Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Plunder Games – Final Week Recap


1st Qualifier: KKR vs DD

Kolkata Knight Riders 162 for 4 (Yusuf 40*) beat Delhi Daredevils 144 for 8 (Jayawardene 40, Kallis 2-24, Narine 2-24) by 18 runs
Match in 140 characters: Pathan and Shukla blitz in last four overs to power KKR to a stiff 162; poor shot selection, umpiring blunder and bizarre tactics cost DD
#TrottsFault: In a tournament which has seen captains struggling over when to send their best hitters to the middle, one more ridiculous instance can be added. When Jayawardene got out, the required run rate was well above 10 an over and the situation required a barnstorming knock like the one Yusuf Pathan played earlier in the game; instead Sehwag sent Negi, known more for his bowling ahead of Taylor. Rao and Negi pottered around as the innings stagnated, and when Ross Taylor finally came out to bat, he had to face Narine with 3 overs left and a RRR touching 14. It was eerily similar to the IPL-3 final, where Tendulkar kept Pollard for too late, costing Mumbai Indians the title.
Charlie Sheen Winning moment: If there was one batsman who could make light weight of the target of 163, it was Sehwag. So when Balaji had him nicking behind in the 3rd over, KKR had put one foot in the final already.
Viagra Performer of the day: Yusuf Pathan has been getting a lot of grief over his non-performance in this year’s IPL, but the KKR management stuck to their guns believing that he would come good eventually. He repaid that ironclad faith with the type of innings, he has built his reputation on. At the end of 16 overs, it looked like KKR would be happy with a total of 140; instead, they got an additional 20 runs which proved to be the difference in the end.
Best tweet of the game: Viru claims he never looks at the pitch before a game. Looking at the bowlers he picked today, I am starting to believe him now. #getlostpls (by @fakeiplplayer)
Eliminator: CSK vs MI
Chennai Super Kings 187 for 5 (Dhoni 51, Hussey 49) v Mumbai Indians 149 for 9 (Smith 38, Bravo 2-10, Morkel 2-31)
Match in 140 characters: Despite early hiccups, Badri and Mussey stabilize as Dhoni and Bravo provide explosive finish to innings…MI fall short by 38 runs
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: Ironically, it was the fall of Jadeja at the start of the 15th over which turned out to be the exact situation CSK would have wanted to be in. With Dhoni and Bravo at the crease, and Morkel to come, CSK had the license to go after the bowling. MSD and Bravo did it in style as they exploded to add 73 runs in 29 balls to post a total that was beyond even MI’s powerful line-up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The story of IPL 5 through Gambhir’s Facebook update


Friday, May 25, 2012

IPL 5: Final Qualifier (CSK vs DD) Preview




Delhi Daredevils

Just two games to go, and the IPL's finish line is within licking distance (I don't know what happens at the end, I've never won a major race). It won't seem that way for the Delhi Daredevils, though. They first have to knock out the Chennai Super Kings (the resurgent defending champions), only to then face a team that just defeated them. Fortunately for Delhi, they have rarely had two bad games in a row this season. And unfortunately for them, they now have to have two very good ones back to back, and both in Chennai.

Despite the bowling performance against KKR, theirs is still the right combination to go in with. Pawan Negi is handling the lone spinner's position well, and Delhi's only other options in that department are other left-arm spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and ROFLMAO van der Merwe (I may have got something wrong in that sentence). Their pace attack also seems like the type that will rattle the CSK line-up as long as they don't dish up too much filth - which, to their credit, they haven't been doing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If Cricketers Were Cartoon Characters


Thank you IPL, for grinding cricket down to a screeching halt.

This is the time of year where instead of the *real* game we have an exhibition of cricket ball abuse featuring teams tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum while us poor fans and purists have been forced to revisit our old highlights collections, banish cricinfo.com to the wilderness, and suffer severe writers block.

Devoid of inspiration, what must the dear old blogger resort to?

Trivia!

Some months ago there was an internet obsession with dopplegangers, or lookalikes. Unfortunately most of the time it was clutching on straws, heck people tell me I look like Jehan Mubarak, big deal. And truth be told human to human lookalikes are a tad boring, so we see the same person twice... we've seen twins before and not the Schwarzenegger-deVito kind either.

