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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

did the new Slinga bowl the fastest delivery ? U19 WC is now on

There is going to be lot of Cricket as India embarked on a tour to New Zealand to play 5 T20s; 3 ODIs and 2 tests.  The man playing Ranji here, Ravichandran Ashwin ended a decade emerging  as one of the greatest of the game with an array of records. India's star off-spinner finished the 2010s as the highest wicket-taker in international matches-- 564 wickets across all formats. England's pace duo of James Anderson (535) and Stuart Broad (525) finished at 2nd and 3rd spot in the list of highest wicket-takers in the 2010s. New Zealand pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult capped off the top 5 with 472 and 458 wickets respectively – and perhaps for non-cricketing reasons, the World best Offie is not part of T20 or ODI squad ! ~ sad .. ..

The man with a slinging action Lasith Malinga troubled best of the batsmen in his hay days.  The man who had retired from Tests in 2011 and from ODI on 26th July 2019, continues to play in T20 though he was taken apart in the recent T20 against India.  In September 2019, during the series against New Zealand, Malinga became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in Twenty20 International cricket.  Malinga took a hat-trick to become the first bowler to claim two T20I hat-tricks.  Many a batsman would have heaved a sigh of relief when legendary Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga retired as they would have not have to face  that iconic slinging action and toe-crushing Yorkers.  But when  Malinga era was drawing to a close,  a 17-year-old Matheesha Pathirana is seen foxing the batsmen with his Malinga-like action and variations.  This 17 year old was in news that went viral albeit later fell out.  Following U19 WC ?

Some feast for Cricket fans – ‘ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup’ is now on at South Africa. First contested in 1988, as the Youth World Cup, it was not staged again until 1998. Since then, the World Cup has been held as a biennial event, organised by the ICC. The first edition of the tournament had only eight participants, but every subsequent edition has included sixteen teams. India, the current champions, has won the World Cup four times  which is the highest amongst all teams, while Australia has won thrice, Pakistan twice and England, South Africa, and the West Indies once each. Two other teams – New Zealand and Sri Lanka – have made it to tournament finals.  Lot of the youngsters have risen up to perform for their National levels later.

The 2020 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is now on  in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February 2020. It is the thirteenth edition of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, and the second to be held in South Africa. Sixteen teams are taking part in the tournament, split into four groups of four. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super League, with the bottom two teams in each group progressing to the Plate League.

In their first match, India outclassed Srilanka.  India Under-19s 297 for 4 (Jaiswal 59, Garg 56, Jurel 52*, Veer 44*) beat Sri Lanka Under-19s 207 all out (Dananjaya 50, Rasantha 49, Veer 2-34) by 90 runs.  Siddhesh Veer the 18-year old allrounder carved out 44 unbeaten runs at a strike-rate of 163 and then came back to pick up two wickets while conceding less than run-a-ball. Thanks to his efforts, India made the most of a platform set by half-centuries by Yashasvi Jaiswal, Priyam Garg and Dhruv Jurel. Without Veer's six fours and a six, they wouldn't have got 88 runs in the last 10 overs to finish on an imposing 297 for 4.

Today there is a match arousing different interest.  The strong Indian team with five of its players having IPL contracts – almost all of them playing Ranji is to face a young team – Japan, who luckily earned a ticket for a bizarre reason.  Before June 2019, they had won just the solitary youth match in their history. That they even participated at the qualifiers for the 2020 tournament was because they were hosting the East Asia-pacific round in Sano, Japan. They won that qualifying tournament because Papua New Guinea had to forfeit their final game against Japan for reasons never heard before.

Japan had never played a premier Under-19 side in an official game before this World Cup. In the warm-ups, both Scotland and UAE - who also made it to the tournament via their respective regional qualifiers - scored over 300 runs against them following which they were bowled out for 69 and 129 respectively.  Their team has native Japanese cricketers, but their core is made up of boys with English and Indian heritage who have grown up embracing the sport. Their captain Marcus Thurgate has said that they firmly believe they are not here to simply make up the numbers.

Japan secured their place in the tournament after Papua New Guinea - their opponents for  final group match in ICC Under-19 East Asia-Pacific Regional Qualifier - forfeited the game in Sano. The forfeit occurred when PNG could not field a team for the final day's play after Cricket PNG suspended 11 of its 14 squad members "for internal disciplinary reasons and failing to adhere to our strict codes of conduct."

In Bloemfontein on Sunday, in what turned out to be a disappointing game for Sri Lanka Under-19 cricket team as they went down to India by 90 runs in their World Cup opener, one particular moment might have brought home a world record for the Islanders. Well, almost! In the 4th  over of the Indian innings, fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana bowled a wide delivery to Yashasvi Jaiswal, which was recorded at 175kph (108mph), making it the fastest recorded ball ever bowled in international cricket - across all levels.  Even though the umpire signalled a wide, the speed-gun recorded the astronomical pace of the delivery as it zoomed past Jaiswal and into the wicketkeeper's gloves. Before this, the fastest ever recorded delivery in international cricket was bowled by former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar when he let one rip at 161.3kph (100mph) in an ODI vs England during the World Cup 2003.

However, it turned out that there was an error in the recording. Shoaib Akhtar, therefore, still owns the record for the fastest ball delivered.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Jan 2020.
By the time you read this :  India thrashed Japan inside 30 overs - India Under-19s 42 for 0 (Jaiswal 29*) beat Japan Under-19s 41 (Bishnoi 4-5, Tyagi 3-10) by ten wickets. India took under two hours to bowl Japan out for 41, the joint-second-lowest total in the history of the Under-19 World Cup, and then took just 29 balls to chase the target down and secure their second win in Group A and virtually confirm their place in the quarter-finals.

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