January 27, 2010
Finally, the champs played like one and went on to win the two-match series 2-0. India beat Bangladesh convincingly by 10 wickets to ensure that they kept their number one position intact. The new ball bowlers did the trick for the Indians and restricted Bangladesh for 233 in their first essay. The score they finally reached was largely because of yet another brilliant performance by Mahmudullah Riyadh who has been in tremendous nick. He scored an unbeated 96 and batted wonderfully with the tail enders.
The Indians started off briskly as usual and both the openers scored their fifty. Sehwag was the first to be dismissed and then walked in Dravid. Gambhir missed reaching the elusive record of 6 centuries in 6 matches when he was dismissed for 68. I felt that he deserved a century for the kind of consistency he showed. Then it was the Tendulkar-Dravid show and both dominated the bowlers mercilessly. Dravid was hit on the head off a Shahdat bouncer and was declared retired hurt when on 111. Tendulkar made 143 and then Dhoni chipped in with a well made 89. Indians eventually reached 544/8 and ended their innings as Yuvraj Singh was out with a torn ligament.
Bangladeshis made it a point to apply themselves and play and Tamim Iqbal scored a wonderful 151. He was well supported by Junaine Siddique (55) and Shahdat Hossain (40). They were comfortably placed at 228/3 at the end of Day 3 and trailing India by just 83 runs. But Day 4 had a different story altogether. Zaheer Khan riped through their bating line-up and ended with figures of 87/7 in the innings and the match tally of 10 wickets. Bangladesh set India a total of 2 for victory and then the Indians won the match when they ran 2 byes off the bowling of Shakib. The Bangladeshi have themselves to blame for as they imploded to defeat.
January 21, 2010
India won the first test at Mirpur by a comfortable margin of 113 runs, thanks largely to the Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan and Amit Mishra who bowled with a lot of fire. At the begining of the final day’s play, India needed another 8 wickets for victory. The Bangladeshis kept losing wickets at regular intervals and it looked like the game would end even before lunch. But the actual resistance started only after the lunch break. It was a lone effort by just one Bangladeshi.
Mushfiqur Rahim played very sensibly and kept one end tight. But the wickets kept falling at the other end and he was running out of partners. He then took the attack to the Indians and played splendidly and scored his maiden test century. It was a phenomenal effort as he looked very solid at the crease. Had another couple of other batsmen got in, anything would have been possible. He was the last man dismissed. This was the fastest century by a Bangladesh batsman in a test match.
For the Indians, Mishra picked up 4 wickets, Ishant picked 3 and Zaheer Khan picked 2. They looked in good shape. Sachin Tendulkar was declared the Man of the match for his splendid century in the first innings. He also praised the efforts of the bowlers and Gautam Gambhir and was happy about Ishant Sharma’s rhythm. He said that he would like to see Ishant bowl well in the coming match also.
Sehwag was repeatedly questioned about Bangladesh’s bowling effort and he said that they still didn’t pick up 20 wickets. When asked about why he declared when they were 8 down in the second innings he replied that he did it to win the game. When asked about Rahim’s effort, he said that he batted well. The reporters tried to catch Sehwag off gaurd by asking him about his personal performance against Bangladesh and his wish to play well against them this time around. They asked him whether he was satisfied with his performance in the game and he said yes immediately. Thats Sehwag for you.
During the course of the game, Laxman injured his hand and has been declared out of the series. There hasn’t been any replacement sent for him. Dhoni and Harbhajan have recovered from their injury and are available for the next test starting on Sunday. Sreesanth also pulled his hamstring today and there has been no news about him as yet. If he’s out, it would probably mean that Harbhajan Singh would replace him and Murali Vijay would replace V.V.S. Laxman. Dhoni would walk in strainghtly to replace Dinesh Karthik and also take over the captaincy.
Picture Courtesy : Cricinfo
January 20, 2010
Yet another century by Indian opener Gautam Gambhir ensured a solid foundation and the Indian middle order built on this to set Bangladesh a target of 415 runs. This is Gambhir’s 5th test ton in five consecutive Tests placing him among some of the famous names in the history of Cricket. He was ably supported by India’s night watchman Amit Mishra who scored a well made 50. More over, the pair scored their runs at quite a brisk rate before they were separated. That ensured that the Indians had enough time to pile on some good runs through the day’s play.
After the fall of Mishra, almost every Indian batsman got a good start and then perished when they looked set. V.V.S. Laxman started slowly but later paced his innings beautifully to score 69 and remained not out at the end of the innings. There was some good contributions throughout which saw India go past 400 run mark. Sehwag kept up his promise and ensured that the Indians didn’t lose all their wickets (which would have made it 20 wickets in a test match). India declared when the score was 413/8.
This was also India’s second best run-rate when scoring over 400 in an innings. Indians batted just for about 20 minutes after the tea break. The Bangladeshi batsmen were troubled by the Indian pace attack. Zaheer Khan was very accurate and kept on asking the batsmen questions. He was hitting the right length from the begining and his perseverence paid off when he had Imrul Kayes caught behind. He was pretty unlucky as Shahriar Nafees was dropped by Laxman off his bowling. But Ishant Sharma ensured that there wasn’t much damage by picking up Nafees later.
