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Sunday, April 7, 2024

Nortje torn apart by power hitting Romario Shepherd

Do you remember that India played West Indies in  5th T20I at Lauderhill, if yes, who was the Player of that match ? 


Suryakumar Yadav came back after a lay-off but failed to disturb the scorers.  Having lost the first three games, Mumbai Indians finally opened their account in IPL 2024 as they beat Delhi Capitals by 29 runs at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai.   After being sent in, Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan gave Mumbai a start of 80 in seven overs. Delhi Capitals staged a comeback in the middle overs but Tim David (45* off 21) and Romario Shepherd (39* off 10) muscled 96 in the last five overs – closing to a daunting 234 for 5. Prithvi Shaw kept Capitals in the contest with 66 off 40 balls. After he got out, Tristan Stubbs took over and ransacked an unbeaten 71 off 25 balls. But that Nortje over proved to be the difference in the end as Capitals fell short by 29 runs. 

IPL has seen power hitting by many CAribbeans – be it Chris Gayle, Bravos, Russel, Kieron Pollard, Pooran and more -  this 28-year-old Guyaneese giant was spoken off with an equally huge reputation of being the perfect all-rounder – someone who can be called upon to bowl in any situation  and can unlease brutal power.  Odean Smith was West Indies' hit-the-deck but Shepherd is much taller than him and pounds the deck even harder. 

The man today’s hero – Romario Shepherd.  In Oct 2019, he  was named in the West Indies One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against Afghanistan and made his debut on 6th Nov 2019.  In Jan 2020, he made his T20I debut   against Ireland.   

Romario Shepherd was named after the Brazilian footballer, one the greatest strikers in that sport. Shepherd was born in Linden, where football - or track and field - is arguably more popular than cricket, but he took to cricket. Tall, strong and muscular, Shepherd towered over other boys during age-group and regional cricket. He has a big presence in the middle and there are no half-measures with him. He was always meant to be a cricket allrounder. 

Last year when India toured WI & USA, in the 5th T20I, Romario  Shepherd towered over India's IPL stars, took 4 wickets.  Earlier in 2nd match he took his career-best ODI figures of 3 for 37 claiming Ishan Kishan,  Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja to help dismiss India for 181 and fashion West Indies' first ODI win against India in almost four years. India were without their regular captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who were both rested, but nevertheless, Shepherd's spell was a significant step in his progress. 

Anrich Nortje bowls fast but today he was blasted all over the ground for 32 runs in the last over.   Shepherd’s  10-ball 39 lifted Mumbai to 234 for 5, their highest total at the Wankhede Stadium. 

The 20th over was a carnage.  First was flat batted past the bowler, all along the ground closer to the non-strikers stumps for a 4   between long-on and long-off. Second went miles over long on for a 6; third disappeared in deep square for another 6;  then an off-cutter was thrashed over deep cover for another 6; 5th was hit so hard that longon had no chance and the sixth was hit powerfully over long on for another 6.  He moved to the off, created room and was hitting with raw power on the onside – 32 runs off a champion bowler 

Mark the name ‘Romario Shepherd’.  Romário de Souza Faria  is a Brazilian politician and former professional footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, he scored over 700 goals and is one of the few players to score at least 100 goals for three clubs. Considered one of the greatest players,  Romário starred for Brazil in their 1994 FIFA World Cup triumph, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year.   In the 2010 general election, Romário was elected to the Chamber of Deputies on the Brazilian Socialist Party ticket. He was the sixth most voted candidate for deputy in Rio de Janeiro.  In 2014, he  was elected to the Senate with the most votes received ever by a candidate representing the state of Rio de Janeiro. Years later, he publicly endorsed the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and criticised the previous administration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

With regards – S Sampathkumar

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