India have finally managed to get some confidence under their belts, after a convincing win against Middlesex today, played at the home of cricket, Lord’s, London.
After a mortification of a Test series against the English, ending in two innings losses inside just three days, today they were just a completely different team.
Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu starred in India’s massive 95 run win, with both players notching up scores in the 70s to finally score some runs, especially for Kohli, after he performed absolutely horribly in the Test series against England. Kohli was arguably one of India’s best batsmen before the England series, however the veteran in his skipper, M.S Dhoni took over the reigns front and square.
Kohli was back to his pristine best, as he displayed a crisp performance of 71 runs, including 8 beautiful fours and one colossal maximum that was sent catapulting into the minor crowd at Lord’s.
Ambati Rayudu, maybe not as well-known or popular as Kohli, showed that he has the skills, as he retired out at 72. After whacking 8 boundaries he decided that he had had enough of this, letting one of his team-mates take over and tantalize the Middlesex bowling line-up.
While the top order was in fine form, the tail-enders for India continued to not contribute. Although India actually didn’t need them at all, it adds to the team’s confidence if the lower order are hitting a few runs as well, even if it is just a few people hitting 30 each.
More to the point, India finished with a total score of 230 batting first. the Indians then completed the job by rolling Middlesex for just 135, 95 short of the English team’s first innings score. Karn Sharma was in brilliant form for the Indians with a visually appealing 3 wicket haul.
This match was a great one for India, because it gave lots of non-International playing players to get themselves in with the runs, or wickets. Two of them took that chance today, which was great to see.
Hopefully this win will help India recover from their cataclysmic Test series, but based around the demolition they experienced I don’t think that is physically possible…
Sri Lanka have given legendary batsman and former captain Mahela Jayawardene a perfect farewell send off, with their recent convincing 105-run victory over Pakistan in the 2nd Test of the series at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo.
It was to be Jayawardene’s last ever Test match appearance for the Sri Lankans, and he ensured that by putting on his 19th ever century stand with Kumar Sangakkara, during Sri Lanka’s second innings. He has been such a contributor to cricket over the years and it is fitting that he got the perfect farewell.
While Jayawardene was under the spotlight and all eyes were on the little legend, Rangana Herath attracted some attention of his own. He backed up a miraculous first innings 9 wicket haul, with an even better 5 wicket haul to finish the game with a whopping 14 wickets. Herath is Sri Lanka’s best spinner and he has a bright future ahead of him.
Pakistan went into the last day in a critical state, with their hopes hanging by a thread as they required 144 more runs with only 3 wickets left. At 127/7 in the morning, they didn’t improve the poor form that they presented yesterday, as they plummeted to an embarrassing 165 all out.
However, some consolation was that they weren’t quite as bad as India yesterday!
This match was an absolute ripper to send Jayawardene off. Here is the big picture:
So, Jayawardene was one of the best batsmen in the history of the longest format, and his cool, calm and collected presence will be utterly missed by all of Sri Lanka and the remainder of the cricketing society around the globe!
Although many struggle to believe it, history has repeated itself, yes it is possible. Well, for the Swami Army and for India, I think they rather would not have that happen, as the wrong type of history repeated itself at the Oval, on day 3…
India were absolutely humiliated to an extent that words can not describe. They lost inside 3 days of a Test last week, but this one was even worse, especially because they conceded the series to the Poms, when they were in a position where they could have potentially won it.
WIth not even M.S Dhoni getting off the mark, India stumbled to an absolutely shambolic total of 94 all out.
Chris Jordan was on fire, as he managed to bag 4 wickets that sent the Swami Army back to India. This demolition resulted in a colossal, jaw-dropping, hair-raising innings and 244 run victory. Inside just three days. I mean, how bad can India get?
This was all set up by the marvel of Joe Root, as he started off the day by continuing his brilliant run of form with an unbeaten 149 that saw England all the way through to a total of a whopping 486 all out, in reply to India’s first innings score of just 148.
With India on their knees, at their mercy, England gave India a little injection of something they experienced 8 months ago, in the Ashes. I know that last week’s Test was sensational, but this one, I literally just can not describe.
India’s cricket as a whole is a fiasco. They can’t build on confidence, they have dropped thousands of feet in form, their best players aren’t even scoring runs, bar M.S Dhoni and their bowlers aren’t taking wickets.
