi's 5 for set up the win for CSK earlier. The 19th over saw as many as slaps he picked up against the current IPL champion KKR who were marching ahead for their first ever CLT-20 title. Pawan Negi's 5/22 on a good batting track at Chinnaswamy needs a good round of whistles! than the applause!

Blast from the Past!! Andy Russel Vs CSK, The Game 1, CSK Vs KKR.

How can I forget to mention this awe struck moment when Andy Russel just took the game away from CSK single handedly! The very first group game between the IPL champions, Andy Russel struck a 25 ball 58. You call that colossal! The innings included 5 six's and 4 four's at a strike rate of 232.

Ok!! We're done! This writing had gone just a bit longer than the expected, lots of performances. An exiting tournament comes to an end!!

Pic courtesy :  cricinfo!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

first try for a video blog!


Always wanted to try a video blog on cricket and he is my genuine first try! sorry for the poor audio and video quality! :) This is all about the Northern Knights.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Been Long time!! When Facebook and Twitter ruined me!

From India's Eng tour to Champions League!

Looked like I had forgotten the art of writing posts here in my own blog! I had made this blog exclusively for cricket alone and I always dreamed of writing a post when ever a match or a series concludes. I had even planned to write a post on India's tour of England, I wanted to put every match on that tour together and write a huge post! England Tales! Yes, I had even decided on the topic to be written.

Nothing happened, yes, I mean it, nothing ever happened. All  I managed to write a small post from my facebook account and tweeted for 140 characters. If at all I had written a blog post on England's fabulous victory against India in the 5 test match series, I never wanted to write anything wrong about Dhoni's men. I knew this has been the transition phase for team India in tests. No sachin, No Dravid, No Laxman and No Kumble. In spite of all this, India managed to win at the Lords, Bhuvi was considered as the new hero and he had found a reputation in him and he was excellent all through the series. I never wanted to mention about India's loss in rest of the test matches. Virat Kohli would be just him and not Sachin Tendulkar and Pujara would be himself and it would be too harsh to compare him with Rahul Dravid, just a series they had failed to get runs. Gambhir made a come back and he was just back to the pavilion in quick time and he never came back strongly, a funny thought, no this was the fact. Dhoni needs some appreciation for bringing back Gautam gambhir in the top slot since he had no other options and Dhawan was failing. Murali Vijay Looked solid enough to face 300 balls and a run out changed his game for rest of the test series. Varun Aaron had pace and it was too late to bring him as a spear head, agreed Ishant's 7 wicket haul at the Lords made every one feel wow, and the next game he was out and injured. England's fear of facing the short ball was over and they sensed their win and India never made a come back. Dhoni finally did find the art of scoring runs in away test series, he was gutsy to face the swinging deliveries and yea Dhoni did face the new ball. Rahane the little wonder had taken a lot of lessons from Rahul Dravid and he was the only technically sounded batsmen. Inclusion of Stuart Binny wasn't justified.  Rohit Sharma did score couple of centuries against West Indies and that was a known tale, rewind South Africa series. Okay, Ashwin should have played majority of matches and he had a better technique than most of the current test batsmen in India. Okay, Stopping here! we're done! :)

ODI's brought back the smiles on the Indian faces. No, Rephrasing. Raina brought back the smiles on Indian faces and he was all pumped up. He came, he scored runs, took catches, wickets everything possible and won man of the series and Virat Kohli was still struggling to get on the double figures and Anderson managed to pick his bunny as many times as he can. Zak-Smith and Anderson-Kohli. India looked a better side and Cook never looked to win the ODI series despite scoring well in later part of the test series and his captaincy raised eye brows for the World Cup 2015. Rohit Sharma has broken his hand and Murali Vijay had to replace and he never played the 50 over game here. Rahane's 100 and Dhawan's unbeaten 97 were unforgettable, they had teared apart the England bowling attack. Dhoni's consistency at the ODI's a known thing and not forgetting, India even lost the ODI's in 2011 at England.

The T-20, a much different side for England, new leader. Almost the same side for India. Morgan had literally set up the game for England and a come back for England in the shorter format. Virat looked in touch, Scored a half century and that never helped India winning this game.

What else? Most of the Players are off to the Champions League and MI, the defending champions are out of the league. Northern Knights looks impressive, Kane Williamson the player to watch out for along with Trent Boult. The pink colored Knights never mind missing the big hitting Corey Anderson, he opted playing for Mi and  Mi never had an idea to play him! just found a seat at the dug out!

