Saturday, April 28, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 47

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 28th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 47

Ricky Ponting led his mighty invincibles to the second World Cup victory in a row as a captain. Like in 2003 his team did not lose a single match and have defeated every opponent quiet convincingly. Adam Gilchrist could not have chosen a better time and place to strike his form and what an amazing innings he has played. In a rain shortened match, he completely demoralized the Lankan attack and shut the doors on them. As the Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said in his acceptance speech Sri Lanka was left to do only catching all through their innings with the target after Australia made total of 281/4 from 38 overs. Though Jayasuriya and Sangakkara raised a glimmer of hope for the Lankans, in the end the kangaroos proved out to be too good for the lions to chase.

Today’s 'Quiztion of the Day' concludes this series .It relates to the unbeaten run of victories the Aussies have registered during the two World Cup campaigns of 2003 and 2007. Here it is:

What are the lowest margins of victories that Australia registered in these two unbeaten world cup tournaments by runs and by wickets?

Remember to email your answers for each of the quizzes individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) by April 31st. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website on May 7th, 2007.

I thank you all for participating in this 'QUIZTION OF THE DAY' contest all through the tournament and making it a success.

Cheers...

Friday, April 27, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 46

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 27th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 46

Today's 'Quiztion of the Day' relates to the history of World Cup finals. Here it is:

What is common to the cricketers shown in the pictures below in regards to World Cup Finals and Who is the odd man out? In other words, all the players share a common distinction, but one of them holds it in a different way from the others. Provide the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 45

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 26th,2007: Quiztion of the Day - 45

Today's 'Quiztion of the Day' relates to the Australia and Sri Lanka encounters in the World Cup history. Here it is:

Tom Moody, Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds and Nathan Bracken of Australia are four members of an exclusive club to have achieved a specific distinction in Australia vs. Sri Lanka World Cup games. Name the other members and the distinction they have achieved.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 44

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 25th, 2007 : Quiztion of the Day - 44

Never before in the history of World Cup was a semi final started in such a disastrous note for one team as it did for South Africa. Not even the first ever semi-final in 1975 when England were bundled out for 93 when Gary Gilmour returned with unbelievable figures of 12-6-14-6. The result of this second semi-final of the World Cup between Australia and South Africa was a foregone conclusion even before the South African fans settled down in their seats at picturesque Beausejour Cricket Ground, Gros Islet, St Lucia. Except for the coin toss everything went wrong for the Proteas. Their imbecile thinking of piling up a huge total going after the Aussie bowlers in the power plays is the only way to get better of Australia backfired terribly.

With still one ball left in the first Power Play South Africa was decimated to 27 for 5 with some accurate bowling from the ageless wonder Glen McGrath. McGrath took three wickets and broke the back of South African top order after their captain Graeme Smith was clean bowled by Nathan Bracken with just 2 runs on the board and Kallis continued his out of character batting style to gift his wicket to Shaun Tait. Then Ashwell Prince too followed Kallis example and chased a widest of the wides that McGrath bowled in his entire career to present a practice catch to Adam Gilchrist. When Boucher edged next delivery from McGrath to give one of the four catches that Gilchrist accounted behind the stumps, there were no two arguments about who will be playing against Sri Lanka at Kensington Oval in the 2007 World Cup final.

Shaun Tait took four wickets for 39 runs with Watson and Hogg chipping in with a wicket each. There were just three batsmen who could reach double figures in entire South African innings. Justin Kemp top scored with 49not out where as Herschelle Gibbs made 39 and for a while their partnership looked like resurrecting South African total to a reasonable number. AB de Villiers with 15 was the only other batsman who could score more than 8 runs.

Though Australia lost out of form Gilchrist to the first ball of the second over bowled by Langeveldt a target of 150 was never going to be an insurmountable for the current Australian team on any surface under any conditions against any opposition. Hayden made 41 and went past 600 runs for this tournament. Ricky Ponting made a relatively low score of 22 for the standards he setup in this tournament. But Michael Clarke flourished again with his fourth fifty (60*) of the tournament whereas Andrew Symonds made an unbeaten 18 and hit the winning boundary to take Australia to the World Cup finals for the sixth time and fourth in succession.

The brains trust of South Africa must be wondering what hit them to come up with such a pathetic display in a World Cup semi-final. They not only lived up their chokers tag but also were bowled out for their lowest total.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the day’ relates to another semi-final match which was started on equally disastrous note. Here it is:

In another semi-final encounter which too involved Australia, the match was started on even worse note than this semi-final match. Surprisingly Australia was at the receiving end. In fact their fourth wicket fell at a much lower score than South Africa’s in this semi-final. But Australia went on to win that match with a huge fifth wicket partnership between an unlikely pair. Name the players and provide the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 43

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 24th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 43

An absolutely brilliant innings by Mahela Jayawardene shattered the hopes of New Zealand getting past the semi-final stage for the first time in their fifth attempt. Jayawardene’s superbly paced innings, which had almost all the necessary qualities of being labeled as one of the greatest innings in World Cup history, gave a lesson to all those non-Australian teams how can a team build big totals without having the heavy hitters and massive batsmen with the physiques of Hayden, Symonds & Watson in the team and even after going through the PowerPlays without a boundary.

