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Monday, February 28, 2011

11th match Group B - India Vs England - Tie brought by inept bowling, loose fielding and a poor UDRS

The match was a real humdinger and went down till the last ball – whether you would celebrate or mourn it, depends on which side you were with.  This is not the first time in history but has occurred 24 times before in One dayers.

In my post after Sachin’s century, I had felt that nothing is a safe score now a days – 676 runs – 18 wickets – a great tie – everyone who saw the match will remember every bit of bit.  Added will be the poor bowling performance displayed by the Indians in not being able to defend 338. Indian ground fielding was very poor – slow movers, bad throwing arms and not able to prevent singles even when the shot was hit direct to them.  It should be a grim alarm for no team no ineptitude in bowling and butter in fielding have won a WC before.

After that fine century of Sachin, things were never easy – Pieterson and Strauss plundered at will and then Bell was stroking very freely.  England were never away from the target.  At end of over 42 – they were 280 for 2 with 59 requiring of 48 balls.  With 8 wickets in hand, an asking rate of 7.37 that too for 8 overs was very much English way.

Over no. 43 was different – England took the batting powerplay.  The fourth ball saw a tired and cramp suffering Bell mistiming a hit and Kohli taking an easy catch. The next ball the hero Strauss was trapped in front by  a Khan elivery making 158 off 145 balls – a quality innings.

For the only moment when an Indian victory seemed most probable was after the end of 48 overs – England were 310/7 – tail enders Bresnan and Swann at the crease and 29 required off 12 balls.  It was Piyush Chawla – a dot ball and then second was swept by Swann for a huge six.  The fifth ball Bresnan hoisted him over midwicket for another six.  15 conceded and in the last they required 14 off 6 with 2 wickets in hand.

Ajmal Shahzad has so far scored 38 runs at an average of  7.60.  The final over read thus : 2, 1 (now 11 off 4)  - 3rd was hit down straight for a SIX, 4th a bye, 5th Swann gets an inside edge and runs two.  Last ball two required – Swann hit straight to mid off and ran one and the result was there for everybody.

Indians bowled poorly, fielded worser and Munaf did not even complete a run when he was on as a batsman.  It was not without controversies – everyone saw the match knew that Bell was out but he survived thanks to technology.

25th over Yuvi struck Bell who had pitched his leg well forward for a paddle – Billy Bowden turned down the appeal.  Dhoni went in for review.  The TV replays showed that it was not a no ball, was in line of the stumps and would have struck the middle of the stumps.  Crowd roared and Bell started trudging back.  He was only 17.  When everyone believed out, the third umpire after watching things on a slow motion ruled Bell not out.  Cricinfo writes of rule 2.5m

More than all that was revealed there is the criteria of 2.5 meters assuming that it is from that point onward the precision of ball tracking technology begins to reduce.  So too far down the pitch would mean not out even if it otherwise looks certain.  Strange and curious are the ways of rule makers.  Bell went on to make another half century and spoil Indian’s party.

UDRS was touted to be a technology but if Hawkeye is not to be believed at some measure, why have it at all ?  there have been times earlier, when batsmen have been given out even when they had danced down to play the delivery, Sachin was once given LBW when he ducked and had it on his shoulder.  ICC playing conditions under Process of Consultation No. 3.3 (i). It states that if a 'not out' decision is being reviewed and the distance from impact to the stumps is greater than 2.5m then the third umpire passes this information to the on-field official along with: the distance from the wickets of the point of impact with the batsman, the approximate distance from the point of pitching to the point of impact, and whether the ball is predicted to the hit the stumps the  on-field umpire shall have regard to the normal cricketing principles concerning the level of certainty in making his decision as to whether to change his decision.  Good use of technology…………………………………..

Of the 24 times it has occurred in ODI history,  India has been involved four times – Once against WI at Perth in Dec 91, twice against Zimbabwe – one at Indore in Nov 93 and at Paarl in Jan 97 and once now.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar


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