So as Barbados, the winners of the Caribbean Premier League under Pollard's captaincy and Pollard never looked playing for his home team despite the team had qualified for the main draw!

Southern Express looked promising and failed to win a single game and Lahore Lions had got the visa to play in the main draw! well done Hafeez, the professor.

KKR-CSK, the opener, Dhoni's 101m six set up the score for CSK. KKR never looked chasing. Nehra was on a hattrick! Oh yes, I was alive when this happened. Andy Russel stepped in and he changed the course of the game. He had been so successful coming down the order for Jamaica in the CPL and had to repeat the same for KKR. He came, he hit and got out and KKR still had the super cool Tendo at the other end. A player of such caliber, Tendo needs to be playing for Netherlands. He deserves one. A win from No where to KKR when Piyush Chawla scored the winning runs.

Bailey's team against Bailey! Looks interesting, yes the Hobart Hurricanes led by Bailey in Big bash league was up against the most successful IPL team, the Kings 11 and Bailey Preferred Kings 11 over Hobart. Not a very good start for Sehwag, a first ball duck, Maxwell's cameo, Thisara Perera's first outing for Kings 11 saw the IPL runner's up winning the game under the much needed guidance of Bailey.

Ok! done done done!! Blog has been Updated. Yay!! Happy Blogging me, happy blogging all!! :) Bye!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

World T-20 2014 - Performances to be Remembered!

They had last won a world cup in 1996. Since then, Sri Lanka had been a regular runner up in most of the ICC tournaments and finally won the world t-20 in 2014 beating India at Bangladesh, that was a long wait for them. Sangakkara and Mahela's last t-20 performance for Sri Lanka had a perfect end.

A memorable t-20 this year! Memorable matches and memorable T-20 performances! A look at those!

Toss won and we elect to Bat first!

Stephan Myburgh : Netherlands Vs  Ireland 

Colassal would be the right word to describe. The qualifier match and Netherlands needed to chase  190 in just 14 overs to qualify for the Super 10

The world never knew this guy until he played a brilliant knock against the Ireland. The dutch man went on to score a match winning 23 ball 63, the innings included 7 huge six's and 4 4's, at the strike rate of 273.

Netherlands achieved the target under 14 overs and were in the super 10. Much thanks to this guy for the entertainment. This remains as the best innings so far this world t-20.

Alex Hales : England Vs Sri Lanka 

An Innings that over shadowed Mahela's 89. Alex Hales won the match single handedly for England.

Considered, top rated T-20 Batsman. Alex Hales, the lone century scorer in the 2014 world t-20 at Bangladesh. This wonderful innings came during a chase against the Sri Lankans. Needing 190 win, England had lost Lumb and Moeen Ali for no score. Alex Hales started to build the innings from 0/2 along with Morgan.

An unbeaten 116 from 64 balls under pressure at a strike rate of 181, a champion stuff indeed and that is why he is rated as the top T-20 batsman all over the world. The score of 116 remains the top score by an individual, this world t-20.
An Innings to remember for Hales.

 Umar Akmal : Pakistan Vs Australia 

Umar Akmal, goes Brutal Vs Australia. This is not for the first time.The younger Akmal scored a massive 94 off 54 balls at the strike rate of 174. The innings that almost won the game for Pakistan against Australia.

The same game, Maxwell was equally brutal against the Pakistani bowlers while chasing. This was considered as one of the best matches of the tournament. Aussies were likely to pull off a thriller, went down to Pakistan scoring 175. The only Match Umar Akmal scored for Pakistan

JP Duminy : South Africa Vs New Zealand : 

He is there when ever his team is in trouble. The classic left handed batsman had always helped South Africa recover after early troubles.

 An Unbeaten 86 of 43 balls at a strike rate of 200, won the match for South Africa against New Zealand. Duminy was in top form and a top t-20 Innings from a top class South African Batsman.

 Darren Sammy : West Indies Vs Australia 

You just cannot miss the Carribbean Flavor from a t-20 competition. The Gangnam dance would always be there to perform post match.Sammy's back from the death Innings that won the game for West Indies from no where.

Sammy has been the best leader in this t-20, this innings of 13 ball 34 with a strike rate of 261 won a thriller for West Indies.

Years to come, this would be remembered every time. Faulkner's embarrassing moment in his life.

AB de Villiers : South Africa Vs England 

Known as 360 degree player and this match saw Ab's classy stroke making all over the ground. He had the responsibility of leading his team since faf had to sit out. The master batsmen scored unbeaten 28 ball 69 at a strike rate of 246 in a crunch game against England. Proteas just won the game by 3 runs, Yet, those two points were so Vital for them to qualify for the semi finals.

