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Sunday, 18 August 2019

SOUTH AFRICA CRICKET




Choking Tales of South Africa in World Cups


South Africa has always been a team to look out for in the World Cups. And most of the time they have managed to keep the fans' hopes alive, but unfortunately only up to the semi finals. At times they even managed to find ways to make an exit even without reaching the knock out stages. Despite being the firm favorites in many World cup campaigns, South Africa has never managed to get into the final, let alone winning the cup.


1992 World Cup


It was the first World cup campaign for South Africa. They were banned from International cricket in 1970. They had just returned to the International arena in 1991 and many cricket lovers didn't expect  South Africa to do wonders in the current World Cup. But they went on to surprise everyone winning 5 out of 8 matches. They qualified for the semi finals with ease. But the semifinal match turned out to be a tragedy for the resurgent South Africans. England made 252/6 in the first innings with Graeme Hick scoring 83. South Africa was on the course of victory with 23 required off 13 deliveries when the rain interrupted.Later when the rain had stopped South African target was revised as 21 required of 1 delivery! It paved way for the heart breaking exit for South Africa from their first ever World cup.


1996 World Cup


In 1992 South Africa surprised everyone by reaching the semifinals.But it was a different situation in 1996. Everyone expected them to reach the semifinals and even win the world cup. South Africa played up to the expectations winning all the 5 matches in the first round. The had beaten Pakistan,New Zealand,England,UAE and Netherlands.They topped the group. But they were eliminated in the quarter finals by the West Indies.West Indies made 264/8 in the first innings,thanks to a well made 111 off 94 deliveries by Brian Lara. In reply, South Africa could only manage 245, despite half centuries from Hudson and Cullinan.


                                                      Andrew Hudson

1999 World Cup


Just like in the previous edition of World Cup,South Africa managed to top the group in the first stage. They had won 4 out of the 5 matches. In the Super 6 stage they won 3 out of 5 matches. Another tragedy awaited them in the semi finals. Lance Klusener fought with all his heart in the semi finals against Australia,but the unfortunate run out of Allan Donald in the final over brought curtains to the South African dream. The match was tied with both teams scoring 213. Since Australia has defeated South Africa in the Super 6 stage , Australia went on to make into the finals.
                                                       Lance Klusener

2003 World Cup


It was the first World cup hosted by Africa. South Africa,Kenya and Zimbabwe jointly hosted the tournament. But, despite having the home advantage, it was the worst World cup performance of South Africa.They managed only 3 wins out of 6 matches in the preliminary stage and crashed out the tournament. They had defeated Bangladesh ,Kenya and Canada. They lost the matches against West Indies and New Zealand.The match against Srilanka was tied. Once again rain played spoil sport on South African dreams. South Africa needed to win the match against Srilanka to advance to the next stage.But some calculation mistakes by South Africa in the Duckwoth Lewis method cost them the game. Srilanka had scored 268/9 with Marvan Attapattu scoring a century in the first innings. Chasing the score was not easy in those damp conditions.But Hershelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher kept the hopes alive.Gibbs scored 73 and Boucher scored an unbeaten 45. The D/L method showed 229/6 as par score in 45 overs. South Africa scored 229/6 in 44.5 overs. they had 1 ball to spare. Last ball was defended off without scoring to prevent loss of any further wicket and South Africa rejoiced in the thought of a victory. But later it was clarified by the cricketing officials that they had to go par the score of 229 . That is they had to score 1 more run to win the match. So the match was tied and once again the cricketing world witnessed the heartbreaking exit of South Africa.


                                                  Herschelle Gibbs

2007 World Cup


2007 World cup held in the Caribbean islands witnessed the exit of India and Pakistan in the group stage after their shocking defeats against Bangladesh and Ireland respectively. South Africa qualified for the Super 8 stage winning 2 off their 3 matches. They were the 4th team to qualify to the semifinals. But once again they lost the semi finals, and this time to the Australians. South Africa could only manage 149 in the first innings and Australia chased down the target rather easily.


