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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dhoni and Jadeja crush England

India 300 for 7 (Dhoni 87*, Raina 61) beat England 174 (Cook 60, Jadeja 3-34) by 126 runs 
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A unique follow-through from MS Dhoni, India v England, 1st ODI, Hyderabad, October 14, 2011
MS Dhoni's hard-hitting 87 not out was the bedrock of India's victory 

MS Dhoni marked India's homecoming with a brutal innings of 87 not out from 70 balls, before the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja sparked a dramatic English batting collapse, as the team that failed to win a single international fixture on their recent tour of England returned to form with a crushing 126-run victory at Hyderabad.
Dhoni's performance was his fourth half-century in as many international innings, but whereas the last three had been insufficient to force victory, this performance was more reminiscent of his last performance in a home international - his crushing 91 not out in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April.
After winning his first toss in six attempts against England, Dhoni chose to bat first on a slow surface, but India were struggling on 139 for 4 after 34 overs before he and Suresh Raina turned on the after-burners as a further 161 were added in the final third of the innings. As had regularly been the case in England, he started cautiously against a disciplined attack, and had reached 5 from 18 balls before belting his first boundary, from Ravi Bopara, to signal India's late charge.
In total, Dhoni belted 10 fours and one six in his innings, the latter coming from a trademark helicopter flick off Steven Finn in the penultimate over of the innings. Finn had started his day's work with impressive pace and accuracy, and should have had a first-over wicket when Jonathan Trott dropped a sitter off Ajinkya Rahane at second slip - a moment that only the 26,000 crowd were able to witness, thanks to a TV rights dispute that caused a three-over blackout. But Finn finished with the bruised figures of 1 for 67 in nine overs, with his solitary wicket that of Raina in his seventh over, moments after he had been battered for another six over long-on.
Raina, whose brutality against the full length ball was a sight to behold, crunched 61 from 55 balls, with both of his sixes coming from the final four balls of his innings. Like Dhoni, he had opted for circumspection in the early part of his stay, but the longer his 62-run stand for the fifth wicket continued, the more boisterous the Hyderabad crowd became.
It had been a more muted affair in the early part of India's innings. Parthiv Patel was run out at the non-striker's end for 9 as Finn fingertipped a Rahane drive onto the stumps, while Rahane himself had reached 15 from 41 balls when Graeme Swann dragged him out of his crease with his third delivery of the match to give Craig Kieswetter an easy stumping.
In his first match since recovering from concussion, Gautam Gambhir confirmed his fitness with a fluent 32 from 33 balls. However, Jade Dernbach's liquorice allsorts proved hard to pick and tough to get away on the surface, and the slower ball that did for Gambhir was a beauty. It looped up above the batsman's eyeline and dropped sharply to rap his shin in front of leg stump.
At 79 for 3 after 18 overs, the game was very much in the balance. However, England's position could, and probably should, have been even better after 25 overs, when Samit Patel repeated Finn's trick of dropping his fingertips on a straight drive. It was Raina this time who was in peril as the bails were dislodged, but after a lengthy delay for the TV adjudication, he was given the benefit of the doubt by the third umpire, Sudhir Ashani.
In the final analysis, however, it really didn't matter. Though Alastair Cook continued his impressive form as England captain with 60 from 63 balls, his dismissal in the 23rd over of the innings precipated a dramatic collapse at the hands of Jadeja and R Ashwin. England tumbled from 111 for 2 to 134 for 7 in the space of 40 balls, and only Samit Patel (16) and the No. 10, Finn, with a run a ball 18, provided any resistance.
Praveen Kumar, India's star bowler from their ill-fated tour of England, had launched India's defence in fine style, opening up with a maiden to Cook, and he had not conceded a run when he extracted Kieswetter with his eighth delivery, a full-length ball that jagged off the seam to take a thin edge through to Dhoni.
The loss of their top-order powerhitter caused England to rejig their conventional batting order, with Kevin Pietersen emerging at No. 3 ahead of the more staid Trott. The plan looked to be paying off as Pietersen launched his innings with ominous resolve, but having struck three fours in a 28-ball 19, he attempted a quick single to mid-on where Ashwin nailed him with a direct hit.
Trott then appeared at No. 4, and for 13.3 overs he and Cook steadied the innings, adding 71 for the third wicket to give England a solid platform. But then, having brought up his fifty at exactly a run a ball, Cook gave his innings away with a loose clip to deep midwicket off Ravindra Jadeja, and thwacked his pad with his bat in frustration as he left the crease.
Worse was to follow for England two overs later. Trott, whose 26 from 42 balls had been a typically measured performance, attempted an ungainly smear across the line against Jadeja and lost his leg stump, and eight balls later, Ravi Bopara drove loosely at Ashwin and chipped a simple return catch to the bowler.
Jadeja by now was on a roll with the crowd fully behind him, and he extended England's collapse to four wickets in 26 balls when Jonny Bairstow, the hero of the run-chase in Cardiff, last month, also offered up a return catch. His figures after four overs were 3 for 17, and England's unbeaten run against India in 2011 was soon all over.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow bowlers take Kolkata to dramatic win