The match everyone thought would be decided by who wins the battle between Bond and Jayasuriya. In fact no showdown took place between the duos as Jayasuriya lasted just six deliveries before he completely missed the line of a Franklin’s incoming delivery and was clean bowled for a single even before he could take guard against Shane Bond. In the end neither of them really mattered in the outcome of the game, if you discount Bond’s dropped catch of Jayawardene when he was on 70 and Jayasuriya’s couple of wickets at a stage when it was clearly known which direction the match was headed.

Jayawardene’s innings might have changed the mindsets of South Africa’s Coach Micky Arthur, Captain Graeme Smith and the media back in Jacques Kallis’ home country. Their chances will be higher against Australia if they allow Kallis to continue playing in his natural style. The results may be devastating as they have experienced in their Super 8s game against New Zealand, if he is asked to alter his way of building an innings. Jayawardene proved today that you definitely need his type of batting in a One Day game especially when the flamboyant openers like Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, and Virendra Sewhag are out early and you still want to build big totals around a batsman who is willing to bat it out till the end of 50 overs.

During the initial phases of his innings Jayawardene crawled even slower than the usual suspects Wall ‘Dravid’ and Jacques Kallis. He came into bat when Sri Lanka lost Sangakkara to the first ball of the 14th over and the score was just 67 with Upul Tharanga batting on 40. He opened his account only in the 16th over after blocking nine deliveries and did not reach double figures till Tharanga got out for 73 with the score card reading Nelson (111) in spite of playing 33 balls. After playing 47 balls Jayawardene’s strike rate was still under 30. His first boundary came off the 48th ball he faced, the second of 66th and the 3rd of 73, but then runs flowed from his bat as he hit seven more boundaries and three sixes as he hammered 60 runs of the last 27 deliveries he faced and from a dismal 29.82 he ended the innings with a strike rate of 105.50. With their skipper in full flow Sri Lanka moved their score from 187 to 289 during the last ten overs losing just one wicket. A staggering 102 runs were added during that period as none of the Kiwi bowlers could restrict the barrage of boundaries. If it was Tharanga at the start of the innings who went head on with the New Zealand bowlers and made a valuable 73 under tremendous pressure of still being in the team in place of Marvin Atapattu, Dilshan provided the same kind of impetus at the start of the slog overs with a quick-fire 30

One of the most remarkable features of Jayawardene’s innings was the tremendous nonchalance and calmness he displayed. Being the captain and standing at the opposite end he witnessed two of the worst umpiring decisions of this tournament handed over by two of the best in the business going against his side at crucial times. He did not show a wee-bit of anger on his face and became more resolute to stay at the wicket till the end with some kind of total in his mind. If at all there was any anger or displeasure over the horrendous decisions was shown by him it might have been experienced by only the Kiwi bowlers and their captain through his array of strokes which put Sri Lanka in a commanding position half way through the match.

Fleming’s poor run of scores against Sri Lanka continued when New Zealand started their 290 run chase. He almost got out to the first ball he faced from his nemesis Chaminda Vaas when he edged Vaas wide off the first slip but ended up scoring his first run against Sri Lanka for the first time in five ODI innings. His relief did not last long as Lasith Malinga with one of the fastest deliveries of the match hit him plumb in front of the wicket. Malinga then tortured both Ross Taylor and Peter Fulton with scorching deliveries and rarely missing the line and length. They played and missed and somehow managed to last Malinga’s fiery first spell. Malinga’s replacement Dilhara Fernando’s first over consisted of 9 balls with 3 no balls and was a lot worse than Shane Bond’s first. He was also warned twice by Rudi Koertzen for running onto the danger area, which in turn may have upset his bowling rhythm as he ended up conceding 45 runs of 5 overs he bowled.

After Malinga completed his first spell, Ross Taylor may have thought he could go after the other bowlers. But luck did not favor him as he was adjudged leg before coming forward to a good length delivery from Vaas and was stuck on the pads with score reading at 32 for 2. Hawkeye did suggest the ball may have missed the off stump, but like Ross Taylor, Simon Taufel too was going through a rough day.

Styris then joined Fulton for the umpteenth time in this tournament and started repairing the damage and succeeded somewhat in doing so. They both for a moment raised the hope of Kiwi Landing in a World Cup final as they took the score to 105 for 2 at a much faster rate than their opponents. Styris hit three sixes with one of them coming of the bowling of Muralitharan.

As soon as Power Plays completed Tilakaratne Dilshan was introduced into the attack in a masterly move by Jayawardene and he got the much needed breakthrough right away by inducing Styris to go at him. Styris did try to go at Dilshan but ended up presenting a catch at midwicket which was gleefully accepted by Jayawardene. Styris ended the tournament with one run short of 500.