A Knock under pressure. Ab had not been in a great touch, this match witnessed Ab's wonderful shot selection technique and class. 

Dwayne Bravo : West Indies Vs Pakistan

A breath taking quarter final match. Pakistan had almost nailed their spot in the semi finals with their bowling performance. West Indies had just hardly scored 80 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in 15 overs. The remaining 5 overs, belonged to the West Indies and Thanks to Dwayne Bravo's 26 ball 46, he stroked at a rate of 171 almost, he along with Sammy had scored 82 runs in the last 5 overs

Even Saeed Ajmal was not spared, 24 runs came off his final over and That was the moment Pakistan started feeling the pressure. From 5/81 to 6/166 and the rest was History. West Indies had won the game and were one of the Semi Finalist. "Gangnam Prevails"

Virat Kohli : India Vs South Africa

India wins 80% of the games when ever they chase and this guy is the reason behind that. A genuine match winner for India. He knows how to construct an innings in a pressure game. A semi final, India faces South Africa. Batting first Proteas post a healthy score of 172.

A good start by India, yet, the openers were back soon. Virat Kohli batted like a lone champion. Much support came from Rohit, Rahane and Raina. Prodigious effort, Virat Kohli, 72 from 44 balls strike rate of 163. A game to remember.

Kumar Sangakkara : Sri Lanka Vs India 

He had saved his best for the finals. Sangakkara has not been in a great form this tournament and happens to be his last t-20 match for Sri Lanka. Sangakkara was at his very best during the finals against India, an unbeaten 52 from 35 balls at a strike rate of 148, won them the title, The world t-20 champions for 2014.

Though Virat Kohli scored 77 of 58 balls, Kumar Sangakkara's knock fetched him the man of the match in the finals. A moment to remember for Sangakkara, he had contributed the maximum, a win for his nation. A moment to remember for one of the Greatest ever Batsman from Sri Lanka.

Bowling :

Ahsan Malik : Netherlands Vs South Africa 

A five wicket haul against South Africa. The bowler picked 5/19 in his 4 overs with econ under 5. Sadly, the match was won by South Africans, as Tahir Picked 4/21, Proteas won the game by just 6 runs.

Not many bowlers had picked a 5 wicket haul in this world t-20 Tournament and Ahsan Malik was one of them and emerged as a leading wicket takers this tournament in Bangladesh.

Dale Steyn : South Africa Vs New Zealand 

 The Steyn Gun was not at his very best until this happened. A game against New Zealand, the furious South African bowler picked up 4/17 in a close game. Ross Taylor's 62 was not enough to win the game for Kiwis.

Needing 7 runs off 6 balls, Kiwis just managed to score 4 runs. what a final over. No wonder he is the best bowler in all the three formats of the game. Steyn was unstoppable in the last over even after been hit for a 4 by Nathan McCullum.

A Ripper, this game is turned to be! Take a bow Dale Steyn. 

Samuel Badree : West Indies Vs Bangladesh

A tournament that favored spinners a lot, this West Indian Leg Spinner was not a exception and was hard to pick. He proved to be lethal and one of the most economical bowlers in the world t-20

Samuel Badree's 4 for 15, the best by a West Indian bowler in World T20. He was a game changer when ever he came into bowl.

Ravi Ashwin : India Vs Australia :

He had been India's front line bowler this tournament, a leading wicket taker in the world t-20. Most of his wickets came, when ever he bowled his lethal Carrom Ball.

Against Australia, the spinner picked up 4/11 in 3.2 overs he bowled and Aussies were bowled out for a score below 100

One of the best bowling performances this t-20 world cup had seen. Ashwin had been economical and picked up wickets almost every match.

Logan Van Beek : Netherlands Vs England 

 He was instrumental in England's shambolic defeat against Netherlands. England were all out for just 88 runs chasing 133 and Van Beek Picked up three wickets for 9 runs in the two overs he bowled.

Netherlands signed off from the world t-20 in style, their Last match against England would be much remembered. A surprise spell from Van Beek.

Hope to see more from the Netherlands in future. They had been amazing.

Rangana Herath : Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

A dream spell, Rangana Herath. New Zealand had no clue what so ever, they were bowled out for just 60 runs and Sri Lanka were in the semi finals, defending a low score, 119. 

Herath picked up a five wicket hual giving away just 3 runs. The figures would be remembered for much longer time, 3.3 - 3 - 5

A wonderful tournament to be remembered! An exiting tournament comes to an end!