Sep 23, 2011

RCB Vs Warriors - Time To Pay Homage - CLT20 2011 First Match

First I would like to pay homage to India's most graceful, charismatic and witty cricketer ever! MAK Pataudi Sir I will miss your wit and humour the most.:(

CLT20 got off to a rapping start! I am not a big fan of rap but CLT20 being a global tournament it was only apt to start with some rap n zap.

As we move onwards to the cricket,RCB Vs Warriors didn't look like an mouth watering encounter to me at the start.For I believed the Bangalore pitch suited for the home side. They had posted huge scores at chinnaswamy stadium during IPL.

So I thought RCB would win even though I didn't expect gayle to be firing given the fact he hasn't played any form of  competitive cricket since IPL.

Warriors won the toss and asked RCB to bat. If it hadn't been said enough already its bound be dew around during day and night matches in Bangalore especially during the winter months.

The RCB put into bat started aggressively enough Gayle the umpteenth person to prove me wrong this week :) looked in great touch to my surprise.One of his trademark hoick landed in the stands he was all set to repeat his IPL 2011 opening innings until warriors captain flew like a butterfly to pull of an sensational catch at long on.It must have stung like bee for Gayle who looked good until then.

The RCB innings was like one of those community events where everyone chips in with a gig or two.Couple of 30's from Kohli and Devillers, 20's from Gayle, Tiwary, and Kaif.Community events are great only when they get some one who can guide them through.It didn't happen in RCB innings, considering the position they were they should have added at least 10 more runs to the score.

The tail enders had to face the final overs of the RCB innings, that's not right in a 20 over game and they just about managed to get 8 runs from it. Unlike RCB, the warriors seemed to have a plan, they wanted one player to play through the innings and there was only one man who is going to do it for them you can see it from a mile way really!.

Ashwell Prince is not your typical swash buckling rock n lola kinda of cricketer but yesterday he was all that and more. Come on he was going bam! bam! bam! against Gayle.For all those who think Gayle is part timer think again he almost pulled of matches with ball in his hand. He is more than decent T20 bowler. No slog, no muscle, & no fancy dancing at the crease yet A.Prince hit two straight sixes over long off first and then , when Vettori brought long on in and dropped mid off back he went over long on now!

T20 cricket at its best from the batsmen but RCB fielding left lot to be desired, they were trying their best but nothing seemed to counter their butter fingers.Even Kohli of all people dropped a catch from Ashwell Prince.

When the spinner were brought into the attack the match was evenly poised but they pulled things RCB's way with some tight bowling.The only disadvantage was that two left armers where bowling to a left hander.If i was the captain I would have given Kohli a go! Just to break the rhythm.

When the 5th wicket fell Warriors captian walked in, Harsha and Ian Chappel were going on about how Botha missed a trick by not promoting himself higher up the order. I also think it could have been a good idea.Similar things have been said about MSD as well.Sometimes you need to plan for the worst case scenario.

Botha was in no mood to play himself in,got off the mark with a boundary.He raised off to 20 in just 9 balls when its was time for the final 3 overs. Ball was given to Gayle, warriors still needing 35 runs from 18 balls.The first 3 balls of the over produced just 5 runs then botha went ballistic taking 13 runs of the next three. Suddenly the match turned upside down, one over is all it takes to change fortunes in T20.
Then it was upto the young Arvind to produce an exceptional final over to win it for RCB.With 7 runs needed from the 6 balls Arvind produced 3 dot balls in a row with the third one being the wicket of Botha. Is it the "C" word time again ? Another SA team another match that they should  have won easy going down to the wire.

Arvind bowled another great delivery letting Boje to score just one.Parnell the new batsmen was now clear he needed a boundary as the equation has gain shifted to RCB with 6 needed of 2 balls.He spanked the next ball straight past the bowler for a four! Wow! The crowd went numb, the RCB dug out looked tensed, warriors dug out looked even more so. The final ball drilled to mid off, Nicky Boje would have qualified for the Olympics had it been a track & field. He completed the couple needed before the fielder had any chance.
This CLT20 has already produced some thrilling games!! I love the fact that all the games have full entertainment value

Meanwhile In England, the English have completed a 10 wicket win over west indies (One sided match if ever was!)

