Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

We noticed a couple of Pakistani fans in the resort where we were staying in Mt. Lavinia. They`d just checked in the previous day, and we sensed an opportunity to pick their brains on suggestions that Pakistanis is among the favourites to lift the trophy this year.

Arshad and Zoheb live in Birmingham, UK and are here in Sri Lanka until the finals. They`re very confident that their team will repeat the feat they`d witnessed in England back in 2009 – when Pakistan, under Younis Khan`s captaincy, were crowned World T20 champions.

Arshad feels that their strength lies with the top order batting – a solid start, he feels, could be the difference between a par score and a mammoth total. Zoheb, on the other hand, backs the bowlers to even defend a miserly score, if such a situation arises. Understandably, he picks Saeed Ajmal as the bowler who could hold the trump card to take Pakistan all the way.

Zoheb would have had concerns in the manner in which the Bangladeshis piled up a challenging score of 179 yesterday. That skipper Hafeez backed his own abilities at the start of the innings seemed bemusing – given his lack of effectiveness. He might have done well to take himself off the attack earlier.

This paved the way for Shakib – arguably one of the better Asian all rounders today – to craft an outstanding innings that took Bangladesh to the total they eventually gathered. The only glitch was a series of amusing misunderstandings with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim when calling for runs – a string of errors that couldn`t stop keeper Akmal and Afridi from sharing a laugh.

Although I would imagine they wouldn`t have had half a heart to smile when Sohail Tanvir dropped a dolly offered to him by Rahim at mid-wicket. I must have looked at the replays half a dozen times and the comicality of the drop never fails to make me laugh. That he pointed to the lights and pulled down his shades afterwards marked out what is idiosyncratic of fielders who drop catches – what brings one laughter can leave another bewildered. I have a strong belief that this video will have a healthy shelf life on YouTube.

Arshad, on the other hand, would`ve taken heart out of the Pakistani`s batting performance. He`d pointed out a healthy start as a key factor in either posing large totals, or chasing larger ones. Imran Nazir`s batting style makes it easy for the audience (and predictably, his team mates) to accept that his audacious strokes are what lay the foundation in the top order – given the snail`s pace (in the context of T20) at which Hafeez historically paces his innings. I guess they understand each other`s game, and this seems a method that the Pakistanis are certain of in working to their favour.

As they progress to the Super 8, tougher tasks lay ahead. To have India, Australia and South Africa in the same group is enough to ingrain fears of an early slip, but unpredictability is what drives T20 cricket forward today. And it will continue to.

 Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

 14 August 2011

The two one-day series in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka are both two matches old with Australia and Zimbabwe taking 2-0 leads. Here is a round-up of the first two games of both series.
Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh:

Brian Vitori has started his international career with a bang against Bangladesh

A young boy, Vitori, being 21 years of age made his debut in the one-off Test for Zimbabwe, started off with two consecutive five wicket hauls. He has got decent pace, and more importantly, he moves the ball away from the left-hander and into right-hander. He might be the youngest cricketer to take 5 wickets haul in his first two matches. Utseya on the other hand continued to show his good skills of spin bowling. Taylor started off well with two tosses in a row and put the opposition in and bowled them to a reasonable total which they chased without much difficulty. The Zimbabwe batsmen Sibanda and Masakadza have shown a lot of character and played good cricket against Bangladeshi spinners to take their team to victory. This is a very good start to the 5 match series for Zimbabwe. The top order of Bangaldesh team collapsed on both the matches and middle order / lower order players made a decent progress to put up a score to fight for. The captain has made good progress in both batting and bowling on the 2 matches. Team Zimbabwe is just a win away from their ODI series win. Bangladesh have put lot of work to give a fight on the upcoming matches.

Sri Lanka Vs Australia:

Mitchell Johnson has starred with the ball for Australia in the ODIs in Sri Lanka

Dilshan won 2 consecutive tosses, elected to bat but his batsmen haven’t been able to put up a decent score against top class Austraklian bowling on good batting tracks. Australia has dominated the series so far with their strong pace bowling attack and their batsmen showing good skill in handling the pace and spin of Sri Lanka. Senior batsmen in the Sri Lankan line-up are yet to score big runs in the series. Once again in the lower order Kulasekara shows lot of potential as a batsmen. On both occasions Australia won the match with lot of overs and wickets spare. Sri Lanka need to work really hard to win the series from here (0-2). They can probably try promoting Mahela as opener and push Tharanga down to no. 4. They can also give a chance to Charma silva / Samaraweera instead of Chandimal. Australia lost both the T20 matches, but have come back very strongly on the ODIs. The bowlers have done a fantastic job so far which has eased their batsmen to bat without the pressures of chasing big totals.

Let’s hope for a come back from both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the upcoming matches. The Asia teams are really struggling in last 2 weeks or so to put a decent score / fight against their opposition. Not too much to cheer about for the Asian teams.

 Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

 9 August 2011

Zimbabwe has pulled off a remarkable come back into test cricket with a win over Bangladesh on their one-off test match series in Zimbabwe. This is a significant achievement for Zimbabwe as they have not played much test cricket at the international level for several years.

Brendan Taylor led Zimbabwe to a winning return to Test cricket.

The coachwof Zimbabwe has invested lot of time and hard work to form a team which has not played much cricket on International front to form a winning team. The two teams on show comprised of lot of young players and it was really good to see them played the test match that was well contested over five days.

As the current trend is for players is to opt to play for shorter formats of Cricket, this match will teach a lesson to the other cricket playing nation about the true value of test cricket. The match had total runs of 1100-plus, 35 wickets, 2 centuries, 2 four wicket hauls which were good good signs between 2 lowest level test playing nation and that their players had it in them to put performances required in the longest format.

Zimbabwe has shown great level of patience and character as the Bangladesh team contains lot of spinners who had really done great work in ODIs and Test cricket against the Asian Countries. Bangladesh will be disappointed that they could’t pull off a victory as was expected of them and they will feel disappointed. The home team has lot of reasons to enjoy and this will really accelerate the momentum for Zimbabwe in cricket arena. Declaration at the right time from the captain and three wickets at the end of day 4 which really set-up the Zimbabwe win.

Let’s hope they can build on it and go back to the heady days of being able to compete with the best which they did not so long ago.