Freely Scripted Soul

March 16, 2006

Aus vs SA – 5th ODI

Filed under: Cricket — Roshan @ 2:11 pm

Undoubtedly, the greatest cricket match I have ever watched. The irony is that I started watching it only after 45 overs of the first innings and missed some initial overs of the second innings. For most of the time I watched, it was unbelievable and for some time, I even felt like I was dreaming.

When I started watching, Australia were 370/2 after 45 overs. No team has reached 400 against any team, not even against minnows and Australia is doing it against SA, which has a good bowling attack. WOW!!! Great batting. Ponting, Gilchrist and Hussey were all superb. Ponting likes this ground(I dont want to remember his last knock in this ground – in the World Cup final)

Some commentator(I dont remember his name) was saying when the Australian innings was ending that it is upto the SA batsmen now to do something. He was pointing at Gibbs and Smith to put up a fight. I was laughing. Chasing a total no one had made till that day. NO WAY

I didnt watch some part of SA innings since I didnt feel they had any chance(who would!!!!). When I watched again, Smith and Gibbs were batting fantastically. From then on, I didnt miss it. The South Africans were giving the Australians a run for their money.

Gibbs played the knock of his life. It is the greatest ODI innings I have watched. He took calculated risks and his timing was superb. Until he was there, the hope was alive and he didnt look to get out. Once he got out, the scoring rate got down a bit but the hope was still there.

When Kemp got out, I expected Pollock to come but then I came to know that he was injured. Vander Wath came to the crease. The asking rate was high and there were just a few wickets in hand. Bracken was bowling well. So I thought the fight had pretty much ended but Wath played a cameo. The hope rekindled and Boucher took it really close. From there, SA shouldnt have lost. The last over brought us flashback of SA’s performances in the World Cup. In the end, Boucher held his nerve and SA won a well deserved win.

This win should do a whole lot of good to SA. If you observe history of cricket, Australians have usually won most of the close matches they have played and SA have lost most of the close matches they have been part of.

Australia’s bowling department has real problems. Not being able to defend 434 runs is ridiculous. Without Warne and McGrath, they are suffering. Their No. 1 spot is under threat, atleast in ODIs. I think Ponting made a few lapses in bowling changes at the death. He gave the 48th over to Lewis who went for lots of runs. He could have given it to a more experienced bowler, Brett Lee under such circumstances. That could have been the deciding factor.

It would be a disgrace to Gibbs’ knock if he had to share the Man of the Match with Ponting. Gibbs’ knock was under pressure, chasing and arguably the greatest knock ever. Ponting’s knock was also good but you cant put it in the same class as Gibbs’. Rightly, Ponting rejected to share it and Gibbs was the Man of the Match.

Overall, the match has set new standards for cricket. The highest score of 434 was broken within 4 or 5 hrs!!! No one could have thought of such a match and such a result. A great treat to watch.

PS : I dont think the records made in this match would be broken within the next 10 years, atleast.


February 21, 2006

Ind vs Pak – 5th ODI

Filed under: Cricket — Roshan @ 10:01 am

i couldnt watch the complete match.. i watched some of the highlights, India’s batting mainly… i would like to comment on that mainly…

first of all, Dravid again shouldered responsibility n came in opening… Gambhir n Dravid batted sensibly… there were trying to save wickets for the on slaught later.. quite a few people arent happy the way Dravid batted.. they think he should have been more aggresive.. but i think he did what the team had planned.. that is to save the youngsters for the on slaught later.. Gambhir i think missed out on a golden oppurtunity.. i had expected Raina or Kaif to come early.. but they didnt come.. i think the Indians were more wanting to win than experiment… so the inform batsmen Yuvi n Dhoni came in.. both of them played superbly.. it looked at one stage, when the required rate was above 8, that the match would go to the last over but both of them batted superbly to do it easily in the end…

the indians were very good, no doubt but the pak team didnt do well… there were without some imp players but india too were short of their imp players.. there r no such excuses in cricket.. pak was awful in the field.. when Yuvi was injured n wasnt able to move his feet comfortably, they bowled badly to him n strayed on to his pads which Yuvi easily dispatched for boundaries… that eased the pressure… they should have made him work more hard…

a deserving victory for the indians.. they r looking better n better… i think they need to strengthen their bowling to give the aussies a real challenge…

