Monday, January 16, 2017

Arbit Stats #63: Kiwis sneak in on the Tigers

Test Match #2246: New Zealand vs Bangladesh

Continuing with the recent trend that a good 1st innings score of the visiting team is just not good enough by the end of 5th day's play. And 5 days is a long passage of play.

595/8 - Bangladesh are now the owners of the unwanted record of the biggest 1st innings total ending in a loss, breaking 19th century record

5 - Number of catches held by Imrul Kayes as a substitue keeper. 

5 days is long time. And this 3rd innings is proving decisive these days.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ranji Trophy 16-17: Semi-Final Jharkhand vs Gujarat

Match Summary: Gujarat (390 & 252) beat Jharkhand (418 & 111) by 123 runs   

At the fag end of the 4th day's play, Jharkhand's dream run came to a brutal and quick end. In a seesawing game, fortunes swung one way and then the other. Gujarat began briskly on Day 1, Jharkhand hauled them back on Day 2 but the 8th wicket partnership resisted long and took the score to 390. Jharkhand were in trouble early in the innings but Ishank Jaggi and others dragged them to the crucial first innings lead of 18 runs. But in a 5 day match, with a brisk run-rate from both sides only an outright victory was going to secure the result. Gujarat set a competitive target of 235. And then in the 4th innings, Jharkhand capitulated against the pace duo of RP Singh and Jasprit Bumrah and lost by 123 runs. The margin does not do justice to the intensity of the battle.

In the end it wasn't to be. Although this certainly was Jharkhand's greatest run in the Ranji Trophy (not counting their previous avatar of Bihar, who once finished runners-up).  The season has thrown up a lot of youngsters like Ishan Kishan, Virat Singh, Kaushal Singh who are ready to take on the mantle. The senior lot of Saurabh Tiwary, Ishank Jaggi and Shahbaz Nadeem are also likely to be in the mix for some more time.

  • It was refreshing to see Jharkhand's batting being more than just Saurabh Tiwary for a change who had another 500+ run season. Ishank Jaggi and Ishan Kishan added lots of firepower to the batting.
  • Meanwhile Shahbaz Nadeem is set to top the wicket-taking charts for a second year in a row. Wonder what else he needs to do for the national call-up now. 
  • Fitness issues have plagued the team's bowling attack with Varun Aaron missing most of the season. Ashish Kumar's injury during the Quarter-finals also hasn't helped.
  • The opening partnerships were another area of concern throughout.

Good performances in the forthoming Vijay Hazare Trophy should see some of the youngsters in contention for IPL contracts which could be their stepping stone to the A Squad and then onwards to the national team.

Season Stats
Top Scorer: Ishank Jaggi 890 @59.33
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 56 @25.61
Player Count: 17

Hopefully this season has set the tone for another good run in the next one.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Twenty16 Lineup

We are just a couple of days into 2017. And the cricketing action is already in full gear with South Africa-Sri Lanks Test matches, Big Bash League and Ranji Trophy semi-finals and that most intriguing off-field battle between Supreme Court and BCCI underway But before we move too far ahead, Slipstream Cricket continues its annual tradition of picking the year's cricketing moments to remember.

1. 6, 6, 6, 6 – Carlos Brathwaite – Remember the name
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And Carlos Brathwaite certainly came big time. With 19 needed off the last over in the World T20 finals, Brathwaite hammers 4 consecutive sixes to win the game with 2 balls to spare. "Remember the name", boomed Ian Bishop from the commentary box.Ben Stokes certainly wouldn't be forgetting this one. 

2. Speech of the Year - Darren Sammy
The West Indies men and women had just won the T20 World Cups. Just weeks after their Under-19 team had also become World Champions. The skipper, Darren Sammy, chose this moment to bare his heart out to the world. It was quite a damning indictment of the West Indies Cricket Board. And this was the last time Sammy has played for the West Indies.

