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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lendl Simmons makes 'diamond duck' ... will BCCI President resign ?

A simple Q – how many ways can a batsman get out without facing a ball [on record !] ….the first possibility is getting ‘run-out’ before facing a ball… then the way Lendl Simmons got out yesterday – stumped off a wide ball – the delivery would not count and scored card would read : Lendl Simmons out stumped 0(0)…………. You will see the illumination – and batsman clearly out of frame …

Before his entry and exit without troubling the scorers, much was expected from the tall man – a man who was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect causing a cardiac dysrhythmia.  He is truly an International – having represented - Jamaica, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Thunder, Dhaka Gladiators, Worcestershire, Western Warriors, Barisal Burners and the Kolkata Knight Riders ; and was also selected fro Uva Next for the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League.  No prize for guessing it is Christopher Henry Gayle, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, whom Indian fans have seen much – of the many remember that carnage in May 2012  at Ferozeshah Kotla  where he hit one 110m and made 128 off mere 62  balls with 13 sixers….. everytime he walks in crowds expect the ball to be hit near them, irrespective of how farther they are sitting. 

Yesterday he looked very unconvincing – as Dwayne Smith changed gears after a slow start – the target of 171 was way beyond the hosts is a different story ! – as Badree, Sunil Narine and Krishmar Santokie - a left-arm seamer !  sent them crashing.  After Smith’s dismissal in 12th over, Lendl Simmons walked in – was beaten by the wide spin of Shakib Al Hasan and even as the ball nested in keeper’s gloves, he sort of wandered away, to be stumped for a ‘diamond duck’ – duck without facing a legal delivery … he is the 3rd in T20 internationals – other two being his friends, countrymen -  Kieron Pollard and Narsingh Deonarine.

Chris Gayle is the king of Twenty20 and his very presence is intimidating -  he is one of only four players who have scored two triple centuries at Test level: 317 against South Africa in 2005, and 333 against Sri Lanka in 2010 – yet touted as T20 specialist – a six hitter at will. Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, he scored a 30-ball century, the fastest across any format, that became the highest individual T20 score (175). At  Shere Bangla Stadium – he nudged and stood uncomfortably and till 46 balls was scoring less than deliveries – eventually he got out for 48 off 48. Tamim Iqbal took a well judged catch – juggling it, throwing it on air, getting back inside and taking it.  Like Dhoni taking matches to the last delivery, sometimes Gayle leaves the opposition more anxious on when he would start hitting big…. Many a times, he has been successful – but that is a huge risk and that magnified risk did not work yesterday.  When Bangla chased, Denesh Ramdin pulled off a sharp stumping, standing up to a seamer. Mominul Haque missed one going across him from Krishmar Santokie, but later Lendl Simmons kept wickets. 

Getting back – spectators get nervy – as Indians would vouch for when Suresh Raina made that winning run against WI.  That day, Yuvraj had walked in with 23 needed off 32, consumed 19 of those for his 10 runs and had fallen dabbing a turner straight to slip. In the last over with just a solitary run required – he fended two and was out to the third ball !   against Pakistan, he missed a full delivery and was bowled second ball. In both matches, he put down what could have been costly misses - Chris Gayle and Mohammad Hafeez - but India created and converted more chances soon after. His solitary over in the tournament so far went for 13. that is a matter of serious concern for Team India – Dhoni is doing the right thing by backing the senior player  who aims to play only T20 these days …. Sure, he would get another chance against Bangladesh this Friday – but continuing him against Australia might be dicey, especially, if he were to fail again. 

~ and ….. somewhere in the coming hours, N Srinivasan is  most likely to resign as the BCCI president. That is the feeling among BCCI officials, who say his decision will be influenced by the possible alternative: the Supreme Court appointing an administrator of its own choice to run the board.  The name doing circles is the former Offie – Shivlal Yadav – whether stepping down is to control remains to be seen.  Reports suggest that the two judges, Justices AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla, delivered blunt observations while hearing arguments in a special leave petition probing corruption in the 2013 IPL. The SLP was filed by Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar, a body the BCCI said it does not recognise.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Mar 2014.

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