2011 World Cup


In 2011 too they went past the group stage. They won 5 of the 6 matches. South Africa was the only team to beat India in the tournament. But once again they choked in the knock out stage. They lost in the quarter finals against the Kiwis. Chasing 222 they were all out for 172. Interestingly it was under a South African coach, Gary Kirsten , India lifted their world cup in 2011.


2015 World Cup


In the group stage they won 4 out of 6 games and were second in their group. Nevertheless, they advanced to the quarterfinals and defeated the 2011 finalists Srilanka. But just like the previous edition, Kiwis proved to be a thorn in flesh for the South Africans. The Black caps managed to defeat Proteas and advance to the finals for the first time in the world cup history. Batting first, South Africa posted 281/5 with Duplessi and AB de-Villers scoring half centuries.David Miller made a quick fire 18 ball 49. New Zealand target was revised to 298 in 43 overs by D/L method. New Zealand chased down the target with 1 ball to spare riding on half centuries  from Grant Elliott 84(73), McCullum 59(26) and Corey Anderson 58(57).


2019 World Cup


World cup 2019 was  a forgettable experience for the Rainbow nation. They lost against England, Bangladesh,India,New Zealand and Pakistan. The consoling victories came against Afghanistan, Srilanka and Australia. The match against West Indies was called off due to rain. South Africa faced injury problems for their premier players like Dale Steyn and Ngidi. Captain Duplessi admitted that their fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was too tired because of his busy schedule and IPL matches just ahead of the world cup. Aiden Markram who had a wonderful domestic season plundering runs throughout the season, was expected to make most of the given opportunity.But without any reason he failed to make any impact in the World cup. South Africa lacked a strong middle order. David Miller couldn't convert his starts into big scores. Much was depended on Faf Duplessi ,Quinton deKock and Hashim Amla. Amla didn't look his self in the initial stages of the tournament and that cost them dearly. In the later satges he regained his touch, but that was too late for the cause of South Africa.





Friday, 10 May 2019

Afghanistan Cricket

Afghanistan Cricket History

The name Afghanistan brings into our mind images of a war torn nation with many radical groups fighting for power and supremacy. Afghanistan also faced some foreign invasions from USSR and USA later. But the nation is slowly coming back to the much cherished prosperity. Cricket has played a great role in bringing some solace for these people. Cricket is a bonding force for these people who are otherwise divided in terms of their caste, creed and politics. 

Evolution of Afghanistan Cricket

Cricket began to creep into Afghan blood when they were in Pakistan refuge camps due to Soviet invasion. You can see some similarity in the style of cricket in Afghanistan to that of Pakistan due to the very same reason. Even after returning from refugee camps, these Afghan boys didn't let cricket go from their heart and blood. Slowly it gained popularity across the nation. The parents of these young boys were initially opposed to the idea of cricket as they feared that their sons wont earn much by going after this silly game. But later the scenario changed. Taliban government was against the sport and they banned cricket. But later they removed the ban and even sought help from Pakistan to nurture the game. Taj Malik was the man behind developing the game in Afghanistan. He gave coaching to the raw talent and developed them into a team. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) was formed in 1995. Nawroz Mangal was their first cricket team captain for international games.


                                                                   Nawroz Mangal

Introduction to the International Arena


Afghanistan played their first ODI against Scotland which they won by 89 runs. Their introduction to T20 was not so smooth as they lost the match to Ireland. But it was way back in 2010 and Afghanistan team looks a really different outfit now. Ireland was defeated in T20 and ODI series by Afghanistan in the recently concluded tournament which was held at Dehradun in India in 2019.
Afghanistan played their first test against India at Bangalore in 2018. But it was a forgettable performance and they were no match for the mighty Indians. But their test membership was a great step towards the future. Afghanistan became an affiliate member of ICC in 2001. It gained membership of Asian Cricket Council in 2003. Slowly and steadily Afghanistan cricket grew. In 2010, Afghanistan qualified for their first T20 world cup. It was just a start and they had nothing to boast about their performance in the tournament. In 2016 T20 world cup, they improved their performance and reached upto the super 10 level.

