Challenger Trophy 2006 - Blues Vs Reds - Second Half Notes

Story of the second session

The Willow Version

The story of the Blues' innings followed a very familiar pattern. A good start, a few sudden wickets followed by a resurrecting partnership and then finally a late-order collapse. Sachin and Sehwag walked into open and quickly got into their groove. Aided by some over-aggressive wayward short-pitched bowling by Sreesanth and Zaheer, the openers quickly raced to 70 in 10 overs, with Sachin doing the bulk of the scoring. After playing out a maiden off Sreesanth, Sachin unfurled his full repertoire of over-the-top strokes, including a pulled 6 and a charge down the pitch which ended up going over the long-on fence.

After 10 overs, Venu Rao decided not to take the power play option and introduced spin from both ends and this brought down the scoring rate a bit. Sehwag who was happy to play the second fiddle till then, tried to hit Powar out of the ground, the ball went miles into the air and VRV Singh spilled the sitter. He didn't last long though, getting himself runout (28 off 36 balls) the very next over off a no-ball.

Six runs and 10 ten balls later, Tendulkar played an uppish drive off Zaheer Khan's bowling straight into the hands of Venu Rao at short cover. Sachin seemed to be in imperious form scoring 61 off 70 balls with 44 of those runs coming in boundaries. Hope he continues this form atleast till the end of the world cup.

Rahul Dravid is going through a real rough run with the bat. He was slow getting his bat down in time and got wrapped on the pads by an incutter off VRV Singh. Mahendra Singh Dhoni came in next to take advantage of the delayed introduction of the power-play overs, smashed a boundary through the offside and got out caught behind trying to smash one more.

Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia then stitched together a 79 run partnership for the 5th wicket off 86 balls by playing some good sensible cricket. They made the most of some listless bowling by Ramesh Powar and just when it seemed that they would take the Blues home, Mongia fell (26 off 47 balls) trying to pull Karthik over the mid-wicket fence. Karthik struck again with the last ball off his spell as Yuvi (57 off 59 balls) tried smacking one over the in-field only to find Uthappa at mid-wicket in the way. The only good thing (apart from the opening stand) about the Blues' batting today was Yuvi's return to form. He didnt score any runs in Malaysia and it was very important that he ran into some decent form before the start of the Champions trophy. This outing should definitely put him in a good frame of mind.

Pathan and Harbhajan kept the chase interesting for a while, but they kept losing wickets and they finally fell short by 21 runs.

The Leather Version

Zaheer Khan ended up with pretty decent figures of 2 for 34 off 8.3 overs but he did really have a tough time bowling to Sachin in the first 10 overs. He kept erring in line, feeding Sachin with lots of hit-me deliveries on the leg-stump and that is definitely not a wise thing to do when you are trying to impress the selectors. He is guaranteed to have one more game in the series and he would definitely be looking to add to this performance today. The good thing is that he looks lean and really fit and hungry for some international action.

Sreesanth had a mixed outing. He bowled 3 maidens but went for 58 in the remaining 6 overs that he delivered. His opening spell to Sachin and Sehwag was quite dramatic with him staring at the batsman after every delivery. Well, there might be some who would think that you should never stare at Sachin (blasphemous, GODs aren't to be stared at), but it was really good to see the youngster get charged up and give his all. Sachin did have the last laugh smashing the Kerala speedster for 2 huge sixers. Sreesanth bowled really well to Sehwag, pitching it short and into the body and Sehwag didn't like it at all. There were some words exchanged and it was good to see that kind of intensity in a domestic game.

Murali Karthik was the pick of the bowlers for me. He was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and found turn and bounce off the very first ball that he bowled. He picked up the crucial wickets of Mongia and Yuvi, just when the two southpaws started to threaten to take the game away from the Reds. For someone who is coming back from an injury, he did enough to suggest to the selectors that he is still the third best spinner (and the best left-armer) in the country.

Ramesh Powar had a very forgettable day in the office. After being out first ball with the bat, he just couldn't get it right with the ball either. He kept bowling short and down the wrong line and it was no surprise that he went wicketless, conceding 68 off his 10 overs.

VRV Singh was the one who brought the Reds back into the game after the Blues' openers made it look very easy for the batting side. He bowled with some real good pace and steepling bounce. For me, he was the best paceman on display today. His three wickets (for 49 off 10 overs) included those of Dravid and Dhoni and the Punjab lad should be mighty pleased with his efforts for the day.

At the start of the game, Venu Rao mentioned that it was a real privilege to lead the Reds against the Senior squad and he should be really proud of the way he led today. His field placements after the initial ten overs were spot on and he kept the pressure constantly on with close-in fielders even when Yuvi and Mongia were going about doing their business effortlessly during the middle overs.

The Blues have less than 24 hours to go and recharge themselves before turning up again tomorrow against the Ganguly-present Greens. One more loss tomorrow and the fans and the media would sure be gunning for some heads to roll.

Labels: , ,

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Anonymous rajeev 11:38 PM

Hi,

Nice blog!

Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?

Eg: www.ilaaka.com

www.onyomo.com

Thanks!

Rajeev    



Blogger rajeev 3:52 AM

Hi,

Nice blog!

Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?

Eg: www.ilaaka.com

www.onyomo.com

Thanks!

Rajeev    



» Post a Comment