12 May 2010

Mini-Ashes In The Making!

World T20 Day 12

IND - SL [scorecard]
WI - AUS [scorecard]

Ashish Nehra, the leak on legs  (c) AFP
India finally tried to show teeth, but waiting for an Indian pitch to put themselves into the contention was maybe not the right strategy and they are rightfully going home now. Batting first, their total wasn't quite high enough to tie the Lankans down, the SL batters played boldly, belted especially poor Ashish Nehra, whose pitch it not quite was I claim, and didn't have a problem getting to 143 to kick India out of the tournament. Eventually they also surpassed the Indian total of 163 with a cracker of a six and basically also kicked the hosts out of the cup. Sri Lanka looked fairly muscular and the English will have to get prepared for a hard fight. Jayawardene and Jayasuryia were useless again but Dilshan, up at 3, and the middle order showed no major extent of respect for the Indian bowlers and took their team to the next round.

I was actually looking forward to seeing Dinesh Karthik; fielding several wicket keepers at the same time is the shit, and I think he also took a great catch to get rid of Jayasuryia; also I seem to have the faintest of memories that he scores well at the domestic level, but he couldn't chip in with the bat, pitifully. Overall my thumbs were pressed for India, because they are my favourite opponent, but they are just too weak at the moment to deserve advancement. Scheduling 500 home series against themselves will not help to improve the quality of their overseas cricket, but it satisfies the milestone hunger of the Indian crowd and will thus be the primary goal of the Indian cricket administration.

But that's just my own take, others know more:
Interesting analysis of the Indian misery, by Sidharth Monga/Cricinfo


WI v AUS - Groundhog Day, anyone? I felt catapulted back into the Australian summer.

The Windies had already lost their berth in the semi finals due to Sri Lanka's solid performance against India, Chris Gayle didn't see the ghost of a chance to overcome Oz by fred knows how many runs, and played accordingly. After his suicide in the first over, when he asked Nannes for the noose, WI scampered to 105. The low score did not only result from the broken West Indian will, but underlined impressively that Oz are the hottest fielding side on the planet.

After Gay-Lo's departure Chanderpaul tried to annoy the bowlers a little but Chucky the killer doll Mitch got fed up with him pretty quickly; Dussey, equipped with the agility and reflexes of a cat-of-prey, held on to the bullet. Chucky is always on the hunt for crazy new ways to kill the batsman, and so he also accounted for Dwayne Bravo's wicket, when he bowled at Sarwan, who hammered the ball straight back at the stumps of the non-striker's end, with the ball clipping Mitch's fingertips and Bravo already under way. When it rains it pours, especially in the Caribbean, as England will confirm.

Steven Peter Devereux TFOASB* Smith  (c) AFP
At this stage of the match Sir Lord Awesome aka TFOASB* entered the arena and a minute later Deonarine left the latter. Chucky never disappears for good and after Smithy's wicket he found it was the right time to end the life of Ramdin. The Legsmith turned green with jealousy, put another log on the fire and grilled two in one go. As if this wasn't murderous enough he also held on to the mother of all return-catches and that was when I fell off the chair and lay on the floor twitching.

I clawed my way back to sanity just in time to witness Dussey's merciless double strike; quite obviously it was time to step on the Windie tail and the ever-so-reliable Duss took just one over to get them down to 9. The cake was eaten but a resistant, big black angry spinner wanted to claim his minute in the limelight and lofted Watson for six. But Benn's awkward looking cameo ended abruptly when Watto rediscovered his ability to clean up a tail on a slow wicket. The Australian chase was a bit cheap, a lot of nurdlery and play-it-safe patchy-scratchy, but Braddin had some fun with the bat and the initially mentioned Caribbean diva closed the innings by peppering the ball to the boundary for five wides.

Now I feel like a fat cat in the sun, grinning all around the head and looking forward to meeting Pakistan. Will Oz get wiggled and screeched to death or are we going to see just another sequel of the endless Australian summer? Tomorrow England will need the help of a priest to battle down the Lankan demons. Good luck Poms on your way to the Ashes prelude!

* The Future Of Australian Spin Bowling



greyblazer said...

The problem with India is their bowling attack as they have too many bits and pieces players. It was good to see the honest trier V.Kumar getting a chance and he bowled well though his last over went for runs. I don't expect a debutant to get it right in the end overs.

Indian batsmen have to play a lot better if they want to replace the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. India were more successful away from home in the last 10 years mainly because of Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid and of course Sehwag.

Anyway what happened to Uthappa and Kohli as from whatever little IPL I saw I can say that for the first time Uthappa seemed to have improved as he played more in the V and played a few authoritative pull shots. The standard of IPL isn't great but I could see that he has made adjustments to his technique. Kohli isn't bad either.

All this talk about mini Ashes is fine but Lanka at St. Lucia would trouble England.

Wes said...

"All this talk about mini Ashes is fine but Lanka at St. Lucia would trouble England."

Hence the recommendation to bring a priest.

But I want them to win so much. Simply because the idea of having to play SL once again, on a slow surface, is revolting. Although, to be honest, a final between Pakistan and SL would be a cracker too. LOL

And I am glad we didn't have to see Kohli.

Wes said...

Wait a mo!! The final will be in Barbados again! God if that pitch was a man I would marry it! Bring it on!!!!

GreenJJ said...

Typical that the Sri Lankan middle order finds form just as they're about to play England!

Don't know what to say about Australia, so I'll stick with one word: Unbeatable.

half-tracker said...

Ha, Wes, I wouldn't call Mahela useless! He is the rock of my fantasy league team!

I'd laugh if Pakistan topple the Aussies, though. I can see it now: SPD Smith: 4-0-49-0


Wes said...

J-Man you will do it. Don't be afraid, don't collapse, stand and fight with sword in hand, heavy metal till the end. My Pom-Hate-Love-o-Meter is very much on the love side of things at the moment and that has always been a good sign for every England match so far.

Half-Tracker goddammit, this is my innermost fear and he knows that he will have to expect that. I wish I could protect him from that but he will have to go through it I'm afraid. (Not that it would do any harm to his sacrosanctity). But maybe he can take a surprise wicket, with good work in the field. I hope the pacers and the Dussmeister will step up here.

half-tracker said...

I wonder if Watto and Warner will click together again for the semi? It could be curtains for Pakistan if they do. Duss and Muss will be vital too as Pup will just waste some balls to make the contest even!

greyblazer said...

For Pakistan to win the match they have to somehow get an early wicket and let Clarke bat for 20 overs. Pakistan's fielders can show their talent in the field by dropping Clarke three or four times.

If he bats for most of the overs others would get frustrated and get out and Pakistan can win!

Wes said...

I have no clue what the semis will bring to be honest. Oz are able to ram Pak into the ground unsharpened. The question is, are they going to do it or not. I live too close to the English not to be worried. Agreement @HT, if the top order fires (this applies to both teams), things will look friendly.
Clarke will decide about his actual spot depending on the match situation. He is so wonderfully pragmatic.

Bugger all clue about today's Pom-SL match :/