Afghanistan reached the 50 over world cup stage in 2015. Their first game was against Bangladesh in the Australian Capital, Canberra. Afghanistan registered their first world cup win again Scotland. They were the champion in world cup qualifier in 2018 and a set to lock horns with the opponents in the world cup 2019 to be held at England and Wales. 

Afghanistan Cricket Achievements 


Interestingly Afghanistan holds the record for the highest T20 score. They scored 278/3 against Ireland at Dehradun in February 2019. Afghanistan had also other moments of glory too. They had defeated Zimbabwe when they toured the African nation in 2015. West Indies were tied 1-1 in an ODI series later. Sri Lanka too tasted defeats at their hands when the island nation was bowled out for 158 against 249 made by Afghanistan. Afghanistan attracted world attention when the held India for a draw in Asia Cup 2018. Mohammed Shehzad was the hero of the match when he scored a gritty 124.

Afghanistan Cricket Today


Afghanistan have never played an international match in their home. Sharjah stadium was selected as their home ground for international matches. As per agreement with BCCI, Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik sports complex in Noida was also opted as home ground for them. Currently work is going on to build cricket stadiums in Afghanistan. They have almost completed the work of Kabul national cricket stadium, Ghazi Amanullah International stadium and many more are waiting for the final completion works.



                             Afghan spinners Rashid Khan(left) and Mohammed Nabi(right)
                                              along with Shikhar Dhawan during IPL



Currently many Afghan players find themselves picked by T20 Premier Leagues across the world. Some of the players have made their way to the T20 clubs in India, Australia, Pakistan and so on. Among all, Afghanistan spinners like Mohammed Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman seems to be of greatest demand. These Afghan spinners are expected to bring some glory to the nation when they participate in their second 50 over world cup to be played in England and Wales. The Afghan batsmen too have some quality and the once minnows of the game are expected to display some tough cricket for their opponents.         

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Afg vs Ire Test

AFGHANISTAN VS IRELAND FIRST TEST 2019  DEHRADUN

Afghanistan vs Ireland T20 Series

The T20 series between Afghanistan and Ireland was a completely one sided affair. Afghanistan won the series 3-0. The Irish batsmen found it hard to encounter the spin attack of Afghanistan. Muhammed Nabi showcased his all round  skills with both ball and bat and was the player of series in T20. Hazratullah Zazai scored a 62 ball 162 to crush the Irish attack and Afghanistan scored a record breaking 278/3 in 20 overs. For Ireland, Stirling Kevin Oberine and Dockrell contributed with the bat. Dockrell showed that he was reliable with both bat and ball. 

Afghanistan vs Ireland ODI Series

After being  completely defeated in the T20 series, Ireland staged a strong comeback in the ODI series. The series was drawn 2-2. The Irish batsmen showed more maturity and application than in T20 series. Paul Stirling, Balbarine, Dockrell contributed to the Irish comeback. Stirling had scores of 89 and 70 among the 4 Innings. Balbarine scored a gritty 145 in the second ODI. Dockrell once again continued his form from T20 series and made some decent scores. 
For Afghanistan their Captain Ashgar Afghan scored the bulk of runs. He made scores of 75, 54 and 82 in the last 3 ODIs and seems to be in great form. He was retired hurt in the last ODI. Muhammed Nabi and Rashid Khan also seems to be in form with the ball as well as with the bat. Muhammed Nabi can rise to higher ranks among the all rounders. Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman failed to make some great impression with the ball and was dropped from the test squad. Aftab Alam picked 4 wickets in the fourth ODI to essay an Afghan victory.   