Once the breakthrough was provided by Dilshan Muralitharan and Jayasuriya ran amuck with the middle order as wickets fell in a heap and Kiwis were reduced from 105 for 2 to 149 for 9 in a matter of ten overs. Oram was brilliantly caught and bowled by Muralittharan and his next delivery accounted for McCullum with Chamara Silva coming up with a fantastic diving catch at short fine leg. Fulton then departed four short of his half century again caught by Silva at short mid-wicket.

Meanwhile Craig McMillan tried hitting at everything as he came to the crease with the help of a runner and made 25 of 20 balls with a boundary and two sixes. But he was clean bowled by Jayasuriya playing one shot too many. Then one of Murali's doosras claimed Daniel Vettori plumb lbw though slightly coming forward for a duck. Bond could not certainly do what he can not do with bowling and was duly out clean bowled by another doosra by Muralitharan to leave the match a mere formality. Murali bamboozled the Kiwi batsmen to return with figures of 4 for 31 and now leads the wicket-takers table for this tournament.

Jeetan Patel (34) and James Franklin (30*) then just extended the innings and reduced the victory margin to 81 runs before Tilakaratne came back again to end the innings by getting Jeetan Patel out caught in the deep by Dilhara Fernando.

Its celebration time now for the Sri Lankans, they reach the finals after a decade since their 1996 victory. Whereas the disappointed Kiwis head back home once again, failing to get past the Semi-Finals. Their eternal captain Stephen Fleming has just announced that he will be quitting as their ODI captain owning the responsibility. In the hindsight it appears New Zealand’s team selection for their last Super Eights game against Australia seems to have made Jacob Oram and Shane Bond ‘rusted rather than rested’.

They both took a wicket for which credit should be given to the umpires than to the bowlers. Ironically Shane Bond had his hand literally in the only chance that was offered during the entire Sri Lankan innings. A difficult catch that went through his hands when Jayawardene was on 70 resulted in a six.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the day’ relates to the centuries scored in Semi-final games in the World Cup history. Here it is:

With his match winning knock of 115 not out Mahela Jayawardene becomes only the fourth batsmen in the history of World Cup to have scored a century in the semi-finals.

Who are the other batsmen with a hundred to their names in World Cup semi-finals and What common factor of all those three innings does Jayawardene want to avoid when his team takes on Australia in the finals on April 28th?

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Monday, April 23, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 42

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 23rd, 2007: Quiztion of the Day-42

As the World Cup enters it's final week and just three more games remaining, I hope at least these games would live up to the expectations of connoisseurs of cricket. My prediction is whoever bowls first tomorrow in the Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand game will win the first semi-final. In the second semi-final Australia should come out winners unless they have their worst day of this tournament and South Africa has it's best day in entire World Cup history.

Today's 'Quizton of the day' is one for those who are real cricket trivia buffs like me. Here it is:

As of today, which ODI cricketer holds the distinction of being the oldest living cricketer to have played in a World Cup?

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 41

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 22nd, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 41

Finally the final game of Super Eights produced all the drama, excitement and crowd involvement that the general cricket loving public and ICC management were hoping for ever since the tournament kicked off. In an emotional thriller which saw a long standing Coach of England and a one of the game's greatest batsmen and holder of several records both representing their sides for the last time, England won the match by one wicket with the penultimate delivery of the innings after chasing down West Indies' total of 300.

England cricketers played their best cricket of the tournament in Duncan Fletcher's farewell match as a coach whereas Brian Lara bowed out of International cricket making just 18 runs as Marlon Samuels ran out his captain when Lara was looking good and entire cricket loving community was hoping for a big innings from him.

"At least I had the opportunity to say goodbye, I saw Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, all these guys wanted to go that little extra step. Unfortunately they were not granted the opportunity to." - is what Lara said in the post match press conference. It's true to the dot as he really got a rare opportunity that many of his preceding West Indian Cricket Legends did not get. I sincerely hope it would be good for West Indian Cricket if their Administrators can persuade and force him out of his retirement at least for Test Cricket. I will be posting a statistical tribute to Lara once the World Cup fever dies down.

Today's 'Quiztion of the Day' has got nothing to do with Lara; in fact he had not even started playing serious cricket when it happened. Here it is:

Name the player whose name is in the World Cup record books as the first cricketer to have died after representing his side in the World Cup?

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 40

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 21st, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 40

Like Sri Lanka did in their game against Australia after ensuring a spot in Semi-final, New Zealand too rested two of their key players Jacob Oram and Shane Bond in one of the most anticipated Super Eights game, there by killing the contest before it even got started. The outcome was even more embarrassing for the Kiwis than their opponents of the semis suffered. Australia like a true professional side did not bother about the constitution of the opposing team and fielded their best possible players including Shane Watson in the team in place of Brad Hodge. Watson made everybody know that he is now totally recovered from his injury by blasting the erring Kiwi bowling attack for 65 runs of just 32 balls in another display of power hitting.