3. Going Out on a High - Brendon McCullum
The much loved Kiwi skipper decided to hang up his boots and give his back a rest from the wear and tear of international cricket. And did he bow out in style by smashing the record for the fastest century in Test cricket. It wasn't enough to prevent a defeat to the Aussies, but it was a fitting farewell to the man who really launched the IPL with his blazing bat.

4. Celebrations of the Year - Misbah-ul-Haq
He is now well past 40.Yet when he gets a century he celebrates by doing push-ups on the ground. We all know the end is nigh, but will Misbah to go on and on. After all he is the senior statesman the world cricket needs.

5. And they all fall down 
Win toss, bat first, score over 400 and still contrive to lose, by an innings. Happened only twice in over 2200 Tests till November 2016. In December, happened thrice, England twice and Pakistan once. The 3rd innings collapse became the new statement.

6. The Run Machine - Virat Kohli
Regardless of the format, Tests, ODI, T20I, IPL, the Virat Kohli run machine just kept chugging on. All tricky chases turned formulaic. India's batting revolved around one single man. And he kept delivering, time and again. The only batsman to have an average of 50+ in all three formats of the international game.

7. The Year of Comebacks
2016 started with Ashish Nehra opening the bowling for India after 4 years, somewhere in the middle Gautam Gambhir opened the batting after 3 years and capping off the year of comebacks, Parthiv Patel was keeping wickets for India in Tests after 8 years. And all of them doing a decent job. At this rate we might get to see Munaf Patel and RP Singh leading the Indian attack soon. 

8. The run-outs
The batsmen trying to sneak a run. The fielding team taking the ball and breaking the stumps just before he makes it to the ground. No better sight in cricket. And this year we had two memorable efforts - Dhoni preventing a last gasp Bangladeshi win and Temba Bavuma acrobatically running out David Warner.


9. Doing it all by yourself - Shania Lee-Swart
You see weird scorecards and then you see one person making 160 runs in a team total of 169. 

Isn't cricket supposed to be a team sport?

10. Contest of the Year
Unfortunately for the fans this wasn't played out on the field. The BCCI's attempts at revamping itself haven't satisfied the Supreme Court. The Board gave an inch when it was asked a mile. The shadow boxing continued all year long. Finally the Lodha committee had the last laugh, with the new year beginning with the suspension of current administration. Lets see how 2017 pans out in this legal battle.

11. 1009 Not Out
How does someone score 1009 runs in a single innings. Albeit it was school cricket, played in a smallish ground against a junior popgun attack, but Pranav Dhanawade managed to break the 1000 run barrier in a single innings. His later goings on haven't been exactly cricket though!

12. And for the 12th Man
Dwayne John Bravo took his DJ initals very seriously. And came up with the Champion song, where he put in his own name along with the likes of Nelson Mandela!!! Well it is his song. It did become the de facto celebration of the cricketing world.


That was cricketing year 2016. Now lets see what 2017 has in store for us!!!

Wishing all readers a very Happy New Year 2017 !!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ranji Trophy 16-17: Quarter-finals Jharkhand vs Haryana

The season just keeps on getting better and better for the team. They are through to the semi-finals with an outright win to boot and that too after playing the entire game with effectively 10 players.

The start was inauspicious with Jharkhand losing their pace spearhead Ashish Kumar to injury in the 3rd over of the game. But shahbaz Nadeem picked up 7 wickets to knock over Haryana. The batsmen then managed a big lead with Virat Singh getting a century. In the second innings, Haryana tried to make a comeback but Nadeem picked up 4 more. The target of 170 odd would have tricky, but Ishan Kishan who was promoted to open the batting had other ideas. Jharkhand put on their best opening partnership of the season as they cantered to a 5-wicket victory.

Coming up next - semi-final against Gujarat whose Samit Gohil broke a 117 year old first class record of the highest score while carrying the bat.