Afghanistan vs Ireland Test Series

After an eventful T20 and ODI series Afghanistan and Ireland move on to the domain of test cricket. Before this, both teams have played one test match each. Ireland played Pakistan in their home turf. In the lone test match, Ireland was defeated, but not before a great fight. In that test match, Ireland had even restricted Pakistan to 159/6. But Pakistan went on to make 310/9 in first innings. After a dismal first innings, Ireland made 339 in second innings, thanks to a great century  by Kevin Obrein. But Afghanistan eventually won the test match on the fifth day. Afghanistan played their only test match against India. They had nothing to boast about their performance as they were handed an Innings defeat. They could only make 109 and 103 in the two innings after India had scored 474 in their first Innings. Much was expected from the Afghanistan spinners but all went in vain. 
Ireland and Afghanistan meet each other in the first test match of the series and it is expected to be a battle between Afghanistan spinners and Irish batsmen. Muhammed Nabi, Ashgar Afghan, Rashid Khan will be the key players for Afghanistan. They have included two spinners Salamkheil and Zahir Khan in their squad after the duo had some great domestic performance. 
Ireland would rely on Porterfield, Balberine, Kevin Obrien for some turn around in their fortunes. Dockrell and Simi Singh are their frontline spinners. Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh are expected to lead the pace bowling attack. 

Team News:

Mujeb-Ur-rahman has been dropped from the Afghanistan squad and has included Zahir Khan and Salamkheil. 

Key Players:

Afghanistan:

Asghar Afghan
Muhammed Nabi
Rashid Khan
Mohammed Shahzad
Rahmat shah

Ireland:

William Porterfield
Kevin Obrein
George Dockrell
Boyd Rankin
Andrew Balbirine

The Dream Team

Mohammed Shahzad
William Porterfield
Rahmat shah
Andrew Balbirine
Kevin Obrein
Paul Stirling
Asghar Afghan
Boyd Rankin
Rashid Khan
Boyd Rankin
George Dockrell

Choice for Captain and Vice Captain

Paul Stirling
Rashid Khan
Andrew Balbirine
Asghar Afghan

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

SL VS SA

SOUTH AFRICA TOUR OF SRILANKA 2019 FOURTH ODI

Srilanka had stunned the cricketing world when they sealed the two match test series 2-0 against South Africa. Kusal Perera scored an unbeaten 153 in the fourth innings to register a 1 wicket stunning win in the first test match. But both Srilanka and Perera had failed to repeat the heroics in the ODI series. South Africa had won first 3 matches of the series and has already sealed the series. Srilanka meets South Africa for the fourth ODI on 13/03/2019 at Port Elizabeth. For Srilanka, Oshada Fernando has been in decent form compared to his fellow team mates. He has scored 49, 31 and 25 in the three match so far. Other than him, Kusal Mendis is the only Srilankan batsman who has scored with some decent form. He scored 60 and 41 in first and third ODI respectively. In bowling department, Srilanka needs to find someone who can restrict the scoring rate as well  as take some quick wickets. Malinga has been impressive in parts but need to be more consistent. Isru Udana, considered to be a T20 specialist was introduced in the third ODI. He took two wickets but give away 50 runs in 8 overs. 
South African batsmen seem to have made amendments after the test series and are found to be in great form. Quintone deKock  is making the Srilankan bowling attack look ordinary. He had scores of 81, 94 and 121 so far in the ODI series. Duplesis too joined the party with the scores of 112 and 57 in first two ODIs. Reeza Hendricks failed to make any impression. In bowling department, Ngidi and Tahir took majority of wickets and the Srilankan batsmen found it very hard to handle that. The youngster Nortje impressed with his pace. 

Team News

1. Hashim Amla will miss the next two ODI despite him being selected for the same due to his father's illness. 
2. J.P. Duminy and Markram has been included in the SA squad for the last two ODI.
3. Mulder has been removed from S.A Squad.Dale Steyn may play.
4. Kusal Perera may miss the next ODI due to hamstring injury.

