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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Bipul Sharma helps Warner beat Gujarat Lions - athleticism of Ben Cutting !

At Feroz Shah Kotla, in the crucial match, with Aaron Finch and Dwayne  Smith in the line-up, Suresh Raina chose to open with Brendon McCullum and Eklavya Rakesh Dwivedi ! – it was indeed an engrossing match as Gujarat Lions set up a target of 163 thanks to 50 by Finch. 

A certain six (the ball was well over the rope) was converted into one run and five runs were saved.  That was the athleticism of  Benjamin Colin James Cutting -  14th  over of Lions' innings, Aaron Finch slammed a Barinder Sran delivery to mid-wicket fence, ball went up in the air and crossed the ropes, Cutting leapt in the air, grabbed the ball with both hands and threw it back inside the ropes, preventing a certain over-boundary.  More drama to follow - Sunrisers Hyderabad were 117 for six and needed 46 off 25 balls when Bipul Sharma joined his captain David Warner in the middle.  Before you read more of the match, do you know Abhay Sharma, who had kept wickets for Railways & Delhi !

"In our heads, we have already won [the IPL]," KL Rahul is quoted as saying at an informal media briefing, two days ahead of the final.  -  they have one match to go, the finals where they will face the rising Sunrisers of Hyderabad, in great form.   An unbeaten 58-ball 93 from David Warner, his eighth half-century of the season, steered Sunrisers Hyderabad into their maiden IPL final. Warner batted through a tense chase of 163 even as Lions chipped away at the wickets, and found a calm lower-order ally in Bipul Sharma at a critical juncture when Sunrisers needed 46 from 25 balls.  Bipul has been a local all rounder, and in the last match he struck two sixers of Morne Morkel; here he was in the team as a left-arm spinner.  He struck 27 off 11 with 3 sixers clinching the match. 

In the 17th Pravin Kumar lost his calm. Bipul Sharma hit him for a straight six, and then failed to pick a slower ball, sending a leading edge looping agonisingly over his head and beyond his reach. With Warner now on strike, Praveen steamed in from around the wicket and delivered the perfect yorker, moving swiftly to his left to cut off a possible single. Then he spun around and shaped for a mock throw at the batsman's end. Could not make out whether Warner said something (though after the event, he appeared so unruffled), Praveen ran towards Warner in an ugly spat charging, Dinesh Karthik stepped in, sprinting from his wicketkeeper's post to put himself between them and lead Praveen away with a calming hand on his shoulder.  Warner himself seemingly showed his anger to Tom Moody, the Sunrisers coach, who had come out with drinks and instructions at the fall of the sixth wicket.

For the Indian team to Zimbabwe captained by MS Dhoni, Sanjay Bangar, the former India and Railways allrounder, has been appointed India's head coach. Bangar, 43, had worked with the team as assistant coach till their previous international assignment, the World T20 in March and April this year, under team director Ravi Shastri. Abhay Sharma, who most recently worked with the India Under-19 and A teams, was named fielding coach for the tour. He had also worked with the Rest of India team that beat Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai in dramatic fashion in the 2016 Irani Cup.

Away, the summer of  2017 could see the first day-night Test staged in England, with Lord's and Edgbaston the most likely venues. Both venues are keen, in theory, to explore the possibility of staging an August Test against West Indies under lights. The final decision whether and where a floodlit game is played will be made by the ECB. A key part of the attraction for Warwickshire would be the novelty. Under normal circumstances, they might expect a Test against West Indies to prove a relatively tough sell and feel that staging it under lights could help attract a larger audience. The MCC, who have an excellent record of selling games against most opposition, also have a history of spearheading the experimentation into day-night cricket and are expected to discuss the issue at up-coming committee meetings in June. While Lord's is limited to 15 days of floodlight usage a year - any time the floodlights are raised constitutes a usage - to appease local residents, they would expect to allocate 10 of those days to the two Tests they host each season.

Tomorrow’s late eveninger between RCB & SRH sure would be an entertainer.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th May 2016

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