Kolkata Knight Riders 121 for 6 (Bisla 45, Kallis 33, Mills 2-24) beat Auckland Aces 119 for 6 (Vincent 40, Yusuf 2-21) beat by two runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Kolkata Knight Riders recovered to successfully defend 121 against Champions League debutants Auckland Aces. Having chosen to bat first, Kolkata ran away with 72 for 0 in the first eight overs before the tenacious Auckland side pulled the game back with just 49 runs in the remaining 12. Lou Vincent then scored 30 of his 40 runs in boundaries, threatening a huge net run-rate advantage, but his run-out was followed by Yusuf Pathan's two wickets in two balls, and a squeeze then by Kolkata's slower bowlers on a two-paced pitch. It came down to 22 off the last two. Andre Adams hit Jacques Kallis for a straight six to get 11 off the 19th, but Brett Lee's yorker proved to be too good for him and Kyle Mills.
Kolkata Knight Riders 121 for 6 (Bisla 45, Kallis 33, Mills 2-24) v Auckland Aces 
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
We often tend to pigeonhole New Zealand sides for their tenacity, but Auckland Aces did little to correct that preconceived notion on their first day in the Champions League T20, 2011. Kolkata Knight Riders were a runaway train at the start of the sides' first qualifier, racing away to 72 for 0 in eight overs, but, led by Michael Bates' left-arm seam, Auckland pulled the game back through accurate bowling and athletic fielding. Twice bowlers hit the stumps, twice did the fielders, and Kolkata's last 49 runs came for the loss of six wickets in 12 overs.
It was all going swimmingly for Kolkata until Bates, all of whose overs went for fewer than six, intervened. The openers, Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis, liked the early pace on offer, and hit the new ball cleanly. The inside-out shot over extra cover was a favourite for both, and Bisla was especially harsh on Chris Martin who bowled Test lengths to begin with. Bisla found them easy to pull and drive on the up. Auckland tried to change the pace through Andre Adams' medium pace and Ronnie Hira's left-arm spin, but Bisla and Kallis had little trouble clearing the field, which still looked to cut the singles.
Bates came back for his second spell in the 10th over, and produced a leading edge off a full toss. Bisla fell for 45 off 32, and Bates welcomed Yusuf Pathan with three straight dots. His 2-0-6-1 were easily the most respectable figures at that moment.
It was still going to plan for Kolkata. Kallis was still the anchorman, and they had made the bold move to try to capitalise on the big start from Bisla through Yusuf's promotion. However, Hira and Martin now choked up the runs a bit. Seven came off 15 balls after Bisla's dismissal. Yusuf grew impatient, and took Hira on. One boundary resulted, but he soon slogged all over a straight delivery from Adams.
Mills bowled the next over, and Kallis' frustration showed as he drop-kicked one straight to Rob Quiney at deep midwicket. His last 11 balls produced eight runs. Two balls later, Manoj Tiwary slogged, and the stumps lay splayed again. Now was the time for the fielders to hit the stumps. First Jimmy Adams, from short point, halfway between the stumps and regular point, took his time to aim and run Ryan ten Doeschate out. Adams did the same to Shakib Al Hasan from a single-saving mid-off.
In between Bates bowled another one-over spell for just two runs. The regular wickets meant there was no final charge, and Bates finished off with just five off the 20th over.