But it was Matthew Hayden’s amazing power hitting and Ricky Ponting’s continuing good form with the bat during the first PowerPlay that quickly dissipated any chances of New Zealand making inroads into Australia’s top order. Their partnership set the platform for the later batsmen to take Australia past the 300 total for seventh consecutive time in the matches they batted first. This has now become a norm for them than an exception. They started this phenomenal run in the 2nd ODI of the Chapell-Hadlee Series by making 336 for 4 at Auckland and 346 for 5 at Hamilton. The 300 plus core in their last super 8 game against New Zealand is their 5th out of the 9 matches they batted first in World Cup. They made 334 for 6 against Scotland , 358 for 5 against Netherlands and 377 for 6 against South Africa in their Group matches at Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts. In their first Super Eight game against West Indies they made 322 for 6. In the matches they did not bat first they chased the down targets quiet comfortably by 10 wickets against Bangladesh, by 7 wickets against England, by 9 wickets against Ireland and by 7 wickets against Sri Lanka. But none of those wins may have given the Australian the kind of pleasure they derived out of the thrashing they inflicted on Kiwis to take the revenge of their 3-0 loss of Chappell-Hadlee series. The 215 runs margin of victory is the biggest in any ODI between two test playing nations and beats the previous worst of 202 runs suffered by India in the first ever World Cup match against England which became famous more for Gavaskar’s sedate batting of unbeaten 36 of 60 overs than the margin of victory.

Another feature of the current Australian team in this tournament is that they have bowled out the opposition in all of their nine matches barring one against the Bangladesh. But the reason for that has more to do with Messrs. Duckworth and Lewis than with the Australian bowlers as that match was reduced to 22 overs a side and Bangladesh made 104 for the loss of six wickets.

If Sri Lanka and New Zealand were thinking that they are saving their trump cards for the potential outing against the defending champions in the World Cup final on April 28th, then the first thing they must realize is that only one of them will have a chance to do that and then for a team which has shown the kind of remarkable consistency in every department of the game, the only way to encounter them is to take them by horns at every chance you get.

In that aspect South Africa has a better chance of defeating the Aussies in the semi-final than either Sri Lanka or New Zealand in the final. The Proteas were the only team who played the game the way Australia does in the group stages and for the first 20 overs it looked as if they would run away with a victory like they did at Johannesburg on March 12th, 2006 in the greatest ODI chases ever

Coming back to the match in question here, after Adam Gilchrist slashed at James Franklin’s out side the off-stump delivery and was very well caught at third man by Mark Gillespie to the 1st ball of the innings’ second over, Kiwi bowlers were tortured by both Ponting and Hayden for 22 long overs which yielded 137 runs.

Hayden muscled his way for another hundred, his third of the tournament whereas Ponting made same number of runs that he made against Sri Lanka before he scooped up a catch of Jeetan Patel’s tossed-up delivery to Ross Taylor at mid-wicket who grabbed it with an utmost glee. Michael Clarke made 49 before he was frozen in time and let a Franklin delivery hit his stumps. Hussey spent the much needed time at the crease and made 37 before getting out in the final over. Symonds with 11 and Gilchrist with 1 were the only ones to have missed the party. Shane Watson took the match away from New Zealand in a matter of 18 deliveries by making 47 out of the 51 runs made during the last three overs. Watson seems to have more amazed at himself than the crowd did when he finished the innings with a remarkable six over the extra cover of the last ball of the innings Watson in the process equaled Tom Moody’s record for fastest fifty by an Australian in World Cup.

With the memories of Chappell-Hadlee series still fresh one would have expected a close game when Kiwis started their batting and made 21 runs by half way through the fourth over. But a horrible umpiring decision which resulted in Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming losing his wicket for 12 after Shaun Tait’s short pitched delivery brushed his left fore-arm and went straight to Ponting at second slip, opened up the gates for the Australian bowlers and they ran through all over the Black Caps. McGrath for the sixth time took a wicket in the first over he bowled in a match in this World Cup. He finished with 2 for 25 where as Brad Hogg took 4/29 and mopped up the tail. Tait took 3 for 32 and Shane Watson gave further evidence that he is completely recovered from his injury by taking 1 for 20 of 5 overs. Peter Fulton fought a lone battle and made 62 and the match ended when he was out as the last batsman. Apart from Fleming and Fulton only Scott Styris with 27 could reach double figures.

Australia’s flawless and resounding victories in every match they have played in this tournament means that they are destined to become the first team ever to make it a hat-trick of World Cup titles. It appears the only way to stop them is to make them not to show up for the final. I doubt either Graeme Smith’s team or anybody else will be able to achieve that. But strange things have happened in World Cup finals before. Ponting should ask either Clive Llyod or Kapil Dev, the opposing captains of 1983 finals, if he wants to know.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is about the crushing defeats of highest order like the one suffered by New Zealand.

