Saturday, August 27, 2016

DilScoopExit - Dilshan Announces His ODI & T20I Retirement

Tillakaratne Dilshan, one of the most flamboyant cricketers of recent times has announced his retirement from ODI and T20I cricket at a ripe age of 39. He was a gifted stroke-maker and did all that was asked of him on the field. He is the inventor of the famed 'Dilscoop' and his booming cover drives were a treat to watch. Despite his age, he remains one of the best fielders in the Lankan side. With Sangakkara and Jayawardena already hanging their boots in the recent past, Dilshan's exit will surely leave a big hole in the Sri Lankan side.

He will play his last ODI against Australia on the 28th of August in Dambulla and will finally bow out after playing the two T20I's scheduled for early next month against the same opposition.

He was a brilliant batsman, a canny off spinner and combined with his panther-like reflexes anywhere in the field, he was every captains dream - Dilshan you will be sorely missed! Thank you for all the memories, All the Best for your future!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kusal Mendis - The Rising Superstar of Cricket

I first saw Kusal Mendis play when he made his debut against the West Indies late last year. He did not have a special debut but from whatever little I had seen about this young man convinced me that he would go on to represent Sri Lanka for a long time in all the three formats of the game. Crisp straight drives, steely flicks, venomous cut and a free flowing youthful technique made him a joy to watch.

He occupied the vital number 3 spot left vacant by one of the all time test greats, Kumar Sangakkara and has left his own indelible mark by first playing a couple of attractive innings on the recently concluded tour of England. Lahiru Thirimanne, another young man with oodles of talent but one who has failed to make the cut at the highest level made way for the young Kusal and he has grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

On a treacherous Pallekele pitch which afforded assistance to both the spinners and the quick bowlers, playing against the number one ranked team in test cricket and facing bowlers like Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, this 21 year old batsman played the innings of a lifetime as he lifted Sri Lanka from a precarious position to power them to a huge score. Considering that the Lankan first innings ended at a meagre 117 followed by 203 by Australia in their first dig and Lanka managed 177 (without Mendis's contribution of 176) and finally Australia in the last innings who were bowled out for just 161 - Kusal's 176 stands out like a beacon amidst havoc all around. He showed tremendous self confidence and assurance during his stay and got his runs at a fair clip. Yes, there was some luck involved here and there but on a pitch such as the one that the match was being panned out on, that is expected.

He reached his hundred with a slog swept six off the Aussie number one spinner, Nathan Lyon and did not celebrate like he had brought the house down. Measured and focused, he held his arms aloft and got back to doing his job again. The numerous post match interviews that followed displayed the same calm demeanour, and that was, for me, the hallmark of a great in the making. We see young men today celebrate like there is no tomorrow even after reaching a small milestone and here was this 21 year old kid having just led his team to a monumental victory displaying extreme maturity after having played one of the best test innings ever.

I hope that he can carry on from here and go strength to strength and delight cricket fans all over with his fluid technique and crisp strokes. At a time when Sri Lanka are struggling to find their feet as they cope with a slew of retirements of their all time greats, young men like Mendis and Sandakan must bring a smile to the Lankan supporters on whom the onus now lies to carry forward the legacy of the tiny island!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Anil Kumble - The New Head Coach of Team India

Anil Kumble - The New Head Coach of Team India will look to impart all his knowledge and expertise and hopefully will form a strong bond with the aggressive Kohli!!

Here's wishing Jumbo all the best in his new role!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sunil Narine takes 6-27 on his Return, Helps WI beat SA by 4 Wickets!!

Sunil Narine mesmerised the South African batting line up as he snared up a Career Best 6-27 and helped West Indies beat South Africa by 4 wickets in the first match of the Tri Series also involving Australia!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hyderabad Bowling up against the Bangalore Batting in the IPL 2016 Finale

Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad - VIVO IPL 2016 Final, Match Preview

After a month and a half of continuous T20 matches being played all across India, the IPL finally has its two top teams ready to do the final battle in a quest to lift the trophy and be crowned the IPL 2016 Champions.

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad have had two different routes to the final, Bangalore depending on their smoking hot batting fire power to get them here while Hyderabad have depended heavily on a slew of left arm fast bowlers along with the Fizz to steamroll opposition batsmen into dust. The two teams are led by two maverick batsmen, both in the form of their lives – Virat Kohli and David Warner.

The batting depth and the class of Virat, Gayle, De Villiers and Watson definitely gives RCB the advantage in addition to the fact that they will be playing at their home ground at the Chinnaswamy but Bhuvi, Mustafizur, Sran and Henriques might just be the bowling attack that can tame the beast of the batting line up that awaits them.

As far as the SRH batting is concerned, Warner will hope that either of Dhawan, Henriques or Yuvraj come into their own in this grand finale. Dhawan and Yuvraj, in particular might be crucial cogs in the Sunrisers batting as leggies Chahal and Abdullah have been two key bowlers for RCB and if the two left handed Indian stalwarts can take on the two bowlers turning the ball in to them, then it will put a lot of pressure on Virat in the field.

There is a small doubt regarding the fitness of Mustafizur but I guess that he will be fine for this big match. If not, then Trent Boult is an ideal replacement as he can swing the ball early and can nip Gayle and Kohli early.

Any big match will have plenty of pressure and expectations and both the teams will vie to lift the trophy for the first time in their IPL history. It is set to be a clash of a Batting Giant against a Bowling Machinery and a mouth watering prospect awaits us tonight.

Who are you supporting? Why?

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