BCCI's profit soars to $39.68 million

Chennai Super Kings pose with the IPL trophy, Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, IPL final, DY Patil Stadium, April 25, 2010
The BCCI earned $24.90 million from the 2009-10 IPL

The BCCI has registered a surplus of Rs 1.89 billion ($39.68 million) for the year ended March 31, 2011, an increase of 200% over the previous year. The 2010 IPL was the big money spinner for the board, generating a surplus of Rs 1.19 billion ($24.90 million), a complete turnaround from the loss of Rs 419 million ($8.77 million) the league posted in 2009, and more than 10 times the BCCI's budgeted target of Rs 115.60 million ($2.41 million), according to the board's annual report.
The 2010 Champions League Twenty20 was the other big contributor to the board's finances, yielding a surplus of Rs 482.91 million ($10.11 million), up 23% from the previous year. According to the BCCI's balance sheet, the board is currently worth Rs 25.31 billion ($529.50 million).
In all, the board reported revenues of Rs 8.68 billion ($181.59 million), down 2% from the previous year, of which Rs 3.89 billion ($81.38 million) came from media rights. India's tours home and away were also lucrative, with the board raking in Rs 1.94 billion ($40.59 million) as India's status as the No. 1 Test team meant they were a big draw wherever they played. India is also the largest market for cricket, which helped to attract sponsors. Distributions from the ICC totalled Rs 238.13 million ($4.98 million), down about 6% from 2009-10.
The board set up four specialist academies during the year. A spin bowlers academy was set up in Chennai, a batsmen and wicketkeeper academy in Mumbai, a pace bowlers academy in Mohali and an umpires academy in Nagpur. The total cost of setting up the academies was Rs 90 million ($1.88 million).
The BCCI spent Rs 4.90 billion ($102.51 million) on hosting tournaments, by far its largest expense. The players' share of gross revenue was Rs 212.20 million ($4.44 million), down 53% from the previous year. That number does not include the bonuses paid for winning the 2011 World Cup, however, which amounted to Rs 367.50 million ($7.69 million) distributed to the team, support staff and selectors. Coaching expenses totalled Rs 73.70 million ($1.54 million), up 26.13% from the previous year.
The board also chose to write off the Rs 466 million ($9.75 million) that they had claimed was due from former president Jagmohan Dalmiya in light of their decision to drop their case against him at last year's AGM. They also paid out Rs 131.1 million ($2.74 million) to Rajasthan Royals as compensation for the cancellation of the 2008 Champions League.

Friday, September 16, 2011

End of an ERA-Rahul Dravid

New Delhi: Though Rahul Dravid has been labeled as a Test batsman by the so called cricket pundits throughout his career, his record in the limited-overs cricket outweighs many. The batsman, who was considered 'slow' by many for 50-over cricket, is now 343 matches old and has plundered close to 11,000 (10,820) in this form of the game.
The 38-year-old player has not only been involved in some memorable victories in Test cricket but has also given India moments to cherish in ODI cricket. And despite being left in the wings by selectors on numerous occasions, the commitment Dravid has shown whenever called up for the national duty has been exemplary.

