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Friday, July 10, 2015

India beats Zimbabwe ~ Kagiso Rabada makes dream debut

Who will succeed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe? - has been the most important question within  Zimbabwe over the past few years. This question is so pivotal that policy formulation and implementation have been at a standstill. Political manoeuvring over who will replace Mugabe has paralysed the once impregnable Zanu-PF, and the resulting economic implosion is taking a devastating toll on the people and infrastructure.  Although this may sound irrational in relation to a 91-year-old leader who has been in power for nearly four decades, when it comes to Mugabe nothing ever makes ordinary sense.

To the die-hard Indian fan, that is no Q – but who is Donald Tatenda Tiripano was ? – he was partnering the centurion Elton Chingumara as Zimbabwe needed mere 10  off the last 6 deliveries.  Remember, Indians did not do too well with their full team in Bangladesh recently and have embarked this tour with a second string XI which however is expected to do well.  Set to score 256, Zimbabwe almost achieved that with Chingumara’s ton – but a good tight last over from Bhuvanesh Kumar prevented and gave India a close win.  Indian bowlers other than Bhuvi went for runs.

Earlier, Ambati Rayudu's  unbeaten 124 off 133 balls  and a good knock of 77 by  Stuart Binny – and their  highest sixth-wicket partnership in ODIs - 160 runs in 147 balls - set Zimbabwe a target of 256 in Harare.  Zimbabwe’s motley medium pacers did well to reduce the side to half but failed to contain in the last few.  M Vijay, playing his first ODI in two years,  failed – so did Manoj Tiwary failing to utilise that elusive chance when it came;  Robin Uthappa made a poor call to be run out for a duck and Kedhar Jadhav fethered an edge to the keeper for 5.

Even as India and Pakistan struggled in Bangladesh, South Africa is asserting their supremach.  South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada set a new ODI record  today  against Bangladesh at Mirpur.  

Kagiso Rabada took 6 for 16 - the best figures by any bowler on ODI debut - and became only the second bowler to take a hat-trick on ODI debut, after Taijul Islam, as South Africa burst Bangladesh's bubble after months of success for the hosts in the format. Bangladesh looked a shadow of the line-up that posted had totals over 200 - and twice over 300 - against Pakistan and India recently as slumped to their lowest total this year.

South African pacer Kagiso Rabada destroyed the Bangladeshi top-order. He bowled out Tammim Iqbal, Litton Das and Mahmudullah for ducks. 

Three batsmen left the crease without scoring a run. In the rain affected match, SA is making a chase and should win easily.  Rabada earlier sliced through Australia's Under-19 team at the age-group World Cup in Dubai in February 2014, his 6 for 25 took his team to a place the senior South Africa side has never been to: a World Cup final. South Africa's Under-19s won that event and Rabada finished as their highest wicket-taker.

There are talented youngsters everywhere but ……

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th July 2015.

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