P.S. probably the first time a Jharkhand Ranji game was televised.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Arbit Stats #62: Most Improved

Test Match #2241: India vs England

a) Karun Nair becomes the second Indian batsman to score a triple hundred in Test match cricket.

b) Karun Nair becomes the fastest to score a triple hundred in just his 3rd Test innings.

c) But most importantly Karun Nair improves his highest Test score from 13 to 303 not out, a whopping improvement of 290 runs !!! beating Tip Foster who scored 287 on debut (!!!).

Now, thats what you call improvement.

By the looks of it, he should have a decent career ahead.

P.S. Stats courtesy Andy Zaltzman - the master of all weird statistics.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ranji Trophy 16-17: Jharkhand vs Odisha

Match Summary: Odisha (152 & 103) lost to Jharkhand (348) by innings & 93 runs   
Points: Jharkhand 7, Odisha 0

It was a dead rubber with both teams having qualified. However being the only game underway, it had the undivided attention of India's domestic cricket followers with the key point of interest being whether Jharkhand would overtake Karnataka to be the group toppers.

And top they did and in quite some style smashing Odisha by an innings to take a bonus point as well. They ran through the Odisha batting on first day with spinners Nadeem and Sunny Gupta doing most of the damage. Then put on a big lead with fifties from Virat Singh (on comeback), Saurabh Tiwary and Kaushal Singh. Then they ran through Odisha once again with Nadeem and Kaushal Singh doing most of the damage. Certainly a morale-boosting win to take into the knock-outs.

A 5th win of the season and impressive performance throughout was bound to bring you in the limelight. And Cricinfo did a whole article on the youthful Jharkhand team, who are looking ahead to create a name for themselves.

Highlights
  • Team Changes: In - Virat Singh, Sunny Gupta, Vikash Singh; Out - Ashish Kumar, Pratyush Singh, Rahul Shukla (after a Man-of the-Match effort in the previous game!). 
  • Kaushal Singh received the Man-of-the-Match award.
Season Stats
Top Scorer: Ishank Jaggi 675 @61.36
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 39 @28.26
Player Count: 17

Points Tally - 39 after 8 games to take the top spot in the group. Meanwhile Odisha keep 3rd place to also qualify for the knock-outs.

Coming Up Next - Haryana in the Quarter-finals. They will be likely to be bolstered by the return of Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav from national duty (injuries permitting). 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Arbit Stats #61: Is it a Team Sport?

Just when you think you have seen all the bizarre scorecards, this comes up.
Image Source: ESPN Cricinfo
In an Under-19 Women's Game in South Africa, Mpumalanga's Shania-Lee Swart scored 160 unbeaten runs out of her team's total of 169 runs. All her fellow batters scored a grand total of O (Zero) between them with Extras contributing 9 !!!

This was more than enough to win the game for Mpumalanga as their opponents Easterns could muster only 127 with Swart who also opened the bowling picked up two wickets.

An innings which single-handedly took her team to victory. Must have been some performance.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Flashbacks

Test Match #2239: India vs England, Mumbai
Virat Kohli and Jayant Yadav put on a double-century stand (215 unbeaten at Lunch on Day 4), grinding down the English bowlers to put India into a commanding position in the 4th Test of the series. During the course of the innings they created a new Indian record for the highest 8th wicket partnership in Test cricket, breaking the old record of 161 between Azhar and Kumble made in 1996 against South Africa at Eden Gardens.

And what a game that was. Still have distinct memories of the game. Inspite of the fact that I was in school and only saw the highlights at the end of day's plays. And while the scorecard  says, South Africa won by a huge margin of 329 runs, this game still holds lots of wonderful memories for the Indian fan.

South Africa had galloped ahead and India were playing catch-up throughout the game. The openers put on a double century opening stand but were reined in by Venkatesh Prasad, probably the gentlest of medium-pacers, who took a 5-wicket haul in a space of five overs. This man had the ability to produce something special out of nowhere. (Never forget "THAT" response to Aamer Sohail!!!).

