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Saturday, April 23, 2011

When the wind blows – Gayle power pummels KKR

A gale is a very strong wind.   The Beaufort Scale would put it at 62 – 74 kmph per hour.  Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are expected.  When such a wind blows, lot of things would be blown away as it happened yesterday.

In the first ever T20 match between West Indies and Pakistan played at Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia (T20 No. 199) the home team beat Pakistan by seven runs and started their campaign in a good manner.   Lendl Simmons made an impressive 65 whilst the leggie Devendra Bishoo took four wickets.  There were five debutants as the coach Ottis Gibson was desperate to have a win.  That news was dwarfed in the cricketing circles by another famous West Indian who was making waves far away from the home land.

Have you read the story of Separmadu.  Unlikely !!  - it is Separmadu Lasith Malinga, the slinger.  He gave up Test cricket due to long standing degenerative condition in right knee.  He is only 27 and announced himself unavailable for the upcoming test tour of England.  The Lankan Board and the Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis were fuming stating that it is awkward when someone is injured but plays elsewhere. 

That is stating the obvious – the lure of IPL is more that players tend to stay away from National duties – Tait announced retirement from ODI, perhaps Gilchrist’s was timed prematurely to ensure a place IPL.  Curious is the case of Chris Gayle.   He went unauctioned as no franchisee raised theirs when he was on call.  But recently he was taken by Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement for injured Dirk Nannes – a batter for a good left arm pacer – illogical one would feel. 

Back home, the decision angered the  West Indies Cricket Board, which said it granted Gayle a no-objection certificate only after he had made himself unavailable for national selection and flown to India. That announces that he is not playing for the Nation against Pak in the Tests and ODIs and ofcourse in the only T20.   WICB  was aghast as Gayle was on a rehabilitation programme !  Chris Gayle on his part justified stating that  the way he had been treated by the West Indies board (WICB) had left him with little choice but to join the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for the 2011 IPL and miss the home series against Pakistan. Gayle was particularly severe on coach Ottis Gibson blaming him for wrecking the confidence of the team. 
In one match, Gayle not only ensured victory of RCB over his ex-team KKR but threatened to write the script of big hitting totally differently.  Presently, Ravindra Jadeja leads the list with 11 over the ropes.  But that was in 5 matches.  He is followed by the new sensation Valthaty with 10 in 4.  De Villiers & Mccullum have 8 in 5; next comes Gayle with 7 in a single matches with the longest ones to his credit now.  Y Venugopala Rao, the unlikely in that elite group  has 7 in 4 and Manoj Tiwary has 7 in 6. 

KKR were fancying their chances setting a target of 172, which proved nothing for the Gayle onslaught.  His century came off and is the second fastest in this edition.  At one stage, Gayle had 3 singles as against Dilshan’s 19 but in the end had 10 to the fence and 7 over it.  At one point he was hitting everything and Gambhir had no answer.  Poor Manoj Tiwary who would fancy himself as a bowler saw first of two deliveries flying nonchalantly over the ropes and disappearing in to the stands.  Gayle’s jersey had 333 – his highest test score and only one who threatened to prevent his century was his partner Virat Kohli.  After his arrival, Gayle got little of the strike and at 98 RCB were six away from victory.  Virat launched on to a ball from Iqbal Abdulla for a four  and played some tantrums apologizing for that stroke.  Then when the bowler sent one wide down the leg side, it was almost all over.  Gambhir did not instruct a Randiv and gracefully offered Gayle the majestic ton that he so well deserved.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

1 comment:

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