It’s the Test Cricket season at the moment. With 3 test series and The Ashes started yesterday, looks like we have serious stuff to witness.
India vs New Zealand – Retaining #1 position
Before the start of the battle it was considered to be a series of dominance and survival. Dominance from the Indians as they were high after recent series win against Aussies and survival for Kiwis as they had embarrassing tour of Bangladesh. But as it says Cricket is unpredictable game. With the return of Brendon Mccullum as specialist batsmen and promising character of McIntosh and new players Kiwis had different plans for India tour. Though first test in Ahmedabad went into a draw with Harbhajan Singh showing his batting skill on final day and scoring his maiden test century, the match was mostly controlled by the Kiwis. McIntosh scored his debut test century while Chris Martin displayed wonderful spell in India’s second innings taking first 4 wickets for just 10 runs and finishing 5-15. This was an alarm bell for the Indians not to be complacent.
Second test in Hyderabad had almost same story with Kiwis again showing their determination while batting first and scoring 350. Indians started of well with opening partnership of 160 runs with Sehwag missing his ton by 4 runs and some relief for Gautam Gambhir to be back in action after last 8 innings failure. Though the middle order collapsed, thanks to Harbhajan Singh who bailed out India by with his second test century and importantly getting a lead of more than 100 runs for his team. But the Kiwis stood still and Mccullum smashed brilliant double century with shots all over the ground and tearing Indian bowling attack apart.
Third and final test in Nagpur proved why India is #1 Test side in the world. Right from day 1 Indians dominated the match and finished off on 4th day second session to win series 1-0. Batting first The kiwis lost half of their side for 80 odd runs with Indian pace duo Sreesanth & Ishant bowling good line and length. The kiwis were restricted to 193 in 1st inning on day 2 and were outclassed by Indian batting line up who scored massive 576-8 (dec) taking healthy lead of 373 at the close of third day.The Kiwis were bowled out for 198 in second innings and lost the match by innings and 198 runs. The main highlight of the match was that the Indian bowlers got back in action and brilliant 191 runs by “The Wall” Rahul Dravid in first inning.
ODI series between two countries will start from 28th November’10 in Guwahati with senior players – Sachin, Dhoni, Sehwag, Zaheer & Harbhajan rested. Gautam Gambhir will lead the side with Riddhiman Saha as wicket keeper and return of Yuvraj Singh & Yusuf Pathan in middle order.
South Africa vs Pakistan
The other test series between South Africa and Pakistan in Abu Dhabi ended 0-0 with both test match draw. It seems problems and controversy will never go away from Pakistan Cricket with players involved in match fixing probe and the team playing home away from home series (Dubai & Abu Dhabi destination) to finish off their Calender schedule. The series saw some great performance by Kallis and Amla fro SA side while Younis Khan and Misbah holding the battle and ensuring safe draw from Pakistan side.
Sri Lanka vs West Indies
West Indies on the other hand is touring Sri Lanka with rain affected 2 test ended in draw. The main highlight of 1st match was 333 runs by Chris Gayle displaying strokes all over the ground. The second test in Colombo has 3 days till now with rain taking away most of the day’s play and some batting practice for skipper Sangakkara hitting century followed by Samarweera scoring half century.
There’s so much to say and write about The Ashes.
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is international cricket’s most celebrated rivalry and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. The series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at The Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain The Ashes. * source Wikipedia & Cricinfo.England currently holds The Ashes, after defeating Australia 2–1 to regain them in the 2009 Ashes series which took place in England and, for the first time, Wales.
The 1st test started yesterday 25th Nov’10 in Gabba, Brisbane. England batting first was restricted to 260 on day 1 with some brilliant performance by Aussie’s pace attack. Peter Siddle became 9th bowler to take hat trick in The Ashes history, claiming wickets of Alistair Cook, Matt Prior and Chris Broad. He finished with total 6 wickets in the innings. Day 2 ended earlier due to bad light having Australia on 220/5, Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin on crease.
Full list of previous Ashes hat-tricks
With so much of test cricketing action along with ODI’s, Shams n Wags promises to bring you all the insights and happenings.