Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yusuf Pathan takes India to Victory - India Vz New zealand at Bangalore - 4th ODI

It was not the best XI Indians could manage.  Chasing a tall but not improbable 316, at 33.2 Indians were 188 for 5 with Gambhir, Kohli (duck), Yuvi, Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma back in the pavilion.  Rohit earlier got a reprieve due to a blunder by Hamesh Saheba. With Ashwin, Praveen, Zaheer and Nehra to follow – 128 more off 100 deliveries seemed out of thinking – only Yusuf had other ideas.

At Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore, Kiwis had a good start, some good partnership and late flourish from JEC Frankling who tonked 98 out of 69 balls ensured that they put up a stiff 315 against a relatively inexperienced Indian team.  Ashwin went for 66 off 10; Nehra leaked 70 in 9 overs.  When India chased – 100 came in 17 overs.  It rained when India was at 203/5 with Tiwary and Pathan at the crease.  Pathan got to his 50 off equal no. of deliveries with 3 hits to the fence and 3 over it.

The drizzle was heavier and India was behind in DL.  But the cricinfo commentary suggested that it was a localized phenomenon with no rains in areas around the stadium.  Those in the stadium probably stayed back more because they were afraid of the auto fares during rain than any real hope of a fightback.

How lucky they were ! covers came off soon – with no reduction in overs and the real target staying as it is.    In the 43rd when rain was threatening, Pathan tore Kyle Mills apart.  First one went for four over extra cover, 2, 4,4,6 and 1.  End of 43 – India required 51 off 42.  End of over 43 (21 runs) India 265/5 (51 runs required from 42 balls) Pathan 2 short of hundred and the first ball of Mckay sailed for a six.

Yusuf with this violent display and his first century took us for a grand win and cemented a berth for the WC.  It might have come against a weak attack already troubled mentally – still a great knock considering the circumstances, the tall score that was chased and the way it was played.   For the late middle order spot,  Rohit of Ravindra Jadeja could never be aspirants when this man is around.   Saurabh Tiwary cleverly rotated the strike and did play well but was vastly overshadowed by Yusuf.

Daniel Vettori should be cursing his luck, as the match for most of  the time looked to be in their way yet snatched away by brute force.

Regards – S Sampathkumar.

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