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Saturday, November 2, 2019

smog in Delhi ~ Deepavali !! - run-outs - one by Sandakan and by Pat Cummins

It is often said that ‘direct-hits’ could turn matches ! ~ a flowering partnership gets broken with a small misunderstanding, an error in judging a run – with an accurate throw homing on the stumps .. in 1983 WC Finals, India had set a small target for a fancied line-up of Greenidge, Haynes, Gomes, Richards, Lloyd, Baccus, Dujon, Marshall .. .. when Windies were down and fighting – Krish Srikkanth at cover point pounced on the ball, in a poetic motion, threw Baccus out [or so we thought !] – those were not the days of TV replays of accuracy and technology – he was not given out … and we debated endlessly on the night when Kapil Devis won the Cup.

One Q ~ Deepavali celebrations are for a Day .. there were so many restrictions – pollution hazard that Crackers make and some advocated crackerless Deepavali – Supreme Court ordered crackers for 2 hours only ! ~ ,.  .. with all that there is so much of smog at Delhi – so what happens the other 364 days of the year – why single out the great festival of Deepavali ?

News reports suggest that a  thick cover of smog continues to envelope Delhi-NCR on Saturday morning with even visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighing in on the situation a day after the national capital went under a public health emergency. Air quality oscillated between the ‘severe’ 400 and 500 mark in several areas of the national capital region and breached the index maximum in at least two. Overall, Delhi recorded an AQI of 435, as per the Ministry of Earth Science’s SAFAR air quality index.  Schools in the national capital will be closed till Tuesday and all construction activities are on hold. The odd-even road rationing scheme will kick in on November 4 with even private CNG vehicles not exempt this time. Cab aggregators Ola and Uber have deactivated surge-pricing for the 12-day duration of odd-even. Two-wheelers that form around 88 per cent of total registered vehicles on the city roads are exempt.

There is hope ahead next week with the weather office predicting scattered rainfall in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi on November 7 and 8 under the influence of Cyclone Maha and a fresh western disturbance. This rainfall, however light, will be significant in terms of reducing the effect of stubble burning, and will wash away pollutants, experts said. Following the declaration of a public health emergency on Friday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed Delhi a "gas chamber" and blamed stubble burning in neighbouring Haryana and nearby Punjab for the apocalyptic haze shrouding the city. The share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution stood at 46 per cent on Friday, the highest so far, according to SAFAR.  Politicians would do nothing but would continue to search for reasons ! ~ Kejri !!

Long back Atul Bedade was touted to be a big Six hitter – but somehow did not flourish.  Hardik Pandya had some big hits and few fast knocks .. .. now, 26 year old Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube is the replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya.  Dube has a reputation of being a ferocious ball-striker in domestic cricket as his T20 and List A strike rate of 142.35 and 121.34 respectively suggest. Two days before the Delhi T20I between India and Bangladesh, the air quality in Delhi has plummeted to hazardous levels, and led to a public-health emergency. Schools have been shut, construction work stalled, and athletic activity advised against, but the two teams trained out in the middle and continued to shrug off the threat of playing in such poor air quality.

This match is the first international fixture in India after Diwali, which raises severe questions over BCCI's planning because it is well documented that the weeks immediately after Diwali are some of the most hazardous on public health. The BCCI has had first-hand experience with Ranji Trophy matches cancelled and a Test match interrupted in the past.  Amid Delhi's air quality, a severely depleted Bangladesh team will run into an Indian side that has hung up caution in trying to adapt to the changing T20 landscape. India will be without their rested captain Virat Kohli, but still have the wealth of experience and a variety of options at their disposal.  Bangladesh  are desperate for some breathing space (both literally and figuratively). No Shakib Al Hasan. No Tamim Iqbal. Mashrafe Mortaza has retired from the shortest format.

Twelve months ago, Australia went into a home T20I against South Africa without a specialist spinner. It was a rain-shortened 10-over game, now  12 months out from a home World Cup, it's looking increasingly likely that Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar could be key pillars in Australia's specifically designed five-man attack in home conditions, following their success as a pair in the 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka.  For Lanka, Interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake believes Sri Lanka must have better preparation on fast pitches prior to next year's T20 World Cup in Australia if they are to be competitive in the tournament. Sri Lanka were beaten out of sight by Australia in the three-match T20I series that concluded on Friday after coming to Australia with high hopes following a series whitewash of the world No.1 team Pakistan last month. The visitors were badly exposed by Australia's bowlers, scoring just 99, 117 and 142 in the three games.

Of the many talked about moments is the Sri Lankan Bowler's 'Brainfade' Moment to Get Steve Smith Run Out !   with Aussies dominating, and chasing only 118,   Aaron Finch departed for a golden duck when David Warner and Steve Smith steadied with a partnership of 117, as Warner remained unbeaten on 60 and Smith was not out at 53.  In the 13th  over bowled by Lakshan Sandakan, Warner hit one of his deliveries straight back at the non-striker's end, crashing onto the stumps. Only 6 runs away from clinching the series, Smith took off for a run only to be sent back by Warner. Lakshan, quick on his feet, grabbed the ball in his right hand and uprooted the stumps from the ground with his left. All this when Smith was well short of his crease as shown in the replays. But Lakshan had a brain-fade moment. While uprooting the stumps, he "forgot" to bring the ball in contact with the woodwork, thus giving Smith a lifeline.

On a similar chance, Pat Cummins proved that he is agile ! Cummins used a combination of skills, composure, and a knowledge of the game to claim a runout in rare fashion against Sri Lanka in the second T20I. Sri Lanka was struggling at the Gabba with just one wicket in hand when Cummins bowled to Lakshan Sandakan, who drove straight down the ground into the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Cummins then showed terrific awareness to bring the ball to the stumps with one hand, while ripping the peg out the ground with the other, as the rules dictate he must do. Cricket laws state that a fielder must remove an entire stump to complete a runout if the wicket has already been broken.

That’s Cricket

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Nov.2019.

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