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Friday, February 8, 2019

India beats NZ in 2nd T20 - Kuggeleijn in news !!

Scott  Kuggeleijn contributed 20 runs from seven balls in the Black Caps' record 80-run win on Wednesday, but struggled with the ball, conceding 34 runs from his two overs – he is in news, albeit for wrong reasons !

Today, the 2nd T20 was played at Eden Park,  New Zealand's largest sports stadium, located in central Auckland. The iconic ground's straight boundaries are among the shortest in world cricket, tempting the batsmen to hit over the ropes.   It is on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland. Although used primarily for rugby union in winter and cricket in summer, it has hosted rugby league and football matches.  Mount Eden is named after - George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, GCB, PC ( 1784 –  1849),  an English  politician and colonial administrator. He was thrice First Lord of the Admiralty and also served as Governor-General of India between 1836 and 1842.  He remained unmarried.

Remember those good olden days when India won a Test in New Zealand in Auckland ~  Test no. 769 in Jan 1976.  Remember reading about the Test in ‘The Hindu’ and partially hearing commentary in the mornings of January 1976 –Kiwis were led by Glenn Turner, a legend those times.  Playing first they were all out for 266 with Chandrasekhar taking 6/94. Sunil Gavaskar led India in the absence of an injured Bishan Bedi.  Gavaskar made a patient 116 and was over taken by Surinder Amarnath who made a fine 124 with 16 fours and 1 six.   Those were the days of   8 balls per over.   Alongside Surinder – Kirmani and Dilip Vengsarkar were to make their debuts and went on to play much longer than Surinder did.

In 1981, Eden Park was the site of a bloody political conflict. During the final game of the controversial Springbok Rugby Tour, the third and deciding test, thousand of protestors and police clashed in running battles outside the ground. Police cars were overturned and set on fire, and a number of police and protestors were hospitalised in the most violent clashes of the tour. Meanwhile a small plane, piloted by protestor Marx Jones, buzzed the park, while his fellow passenger dropped flour bombs on the ground, one of which hit All Black Gary Knight. Despite the protests outside and the flour bombs dropping amongst them, the players continued until the final whistle.

In 1988 New Zealand toured India ~ apart from Krish Srikkanth, I was a great fan of Vakkadai Biksheswaran Chandrasekhar, simply VB, especially after that belting of Rest of India [Narendra Hirwani & Gopal sharma] on that last day .. .. he played in 4 one dayers in that Series (Krish Srikkanth took 5 fors] scoring 10,9,53,1 – and in his brief career, that 53 was to be the highest.  Twice he got out to the gentle offie – Chris Kuggeleijn,(father of Scott Kuggeleijn) making me feel unhappy.  Christopher Mary Kuggeleijn  played two Tests in 1988-89 (both against India)  and 16 ODI.  The player of Dutch origin was involved in a history – as  he took the catch of Arun lal who became wicket no. 374 of Richard Hadlee [World record at that time]

Today, at Eden Park, in the 2nd T20, there was some controversy of sorts  arising out of a dismissal from the decision review system causing chaos.Daryl Mitchell was given out lbw to spinner Krunal Pandya. Mitchell quickly reviewed after consultation with captain Kane Williamson, indicating that he felt he had hit the ball.  In the DRA, it seemed that  "Hotspot" technology showed a mark on Mitchell's bat. There was no such mark when the ball passed the bat on "Snicko", indicating the hotspot could have been from bat hitting pad, but replays also seemed to show a faint inside edge.Kiwi third umpire Shaun Haig could not get any clear enough evidence for him to overturn the decision, potentially favouring Snicko over Hotspot, and with ball-tracking showing that the delivery would have gone on to hit the stumps, Mitchell was given out.

Black Caps Capt  Williamson expressed his displeasure,  throwing his hands in the air and Mitchell delaying his exit, leaving the on-field umpires to discuss. Indian captain Rohit Sharma and experienced campaigner MS Dhoni gathered around but in the end Mitchell had to respect the umpire's decision, and depart for just one. However that or anything could cause no complaint about the final result.India cruised to a seven-wicket win to level the series.India haven't lost back-to-back Twenty20 clashes in a series since 2015 – and it was always going to be hard for the Black Caps to back up their record win in the series opener.

Indians restricted New Zealand to 158-8 and chased it down comfortably with seven balls to spare.  Mitchell’s dismissal reduced the Black Caps to 43-3, after neither Tim Seifert nor Colin Munro could repeat their performances from Wellington, and Williamson soon followed, also trapped lbw by Pandya – though there was no doubt with his departure.Colin de Grandhomme gave the innings some much-needed impetus with a 27-ball 50, but he fell one ball after raising his bat, and while Ross Taylor's 42 was handy, it came from 36 balls, as the Black Caps couldn't hit their way to a competitive total on Eden Park's small boundaries.Just 29 runs came from the last four overs as India executed excellently at the death, and to win, the Black Caps needed to produce another brilliant start with the ball.

For the  Kiwi contingent of the 36,961 fans at Eden Park, Rohit Sharma quickly put an end to  hopes, smacking 50 off 29 balls as he passed the injured Martin Guptill to become the highest run-scorer in Twenty20 international history.He added 79 for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, and while Dhawan's dismissal pegged India back to 88-2 after 11 overs, the required run rate was always manageable for the visitors.  Vijay Shankar shone briefly but got out. Rishabh Pant (40 not out) and MS Dhoni (20 not out) sent the series to a decider in Hamilton on Sunday.

Earlier at the same venue, White Ferns sealed an impressive series victory over India, prevailing in a last-ball thriller.  What looked to be a cruise to victory turned into a nailbiter, as India's bowlers came alive at the death, and New Zealand's batters couldn't find the rope.With seven wickets in hand, the White Ferns needed just 21 runs from 23 balls for victory.  With Suzie Bates and Anna Peterson departing within three balls, suddenly the equation became a much more difficult nine off six balls. Katey Martin smacked a four from the first delivery, but was bowled the following ball, leaving Hannah Rowe and Leigh Kasperek requiring five runs from the last four deliveries

Scott Kuggeleijn is in news as there have been protests against him.  Kuggeleijn continued his return to the international cricket scene on Wednesday night - his second international played in New Zealand since being found not guilty of rape in a 2017 trial, despite admitting the woman involved had said she didn't want to have sex with him.The 27-year-old's return wasn't received well by some fans, with one woman protesting Kuggeleijn's inclusion with a banner which read "No means no" to promote sexual consent. Security had tried to confiscate the sign but later issued an apology after the woman posted her disgust on Twitter.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Feb 2019.

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