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Friday, January 24, 2020

India beats New Zealand in U19 WC too - DL method and life of Atharva Ankolekar

At Auckland there was mayhem – 407 runs in 40 overs -  at half-way today, NZ for sure would have fancied their chances setting up a target of 204 – never they would have imagined that this would be eclipsed with 6 wickets at hand and a over to spare. Score card would read : India 204 for 4 (Iyer 58*, Rahul 56, Kohli 45, Sodhi 2-36) beat New Zealand203 for 5 (Munro 59, Taylor 54, Williamson 51, Jadeja 1-18) by six wickets.

One could not avoid thinking it is heavily batsmen’s game – can you imagine a situation where team batting first makes 115 and team chasing makes 147 in same overs, yet loses the match by a long way – by 44 runs !!

Team India won by DL method – the  names of Frank Duckworth & Tony Lewis are known  to every Cricket fan.  It is the rain rule or rather how scores will be calculated when it rains in the midst of a match.  Rain rules are indeed strange; the revised targets generally favour the chasers as they have the job cut out in the shortened version. Today it was entirely different though !  The Duckworth–Lewis method (often written as D/L method) is a mathematical formulation designed to calculate the target score for the team batting second in a limited overs match interrupted by weather or other circumstances. The D/L method was devised by two English statisticians, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis.

The basic principle is that each team in a limited-overs match has two resources available with which to score runs: wickets remaining, and overs to play. Where overs are lost, setting an adjusted target is not as simple as to reduce the batting team's run target proportionally, because a team batting second with ten wickets in hand and 25 overs to play can be expected to play more aggressively than one with ten wickets and a full 50 overs, and can consequently achieve a higher run rate. The Duckworth–Lewis method is an attempt to set a statistically fair target for the second team's innings, based on the score achieved by the first team, taking their wickets lost and overs played into account.

Back home, former  India players Chetan Sharma, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Nayan Mongia and the Mumbai duo of Abey Kuruvilla and Ajit Agarkar have applied for two positions in the Indian men's selection committee after the board invited applications last week. PTI reported that two others, the former India and Madhya Pradesh duo of Rajesh Chauhan and Amay Khurasiya, have also thrown their hat into the ring. The BCCI had earlier announced January 24 as the cut-off date to receive applications. They are yet to release an update on the number of applicants and the interview date. It's also unclear as to when the new set of selectors, which also includes a new women's selection panel and a couple of junior men's selectors, would be appointed.

The position of chairman in the men's committee is up for grabs with MSK Prasad, the former India wicketkeeper, finishing his four-year term last November. Since then, he has been on an extension along with former India and Rajasthan batsman Gagan Khoda. Sivaramakrishnan is the oldest among the list of people ! ~ remember seeing him making ripples as a leg spinning prodigy in 1980s .. .. and it is stated that as per the rules of the constitution, the person with the most Test caps will be the chairman of the selection committee.

Today it was match no. 20 in   ICC Under-19 World Cup at Bloemfontein, a group A match between Team India and Junior Black Caps.    India batting first were 115 without loss in 23 overs when rain came.  YBK Jaiswal was unbeaten on 57 while DA Saxena had made 52*.  The Newzealanders did organize their chase well with RA Mariu scoring 42 off 31 & FF Lellman threatening with a quickfire 31 – but the bowling was tight backed up by some good catches and Kiwis were bowled out for 147 in 21 overs.  Ravi Bishnoi, the leg spinner was the best with figures of 5-0-34-4 while Ankolekar took 3/28 in his 5 overs.

Atharva Ankolekar has risen the hard way sweating and persevering amidst personal tragedy.     Son of a bus conductor, Atharva Ankolekar was not even 10  when his father passed away. His mother Vaidehi Ankolekar raised him single-handedly, working as a conductor in BEST, Mumbai bus services.  He was  selected for Indian Under-19 cricket team for the Youth Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. He  is a left-arm orthodox and left hand bat, currently studying in a college in Mumbai.   One of the most memorable moment of his short career was in  2010, when Atharva dismissed the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in a practice match. Impressed with the child, Tendulkar  later  gave him with a pair of autographed gloves.

In the  eight edition of Asia Cup U19 held in Sept 2019 in Sri Lanka -  India retained their title… .. but that was after lot of drama !  The score card reads :  India Under-19s 106 (Karan Lal 37, Hossain 3-8) beat Bangladesh Under-19s 101 (Akbar Ali 23, Ankolekar 5-28) by five runs.  Left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar broke Bangladesh's spirited late resistance to help India defend 106, taking them to a seventh Under-19 Asia Cup title with a five-run win in a rain-interrupted, nerve-wracking encounter in Colombo.

On 22nd Mar 1992  - SA will ever curse the rule…. Victories over Australia, West Indies, Pakistan, India and Zimbabwe had propelled the reemerging SA all the way to the semi-finals.   Chasing 253 – rain  interrupted play for 12 minutes with South Africa 231/6 off 42.5 overs and the over limit was reduced to 43 overs with the target reduced by 1 to 252. So suddenly when it rained, the target became 21 off a single delivery….. !!!!

Earlier in the same tourney, rain had deprived England of the emphatic victory expected when Pakistan were dismissed for their lowest total in limited-overs internationals, and the smallest by a Test country in the World Cup. They were bowled out for 74 and the target was reduced to 64 in 16 overs.  It rained again and the points were split…. Pak went on to make history by winning the cup

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Jan 2020.

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