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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

England beaten by 35 runs !!

England were beaten by 35 runs – a heading which we would have liked to read after the whitewash of 0-5 in the Onedayers but England salvaged some pride in winning the one-off T20 at Kolkatta.  During the tour English players misbehaved but got away easily.  Kevin Pietersen who breached ICC code of conduct was let off, reprimanded as a level 1 breach for showing dissent to the decision of the Umpire.  In the closing stages, when England were almost home, he was adjudged leg before off Suresh Raina.  The On field umpires Sudhir Asnani and S Ravi laid the charges but the matter was closed by match referee Roshan Mahanama stating that it did not require a full hearing ! though Kevin displayed excessive disappointment and denial to accept the verdict.
T20 is not a bowlers game – but Finn proved to be incisive in his 4 over spell.  Rahane left early – an excellent acrobatic catch by Kieswetter – later he removed Raina and got Jadeja for a golden duck.  Uthappa scored 1, Kohli and Tiwary made 15; Yusuf struggled to make 10.  India eventually set up a target of 120.  there were 51 dot balls of 120 balls which proved Indian undoing. Jadeja had an outstanding spell of 4-1-9-1 but Pietersen who was dropped early by Raina off Ashwin took England home with his half century.

On a different note, it has been debated many a times earlier – on whether the Coach should be a great player himself ?  Gary Kirsten, Andy Flower, John Wright have all proved to be great coaches though cannot be stated as the top notch batsmen of their playing times.  Somerset dragged one step further and appointed Andy Hurry who is an amateur cricketer with no 1st class games to his credit.  He has risen from levels and had a stint with UAE earlier – an amateur has taken Somerset to the top and has proved himself !

The starting lines were not entirely false – but were reflective of happening elsewhere.  It was the finals of  the Hong Kong Super Sixes tournament.  England won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan made a challenging total of 155 runs in the allotted five overs.  (it was 8 ball overs in the finals and hence 40 balls)… still the target required more than  4 runs of every ball [39 runs per over] - and one dot ball increased the pressure beyond a point.  The test discards Abdul Razzaq and Sohail Tanvir went on rampage whilst most unexpectedly Umar Akmal picked 3 wickets in his only over, Hammad Azam claimed two. 

The Hong Kong Sixes was first held in 1992.  It is an  annual 10-team international cricket tournament held at the Kowloon Cricket Club and fully sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. The tournament is made for television, with rules and a venue that encourage aggressive batting and high scoring. Because every player (except the wicket-keeper) is required to bowl one over, the format suits all-rounders.  This year,  the Hong Kong Cricket Association have been awarded HK$3.5 million from the Hong Kong SAR government's Mega Event Fund for the KARP Group Hong Kong Cricket Sixes.

Some modified rules for the tournament are :
v      Matches are between 2 teams of 6 players
v      Maximum of 5 – 6ball overs (finals 8 ball overs !!)
v      Each player will bowl 1 over except wicketkeeper
v      Wides and no balls count as 2 runs
v      If 5 wickets fall before 5 overs,  the last batsman would bat    alone taking the strike (but there will be a non striker)
v      Batsman to retire on reaching 31 runs but can return crease if lower batsman either retire or get out.

The venue was  Kowloon Cricket Club, situated in the heart of Hong Kong with the teeming city's skyscrapers providing a breathtaking backdrop.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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