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Sunday, October 30, 2022

ICC T20 WC - thrilling matches continue !!

Today at Perth, the Umpires were : Richard Kettleborough & Langton Rusere  - read that in 2018  Langton Rusere made  history becoming  the first Zimbabwean umpire to stand in the final of a major global cricket tournament. Rusere was  one of the on-field umpires for the Women's World T20 final between Australia and England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. Rusere started umpiring in Zimbabwe's national league club competition in 2006;  umpired outside Zimbabwe for the first time in 2014, officiating in three games during South Africa's provincial three-day and T20 competitions. His first senior international engagement came during India's visit to Zimbabwe the following year, and Rusere joined the ICC's International Panel.


Then 2 players who would have felt the highest blood pressure .. .. Mosaddek & Muzarabani. Mosaddek Hossain, who comes from a family of cricketers, snuck up on Bangladesh cricket's consciousness during the 2013 Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, helping Abahani Limited stay afloat in a disastrous campaign. He has had good experience having played 4 tests; 43 One dayers and 31 T20Is.  At the other end was -  Blessing Muzarabani who had played 6 tests; 33 tests and 32 T20Is.    

Zimbabwe naturally were on a high after that brilliant win over Pakistan, which would remain etched in their memory for a lifetime  yet it  lasted barely 60 hours. After that win on Thursday night in Perth, Zimbabwe celebrated, processed their emotions, packed up, made the 4300km journey to Brisbane, trained for and played the early game today. A game they needed to win to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. It required superhuman resilience to cast aside the mental and emotional fatigue, and perform on a sleepy Brisbane afternoon as they had on that electric night in Perth. 

This match too boiled to the last over .. .. Zimbabwe were 135/6 needed 16 off the last 6 deliveries to be bowled by Mosaddek.   What a drama it turned out to be ! 

19.1 – 1lb; 19.2 Brad Evans out! ; 19.3 – 4 leg byes ; 19.4 -  Ngarava hammered over deep fine leg for a Six !! and got out next ball ..  Six needed for a win. Four to force a super over. Muzarabani had the  chance to be a hero for Zimbabwe.  Mosaddek to Muzarabani, swings and misses !  - Bangladesh have won !! the bowler has defended 15 ???  massive celebrations were on !!! then the  third umpire had a look to check if Nurul collected the ball in front of the stumps. It was to be a No ball .. rematch !! – players back in action.  Now Zimbabwe needed 4 to win, 3 to force a super over. Being bigger grounds – an all run 3 too was possible but Muzarabani missed out – a big swing did not connect .. again ecstasy in Bangladesh camp as Zimbabweans sank to the ground. 

Wonder, why all the description about a Zimbabwean Umpire and the last over between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh – well, still the feelings of Indian loss at Perth refuses to sink in .. .. it is a match – India could have won, if they had fielded well, took catches and if they had not missed out such a simple run out ! 

30th Match, at  Perth was a low scoring affair – naturally after SA pacers ripping Indian batsmen out.  KL Rahul started so confidently leaving balls and defending some – giving a maiden over to Parnell.   Match score card reads :  India 133/9;  South Africa (19.4/20 ov, T:134) 137/5 .. .. South Africa won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)


On a pacy pitch, South Africa's quicks set the tone with hard lengths and plenty of speed. They reduced India to 49 for 5 in the ninth over.  Suryakumar Yadav held the innings together, playing an exceptionally good knowck making his 11th  T20I half-century but he lacked support. He shared a 52-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik, who scored only six of those runs.  On a bouncy Perth pitch where the rest of India's batters combined to score 57 runs off 80 balls, Suryakumar scored 68 off 40.


South Africa moved to the top of the group 2 points table and boosted their chances of making the semi-finals after recovering from 24 for 3 to successfully chase 134 against India. Aiden Markram and David Miller were the architects of South Africa's triumph, scoring half-centuries each and sharing a 76-run fourth-wicket stand. 

In the end, it was poor fielding, poor field placements, poor captaincy, dropped catch by Kohli, a simple run out chance messed by Rohit Sharma and Ravi Ashwin having off-day 4-0-43-1 ruined India’s chances.  Rohit Sharma bowled R Ashwin out and used him in the 18th over. By then, Markram was out but Miller was still at the crease and South Africa needed 25 runs from 18 balls. Ashwin's over cost 13 runs and though he dismissed Tristan Stubbs, Miller finished it off for South Africa after a tight penultimate over by Arshdeep Singh. 

It is just another match !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Oct 2022.

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