Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bangla enters finals of Asia cup for the first time ; yet another tie


There are times when One badly depends on the performance or non-performance of others – Tuesday 20th March 12 was one such occasion when Indians wanted Sri Lanka to win easily beating Bangladesh.

Elsewhere in the picturesque ground of Arnos Vale at Kingstown, St Vincent, lot happened.  Kingstown is the chief port of Saint Vincent, and the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is  the centre for the island's agricultural industry and a port of entry for tourists.  Most of the West Indian islands attract tourists and known for their serenity – the overconfident Australians who wanted to stream roll their opponents did not find any peace !

The Indian team is returning home – but the BCCI is planning so much for the cricket fan – yes, a royal treat lies awaiting the ardent fans -  An American Singer, songwriter and actress - Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson better known by her stage name Katy Perry is to perform for the IPL – to promote and attract fans for the game !! Perry is the only artist to spend over 52 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, and has since heightened this to 69 weeks – she would not be alone – there would be Bollywood starts Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan,  and southern super dancer Prabhu Deva set to rock at Chennai - YMCA College of Physical Education – the Board is really struggling hard to find ways to promote and popularize cricket !!!

Sri Lankans had a dismal Asia Cup, easily their worst performance and as they head back – England lays waiting to play 2 tests.  Many Lankans have small names and big initials -  Lindamlilage Prageeth Chamara Silva, is one.  Chamara Silva, the Sri Lanka middle-order batsman, gave a timely reminder to the national selectors that he is prime form by hitting 163 off 180 balls for Sri Lanka Development XI on the opening day of the three-day practice match against the tourists at the SSC.

At Mirpur, in a rain affected match, Bangladesh made it to the final of the Asia Cup, defying pre-tournament expectations with consecutive victories against their more fancied neighbours. It was only the second time they had reached the finals of a one-day tournament. The bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to 232, but rain siphoned off ten overs and reduced the target to 212. The increased asking-rate, 5.30 an over, gave both teams a chance, but enterprising batting by Tamim Iqbal on a spiced-up pitch gave their chase a kickstart. The Bangladesh middle order withstood the pressure and gave the expectant crowd a reason to show up in similar numbers for the final, on Thursday.Bangladesh's win is only their third against Sri Lanka and their second against a Test-playing team in this tournament. The last time Bangladesh beat two Test-playing nations in a single tournament was in the 2007 World Cup when they defeated India and South Africa. This is first time, Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup and alongside their defeat they dipped India too.

The loud Australians were expecting a pleasure trip to Windies, expecting to finish matches without much fight.  They were in for a shock when they lost the second One dayer. The 3rd one would easily have gone out of their hands -  West Indies needed only one run from the final three deliveries to be bowled by Brett Lee, but a mix-up between the captain Darren Sammy and the last man Kemar Roach saw both stranded at the striker's end as Lee broke the stumps at his. However, the hosts' fight to level the scores having been mired as deeply as 78 for 5 will provide plenty of belief for Sammy's men, while also showing Australia's players that they cannot afford to misstep quite so badly as they have done at times in the three matches so far.

In the 3rd ODI at Arnos Vale Ground, St Vincent,  Australians were restricted to 220 with another good performance by Sunil Naraine 9.5-1-32-3.  Great drama was to unfold in the last over bowled by veteran Bret Lee.  The 49th over yielded 6 runs and WI required 7 off 6 deliveries – Aussies needed that elusive last wicket.  Khemer Roach and Darren Sammy were at the crease.  The first 2 produced single each; 5 off 4 and the third Sammy thrashed to long-on for a four – now just a single off 3.  4th ball Sammy played towards point – a terrible mix-up Roach started running, Sammy stranded midway as throw to bowler was simply on target – Sammy run out with scores even and yet another tie in One dayer.  So after the first tie in 1984 between Australia and West Indies in 1984, there have been 26 more.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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