Key Players

SRILANKA

Kusal Mendis
Oshada Fernando
Thisara Perera
Lasith Malinga
Isru Udana

SOUTH AFRICA

Quinton DeKock
Faf Duplessis
Aiden Markram
Nortje
Dale Steyn

THE DREAM TEAM

Quinton DeKock
Faf Duplessis
Aiden Markram
Kusal Mendis
Oshada Fernando
Thisara Perera
J.P Duminy
Lasith Malinga
Nortje
Dale Steyn
L. Ngidi

Choice for Captain and Vice Captain

Quinton DeKock
Faf Duplessis
Aiden Markram
Thisara Perera




Saturday, 2 March 2019

IND VS AUS T20 REVIEW FEB 2019

India vs Australia A Review of T20 February 2019

Australian Captain Aaron Finch might not be happy with his performances in the two T20 matches played against India at Vizag and Bangalore. His scorecard read 1 & 8 after the T 20 series. But he will be mighty pleased for Australia registered their first T20 series win on the Indian soil. Australia registered a 2-0 victory in the two match T20 series against the mighty Indians. The scorecard though doesn’t give a complete picture of the scenario. Australia did made a clean sweep. But they do have things to ponds upon. The form of their captain is giving headache to the team management. Recently coach Justin LANGER expressed his faith in capability of Aaron Finch and expected him to be among runs soon. Australian victory was scripted mainly by the performance of Glen Maxwell. Maxwell seems to be in great touch. He scored a match winning half century at Vizag in a comparatively low scoring match. He followed it with a outstanding century at chinnaswamy stadium. His score included 7 boundaries and 9 sixes which help Australia to achieve a target of 191 with ease. D Arcy Shot is also a good recent find for Australia. He seems to be in decent form and scored some valuable runs. The problem for Australia arises from the fact that none other than Short and Maxwell contributed with bat for Australia. In  bowling department , Coulter Nile, Behrendott, Zampa performed decently. Kane Richardson who had a great bigbash season didn’t play due to injury. Coulter Nile Picked up 3 wickets in first T20 and was adjusted  as man of match.
India was in a mindset of experiments ahead of the world cup. Kohli wants to test some of the youngsters before aanouncing the final World Cup squad. It could be said that India never used the main squad for both T20.  Vijay Shankar, Markanda, Umesh Yadav, Sidhart Kaul, K.L. Rahul were all given a chance to showcase their talent. K.L Rahul just grabbed the opportunity and made most of it. He made a half century in first T20 and followed it with a well made 47 in second match. Kohli as usual was in good touch and scored 24 and 72 in two matches. Rohit Sharma and Dhawan were found to be out of touch a bit and that can cause a problem on two for India. India has managed to win most games due to great performances from top 4. Dhoni was looked upon with great interest as this might be the last international T20 series played by the veteran, if he retires after the world cup 2019. Dhoni made 29 and a blistering 40 to take his tally to 69 in this series. Pant failed to capitalize on the given opportunity to make his position solid in team. None the less he gets another chance in ODI, given that Dinesh Karthik is not in the ODI squard. In bowling as usual Jasprith Bumrah was outstanding. He picked 3/16 in first match. But failed to impress in second game. Vijay Shanker bowled 4 overs in second game and picked 2 wickets. He is another prospect as an all rounder and can go the distance. ODI series against Australia is the last chance for players to make an impression and get into the world cup squard. India captain Virat Kohli said that performance in IPL won’t be a benchmark for selection for world cup. Lets wait and watch the performance.


Friday, 22 February 2019

AFGHANISTAN VS IRELAND 2ND T20



AFGHANISTAN VS IRELAND 2019 | 2nd T20  | RAJIV GANDHI INTERNATIONAL CRICKET STADIUM, DEHRADUN, UTTARAKHAND INDIA|  AFGH Vs IRE  | February 23, 2019 @ 06:30 PM IST |



Afghanistan will face Ireland in the second T20 match which is to be held at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun on February 23. In the last match, Afghanistan beat Ireland by 5 wickets, thanks to some great performance by Mohammed Nabi with both bat and ball. Nabi was the top scorer for Afghanistan. He scored a breezy 49 off just 40 deliveries. Najibullah provided great support with the bat as he scored 40 off 36 balls.
Afghanistan bowlers had restricted Ireland to 65/6 in 11.4 overs. Then it was left to Dockrell and Poynter to take Ireland to a competitive score of 132 in 20 overs. They scored 34 and 31 respectively and remained at the crease till the end of 20 overs. In the second T20 we expect the experienced Stirling and Kevin O Brien to come good with the bat.


