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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Universally One is greater than zero (infact three cyphers put together) and 6th day of IPL 4

On the 6th day of IPL 4 lot of interesting things happened.  A lesser known player entered the records as the 8th fastest century maker.  This man made a ton in 52 balls – behind the 37 ball knock of Yusuf Pathan and other knocks by Gilchrist, Jayasuriya, Murali Vijay, Symonds, Hussey and de Villiers….  This 27 year old took the cricketing world by storm as there were thousands of hits searching for his details – he has played only one first class game before – a One day match for Mumbai against Baroda way back in Feb 2006 making 16 and bowling some insipid overs and then going out of the horizon – that is Vlathaty – Paul Chandrasekhar Valthaty for you.

Yesterday in 63 balls he changed his fate as also that of CSK by handing over them a defeat.   He was a member of U19 in 2002, had an eye injury and his career had really not take off.   How the owners of Punjab spotted him and propped him is a real wonder !

On election day in Chennai, when more watched and shouted for CSK – Gillie won the toss and elected  to field.   At Mohali the confident Anirudha Srikkanth with runs behind took strike to Praveen kumar who was out of WC due to injury.  He struck with his first ball – a good inswinger trapping Srikkanth in front.  Surprisingly  in walked Suresh Raina – played in to the hands of Valthaty at midwicket – Praveen on fire – in line for a hat-trick. 
They recovered well with a partnership between Badri and Vijay and still lost to a gem of an innings of Valthaty.  One cannot but think of what could have happened if only Praveen had played in WC in the place of Sreesanth / Nehra or Munaf….
The script more or less repeated in the second match between Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers.  The first ball of the match Thomas got an edge of McCullum and was consumed by Uthappa.  Parthiv Patel walked in at 3.  After 10 balls, Laxman got the first chance to play did not score of the first two balls he faced and in the second ball of third over – he dragged Parnell to his stumps for a duck.

Thus in both the matches – the openers had not scored.  That takes memory back to a Test match.  Gavaskar is a legend and widely respected in all parts of WI especially Port of Spain.  There was an interesting story of a man who placed a bet that Sunny would score more than the other openers and ………………. this is how the story goes.

It was Test no. 952 when Kapil’s team met Clive Lloyds fancied team in the 2nd test of the Series at Queen Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on 11th to 16th March 1983.  Showers on the eve of the match made batting tough and Indians struggled to make 175 with Yashpal Sharma retiring hurt.   Indians were off to a poor start with Anshuman Gaekwad getting run out off the third ball with a poor call from Gavaskar.   Then with the Indian score at 5,Gavaskar edged Holding to Dujon after making 1. Only Mohinder made 58.

Though Gavaskar had outscored his partner Gaekwad – a single run is not going to be enough and the better promptly paid the amount and went off, immediately after Gavaskar was out. and to add - the West Indies had the best pair of openers - Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge..  There was an astonishing start to Windies innings.  Sandhu cleaned up Gordon Greenidge for a nought and Desmond Haynes was caught behind again off Sandhu for another duck.  WI were 0/2 – both the openers dismissed without scoring and collectively 3 of them had scored less than the solitary run made by Gavaskar.  The honest man who had collected the betting amount reportedly came back to pay back the money ………… and so it goes.

Richards also followed caught down the leg off Kapil for 1 and perhaps for the only time in Test history West Indies had lost their first 3 wickets for one run.  WK Syed Krimani missed Gomes off Venkatraghavan and another – Lloyd off Sandhu and the match was gone.  Kapil who had just scored 2000 runs took the wicket of Andy Roberts to reach the milestone of 200 test wickets – which was a great performance those days.

There was an astonishing start to the West Indian innings in which both openers fell to Sandhu's medium-paced swing without scoring and Richards was caught behind down the leg side off Kapil Dev for 1. Never in Test history had West Indies lost their first three wickets so cheaply and they might not have recovered had wicket-keeper Kirmani not missed a straightforward catch from Gomes off Venkataraghavan when 21 and a barely acceptable one down the leg side from Lloyd off Sandhu when 10. As it was, the two left-handers rebuilt the innings in their contrasting styles by adding 237 for the fourth wicket. Lloyd's 143 included two 6s and thirteen 4s and was his fifteenth Test century. Gomes, less assured than his captain, batted seven and threequarter hours for his fifth Test century and his first on his home ground. The lower order extended West Indies' lead to 219, the rest of the innings including Kapil Dev's 200th Test wicket when he bowled Roberts with the second ball of the fourth day. He had passed 2,000 runs in the previous Test.

So -  One is more than 0 + 0 + 0 ………..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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