The highest margin of victory in a World Cup match has also witnessed two other major World Cup records. Provide the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Friday, April 20, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 39

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 20th, 2007 : Quiztion of the Day

On a day more significant events have taken place outside the Kensington Oval Pitch than on it where the Bridgetown crowd witnessed an insignificant World Cup encounter that took place between Bangladesh and West Indies. Duncan Fletcher predictably resigned as coach of England, but Lara’s decision to quit from International Cricket was a real shocker. Just a couple of weeks ago he mentioned that he would be quitting One Day Cricket at the end of the World Cup to concentrate more on the longer form of the game for a longer time. I believe his continuing poor form and a visible lack of motivation in the ongoing World Cup may have played a part in Lara’s sudden announcement about his retirement. His three dropped catches in this game convinced the onlookers that his decision was a right one as he does't seem to be enjoying his game any more.

Since the Coach of England and the Captain of West Indies will be bidding adieu to their respective teams’ emotions will be playing major part when West Indies and England take on against each other in the last game of the World Cup and that should make the game really interesting.

Coming back to the match between Bangladesh and West Indies which resulted in a big victory for Lara’s men , Ramnaresh Sarwan , who in all probability will be taking over the mantle of leading the West Indians on their England tour made an emphatic 91 not out to take his team’s total to a defendable 230. Sarwan’s composed yet a very critical innings deservedly won him the Man of the Match award. After they were put into bat by Habibul Bashar, West Indies started their innings disastrously losing both their openers by fourth over with just 8 runs on the board. Chanderpaul made an even fifty and added 47 runs for the third wicket with Marlon Samuels (31) to stabilize the innings. Lara made a rapid 33 of 27 balls with two massive sixes in his penultimate innings and added 60 runs for the fifth wicket to get some respectability to the final total.

But Bangladesh’s top order collapsed after a lucky break in the form of Tamim Iqbal’s run-out opened opportunities for Collymore and Powell. They seized them with both hands and by 17th over Bangladesh were reeling at 35 for 5. The match from then onwards was only of an academic interest. And when Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar was superbly caught by Bravo at third slip of Powell’s bowling whatever little fight they could offer to get closer to the target of 231 was quickly evaporated. Mashrafe Mortaza played a cameo innings of 37 and Mushfiqur Rahim made one run more to remain not out on 38 as the tigers folded out for 131 giving West Indies their first win of Super Eights.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to a curious record about the Man of the Match of the Bangladesh and West Indies encounter.

What curious ongoing bating record does Rmanaresh Sarwan hold in the history of World Cup among the batsmen who have played in at least ten or more innings?

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 38

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 19th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 38

There isn’t much to write about the Ireland and Sri Lanka game with Ireland getting thrashed for their lowest total of 77 in the tournament and Sri Lanka blitzing through with an 8 wicket victory as the match ended in less than 3 hrs and in 37.4 overs. But the amount of entertainment Ireland has provided during their existence in the tournament in their maiden attempt at game’s premier event will be cherished by many for a very long time to come including the players themselves.

The fighting Irish finally bowed out of World Cup, without giving enough fight as they have done in almost all of their games except against Australia. However, they did win many hearts around the Caribbean Islands. They truly were a joy to watch and many of the members of the current team will be remembered for a long time for their antics on the field including the new form of celebratory dances we became familiar with.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to the below hundred totals in World Cup. Here it is:

Majority of the totals less than 100 runs in World Cup were recorded by non-test playing nations. Since the inception of the World cup in 1975, out of the 11 such totals including Ireland’s 77, ten of them were achieved by non-test playing nations.

Sri Lanka never achieved a total below 100 as a test playing nation. Though they were bowled out for 86 against West Indies at Manchester in 1975, at that time they were still playing as a non test playing nation. Which are the only test playing nations that were dismissed for less than 100 in a World Cup match? Provide the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 37

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 18th, 2007 : Quiztion of the Day - 37

South Africa stormed into the semi-finals utterly humiliating England and leaving them in total disarray to ponder over what went wrong with their World Cup campaign. There will definitely be more questions asked than answers told about their worst World Cup performance ever since Michael Atherton's 1996 World Cup debacle in which their only wins were against UAE and Netherlands. Everything went wrong after Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to bat first. South African fast bowlers took advantage of bowling first and ran through the England's innings with the biggest celebration of the match taking place when Kevin Pietersen was caught by Graeme Smith off Andre Nel. Shaun Pollock though went wicket-less in the innings, was as economical as ever conceding just 17 runs of his 10 overs. Andrew Hall finished with 5 for 18 becoming the third bowler from South Africa to claim 5 or more wickets in this tournament. Earlier Charl Langeveldt took 5 for 39 against Sri Lanka and Andre Nel took 5 for 45 against Bangladesh. South Africa almost lost the match against Sri Lanka with Malinga's four in four during the final stages of the game whereas they did lose the match by 67 runs against Bangladesh in tournament's biggest upset.

