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Sunday, December 26, 2021

KL Rahul hits a fine century - Himachal Pradesh lifts Vijay Hazare trophy 2021

In many away tours, Indians would start disastrously – the first match, more specifically, day 1 – first session, India would struggle to get to grips ! – at Centurion, today ended with Indians bats raised high !! 

1.   “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – is one of the quotes of a Crusader considered by many as ‘apostle of peace’.

2.    Can you find out what brackets together – Janardhan Navle, Dilawar Hussain,  Dattaram Hindlekar, Khershed Meherhomji, Jenni Irani .. ..

3.    Ever heard of Shubham Arora earlier – the hero of Indian domestic tourney this day ? 

At Centurion today, India picked five specialist batters; the  bowling attack is three fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, a spinner in R Ashwin and  "allrounder" in Shardul Thakur. One of the main batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara's lean run in Tests continued with his second duck in his last three innings. It's been a while since Pujara has scored a hundred in Tests, but his form has dipped sharply.


At stumps, India are in a good position of 272/3 as reliable KL Rahul got to his seventh Test hundred,  after getting struck in 90s.  May not  be the fluent flowing innings, but a century abroad, that too on day 1 is most welcome. The bearded Rahul is only the second India opener to score a century in South Africa. With five now, he moves past Virender Sehwag for most centuries outside Asia for an India opener. Only Sunil Gavaskar is ahead of him. 

It appeared that it was not a fast and bouncy wicket – sort of uncharacteristically flat and South African attack looked pedestrian, neither pacy, nor threatening.  KL Rahul and  Mayank Agarwal –  who have played many innings together stitched  together India’s first century opening stand in South Africa since 2010 before Rahul added two stands worth 82 each with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.  Rahuls unbeaten on 122; with him is Ajinkya Rahane with 40; Virat Kohli made 35, Pujara did not trouble the scorer out for a first ball duck, while Mayank made a well compiled 60.  

Ans to the Qs at the start :

1.    Words of Dalai Lama

2.    Indian test wicket-keepers

3.    Shubham Arora, 24,  is today’s player of the match in Vijay Hazare trophy.  He is a wicket-keeper, opening batsman !

Even as you count the names of Rishab Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Kishan, Sanju Samson, K Srikar Barath, Narayan Jegadesan among many others as wicket-keeper batsmen, there are some unheralded names too and for sure, Shubham Arora, now stands at top of such list !! 

For long it was total dominance of Bombay in the Ranji, next was Karnataka, Delhi – and then teams like Tamil Nadu, Calcutta and some more .. .. all that has changed now.  The Vijay Hazare Trophy,  is  the Ranji One-Day Trophy,  started in 2002-03 as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition involving state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates. It is named after the legendary Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare. 

Tamil Nadu is the most successful team having won the trophy 5 times, but today there were beaten by . Himachal Pradesh. 

Back in 2015 - At the picturesque Dharamsala, 200 was the target with that big six off the last ball by Dhoni – India lost as SA chased the target successfully.  Dharamsala is a city and a municipal council in Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh. It is the district headquarters. It was formerly known as Bhagsu. From the earliest times until the British Raj, Dharamshala and its surrounding area was ruled by the Katoch Dynasty of Kangra. The Katoch Dynasty is said to be the oldest serving Royal Family in the world.  The indigenous people of the Dharamshala area are the Gaddis, a predominantly Hindu group –Gaddis lost their seasonal pastures and farmland when the British and the Gurkhas arrived to settle. The Tibetan settlement of Dharamshala began in 1959, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet and the Prime Minister of India allowed him and his followers to settle in McLeodGanj (in Upper Dharmshala), a former colonial British summer picnic spot. There they established the "government-in-exile" in 1960 and the Namgyal Monastery. 

The Himachal Pradesh cricket team competed in the Ranji Trophy first in  1985–86 season. They lost all five of their matches in both 1985–86 and 1987–88 seasons by an innings.  They won for the first time when they beat Services by one wicket in 1990–91. Domestic Cricket history is set for many a changes.  Today Himachal Pradesh registered themselves with their first trophy win.  The score card reads : 

Himachal Pradesh 299 for 4 (Arora 136*, Amit 74, Dhawan 42*, Aparajith 1-45, Washington 1-47) beat Tamil Nadu 314 (Karthik 116, Indrajith 80, Shahrukh 42, Jaswal 4-59, Dhawan 3-62) by 11 runs (VJD method) 

Wicketkeeper-opener Shubham Arora's unbeaten 136 off 131 balls paved the way for Himachal Pradesh's maiden Vijay Hazare title as they beat Tamil Nadu by 11 runs via the VJD method at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Chasing 315, Himachal needed 16 from 15 balls with six wickets in hand when bad light stopped play. Earlier, Dinesh Karthik's 116 off 103 balls, studded with eight fours and seven sixes, had lifted Tamil Nadu to 314 but in the end, it didn't prove to be enough. 

Interesting ! – well played Himachal Pradesh and its captain Rishi Dhawan

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Dec 2021. 

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