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Monday, April 8, 2019

Zing bails ... WI merry at IPL - Alzarri Joseph dream debut


Energy, enthusiasm, or liveliness =  ‘Zing’.  In 1980s – on Poonamalle High Road, after Arun Hotel, before DG Vaishnav college, as one crossed Govt Sidha hospital, was ‘Goldspot’ factory -  ‘goldspot – the zing thing’ – was the catchy tune advertisement.   Regular Cricket views know it too well – when the delivery or throw or the keeper’s glouse hits the stumps – and when the bails goes off, they flash a luminous red. They are not ordinary wooden bails but ‘zing bails’.

In IPL history, before this match only two players had taken a 6 for .. .. first Sohail Tanvir 6/14 (those days when Pak too were part of IPL) against CSK at Jaipur in May 2008; then Adam Zampa for Pune Supergiants against Sunrisers in May 2016 – 19/6.  ~now you have another entrant on 6th Apr 2019, one on his debut – the West Indian Alzarri Joseph who against Sunrisers had magic figures of 3.4-1-12-6.

Some of us still remember that 3rd Test at Gros Islet, in Aug 2016.  Ravichandran Ashwin was the Man of the Match, for his batting prowess.  The brief score card would read :  India 353 (Ashwin 118, Saha 104, Cummins 3-54) and 217 for 7 decl. (Rahane 78*, Cummins 6-48) beat West Indies 225 (Brathwaite 64, Bhuvneshwar 5-33) and 108 (Bravo 59, Shami 3-15) by 237 runs.

On day 3 of that  St Lucia Test, India saw rain wash a whole day's play out, with runs having been scored at about 2.5 an over on the first two days. The bowlers' last memory of having taken a wicket was 79.2 overs ago; still by the end of the play on the fifth day, India had taken 17 wickets in 63.5 overs to complete an incredible Test and series win- the bowlers, pacers performed so well. It was another matter that Darren Bravo and Rohit Sharma were fined 15% of their respective match fees for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct on the final day.   Rohit and Bravo had verbally sparred with each other on the fifth morning and did not pay heed to repeated warnings from on-field umpires Nigel Llong and Rod Tucker. India began the final day believing they could still win; West Indies did nothing to make India doubt it. After Bhuvneshwar Kumar's swing masterclass left India 285 in lead at the end of the fourth day, India quickly ran away to a victory. For West Indies, young U19 prospect Alzarri Joseph debuted in that match and did reasonably well.

In IPL on 6th Apr 2019,  Mumbai Indians 136 for 7 (Pollard 46*, Kaul 2-34) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 96 (Hooda 20, Joseph 6-12) by 40 runs.  In his first IPL match ever, 22-years-old Alzarri Joseph steamed in, bowled the tournament's top run-scorer David Warner - off an inside edge - with his first delivery, and went on to have a debut beyond all fantasies.In defence of Mumbai Indians' 136 for 7, which had only been made respectable by Kieron Pollard's 46 not out off 26 balls, Joseph produced one of the great IPL bowling performances. He claimed 6 for 12, consistently rushing batsmen with his deceptive pace. Those figures broke an IPL record that had stood since the very first season, bettering Sohail Tanvir's 6 for 14.

West Indies are ruling the roost – it is not Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Naraine, Kieron Pollard alone – Andre Russel is savage.  In the 21st Match at Jaipur, Apr 7 2019 – Rajasthan Royal made a paltry 139/3 and were stormed by KKR.   Earlier on 5th April, RCB posted a massive total and seemed well in control for their 1st win =- before Andre Russel damaged everybody .. His 48 not out off only 13 balls included seven sixes, and took his season tally to 207 runs off 77 balls. Andre Russell produced fourth consecutive devastating innings, clubbing everyone out of the ground.  Chasing  206, Knight Riders needed 66 off 24 at one point, and then 53 off 18 with Russell having faced two balls.