Smith and de Villiers wasted no time in going about the task of chasing England's paltry total and finished off the match even before the powerplays ended. Graeme smith was at his belligerent best in making unbeaten 89 of just 58 balls and de Villiers made 42 of 35. The chasm between the two teams was so big that South Africa scored 64 runs of their first seven overs where as England could make just nine runs during the same number of overs in a pathetic display. England now plays against West Indies, another demoralized unit like themselves in the last game of the Super Eights and will be looking for salvaging some prestige and end their World Cup campaign on a winning note.

Today’s 'Quiztion of the Day' relates to their England's other miserable World Cup campaign in 1996. England failed to reach the semi-final stage in that tournament too and could not win a single game against any test playing nation.

England won the first game of the 1996 tournament against a team which had only one native-born player in their playing eleven. Shown below is the picture of this player who was believed to have owned more cars than the number of runs he scored in One Day Internationals. Identify the Player and the team he played for in 1996 World Cup.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 36

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ

April 17th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 36

Sri Lankan cricket team management came out with a shocking decision of resting two of their key players in one of the most anticipated matches of Super 8s stage disappointing both the fans and experts alike. That stunning move killed the contest even before it started. Though they had the luxury of experimenting and resting some players the motive behind the omission of Vaas and Murali from the playing eleven stunned everyone including Australian Captain Ricky Ponting, who fielded his strongest side available and crushed the Lankans with a seven wicket defeat. Only the time will tell if the ploy of resting or hiding Chaminda Vaas and Muralitharan from bowling at the Australian batsmen is the right one or not.

If Lankan team Management was thinking by not exposing Vaas and Murali in this game to Aussies now, they can pose problems to them later in the finals, well, then they must be kidding and also taking New Zealand for granted, which I honestly fell is a great mistake. But if the real reason as claimed by Sri Lankan skipper Jayawardene was not to take risk with Vaas and Murali as they are prone to recurring or aggravating the injuries they suffered in recent past, especially since having already qualified for the semi-final, then it definitely is justifiable to give them a break.

But not having Vaas and Murali in the side on top of injured Malinga may have prompted Jayawardene not to bowl first which has become a norm for the captain winning the toss in this tournament to take advantage of early morning conditions. Instead Sri Lanka batted first and found themselves at the receiving end as Bracken and McGrath sent top three Sri Lankan batsmen back to the pavilion for just 27 runs. The score would have been even lower had Shaun Tait been not so erratic and inconsistent during his first spell. Both Bracken and McGrath bowled brilliant and miserly opening spells and troubled the Lankan batsmen getting three wickets in space of fourteen deliveries with a wicket each in fifth, sixth and seventh over of the innings. Jayasuriya was first to go lbw to Bracken for 12, Then McGrath replacing Tait had Sangakkara lbw for a duck. Sangakkara was a little bit unlucky that the decision went in favor of bowler giving a wicket to McGrath in the first over he bowled in a match for the fifth time in eight games of this tournament.

Jayawerdene (72) and Chamara Silva (64) then resurrected the innings adding 140 runs for the fourth wicket. Their partnership proved out to be the only bright spot for Sri Lanka and promised an even contest in an otherwise a boring one side affair. Brad Hogg, who seems to be improving by leaps and bounds with every match that he has been playing, broke the partnership getting the top edge of Chamara Silva’s bat when he tried to sweep. Then two overs later he had Jayawardene stumped with a beauty. Sri Lanka from being in a great position of 167 for 3 during the 38th over with two set batsmen and plenty of batting to come and were all set to take the score to 300 plus suddenly found themselves struggling to touch the 200 run mark. Hogg’s intelligent yet economical spin bowling and his two wickets at a very critical stage changed the momentum in Australia’s favor completely. And with the re-introduction of Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken they lost 5 wickets for just 17 runs and quickly became 184/8. It’s only some lusty late order hitting by Bandara and Maharoof that took the Sri Lankan total to 226.

Defending a total of 226 against Australia, that too not having three of your best bowlers in the side was never going to be easy and Jayawerdene soon found it. With the kind of form their top order batsmen are in which has given just 72 balls of batting for their No. 5 batsman Mike Hussey Australia cruised to a comfortable victory again without requiring the services of Mr. Cricket.

Sri Lanka never looked like interested in giving a fight let alone winning. Gilchrist and Hayden provided another 50+ opening stand in an ODI, their 40th together, surpassing the previous record of 39 between Greenidge and Haynes. Ricky Ponting who doesn’t seem to be getting out in this tournament finished the match with a six and remained not out on 66 where as Symonds played his first big innings of this tournament and remained unbeaten on 63.