In response, the Indian top order collapsed. Nothing unusual in those days specially in the face of the top quality fast bowling. Azhar had to retire hurt, while Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, VVS (the last 3 in their 1st year of Test cricket) were all dismissed cheaply. A follow-on seemed imminent before Azhar returned and in Kumble's company just hammered everything in sight. Eden Gardens has witnessed many a spectacular performance and this certainly was one of them. Our class was updated of the score by the teachers and also one enterprising fellow who had smuggled in a pocket radio. The score certainly moved at T20esque pace with Azhar having taken a particular liking to the debutante Klusener. The highlight was Azhar hammering Klusener for 5 boundaries in a single over. 

Source: Cricinfo
The partnership brought India back into the game. Azhar recorded the fastest Test century by an Indian batsman. When he got going, it wasn't a flash in the pan but a lightning storm. But it soon got over. Meanwhile we willed on Kumble to get to his first Test century but that wasn't to be. (Kumble did eventually score one a decade later).

As is wont with the Indian fan, the partnership flashed hopes of an unlikely victory. But it wasn't to be as the ruthless South Africans put in a big score in the second innings and gave us an even bigger target in the second. And Lance Klusener had his redemption picking up 8 wickets in the second.

But for that glorious afternoon when Azhar got going and Kumble stayed on, What a wonderful passage of play that was. The ones which stay in your memory even twenty years later!


P.S. Jayant Yadav got to his maiden Test hundred and the partnership ends at 241.

P.P.S. End of Amit Mishra's Test career? Or he makes another comeback?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ranji Trophy 16-17: Jharkhand vs Assam

Match Summary: Jharkhand (316 &111/5) beat Assam (126 & 299 (f/o)) by 5 wickets  
Points: Jharkhand 6, Assam 0

Jharkhand recorded their 4 win of the season to seal a knock-out berth for a second year in a row. And with Karnataka losing to Saurashtra, they also leap-frogged to the top spot in the group.

Assam won the toss and put Jharkhand into bat. They were in early trouble before the experienced pair of Saurabh Tiwary and Ishank Jaggi built together a 149 run partnership for the 4th wicket. There wasn't any other substantial contribution as the team folded out for 316. This proved a big score as the Jharkhand seamers shot out Assam for 126 and enforced the follow-on. In the second innings Assam's top 3 wiped out the 190 run deficit but the rest could not add much as they collapsed form 225/1 to 299 all out leaving a target of 110. Jharkhand's chase was wobbly but Jaggi's brisk innings guided them to victory.

Highlights
  • Team Changes: In - Rahul Shukla (playing his 1st game of the season) Out - Samar Quadri. 
  • 50 career wickets for Rahul Shukla who also received the Man-of-the-Match award.
Season Stats
Top Scorer: Ishank Jaggi 651 @65.10
Most Wickets: Shahbaz Nadeem 32 @32.59
Player Count: 17

Points Tally - 32 after 7 games to move up to the top spot. And with this victory Jharkhand confirm their spot in the knock-outs. Meanwhile Assam drop down to the bottom of the group.

Coming Up Next - 3rd place Odisha for whom it is a very critical match. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Arbit Stats #60: Lower Order Muscle

Test Match #2238: India vs England

India suddenly find themselves in a spot of bother with half the team gone and trailing by 130 odd runs in the first innings. England start seeing a sliver of light for a Test win.

Enter the Indian bowling attack. But with the bat.
Ravichandran Ashwin (72), Ravindra Jadeja (90 and Jayant Yadav (55) pack in a lot of punch to take India to a a lead of 130 odd in the first innings.

And in the process becoming the first ever Indian batting (or maybe bowling trio) trio to score a fifty from positions 7, 8 and 9 in the same innings.

Certainly deserve a bonus with them doing all the bowling and batting.

Image from ESPNCricinfo