Everything is set for an interesting final day’s play. Bangladesh need another 348 runs while the Indians have to snap up another 8 wickets to come out victorious. Anything is possible but I feel that the Indians have a good chance of going one up in the series. They should attack the Bangladeshis tomorrow and should never let them out of the groove. The Bangladeshis looked scratchy today and India should capitalise on that.
Gambhir’s Feat :
16 & 137 – India Vs New Zealand – Napier – 26th March, 2009.
23 & 167 – India Vs New Zealand – Wellington – 3rd April, 2009.
1 & 114 – India Vs Sri lanka – Ahmedabad – 16th November, 2009.
167 & DNB – India Vs Sri Lanka – Kanpur – 24th November, 2009.
23 & 116 – India Vs Bangladesh – Chittagong – 17th January, 2010.
After the dull second day where only about 30 overs of play was possible, there was finally some sun light and hence some entertainment. Indians had managed a respectable 243 on Day 2, thanks largely to Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 105. This was his 44th Test ton and he also went past the 13,000 test runs mark. He batted well with the tail to ensure a decent score.
The Bangladeshis started well with a 50+ opening stand and lost way to be 59/3 on Day 2. Day 3 was not very different and they were struggling at 98/6 before Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah fought back, Rahim scored 44 before being dismissed. Mahmudullah carried on his wonderful form from the ODI series and went on to score his maiden test fifty. He was later dismissed for a well compiled 66. Bangladesh were bowled out for 242, 1 run short of India’s total. The Indian bowlers shared the spoils with Zaheer Khan and Amit Mishra picking up three wickets each and Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth picking two wickets each.
Indians started off well in their second essay and were scoring runs at will. Both the openers took the attack to the opposition and were successful. Virender Sehwag fell when the score read 90. He scored 45 runs by then. India sent in Amit Mishra as the night watchman and he did a good job. At the end of day 3, India are 122/1 with Gautam Gambhir unbeaten on 47 and Amit Mishra on 24. The Indians will try to force a result which would subject for interesting last two days.
January 19, 2010
There was a lot of drama today during the player auction and there were many surprises in store for everyone. So many unexpected twists happened and here is a summary of the auction.
Kings XI Punjab : They started the bid with a budget of $675,000 as they had already brought the West Indian batsman Adrian Barath outside the auction. They went hard to get Keiron Pollard and Kemar Roach. But they had to give up once the bids went outside their budget. At the end, they brought Yusuf Abdulla for the base price of $50,000 and then out-bid Bangalore to purchase Mohammad Kaif.
Delhi Daredevils : They started of cautiously and in fact didn’t bid for any player in the first pool. When the second round started, they straight away fought for Wayne Parnell. They competed with Deccan Chargers and out-bid them to buy Parnell for $610,000. Parnell is the third costliest South African player. Delhi Daredevils tried getting Kaif for the remaining amount, but they were out-bid by Bangalore.
Mumbai Indians : They started aggressively and went on to buy Keiron Pollard after the tie-breaker. They brought him for an undisclosed amount which is estimated at about $3 million. They had competition from Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkatta. They later brought the U-19 Indian player Harshal Patel. Nita Ambani admitted that it was a plan to rope in a batting all-rounder and thats why they went all out.
Chennai Super Kings : They went into almost all the top bids but found themselves out played by the other franchises. It was pretty clear that they were searching for a replacement for the injured Andrew Flintoff. They tried bidding for Shane Bond, Kemar Roach, Keiron Pollard and also Eoin Morgan. But they got none. They finally recalled Justin kemp into the bid and got him for a base price of $100,000 and then also signed up Thissara Perera for $50,000. There were no competitors for these players.
Deccan Chargers : They were very calculative with their bidding. They tried hard to secure players like Shane Bond, Keiron Pollard and Wayne Parnell. But they didn’t succeed. They successfully got Kemar Roach after keeping Chennai and Punjab at bay. They brought hime for $720,000. This left them with $30,000 in the budget and they never took part any further. They finally brought the Indian U-19 player Harmeet Singh who was a part of their team the last time around. He was brought for 800,000 INR.
Kolkatta Knight Riders : They were another team who was playing the waiting game. They had earlier released Ricky Ponting to free up a slot for foreign player. They tried hard to secure Keiron Pollard but lost him in the tie-breaker. They pressed hard and went on to secure Shane Bond by ousting their competitors in the tie-breaker. Since they ran out of budget, they never took part further.
Bangalore Royal Challengers : They played a rather subdued hand. They intially tried hard for Pollard, Bond, Parnell and Roach. But then they slowly gave up before out-bidding Chennai to sign up Eoin Morgan for $220,000. Then they tried to secure Kaif but failed. They got a chance to choose an U-19 player first and they picked up the U-19 skipper Ashok Menaria for 800,000 INR.
Rajasthan Royals : Just like the bidding in the first year, they played very slow. They had bought Rob Quiney which left a spot open. They never went in for any big names on the list. Rather byt he time they placed their first bid, most of them were out of budget. They later went on to sign-up ex-Australian cricketer Damien Martyn for a base price of $100,000 and then also bought Adam Voges for $50,000. They didn’t go for any other options and left $600,000 unused.
THE SHOCKERS!!! – None of the Pakistani players were signed up by the franchises. Even Afridi wasn’t picked up. Doug Bollinger also never got a bid despite some good performances in the recent times. Same thing applies to Phil Hughes. I also expected bids for Graeme Swann who also went unsold.