So instead I present to you, animated and cartoon contemporaries of famous (and not so famous) cricketers of recent times.

Ryan Sidebottom is Sideshow Bob
While one plotted to destroy Bart Simpson, the other plotted to destroy New Zealand batting line-ups.

  

Darren Lehmann is Shrek
The team even nick-named him Shrek, so everyone is in on this one.

   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shiv the Selfish, Really?



And so England's international cricketing summer is up and running, with the West Indies facing the best test team in the world at the Home of Cricket this week. The weather has been decidedly moist in England over the past few weeks but remarkably it stayed dry for whole of the first day at Lords, and a packed house was treated to some fine cricket. Jimmy Anderson, proclaimed the ECB player of the year earlier this week dominated early on with the ball, teeing Kieron Powell up with a textbook out-swing, in-swing combination, before some nice stroke play from Barath and the hyperbole-drenched Darren Bravo - who was relentlessly compared to one Brian Charles Lara all day on Twitter - steadied the ship before lunch.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Plunder games – Week 6 Recap


Have you been too busy studying for your exams to take note of what has been going on in the IPL? Or have you been too engrossed in searching for a job to know who has hit the most ‘DLF Maximums’ over the past week? Maybe all your time is being taken up by stalking your ex-boyfriend; or you could just be some closeted IPL fan who likes to keep up appearances by publicly denouncing the ‘pajama cricket’ but want to know how your favorite IPL team is doing?
Never fear. For the attention-deficit IPL fan in you, I present to you ‘The Plunder Games’ – a weekly recap of all the IPL action. Here, you can catch up with all the past week’s action in just 10 minutes.
Game 54: MI vs RCB
Royal Challengers Bangalore 142 for 1 (Gayle 82*) beat Mumbai Indians 141 for 6 (Karthik 44) by nine wickets
Match in 140 characters: RCB bowlers finally fire to restrict the Mumbai Indians to 141; Gayle and Kohli seal the chase without any fuss, as RCB move to 4th spot
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: When the Mumbai Indians somehow rebuilt their way back to 100/4 in 15 overs, it looked like they had a good launching pad for the big hitters to come in and boost the run rate; instead it was that man Murali, who not for the first time derailed the opposition’s hopes by picking two wickets off successive deliveries.
Viagra Performer of the day: Chris Gayle got the Orange Cap, scored 500 runs in the tournament, and scored another match winning knock to lead RCB to victory. He has hardly been troubled this season, and it is a troubling sign for all bowlers as IPL 5 reaches it business end.
Best tweet of the game: Umpire thinks about giving it out. But then sees it’s Bhajji, decides NO WAY can Bhajji get a wicket. (by @thecricketcouch)

Jimmy Anderson Raring to go Against West Indies


Very nearly 9 years ago to the day, a young Lancastrian with a wild mane that made KP's "badger mullet" look like a short back n' sides burst onto the international scene. His name was James Michael Anderson and his objective was to become the finest fast bowler his country would see for a generation. 

Anderson was an instant England success taking a five wicket haul on debut against Zimbabwe at Lords in 2003. He was an archetypal England county cricketer, bowling with swing at a decent lick of pace, taking a shed load of wickets in the process.

Things obviously progressed apace for the Burnley Express until England's coaches decided to meddle with his unconventional bowling action. Duncan Fletcher and then bowling coach Troy Cooley believed his action could cause injury later in his career, but a drastic re-engineering of his technique brought about, ironically, an injury in the shape of a stress fracture to the back. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Plunder Games – Week 5 Recap