Here we look back at some of those moments of Dravid's career which make us to bewilder in awe about the peak the Karnataka batsman reached in his 15-year-long career.
The Highs
1999 World Cup: With 461 runs, he finished as the leading run-scorer, including a knock of 145 against Sri Lanka at Taunton.
Standing the test of time: His career-best of 153 in ODIs came in a world record 331-run stand (for any wicket) with Sachin Tendulkar against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999. Incidentally, this epic partnership broke his record 318-run stand with Sourav Ganguly against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup.
The big chase: During the fourth ODI against West Indies at Ahmedabad in 2002, his knock of 109 helped India to the third highest run-chase in ODI history (at the time) of 325.
2003 World Cup: Doubling up as a wicketkeeper and batsman, he was part of the side that won eight games in succession to power into the final. Dravid top-scored in the crucial win against England, and struck unbeaten knocks to guide India home against Pakistan and New Zealand. He finished with 318 runs, 15 wickets and a stumping.
History-making: During the historic tour of Pakistan in 2003-04, Dravid was instrumental in India winning maiden Test and ODI rubbers on Pakistan soil. He top-scored in the five ODIs with 248 runs.
Golden run: During his captaincy stint, India broke the 14-match West Indies record for most consecutive successful run-chases in ODIs. For this 17-match run, Dravid was the captain for 15 games while Sourav Ganguly was captain for the other two.
10,000 ODI runs: In Feb 2007, he joined the club during the Goa ODI against Sri Lanka.
The Lows
Axed: Having scored just two fifties in 11 outings, Dravid struggled to find a place in the XI in October 1998. However, he became a permanent fixture in the side two months later.
Racially abused: His quick fire 84 in Johannesburg almost took India to victory in the final of the tri-series in February 1997. When he struck a six through the on side, Allan Donald, who racially abused him, mentioned this incident in his autobiography. Even Dravid lost his temper and refused to accept Donald's apology after the match.
Ball-tampering: In January 2004, he was found guilty of ball-tampering during an ODI against Zimbabwe at Brisbane. TV cameras caught him rubbing a cough lozenge on the shiny side of the ball. The incident was reported to match referee Clive Lloyd, and he was fined 50 per cent of his match fee. Later, India coach John Wright defended Dravid, stating that "It was an innocent mistake".
2007 World Cup: Dravid was captain of the Indian team during the Caribbean debacle.
Not young enough: Despite playing a few match- winning knocks in the ODI series in England (2007), the selectors were ready to invest in the youth.
Dravid was axed from the ODI squad after few failures against Australia in September 2007. He wasn't picked again until August 2009.
Return short-lived: His return in 2009 lasted two months. Dravid was primarily picked to help the young Indian team tackle the bounce in South Africa (Champions Trophy 2009). Two months later, he was dropped, yet again.
Calling it quits: Having got a surprise call from selectors for the England ODIs in 2011, Dravid announced that this series will be his last in this form of the game.

Warne 'definitely' to play Big Bash League

Shane Warne entertains the crowd at an Australian Football League match, Melbourne, September 3, 2011
Shane Warne will be back in front of Australian fans this summer

Shane Warne has declared that he will come out of retirement to play in the Big Bash League this summer, but he has not yet decided which team will win his services. Warne, 42, has not played elite cricket in Australia since his final Test, at the SCG in January 2007.
His return will be a massive boost for the first season of the BBL, a competition that Cricket Australia has high hopes for when it starts in December. Warne said on The Footy Show on Channel Nine that he had not decided whether to turn out for the Melbourne Stars, who will play at the MCG, or the Docklands-based Melbourne Renegades, but that he was definitely planning to play.
"It's great that there's two teams here," Warne said. "I'm not leaning one way or the other. I'm definitely going to play a few games and have some fun. I think it will be nice to help the young players out and have a bit of fun with the Twenty20."
Warne retired from the IPL this year but has beenhinting for some time at a possible comeback for the BBL. He won't be the only former Australia star to come out of retirement for the Twenty20 tournament; the Brisbane Heat have already signed Matthew Hayden.