Whether Sri Lanka’s tactics to rest their best bowlers will have an impact on Aussie batsmen if at all they meet again in this tournament is something that only their team management can address. But if you have resorted to losing an inconsequential match and did not give your best shot at beating them, 99 out of 100 times you won’t be able to win when it matters. Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene and their coach Tom Moody must be thinking about the remaining one percent.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the day’ is about that one percent occasions of not exposing a bowler to the opponents in an inconsequential match and then making use of him when it mattered most. Here it is:

This incident did not take place in the World Cup but both the captain and the bowler represented their country in the World Cup games. Captain of the team instructed this bowler in a tour match to just play around instead of showing what he was capable of doing so that he won’t get exposed.

The bowler followed the orders and just had fun while bowling within himself. This led to the touring team forming a different impression about the bowler and their subsequent demise at his hands in the Test Series that followed. Name the Captain and bowler and provide the details of the incident.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World cup Final.

Cheers...

Monday, April 16, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 35

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 16th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 35

A setup for the marquee match-up between India and Pakistan ended up being the venue for the Battle of Minnows. For the Administrators who were looking for a sell-out crowd and in fact added a stand to accommodate an extra ten thousand spectators allowing them free of charge after one and half hours play must have been a real anti-climax. But it did not bother either Bangladesh or Ireland fans as they thought their teams deserved to be there for their sterling performances in the tournament so far.

An opening partnership of 92 between Jeremy Bray and William Porterfield which was a run more than their complete innings total against the mighty Australians laid a solid foundation for the later batsmen to capitalize after Irish captain Trent Johnston called the toss of the coin correctly and decided to bat. It was somewhat a surprising move as many experts present in the stadium were expecting the toss winners to bowl first with the likes of Boyd Rankin and Mashrafe Mortaza being in their teams. But Trent Johnston may have read the pitch differently and better than anybody else as his decision to bat first did not backfire and in fact helped his bowlers as the pitch became slower and slower when Bangladeshis batted.

Both the Irish openers took their time to settle and made sure that no wicket fell during the first half of their innings. Although Ireland bungled a little during the middle of the innings when boundaries were hard to come by they managed to muster 243 for 7, a total which would have needed some hard work from any team on that wicket. Ireland’s total would have been even bigger had they not resorted to accumulating the runs during the first 38 overs of the game mostly through quick and some times impossible singles and twos.

Four of the seven wickets that fell during Ireland’s innings were unnecessary run-outs which resulted when they tried stealing runs or going for a non-existent single. There were just 10 fours and 3 sixes in whole of Irish innings. Only five boundaries were hit during the first 38 overs and it was only after the burly hitter Kevin O’Brien came into the crease boundaries started to come. Kevin O’Brien made a quick 48 of just 44 balls with the help of 2 fours and 2 sixes. William Porterfield made 85 of 136 balls displaying Kalllisesque type of batting and anchored one end of Irish innings to win the Man of the Match award. Bray’s 31 at the start of the innings and Johnston’s 30 at the end swelled the total to a defendable 243/7.

Though the pitch played slow when Bangladesh started their chase with an occasional bounce to the tallest bowler of the tournament Boyd Rankin, it was more of their cavalier approach towards chasing the target that led to their defeat more than anything else. True, Ireland bowled well and their fielders did a much better job on the field than their counterparts, but except for Shahriar Nafees, who was beaten by the extra bounce of a Boyd Rankin’s delivery and an unfortunate run-out dismissal of Saqibul Hassan while backing up, all the other wickets were not really wicket-taking deliveries.

Ashraful played a short and sweet knock of 35, but his choice of the shot when Bangladesh needed them to be present at the wicket must have not only annoyed his captain watching him from the other end but also his coach Dave Whatmore who was watching him from the dressing room. Tamim Iqbal settled threw his wicket away when both he and Ashraful were going great guns. Trent Johnston showed what smart bowler he is when he spotted Tamim’s pre-meditated move and chased him with a yorker and cleaned up his stumps. Indeed, his customary after wicket celebration did follow the dismissal to get rapturous applause from the Barbados crowd, who have given a new name to his famous jig - "Funky Chicken Dance”. That started a slide which could only end with Bangladeshi captain Habibul Bashar losing his wicket to his counterpart as the last batsman and resulting in a 74 run win for Ireland.

It is a great win for the Ireland and they certainly deserved to be in Super 8s. They batted within their limitations through out the tournament and only once when they batted against Australia they looked like minnows. Their bowling and fielding was excellent and economical and they proved it again today when all of their bowlers who bowled ended up taking at least one wicket. And except for a dropped catch they did not make any major mistakes compared to four dropped catches and plentiful of misfields and bad throws by Bangladeshi team on the field.

Ireland now will be heading to St. George’s, Grenada where they will be playing their last game against Sri Lanka. Whatever may be the outcome, they have already made an indelible mark on this 2007 edition of World Cup whereas Bangladesh would like to put this defeat behind them when they meet West Indies at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. Meanwhile Whatmore and Habibul Bashar must be teaching the Bangladeshi young guns it is the consistency that is the hallmark of good batsman not the occasional flamboyance.

