September 11, 2008

ICC Awards 2008 Round Up

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:24 pm by techtwist

West Indian Batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul bagged the ICC Player Of The Year. With this award, he is the fifth player to receive this prestigious award. He out did the other contenders in Greame Smith, Dale Steyn and Mahela Jayawardene.

South African Dale Steyn was awarded with the Test Player Of The Year. He was in a phenomenal form last year where he became the fastest to 50 test wickets. India’s ODI skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was awarded the ICC ODI Player Of The Year. Even he has been in good touch steering his team home on many occations.

His deputy, Yuvraj Singh bagged the inaugral ICC T20 Player Of The Year for the six sixes that he hit in the T20 World Cup. The newest Spin Sensation, Ajantha Mendis ran away with the Emerging Player Of The Year Award for his splendid performance against the Indians. The Australian Umpire, Simon Taufel, got his fifth award as the Umpire Of The Year after being voted by all the Captains of the 10 member nations and the 8 match referees.

Sri Lanka received the award for Spirit Of Cricket for the second consecutive time for they have managed to behave very well on the field. English Skipper, Charlotte Edwards won the Women’s Player Of The Year after steering her team to a 4-0 win over the Indians. The ICC Test and ODI twelve have been announced and here is the list.

ICC Test Team of the Year : Greame Smith (SA, capt), Virender Sehwag (Ind), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Jacques Kallis (SA), Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wk), Brett Lee (Aus), Ryan Sidebottom (Eng), Dale Steyn (SA), Muttiah Muralitharan (SL). 12th man: Stuart Clark (Aus).

ICC ODI Team of the Year : Hershelle Gibbs (SA), Sachin Tendulkar (Ind), Ricky Ponting (Aus, capt), Younis Khan (Pak), Andrew Symonds (Aus), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind, wk), Farveez Maharoof (SL), Daniel Vettori (NZ), Brett Lee (Aus), Mitchell Johnson (Aus), Nathan Bracken (Aus). 12th man: Salman Butt (Pak)

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August 3, 2008

India Level The Series At Galle

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:46 pm by techtwist

Indians have done it again when their backs were completely against the wall. What a way to comeback after suffering the third biggest loss? No one expected India to win the game. But then, the Indians have proved their mettle once again. Anil Kumble said he was not surprised by this victory as he had full faith in his team and knew what every member was capable of in their dressing room.

First, it was Sehwag in the first innings with that magnificient 201*. It was his 11 century on a trot which has been converted into a 150+ score. What a feat? It was a terrific display of his mental strength to comeback in such a way after the first test loss. He single handedly took India to a position of comfort. Then it was Harbhajan Singh who picked up six wickets to back Sehwag’s effort. Sehwag and Gambhir again propelled India to a good start and as usual, the Indians fumbled out of nowhere. The worst part is that they looked pretty comfortable against the spinners.

Then Ishanth Sharma and Zaheer Khan bowled beautifully. Both looked good for more wickets. Ishanth Sharma in particular was at his devastating best. It reminded me of his duel with Ricky Ponting at Perth ( Listen To What Sanjay Manjrekar Had To Say About Ishanth Sharma ). He was consistently around the 135-140 kmph mark. His spell was inspirational. By the time the spinners came, the damage was already done. Credit should go to the 19 year old lad for his efforts. Then Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble completed the other formalities and we won by 170 runs.

There were few more areas where we could improve and if we can get that right it would be a another cracker of a contest in a weeks time. Mahela Jayawardene was so very impressed with Ishanth Sharma that he has already hinted at a pace bowler in his line-up. The highlight of this match was how the openers nullified Ajantha Mendis and Muralidaran. It was a treat to watch them dominate the Sri Lankan spinners. If they can repeat the show, we can probably bag this series.

July 24, 2008

Sri Lankans Dominate

Posted in Cricket tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:12 pm by techtwist

After a splendid batting display assisted with dismal fielding performance, Sri Lankans have the upper hand on the Indians. At the end of Day 2 at SSC, Sri Lankans ended up with a score of 422 for 4 having recovered from a shaky start of 85 for 2. Malinda Warnapura ( 115 ) brought up his second ton in his fifth test match and he displayed his like to play spinners dominating the Indian spinners with ease.

His innings finally came to an end when he was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh. It was then Mahela Jayawardene’s ( 136 ) turn to dominate the Indian attack. He was at his very best and milked the bowlers with ease. He was chasing Sir Don Bradman’s record of most number of centuries at a venue. Sir Don Bradman had scored nine centuries at MCG and Jayawardene succeeded in equalling that feat. He has also scored almost a quarter of his test runs at SSC which also turns out to be his home ground. He has scored 2,167 runs at an average of 83.34 in 20 tests which is also a record for the most number of runs at a venue.

Then it was the turn of another lad from the same place, the hard hitting Thilan Samaraweera ( 111* ), to score his ton. He paced his innings beautifully at looked very comfortable against the Indian attack. He will come out tomorrow to start of afresh. But this innings was a treat to watch. This is the first time that three batsmen have scored centuries at the Singhalese Sports Club.

The other notable points were the review system which came into play in the 46th over when umpire Mark Benson ruled down a decision. However the batsman was declared not out. There were two more such reviews, both unsuccessful from the Indian perspective. Overall, a very productive day for the Lankans who now sit merrily atop.

