From what we have seen of T20 format so far, it is clear that a team which has individuals who can be match winners on a given day is the most successful and INDIA surely has 6-7 players who can just dent the opposition and take the game away from them in matter of minutes. Today was one such day. It was Yuvraj Singh first in batting. India were going nowhere with their score and even Dhoni admitted after the game that they were ‘below par’. There were no boundaries between the 6th and the 10th over which saw Dhoni and Gambhir struggling to find gaps… But in came Yuvraj and blasted his way to a 18 ball 41 which included 4 monstrous hits over the boundary and took the Bangladeshi bowlers by surprise who were going well in the middle overs but Yuvraj Singh’s Knock meant that India posted a strong score of 180 in their allotted 20 overs.
Earlier Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat which surprised many considering that it had been raining in Trent Bridge. Sehwag was still unfit which meant that Gambhir and Rohit would open the innings. They got off to a good start with 50 on the board in the 6th over. But just then Rohit Sharma who was looking to play a shot of every ball was bowled by a faster one from Al Hasan. That brought Dhoni in and he along with Gambhir were busy taking singles and 2’s and there was no real intention of hitting the boundaries and even if there was they could not find gaps. But Yuvraj saved the blushes for India and Irfan Pathan smashed a 6 and a 4 in his 3 ball stint to help India post 180.
Bangladesh is a side which is very unpredictable. On a given day they can even chase down 200 and on some days they just fall like a pack of cards. Today the innings started on a promising note. Both Zaheer and Irfan went for 10 a piece in their opening overs which prompted dhoni to bring on Yusuf and he struck with his 4th ball when he got the dangerous Tani Iqbal stumped for 15. But on the other side Junaid Siddique was going great guns and was playing the role that Yuvraj singh played for India. Ishant got Ashraful who was superbly caught by Gambhir who took a very low catch. Ojha was making his debut for India in T20’s and it turned out to be a great first over for him. He got a wicket of his first ball when Shakib skied one to Dhoni. Junaid Siddique followed soon which meant India could now heave a sigh of relief as he was keeping the Bangladeshi side in the hunt. There was not much to talk about the Bangladeshi batsmen after that except for one batsmen Naeem Islam who struck 3 6’s in the end to reduce the losing margin. Ojha had a wonderful spell of 4 overs for 21 runs and 4 wickets which included one superb diving catch from Yuvraj who took another in the last over. Overall it was a superb and clinical performance from the Indians.
Man of the Match: Ojha
- Gautam Gambhir (50) made the fifth half-century of his international T20 career – most by any batsman in this format of the game.
- The four sixes in the match took Yuvraj’s career tally of sixes to 25 – most by any batsman in this format of the game. He went ahead of New Zealand’s Mccullum (23).
- Pragyan Ojha (4-21) became second Indian bowler to claim four wickets in a match after RP Singh who had taken 4-13 against South Africa at Durban in 2007-08.
- Ojha became first Indian (and seventh overall) to claim four wickets on his international T20 debut. Incidentally the previous Indian record of best figures on debut was held by Ajit Agarkar who had taken 2-10 against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2006-07.
- Ojha’s figures are also the best by any bowler on England soil, expunging Collingwood’s 4-22 against Sri Lanka at Southampton in 2006.
New Zealand Vs Scotland: NZ avoid another upset
It was a rain curtailed match at Oval which saw the two teams playing a 7 over match. Scotland got 89/4 in their 7 overs which surprised the NZ team and it was looking like a second upset midway through the NZ innings but a 21 run 6th over meant that NZ got home with 1 over remaining. Taylor was instrumental in the win
Man Of the Match: Ian Butler
Australia Vs West Indies – Gayle Slaughter at Oval
West Indies have not been in the greatest of the forms last 4 months but to Gayle it didn’t matter. He was Just awesome with 50 ball 88 which included 6 boundaries and 6 monstrous hits most of which landed outside the stadium. Bret Lee got Gayle out when the match was out of Australia’s grasp but took the most stick with his 4 overs going for a shocking 56 runs. It is very rare that a 31 ball 50 is overshadowed but such was Gayle’s innings. T20 specialist Fletcher gave him good support. The West Indian duo had taken their team’s total to a rollicking 83 for 0. Australia were 35 for 3. There ended the lesson.
Earlier Australia were rocked in the very first over when Jerome Taylor removed both Watson and Pointing . And Australia could not recover from the bad start. If it was not for the sloppy effort from the West Indian’s in the field they would have struggled to reach 150. In the end it has to be said that Australia’s bowling seems to be a concern for them with West Indies reaching the target with 25 balls left. Australia still not at home in this format but they have to forget this before their match against Srilanka today if they want to progress in the tournament which looks highly impossible.
Man of the Match : Chris Gayle