Wednesday, December 07, 2005

High and low

I will start with a high. After quite a while a breathtaking and pulsating cricket match took place, though I missed that game completely, except for a few glimpses of the live scores on Cricinfo. Aussies started the game as an overwhelming favorite over the Kiwis after thrashing them by 147 runs in the previous match.

Aussies lost Gilchrist early, then Katich and Ponting steadied the Aussie innings, but both of them were out in quick succession. Brad Hodge soon followed them into the pavilion. It brought together 2 of the amazing Aussie talents, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke, both of whom are fighting for a place in the Test team to regain that elusive Baggy Green cap again. Both of them built a decent partnership with some watchful cricket to start off. But as Symonds reached his 50 off 70 deliveries things started getting difficult for the Kiwis. He somehow seemed to have developed some kind of hatred with the white cricket ball and he started hammering it all over the ground and stadium. His 2nd fifty came of just 39 balls and if this wasn’t enough his 3rd fifty came of a mere 16 balls! His innings finally came to an end in the 50th over when he was bowled by Vettori for 156. But by then he had hit 11 fours and 8 sixes. 6 of those sixes were in a spell of 3 overs which costed Kiwis 61 runs. He hoisted Cairns for a hat-trick of sixes. This was simply one of THE most brutal knocks one could ever see. It reminded of the similar innings of 141no Symonds played at the 2003 World Cup against Pakistan. This innings once again proved that today’s ODI cricket is simply ruled by the sheer power of the likes of Symonds’, Dhonis, Afridis, Gilchrists, Kemps, Gayle’s et al. Somewhere in between you get a sheer quality or classy knock by Laras (rare in ODI’s these days), Dravids, Sachins, Pontings. Aussies finished with a huge score of 322 off their 50 overs with Clarke unbeaten on 82.

Kiwis started their innings with no one expecting them to give a fight, especially against the likes of Lee who balled splendidly in the last match to take 3/5 in 6 overs. But Kiwis too have their share of big hitters. Vincent started bravely taking on the pace of Lee and swing of Bracken. He blasted 71 off just 49 balls. But then the 2 newbie’s of Aussies cricket - Lewis and Clark too the centre stage reducing Kiwis for 156 for 5. Kiwis always have had a long batting lineup and this was to their rescue today. With Cairns, Oram and Mccullum always kept them in hunt, inspite of the asking rate reaching above 10 in last 10 overs. In the end Kiwis needed 24 runs off 2 overs. Lee bowled one of his most forgetful over of his life, giving away 18 runs including a waist high full-toss (no-ball) which went for four, plus some other bad deliveries. This meant that debutant and super-sub Lewis had to bowl the final over with Kiwis needing only 6 runs! But boy, didn’t he keep his nerves! Even the likes of Mcgrath will be proud of that over. This over was more than supported by an outstanding piece of fielding by Michael Clarke (who is doing his every bit possible to get back into the Test side, since being dropped from the Test side – he scored a double hundred in only state match, played 2 good knocks in both matches, picked up 2 outstanding catches in first match and now this run out) who threw the ball from the cover-point region to score a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to seal the match for the Aussies. In the end Aussies clinched the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy by winnings this thriller by 2 runs.

The moments like this fielding by Clarke, are simply the moments of brilliance or what I can also call magic which truly separates the GOOD and GREAT players/team. There’s a pretty thin line which distinguishes the GREAT team from the GOOD teams, in these crunch situations. The biggest example is the NBA matches, where in almost every match the point difference is just about 3-4 baskets or less, but still the BEST teams aided by GREAT players manages to produce those moments of magic quite often enough to stay on TOP.

Now to the low part, well m pretty disappointed to lose in the quarters of the singles TT tournament. Wish I could produce some of those moments of brilliance/magic often enough.

4 comments:

Sanjay said...

on the high part:
andrew symonds a talent, ha ha ha, wo to sirf 1 lapeda hai ;)

On the low part.
koi na, better luck next time...

Kon ?? said...

@sanjay
well talent to kisi bhi cheez ka ho sakta hai.. be it classy batting or brutal/powerful batting...i never wrote that symonds' was a classy knock..i always wrote a BRUTAL/POWERFUL batting !! But well this is what is ruling the ODI at the moment..with all those hitters around...

thx

Bhagya said...

Wow!

Kon ?? said...

@bhagya
wow ?? yeh kisliye tha :o ?