India’s top order are in a critical state, especially players such as Virat Kohli who very well haven’t scored any runs at all this whole series, yet when they are at top form, they are one of the best in the world at what they do. They also perform when it is most required: during the crucial stages of a cricket match, whether it be in Test of limited-overs.
I think that India need to rebuild, have a good hard look at themselves, and find a way to improve. It may take quite a few matches, but if they just forget about T20 and money, money and money, get their heads in the right space then they will improve.
They have a profusion of potential when performing at their best, so I don’t see what is wrong. I know they have lost so many legendary players over the past years (Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman etc), but they need to step up and be proud of the country they represent. Just learn from England.
Anyway, off of that rather negative topic, and on to some more negative stuff! Pakistan are also in a critical condition after Sri Lanka’s bowlers left them for dead.
Pakistan tumbled to a humiliating day 4 stumps total of 127/7, which has given Sri Lanka the gift of having time to bowl Pakistan all out and win the match outright, to then celebrate with beers after mahela Jayawardene’s last Test match.
Rangana Herath was once again the hero of the Sri Lankan bowling line up as he took all challenges in his stride on his way to an illustrious 4 wicket haul, backing up the stupendous bag of 9 he took in the very first innings of the match, for th3#e Sri Lankans.
With 3 wickets left, and their top order with their heads in their hands in the change room, Pakistan require 144 further runs to win this match, but that task is proving to be extremely hard and I don’t see how they can double their score when their batting has been completely inauspicious this match.
Anyway, I will have the result posted tomorrow, I guess you can’t assume things in Test cricket.
With so many cricket matches going around these days, Zimbabwe have fallen to the mercy of South Africa in the first ODI between the two sides, with Hashim Amla leading the Proteas to a convincing 93 run victory at Queens Sport Club, Zimbabwe.
The target of 309 proved too much for Zimbabwe. They were going along fairly well, but their bottom order let them down. Besides, it was a pretty good effort from them anyway, so they can be happy for themselves.
That’s about it for today, with lots of cricket wafting into the abyss, make sure you tune in tomorrow, for all your latest cricket news!
Two worthy comparisons below!
England have continued their absolute dominance of the 5th Test between themselves and India at the Oval, on the second day. With India’s batting line-up being absolutely pummeled by the English bowlers, England replied in a a way that would have every Indian supporter closing their eyes.
Going into the day at 62/0 replying to India’s shambolic 148, Sam Robson and Alastair Cook propelled themselves into the good books of the coach. Cook got some more form going with a gritty 79, while Robson wasn’t quite as fortunate with only 37.
However, Robson’s dismissal left the job in good hands, with Gary Ballance hitting even more runs to boost his ego. Ballance was usually sublime, with an illustrious 64.
Unfortunately Ian Bell couldn’t get in on the runs, but Jos Buttler could with 45 to continue his amazing start to Test cricket. However, the day wasn’t about Buttler, it was about Joe Root, who finished the second day on 92 not out, to push for a century tomorrow morning, to really put India to bed.
England sit at a whopping 385 with still 3 aces up their sleeve, 237 in front of India’s first innings score. Joining Root at the crease tomorrow will be tail-ender Chris Jordan, who is batting well on 19 not out.
Tomorrow will be very exciting, because India need to pull something out of the bag, and fast. They are falling too far behind already and it is getting on my nerve.
In other cricket, Sri Lanka have helped themselves to a 165 run lead, losing only 2 wickets in their second innings by the end of day 3. With Pakistan going into the day at 244/6, Rangana Herath built on his 5-fer, cleaning up the tail and picking up a massive 9 wickets in the one innings.
Sri Lanka then went into bat and lost their openers early, Upul Tharanga the best of the 2 with 45. Then came out the master, Mahela Jayawardene, paired with his best ever partner, Kumar Sangakkara, as the two put on a masterclass 98 run unbeaten partnership heading into the penultimate day.
Sri Lanka sit at 177/2 and are in a commanding position right now. They just need some quick runs, and lots of them, to give themselves about 1 and a third of a day to bowl Pakistan all out and win the match.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow as I will have all of the latest updates on both of these cracking Test matches.