February 17, 2006

Ind vs Pak – 4th ODI

Filed under: Cricket — Roshan @ 10:14 am

as a cricket fan, i would want pak to win this one so that the last match would be the series decider.. but as an indian, i would want India to win this one n the next one n everything thereafter too.. i guess the Indian in me is more dominant…

i had expected a real tough match, pak giving their best.. after Dravid won the toss n put pak into batting, i had expected a total of around 300 this time around.. but it turned out to be worst batting display by the pak team.. the Indians bowled well excluding the no. of wides RP Singh bowled.. but the pakistanis should blame themselves for a poor batting display.. their top order has failed in every match other than the first one, for their shot selection has been poor.. this time the man in form Malik too was dismissed early.. Yousuf n Inzi played pretty well though.. but once Yousuf got out the road was extremely tough… but i hadnt thought they would be all out till Inzi was there at the crease.. but even Inzi couldnt stop the disaster… they were all out for a very low total of 161..

this total wasnt in any way enough to test the strong Indian line up on such a good batting wicket.. Sami was good to start off.. he had to prove his critics wrong, i guess.. Asif wasnt at his usual best.. Sachin n Gambhir went early but Dravid n Yuvi played really well to take the match out of the Pakistanis hand.. Raina got his first chance in the series n he looked good.. hes a promising player to look forward to.. but Kaif’s poor form continues.. if he this continues in 1 or 2 more matches, i wouldnt be surprised if he is dropped or made a super-sub n Raina replacing him (since Chapell is the head now, not Ganguly)..

India won the match comfortably even though they would have liked to have lost a few wickets less.. Pak have to really pull up their socks now…

the after match comments by Dravid were great.. when Ramiz asked him what his plan would be for the England team which is touring India next, Dravid’s reply was that he would think about the next match against Pak now n then he would think about the England team.. way to go…

Imran Khan made a good point in the show after the match.. he said.. good teams analyse their losses – how they lost n what were their weaknesses, great teams even analyse their wins – how they won n what were their strengths… Pak was definitely defensive in the first 2 tests n in the ODIs, neither did they take adv of the test series win nor did they play to their strengths.. that was what he intended to say i think… n Imran n i both feel that the coaches of both sides were the most imp factor that decided the fate of the series..
India is now looking a good ODI team.. Dravid n Chapell have really done a good job.. i think they r one good bowler short though…

February 14, 2006

Ind vs Pak – 3rd ODI

Filed under: Cricket — Roshan @ 10:01 am

a crucial match, midway thru the series will set the tone for the last two matches…

dravid surprised everyone at the toss by not only winning it for the first time in the series but also dropping powar, making zaheer as the super sub and taking rp singh… pathan was as usual in the beginning.. even though india was sloppy in catching, the pressure was showing on the pak team.. malik i think played a good knock… and razzaq showed his flair in the end.. i thought india had given 20 runs too many.. but still they had adv…

asif bowled really well.. the going was tough and irfan didnt pay off this time.. dravid and sachin played beautiful.. if one of them had gone at that time, the story would have different… sachin, after a long time was at his near best.. the combination of controlled aggression and experience… but when kaif got out, i felt for the first time that pak was on top.. yuvi continued his super form.. dhoni was the man whom pak will remember always.. he dismantled their attack.. and he deserved the man of the match award… in the end, it looked an easy win…
the after match ceremony had the pak president mushsharaff.. he praised dhoni.. and i liked it.. players like yuvi, kaif, pathan and dhoni r really come good when it matters..

and in an interview.. chapell first put emphasis on the dropped catches.. and then he said why they had taken rp singh in the teamand made zaheer as the sub.. to give youngsters a chance in pressure matches… that justifies the exclusion of laxman, ganguly and kumble (though i sometimes support them).. the team is doing well now.. and in the near future, has all the potential to be world beaters…


Filed under: Cricket — Roshan @ 9:23 am

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