Saturday, February 19, 2011

World Cup 2011 : India vs Bangladesh...

The World Cup 2011 got going with co hosts India & Bangladesh locking horns on the opening tie.
The Indians were clearly hungry for revenge, carrying the scars of the previous World Cup debacle, when minnows Bangladesh had upset them.

Put into bat, both Sehwag & Tendulkar were off to a flier & looked completely at ease with the bowling attack. Tendulkar got out needlessly run out with total at 69. In came Gambhir & he too settled in nicely, with Sehwag clearly blazing at the other end. Gambhir left in the 24th over with score having just gone beyond 150 mark, & India maintaining a very healthy run rate. Next man in was Virat Kohli, who had earned his place ahead of Raina, with his consistency over the past few months. He showed his class in the middle & along with Sehwag got into a run feast, as the hapless bowlers had no clue to this hurricane partnership. By the time the partnership was broken, they had added more than 200 runs.
Towards the fag end of the innings, Sehwag got out to a rather tired shot missing out on what could have been a possible double century for him....he left for a brilliant 175, laced with 14 fours & 5 sixes. With hardly any deliveries left, Virat managed to scramble to his century.......his fifth of the career, but his first in the World Cup & that too on his debut match....exceptional indeed. Viru had kept his promise of a blitzkrieg & Virat had ably assisted him. All the Indian batsmen looked at ease on the pitch. The total had swelled to a massive 370 runs for India.

Bangladesh in reply started their batting in cavalier fashion, with nothing to lose, as Tamim & Kayes got going. It was a flier, that took even the mighty Indians by surprise. Srishant was erratic as usual, 24 runs off his 3rd over. Before anyone realised, the minnows had put up 50 runs in just 4.5overs, with the crowd roaring in frenzy at every shot. The shots were erratic, but found boundaries, & the score kept piling up. Munaf finally got Imrul Kayes out, played on for a well made 34, in the 7th over.
Dhoni brought in Bhajji for spin in the 12th over, with the score at 77, as the pacers had little impact on the batsmen. Only Zaheer, sporting a new streaked hair style, looked in control. Bhajji troubled the batsmen with his fastish spin & runs for a while looked hard to come by. At the end of 15 overs, Bangladesh were 93 for 1, not bad, when you consider the huge run chase they had to ordeal. 100 came in the 17th over, but boundaries started to dry out & runs came in a trickle. The first 50 runs had come in 30 deliveries, but the 2nd 50 took 69 deliveries, as the required run rate kept mounting with every dot balls. A splendid stumping by Dhoni of Bhajji, got Junaid out for 35, with the score at 129, bringing in the skipper, Shakib Hassan. At the halfway mark, with spin at both ends, the score read 137 for 2, with asking rate almost touching 10...... a near impossible task. 50 for Tamim came in 70 odd deliveries...too slow for his kind of flamboyance & the task at hand.
Against the run of play, as usual, Munaf claimed his 2nd wicket as Tamim, in an attempt to hoick, ended up with a simple catch to Yuvi, as the players broke for the much needed drinks. 188 for 3 in the 33rd over. The skipper, Shakib finally fell for a wonderful 55 off just 50 deliveries, as the score read 234 for 4 in the 39th over.....the asking more than 13.....Finally Munaf ended with 4 wickets & Zaheer with 2.
The innings lasted the whole of 50 overs for a score of 283 for 9, which in itself was commendable, considering that you had such a mammoth total to chase. Six of the top batsmen got into double figures, & they never gave up the fight. I personally reckon, if they had batted first & put up a score in access of 300, which they looked good to do, it would have been a better contest. They sorely missed Ashraful in batting & Mortaza in bowling for sure. I believe, if the Bangladeshis can carry this spirit, they may surprise quite a few & make it to the last eight, which in itself would be more then commendable. They should bat first & put up a formidable total, after which pry open the opponents.

Man of the match : Virender Sehwag for his scintillating 175. As he said in the post match reveiw, revenge taken.

For India, a win by 87 runs in the opening tie is encouraging, with batsmen & bowlers, both coming good. With six days to rest before the next match, hopefully the niggles in the camp would be sorted out. Clearly the favourites enroute to the last eight.