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Yuvraj, Ojha star in India’s victory against Bangladesh

June 6, 2009 Leave a comment

After skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bat, India reached 180 for five with Gautam Gambhir cracking 50 while Yuvraj Singh hit a blistering 41 off 18 balls, including four sixes and three fours. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha then claimed four wickets, giving away just 21 runs, to wreck the Bangladesh batting order and stop them at 155 for eight.Bangladesh began their chase in right earnest through Tamim Iqbal (15) and Junaid Siddique (41).Off-spinner Yusuf Pathan struck in his first over as Tamim came down the wicket for a big hit, only to miss the line and be stumped by Dhoni.Siddique attacked Indian bowlers, hitting three sixes and two fours off just 22 deliveries.But he did not get any support from the other end. Ishant Sharma removed skipper Mohammad Ashraful before Pragyan Ojha bowled a superb spell to cripple Bangladesh.Ojha dismissed Shakib Al Hasan and dangerous Siddique in the ninth over and Bangladesh could never recover from the double blow. Ojha claimed his third wicket with Yuvraj Singh taking a sensational diving catch to remove Mahmudullah.Yuvraj then dropped a simple chance of Raqibul Hasan in the 14th over.Ojha got his fourth victim in Mashraf Mortaza, who after hitting the bowler for a six went for slog sweep but the ball spun from the middle stump to rattle his off-stump.Ojha then pouched Hasan at mid-on off Zaheer Khan.Naeem Islam struck 28 off 17 balls with three sixes, but it came too late in the day.Earlier, Gambhir and Rohit Sharma (36), who opened the batting in absence of injured Virender Sehwag, scored 59 runs for ths first wicket.Rohit, who smashed three boundaries and two sixes, was bowled by Shakib after surviving a stumping chance off the previous delivery.Dhoni (26) and Gambhir added 53 runs for the second wicket, but when the former he was bowled by Naeem (2-32), India had only 112 runs to show in the 15th over.It was Yuvraj’s breathtaking knock that helped India smash 59 runs in the last four overs.Irfan Pathan (11) hit a four and a six off the last three deliveries he faced.

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Dutch stun England

June 5, 2009 1 comment

Edgar Schiferli (5 not out) and Ryan ten Doeschate (22 not out) scampered through for an over-throw for the second run needed off the last ball to give Dutch cricket its finest moment.

Tom de Grooth’s 49 off 30 balls led the way for the Netherlands but it was a fine all-round display from the Associate nation to shock the hosts.

England’s 162-5 had been underpinned by an outstanding knock of 71 off 49 balls by Luke Wright but it was not to be quite enough.

Alexei Kervezee (1) fell in the first over of the run-chase when he pulled James Anderson to Stuart Broad at mid-on.

Darron Reekers (20 off 13 balls) gave the Dutch a boost in the next over when he pulled Ryan Sidebottom for a huge six, much to the delight of those in the stands decked out in orange.

Reekers then repeated the trick off Anderson in the next over – this time flatter and over square leg.

The New Zealand-born batsman chanced his arm once too often in the next over, the first from Broad, when another pull shot lobbed up to Owais Shah, who took a comfortable catch at midwicket.

De Grooth brought up the 50 in emphatic style at the end of the sixth over when he thumped Broad into the pavilion for six.

The right-hander greeted Adil Rashid’s second ball with a reverse-sweep to the boundary as the Dutch continued to threaten a major surprise.

Rashid struck an important blow in his next over when he spun a leg-break past the bat of the advancing Bas Zuiderent (12) and James Foster effected a neat stumping. The Dutch then picked up another 13 off the remainder of the over to show their setback was only temporary.

At the halfway point the batting side were two ahead of England at the same point, needing 72 off the last 10 overs.

Peter Borren (30 off 25 balls) brought the required rate down to close to a run-a-ball when he thumped Paul Collingwood over midwicket for his second six. The England skipper did claim a key wicket at the end of the over, however, when he removed de Grooth one short of his 50.

The fourth-wicket partnership totalled exactly 50 off 30 balls.

Next man ten Doeschate played a scintillating cut to the third man boundary off Rashid to help bring the equation down to 35 off the last 5 overs.

Borren should have been run out on 28 but a poor throw from Collingwood made life difficult for Foster, who failed to take the ball with the batsman well out of his crease. The right-hander did fall in the same over, however, when he top-edged a pull to Shah at short third-man.

Twenty one were needed off 18 balls but then Anderson bowled an excellent 18th over – during which he conceded just four runs and claimed the wicket of Daan van Bunge (8), caught by Wright on the cover boundary.

Rashid missed the chance to run out ten Doeschate in the penultimate over and he was made to rue the error when the batsman hit the next ball for four, via Wright’s outstretched hands as he attempted a miraculous catch on the boundary.

Seven were then needed off the last over, bowled by Broad, and what proceeded deserves telling in full.

The fast bowler should have run out ten Doeschate off his first delivery when he missed from close range as the batting pair attempted a quick single.

History then repeated itself when Schiferli made a desperate dive for the crease as the bowler knocked down the stumps. Replays showed that Broad had dropped the ball and cleaned out the stumps with his hand.

A caught and bowled chance then went begging next ball off ten Doeschate as one run was taken. Yet another scrambled single was achieved from the next delivery and then ten Doeschate took one more to leave Schiferli needing two to win off the last ball, which was achieved in the most dramatic of fashions.

Wright and Ravi Bopara had earlier got the hosts off to flying start by racking up a century stand by the end of the 11th over.

Thereafter, however, wickets fell at regular intervals as the Dutch fought back strongly.

Persistent rain during the afternoon had necessitated the opening ceremony to be cancelled but no overs were lost from the match despite play starting 20 minutes later than the scheduled 5.30pm start.

England suffered a blow ahead of the match when star batsman Kevin Pietersen was ruled out by a recurrence of his Achilles problem.

Bopara got the tournament, and his side, off to a flyer by slicing the first ball from Dirk Nannes over Bas Zuiderent at backward point for four and then driving the other side of the fielder for another boundary two balls later.

England’s 50 came up off 39 balls and the 100 came up 32 balls later when Wright slapped a full-toss from Borren to the long-on boundary.

Bopara (46 off 34 balls) fell in the next over when he pulled a ten Doeschate slower ball to wide midwicket and Pieter Seelaar nicely judged a steepling catch. It may not have been a wicket to the slow left-armer but it still enabled Seelaar to indulge his ‘penguin’ celebration.

Shah (5) followed soon after when he flicked to Kervezee at deep backward square leg off Schiferli.

Eoin Morgan (6) was the next to go when he reverse-swept Borren � off another slower ball – to Bas Zuiderent at short third-man.

Seelaar put down a very sharp return catch with Wright on 66 as the attempted late onslaught was led by the opener.

Wright finally went in the next over, however, when he holed out to Borren at midwicket off ten Doeschate.

England skipper Collingwood (11) was the last batsman to go when he chipped a full delivery from Seelaar down the throat of long-on.

That was not to be the end of the England skipper’s despair.