Siraj had had a night to forget even before he was handed the ball for the 18th over. He had put down two catches - Chris Lynn and Nitish Rana's - and had bowled a beamer that was hit for six. With 53 required off 18, he started with two dot balls, fizzing past Russell's outside edge on both occasions. But just when he seemed to have redeemed himself, he bowled a bouncer that was called wide. From there, Royal Challengers lost control altogether.His next ball, the beamer that got him suspended, was slapped for six. The ensuing free-hit, mercilessly handed to Marcus Stoinis who had to complete the over, also went for six. And so did the next ball. Twenty-three came off that over.Tim Southee, brought in place of Umesh Yadav,  bowled from both over and around, tried slower balls, short lengths, full lengths - pretty much all that's there - and was carted for four sixes and a four. Russell had managed to get 28 off that over, and 47 off his last nine balls. Knight Riders needed only a run off the last over.

Now getting back to that ‘zing bails’ – they do not only provide excitement but also added precision, especially for Stumpings and run-0uts.  The rules of cricket say that a batsman is out if they are beyond their batting crease when the stumps are "broken" - that is, when the bails are knocked off the stumps. Both ends of the bail have to come apart from the stumps. However, it can be hard for an umpire to detect this in real time.  The new equipment, known as the Zing wicket system, the stumps and bails will flash the moment contact is broken. It was developed by Bronte Eckermann, a former Australian grade cricketer who was inspired by one of his daughter's toys, which was roughly the size of a cricket bail and contained LED lights.

Traditionally stumps and bails are made from wood, but the new flashing wickets are made from a composite plastic, which are embedded with LED lights.The use of flashing wickets in international matches has been in vogue for more than 5 years now.   A bail is only completely dislodged when both spigots have separated from their stump grooves. A microprocessor in each Zing detects when BOTH spigots have become dislodged from the stump grooves. The Zing illuminates within 1/1000th of a second.

.. .. .. technology too can fail !  ~  In the fourth over of Knight Riders' chase, Dhawal Kulkarni got one to move into Chris Lynn and clip into his leg stump off the inside edge. The zing bails lit up, and the ball ricocheted to the fine-leg fence. Lynn started his long walk back, and Kulkarni began wheeling away in celebration.

Except, for the third time in a week, the bails didn't come off their groove and Knight Riders got four runs to show for it, after all. Royals have been at the receiving end on two of those occasions now. First, it was MS Dhoni who got away with it, after inside-edging a Jofra Archer shorter one that rolled on to the stumps. Dhoni was on 0 and went on to make a match-winning 75* off 46 balls.On Saturday, Dhoni was at the receiving end of it, after one of his lightning-quick throws from behind the stumps found KL Rahul short of his ground. The bails again refused to fall off. Rahul made 55, but Super Kings sealed a comfortable 22-run win.Lynn's non-wicket is now the third time the zing bails have stayed stubbornly rooted to their groove this season, and wasn't the first piece of luck that came the batting side's way: Rahul Tripathi had put down a skier off Sunil Narine just the previous ball.

Before concluding know these trivia:

June 9, 2017, will be remembered in cricketing circles for years to come as the day when Asian minnows Afghanistan and Bangladesh pulled off sensational upsets over their more pedigreed opponents in the form of West Indies and New Zealand respectively in the 50-over format.Afghanistan’s 63-run victory over West Indies was, the match at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia,  the game was played with no bails on the stumps at both ends as strong winds made it virtually impossible for the bails to be in place.

Some web searches reveal that the first laws of the game  were laid down in 1744, but  the wicket consisted of two stumps with a solitary bail atop.   Have heard of an interesting anecdote, when   WG Grace was  clean bowled,  not the bails, the stump uprooted, he quipped  'they've come here to see me bat, not you umpire.' Grace, with two public benefits as an amateur that made him the richest professional cricketer in history, was an eminent Victorian and an enormous cheat.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Apr 2019.

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