TEAM INFO:


·        Thompson was slightly injured during the match, but is expected to play if going by the words of their Captain.
·        There is likely to be no change in playing XI for both teams.
·         Dockrell and Poynter were top scorers for Ireland in last game.
·        Nabi and Najibullah were top scorers for Afghanistan in last game.
·        Nabi and Rashid Khan took 2 wickets each for Afghanistan in  previous encounter.
·        Boyd Rankin took 2 wickets for Ireland, but was a bit expensive with an economy rate of 9.8
·        Afghanistan has won 8 out of 11 T20 matches against Ireland.

TEAM SQUAD:

IRELAND 
Paul Stirling(c), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Joshua Little, Andy McBrine, Kevin O Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker
AFGHANISTAN:

Asghar Afghan(c), Usman Ghani, Najeeb Tarakai, Hazratullah Zazai, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Fareed Malik, Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Ziaur Rahman





KEY PLAYERS: 


IRELAND:  

·        Paul Stirling
·        Kevin O Brien
·        George Dockrell
·        Stuart Poynter
·        Stuart Thompson

AFGHANISTAN:

·        Asghar Afghan
·        Hazratullah Zazai
·        Mohammad Nabi
·        Rashid Khan
·        Mujeeb Ur Rahman

IDEAL XI:

·        Stuart Poynter
·        Paul Stirling
·        Najibullah Zadran
·        Hazratullah Zazai
·        Stuart Thompson
·        Mohammad Nabi
·        Kevin O Brien
·        Joshua Little
·        Rashid Khan
·        Mujeeb Ur Rahman
·        George Dockrell

Choice for Captain and Vice Captain: 

·        Paul Stirling
·        Mohammad Nabi
·        Rashid Khan
·        Kevin O Brien

Disclaimer:  The information are collected from various sources to help you find the best playing XI. The final playing XI are selected by the team management and  may have certain changes.





Tuesday, 19 February 2019

ENGLAND Vs WEST INDIES : 1st ODI


 
ENG Vs WI 1st ODI 


ENGLAND TOUR OF WEST INDIES 2019 | 1st ODI  | KENSINGTON OVAL, BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS|  ENG Vs WI  | February 20, 2019 @ 08:30 PM IST |

After the fruitful Test series against England, West Indies will now face England in the 50 over format. English batsmen found it difficult to handle the raw pace and bounce of the West Indian seamers in Test series. Jason Roy and Joe Root scored centuries in the practice match and seem to be in good touch.
Both teams will try to to gain some momentum ahead of the world cup and the series guarantees to be an exciting one.

TEAM INFO:

·        Chris Gayle is back in action for West Indies.
·        Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul and Rowman Powell might be doubtful due to injury.
·        Jason Roy and Joe Root scored centuries in the practice match.


TEAM SQUAD:

WEST INDIES:  
Jason Holder(C), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaithe, Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse, Nicolas Pooran, Devendra Bishoo, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell.

ENGLAND:
Eoin Morgan(C), Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Joe Denly, David Willey, Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett

KEY PLAYERS: 

WEST INDIES:  
·        Jason Holder
·        Chris Gayle
·        Shai Hope
·        Shimron Hetmyer
·        Kemar Roach

ENGLAND:
·        Jason Roy
·        Joe Root
·        Jonny Bairstow
·        Adil Rashid
·        Chris Woakes
IDEAL XI:
·        Shai Hope
·        Jason Roy
·        Joe Root
·        Jonny Bairstow
·        Shimron Hetmyer
·        Jason Holder
·        Carlos Brathwaithe
·        Chris Woakes
·        Adil Rashid
·        Kemar Roach
·        Mark Wood

Choice for Captain and Vice Captain: 

·        Jason Roy
·        Joe Root
·        Jason Holder
·        Kemar Roach

Disclaimer:  The information are collected from various sources to help you find the best playing XI. The final playing XI are selected by the team management and  may have certain changes.