Sep 19, 2011

Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Auckland Aces - Boring Pitch But A Good Match ?

All along "The Dust Bowl" and "I Dont Know How To Play Spin" brigade has been driving home the message that exciting cricket only happens on fast and bouncy green tops.Well yesterday's T20 match was as much an even contest as you will ever see.

Team Photo Auckland Aces
Its no surprise that it was an low scoring match that produced a nail biting finish.The biggest surprise for me was that the crowd seemed to be missing and that meant the entire match was played with little or no atmosphere. No advantage for the IPL team here.

KKR started off really well both Bisla and Kallis were looking comfortable.They were steadily building a good partnership and the Kallis doing the catch up to Bisla who played some outstanding back foot shots. They were 80 odd from just 9 overs.That's when the abrasiveness of the pitch and some reckless slogs started to play its part in a restricting Kolkata to just 40 runs from the next 11 overs

Both spinners and fast bowlers had assistance from the pitch.Ball started to reverse well as early as the 15 over, with former New Zealand bowler Andre Adams bowling some in-swinging toe crushers.

Auckland aces must have fancied their changes when they went into the dug out.They did lose an early wicket not because of an exceptional play from the opposition but because of their awful running between the wickets.Lou Vincent was next.He had a big grin on his face when he took strike.why? i dont know and dont care but, more of that please.people sometimes forget to enjoy the game.

Though he looked like a fish out of water against slower bowlers even with a new ball Lou Vincent did use all the loose deliveries that came his way.Infact he laid into Unadkat. Yeah the same guy who was picked for India on the SA tour :).

Once bitten twice shy, well not in this chase Lou Vincent ran himself out when hit a ball straight to Tiwary and tried to run.There was no run it.May be he knew what was coming in the next over so he was desperate to get the strike back.

Lou Vincent would have had plenty of company in the dug out.Acukland Aces's No4 and No5 went from the next 3 balls.So in the span of 4 balls Auckland Aces Lost 3 wickets :)

Its now upto the lower order and bowlers to save the match, right now I am so used to this after the Eng Vs Ind series :) then began the slow grind (or consolidation phase ) of a T20 innings, believe me even a T20 match has one.

So it was down to 21 needed for 12 balls. Kallis the captian decides its upto to him to restrict AA's.For the plan seemed to work when he clattered the stumps of Munro.Vin Diesel look alike Adams walks in and sends Kallis's length ball ten rows back. Now that's a real action hero.Some inside edges and scrambled singles latter it was 11 runs from the final over.

Lee takes over from Kallis he bowled accurately with pace hitting yorker lenght at will.I believe he must have bowled atleast three yorkers to kyle mills alone including the final ball where AA's needed 4 to win.Kyle couldn't do much other just squeeze a single to fine leg.Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs

KKR 121/6 20 Overs
AA 119/6 20 overs

Good match for the neutrals but if i was KKR fan I would not be happy with how things have paned out.They have huffed and puffed their way to a win and definitely not champions league winning

Complete Score Card here

Ruhuna v Trindiad & Tobago, CLT20 qualifier, Hyderabad

There was another match on the day between Ruhunu and Trinidad & Tobago In which the oldest person in CLT20 certain S.Jayasuriya (42) was playing.But i missed the game as there was no coverage. Seems to be one sided match (T20 standard) T&T winning the game easily.Looks like its the other Ganga who has been the playing the calypso.

S Ganga scoring 39 runs from just 15 balls.Now thats some talent.I am telling you WI  cricket is slowly coming back to life.Bishoo and Pollard were a big hit in CLT20 last time.I hope we will see some more from WI's teams.

Match Stats

Ruhunu 138/10 in 20
Trinidad & Tobago 144/5 in 20

Full scorecard of the match here

BTW the broadcasting from ESPN was crap to say the least, the camera angles were awkward and the transmission even went off in at crucial part of the match