May 18, 2008

The Final Nail In The Coffin

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:26 am by techtwist

One of the closest games of the IPL would be one between Delhi Daredevils and King’s XI Punjab yesterday. Though the game was shortened due to the rain, that didn’t take the excitement away. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir started of well for Delhi Daredevils, Virender Sehwag hitting 47 runs of 19 balls before the rain halted play.

The game was then reduced to 11 overs and both Vireder Sehwag and his other team mates looked out of sorts not being able to make enough runs in the last three overs, specially the last over yielding just 3 runs bowled by James Hopes. Neither did the wind help the cause and Sehwag managed just 4 runs of the last 7 balls he faced.

Delhi Daredevils were very aggressive from the start and never let thigs slip of. At one point of time, Kings needed another 90 runs of 42 balls. Then came in Sehwag who gave away 22 runs of his over which turned the tide. Pomersbach and Jayawardene put up a fifty stand of just 19 balls. The score after 7.5 overs for Kings was 88/3 and one dot ball could have tied the game. But Jayawardene smashed a crucial six to seal the game for Kings which proved to be crucial after another rain interruption that saw the game called off. That one six saw the entire match turn around. It was very close indeed.

March 21, 2008

IPL Team Review – Mohali

Posted in IPL tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:14 pm by techtwist

The team from Mohali looks all the more balanced and has some of the best match-winners in its ranks. You can’t judge what each one can do when it matters the most. The team Board was represented by Preity Zinta on behalf on Ness Wadia of the Wadia Groups. The team was brought by them for USD 76 million. Yuvraj Singh has been named as its Icon player.

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Irfan Pathan – He is supposed to one of the best All-Rounders in the Indian Team. He is among the top 15 in World Cricket too. His ability to swing the ball both ways makes him a tricky customer. His ability with the bat is also pretty good. He can build the innings or go hard at the opponents when required. The cause of concern is that he is not in his best rhythm. The best part is that he is a refined bowler now and has been getting back his swing. He was brought by Mohali for USD 925,000.

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Brett Lee – No guesses why Preity Zinta was so keen on having Bree Lee in her team. He is a match-winning Bowler. He can rip through any batting order and for now, he is the quickest one. His outswingers can entice any top-class Batsman. He too has the ability with the Bat and can play some staggering shots. His stats is there for the proof. He was brought by the Mohali Team for USD 900,000. He is one of my favourite Cricketers.

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Kumar Sangakkara – Another potential match winner. He can take games away without much fuss. He can dominate attacks as he wishes and is one of the best Wicket-Keepers in operation. He brings such a calming influence to the field which would make even the toughest of run chases, easier. He was brought by Mohali Team for USD 700,000.

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Shantakumaran Sreesanth – He is the one among the new crop of Indian pacers. I don’t think he needs anyintroduction. Hehas done enough for the World to notice him. But he has to develope to make sure that he focusses it to improve his game. He has the potential to pick wickets in bunches but can give away runs too. Preity Zinta was also very keen on bagging him just because his presence itself would bring in the excitement to the game. He was brought by Mohali Team for USD 625,000.

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Mahela Jayawardene – Another proven customer. He is one of those prolific Batsman who can make sure that run scoring is not tough. He can score quickly as well as hold the innings together simultaneously. One thing I love about this player is that he is very good in taking calculated risks. His experience can be quite crucial. He was brought by Mohali team for USD 475,000.

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Piyush Chawla – He is one of the budding Cricketers. Being a leg spinner, he might take sometime to settle in. But he has proved his worth already. He bowls with such control. Just look at his performance in the previous tour of England. He is supposed to be the next in line after Anil Kumble retires. I must say that proper effort has been taken to groom him well. He was brought by Mohali Team for USD 400,000.

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Ramnaresh Sarwan – If you think that this team still needs that extra bit of the “THING” then here he is. Another match-winner and a prolific fielder. He has taken West Indies to the target many a times even when the top order had collapsed. You can expect some fire-works from him in this format. He can strike the ball cleanly. He was brought by the Mohali Team for USD 225,000.

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Simon Katich – Here comes the Australian Professionalism. He can be considered as an All-Rounder. His ability with the Bat doesn’t need any mention. He is also a useful left arm Chinaman bowler. He can bowl those decisive spells in short bursts. He is an agile player capable of playing at any number. He was brought by the Mohali Team for USD 200,000.

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Romesh Powar – He is a good spinner. But I still see him as the only jinx in the armoury. His fielding is a big question mark and his batting is a mystery. In this format, every player must be able to contribute in all the departments. He’d rather warm the benches on most occations. But may get a nod if his Bowling is in a good rhythm. But still I feel that he is not suited for this format. He was brought by the Mohali Team for USD 170,000.

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Yuvraj Singh – He is the Icon player of this team. He is capable of everything from big hits to electifying fielding. His slow left arm bowling may also play a crucial part. He can rip through any Bowling attack. His 666666 will be a sweet memory for his team mates a nightmare for the opponents. He is capable of repeating the show again. Barring his current form, everything suits this man. He is the apt player for such a format. He is being paid USD 1.064 million.

This team, as I said, looks balanced. The team is to be coached by Tom Moody. They are a potential threat. The team is valued at USD 81,684,000.

For details about the second round of bidding, check out this link and for details about Mohali’s Schedule, check out this link.