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 !!!