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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Battle of Saraighat ~ debut of Baraspara and chasing 300 with ridiculous ease

Guwahati (Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era) is the largest city in the Indian state of Assam and also the largest urban area in Northeast India. A major riverine port city and one of the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati is situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. The ancient cities of Pragjyotishpura and Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa . Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, giving it the name "City of Temples”. Guwahati lies between the banks of the Brahmaputra River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau, with LGB International Airport to the west and the town of Narengi to the east.  The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil military authority of the Lower Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings.

Today it was a debut of sorts ~ Rishab Pant, C Hemraj & O Thomas and .. .. the stadium – Baraspara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati in Match no. 4056 -  The stadium was inaugurated by Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on 10 Oct  2017. It has become India's 49th international cricket venue. In 2010, Assam Cricket Association changed the Stadium’s name in memory of the late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2012.

Rishab Pant played as a batsman – in fact the commentators were speaking on his running after the ball, not having seen him do that in lesser matches even.  Remember that Chandrakant Pandit, played some games as a pure batsman and perhaps recently it was Dinesh Kartik.  It is a luxury for a wicket keeper to get a chance as a batsman in the X1, overshadowing some others.  For WI, Indian sounding - Chandrapaul Hemraj made his debut.  The 25 year old is no relation of the more famous Shivnaraine Chanderpaul who played in 164 tests made 11867 runs with 30 tons and 8778 runs in 268 ODIs and played 22 T20s too.  Today Hamraj was castled having made 9 with couple of boundary hits. In 2017, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul had the honour of playing with his son Tagenarine in a first class match against Jamaica in Kingston.  There were reports that there were full of banners with old photos of the two captains. Every 50 metres or so, the state's chief minister was also on the banner. Outside the stadium's main gate, counterfeit Virat Kohli India jerseys sold like hot cakes.   Guwahati, in the state of Assam, last hosted an ODI in Nov 2010, when the Nehru Stadium was being used.

West Indies mustered 300 + ;  way back in Feb 22, 1979 at St. Johns, WI crossed 300 for the first time. They were 313/9. Desmond Haynes made 148 off 136 balls and he opened with RA Austin ! ~ Viv Richards, Alwin Kalicharan, SFA Bacchus, Shillingford, DL Murray, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Wayne Daniel and Colin Croft was the team.  Aussie bowling attack was spearheaded by Jeff Thomson who had figures of 10-0-67-4; supported by WM Clark, IW Callen, TJ Laughlin (father of Ben Laughlin); RB Simpson and Gary Cosier.

The next time WI crossed 300 was at Jamshedpur in Dec 1983 when Gordon Greenidge (115) and Viv Richards 149 carted Indian bowlers all around. Clive Lloyd was the Captain ~ from 27/1, they reached 248/2 and 332/8.  Kapil Dev had figures of 9-1-44-3; Chetan Sharma 9-0-60-3; Binny 17 off 1.5; Madanlal 47 off 9,  Mohinder 9.1 – 79 & Ravi Shastri, the present coach had figures of 7-0-77-1.

Today the target of 323 was hit with ridiculous ease.  India 326 for 2 (Rohit 151*, Kohli 140) beat West Indies 322 for 8 (Hetmeyer 106, Kieran 51, Chahal 3-41) by 8 wickets.  Shimron Hetmeyer scored his third hundred in only his 13th  ODI, a display of attractive strokeplay, but the  hapless West Indies bowlers found themselves caught in a hit-out between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who chased down 323 with ridiculous ease. Kohli scored his 36th ODI hundred - his 22nd in chases - and Rohit his 20th. They added 246 delightful runs, their 15th century partnership and fifth of 200 or more. This partnership's aggregate is now only five behind Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan in this era of Indian ODI cricket.  

Indian bowlers had a forgettable day ~ Mohammed Shami 10-0-81-2; Umesh Yadav & Khaleel Ahmed 64 in 10 and Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-66-2; Yajuvindra Chahal had figures of 10-0-41-3 before Kohli’s century and Rohit’s unbeaten 151 saved the day

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Oct 2018 @ 10.30 pm.

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