Saturday, March 31, 2012

SA wins; so does WI - T20 at Johannesburg and Bridgetown


In olden days, there used to be Benefit matches organized for the players who had retired after making significant contributions – those matches would be played lightly, invariably the team having the beneficiary would win.  It looked  much akin to an IPL match – music, dancers, fireworks, players looking relaxed .. and more.   It was to be a marquee match ! The man who had coached Indians to glory – Gary Kirsten had suggested that South Africa would treat this match as a "fairly light-hearted" affair. The squad did not hold a single training session.
No comparisons or analogies – the T20 no. 245 at New Wanderers, Johannersburg was marketed as a tribute to Jacques Kallis and he made mincemeat of the meek Indian bowling attack.  Kallis and Ingram pulverized the attack to score 219 close to 11 runs per over.  India played with 4 main bowlers – main bowler Praveen Kumar bowled 2 and gave 22; Irfan Pathan, no longer the pacer, bowled 4 and gave away 44; Vinay 32 off 3 and Ashwin 33 off 4.  The long hops and donkey drops of Raina,  Rohit Sharma and Kohli  cost 49 off 4 ; 14 and 15 off 1 over each.  


Chasing a tall target, Indians did not lose any wicket and were well placed at 71 without loss in 7.5 when it rained and play called off at 8.35 pm local time (around midnight in India).  Gambhir made 49 off 28 and Robin Uthappa 18 off 19 !  -  Thus rain, and much difficult to understand Duckworth – Lewis ensured another loss to India.

At Bridgetown, West Indies came back strongly to win the Second T20 and square the series.  Windies made 160 and restricted Australians to 149 for 9, winning by 14 runs.  Smith made 63, while Pollard promoted to bat at 3 made a solitary run.  Brett Lee took 3 and when West Indies bowled, Marlon Samuels, Bravo and Fidel Edwards bowled well to restrict Australia and ensure a sound victory for the West Indies. 
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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