Have you been too busy studying for your exams to take note of what has been going on in the IPL? Or have you been too engrossed in searching for a job to know who has hit the most ‘DLF Maximums’ over the past week? Maybe all your time is being taken up by stalking your ex-boyfriend; or you could just be some closeted IPL fan who likes to keep up appearances by publicly denouncing the ‘pajama cricket’ but want to know how your favorite IPL team is doing?
Never fear. For the attention-deficit IPL fan in you, I present to you ‘The Plunder Games’ – a weekly recap of all the IPL action. Here, you can catch up with all the past week’s action in just 10 minutes.
Game 44: KXIP vs RCB
Kings XI Punjab 163 for 6 (Saini 50, Hussey 45, Mandeep 43) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 158 for 5 (Gayle 71, Kohli 45, Mahmood 3-20) by four wickets
Match in 140 characters: PK and Mahmood restrict RCB to 158 despite another Gayle 50; freak run outs threaten to derail easy chase, but Chawla takes KXIP home
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: KXIP should never have had to sweat in the closing stages of the game, after the impressive performance of their seamers and their top order batsmen; but there they were, inducing themselves into a state of panic after some tight bowling by RCB in the final overs. With 2 runs needed off 2 deliveries, it needed the much maligned Piyush Chawla to deliver the winning moment with a thumping hit over long on.
Viagra Performer of the day: Azhar Mahmood continued his impressive performance in the IPL, bagging the MOM award for his efforts; but he reaped the rewards of Praveen Kumar’s highly skilled opening spell where he conceded only 8 runs off his stipulated overs, which was bowled to the likes of Gayle and Kohli.
Best tweet of the day: At the end of the day, Ravi Shastri is the real winner coz the match has gone down to the wire! #ipl (by @coolfunnytshirt)

Hampshire comment: Stalemate against Falcons


The end of the football season showed us cricket lovers a few things. One is the delight we can all share in the fact that a Joey Barton equivalent doesn't exist in the sport. The other is that, in its purest form, the exhilaration of success and devastation of failure are what makes sport what it is; the greatest entertainment on earth.
 
And it was with the Premier League's Mancunian dichotomy in mind that I chose to reflect on the bore draw between Hampshire and Derbyshire this weekend - probably not my smartest moves.
 
And sure, losing two full days of cricket to rain as we did at the Ageas Bowl last week was never going to be conducive to achieving a result in this match, and so it came to pass with the game petering out into a tepid draw on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hampshire Comment: Finding a Balance

One of the biggest challenges for any county cricket club is having a squad that can be competitive in all three disciplines of the game. Counties at least can recruit high-profile overseas players for the Friends Life T20 tournament, ensuring exciting cricket for packed houses and TV audiences alike.

The other two disciplines need to be considered as well though, with the LV County Championship still the cornerstone of the English domestic game ad Clydesdale Bank 40 overs cricket offering participants another chance of silverware.

For Hampshire, their 4-day game has come up short  in recent years whilst failure in the CB40 format has really only left the Friends Life T20 tournament as a possible avenue to success, one they took in 2010 of course. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Plunder Games – Week 4 Recap


Have you been too busy studying for your exams to take note of what has been going on in the IPL? Or have you been too engrossed in searching for a job to know who has hit the most ‘DLF Maximums’ over the past week? Maybe all your time is being taken up by stalking your ex-boyfriend; or you could just be some closeted IPL fan who likes to keep up appearances by publicly denouncing the ‘pajama cricket’ but want to know how your favorite IPL team is doing?
Never fear. For the attention-deficit IPL fan in you, I present to you ‘The Plunder Games’ – a weekly recap of all the IPL action. Here, you can catch up with all the past week’s action in just 10 minutes.
Game 33: MI vs KXIP
Match in 140 characters: Hussey and Miller’s late burst propels Kings XI to 168; MI stutter in their chase but Peterson and Rayadu batter Chawla to steal a victory
#TrottsFault: Once upon a time, Chawla was considered to be Anil Kumble’s successor; but in the years past, his performances have been unconvincing, and culminated today in a disastrous over yielding 27 runs and a stunning win to the Mumbai Indians
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: In hindsight, the wicket of Harbhajan Singh turned out to be a blessing for the Mumbai Indians. It brought in Robin Peterson, whose switch hits coupled with Rayadu’s brilliance sealed the fate of the Kings XI Punjab.
Viagra Performer of the day: Ambati Rayadu, for as long as he was there, Mumbai Indians believed; and he didn’t disappoint.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hants Comment: Hampshire vs Leicestershire LVCC

When the rain hit the borough of Eastleigh last Friday it seemed as though it may never stop. It did of course, for a bit, but with only ten overs bowled on days three and four of Hampshire's match against Leicestershire at the Ageas Bowl, there was no chance of a result being reached in Hants 3rd game of the season.

Drawing against Leicester might  have been considered a decent result before a ball was bowled last week but, having restricted the visitors to just 234 in their first innings having been 148/3 earlier in proceedings, as well as reaching a promising 217/4 themselves with the bat, the Royals will wonder what could have been from the match.