Abundant talent can leave them with just handful of victories but will never make them a successful team in the long run. Unless their natural flair for stroke making is backed up by mental toughness to adapt themselves to the demands of the situation Bangladesh will be suffering the kind of defeats against Ireland more often than their fantastic wins against India and South Africa.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is related to the four run-out dismissals of Ireland’s innings. Here it is:

Eight times before the Ireland vs. Bangladesh match, at least four run-outs have taken place in a single innings in the World Cup history. But the record for most number of run-out dismissals in an innings of a World Cup match is five. Provide the details and identify the remarkable coincidence that has taken place on both those occassions.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 34

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 15th, 2007 : Quiztion of the Day - 34

Stephen Fleming did not commit the same mistake of batting first that he made against Sri Lanka after he won the toss against South Africa. His decision not only took the Kiwis into the semi finals but also provides them an opportunity to avenge the defeat they suffered against Sri Lanka as their hard-fought win over the Proteas now leaves just one spot in the last-four. New Zealand’s win means Sri Lanka too now through to the Semi-finals as only one of the remaining four teams can equal their 8 points and has a possibility of reaching the next stage of the tournament. Except Ireland, each of the other five teams stand a chance to snatch the last remaining place in the semi-finals and it may not be decided till the last game of the Super 8s. Of course, all the games may become meaningless if South Africa beats England on Tuesday at Kensington Oval and progresses to the semi-finals to meet Australia.

But, there could be an interesting possibility, if England can elevate their game and come out victors against the South Africa and both Bangladesh and West Indies win their remaining two games of the Super eights, there will be a four way tie for the fourth position and Net Run Rate might play a big part in deciding who advances to the semi-final. Graeme Smith’s 5 overs which went for 56 runs during the final stages of their game against West Indies may come back and haunt him if it comes down to that.

More than anything else it was the coin-toss that had huge influence on the outcome of the New Zealand and South Africa encounter. Fleming called it correctly and did not hesitate to put South Africa in. Bond and Franklin opened the bowling quiet magnificently and by end of third over South Africa lost both their openers with just 3 runs on the board. Both Bond and Franklin just stuck to the basics of bowling from wicket to wicket and the pitch did rest under overcast and drizzly conditions. South Africa could make just 12 runs in the first power play and easily surpassed Ireland’s crawl of 18 for 2 against Australia just a day ago.

Kallis and Gibbs added 49 painful runs for the third wicket before a rare rush of blood by Jacques Kallis ended the partnership. With just two balls left in the 3rd power play he came forward and tried hitting Vettori over the extra cover without getting to the pitch of the delivery. Ever since Kallis took the criticism about his slow batting against Australia, he has been batting not in his characteristic style and if one important thing that South Africa needed from him today, it was his characteristic rock like batting style around which they would have built their innings to a defendable total.

At 52 for 3, Ashwell Prince joined Herchelle Gibbs and they both played some sensible cricket and took South Africa’s total to 122 for 3 by the end of 36th over. Then in one of his masterly moves Fleming tossed the ball to Craig McMillan. McMillan who bowled just 13 overs in the last 7 games of this tournament provided the much needed break immediately by getting Gibbs’ wicket. He went on to claim two more important victims Prince and Boucher in the same spell as South Africa suffered a mini-collapse from 128/3 to 149/6. McMillan returned with figures of 3 for 23 of his five over spell and South Africa’s total of 193 for 7 was at least 30-40 runs short of what they would have wished for.

As happened in New Zealand-Sri Lanka encounter the pitch eased out for the team batting second and New Zealand took advantage of both the pitch and the situation as they went about grafting the runs against the bowlers with out taking any undue risks of going after the bowling, exactly like Sri Lanka did against them. In addition to the ineffective bowling, South Africa’s fielding left a lot to be desired as three catches were dropped at very crucial stages of the game. Price dropped Styris when he was just four and Gibbs failed to hang on to a Fleming’s slash when he was on 36, there by nullifying the batting efforts they put together earlier in South African innings. Boucher too dropped a catch of Fleming when he was on 24 after getting a glove on to a mistimed pull. Both Fleming and Styris notched up fifties without bothering about the strike rate before they were out. However, McMillan stayed till the end with an unbeaten 38 to ensure Kiwis seal the victory and a semi-final spot and deservedly won the Man of the Match award for his terrific all round performance.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand now have the luxury of resting some of their players and experimenting a little in their remaining Super eight games whereas for South Africa it’s must win game when they meet England on Tuesday. Graeme Smith definitely wouldn’t like the net run rate becoming a deciding factor for semi-final spot.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to the duck that AB de Villiers has recorded in this match. Here it is:

AB de Villiers’ fourth duck of this World Cup gives him the unwanted record of scoring most number of ducks in a single WC tournament. There are seven other cricketers who got out for a duck thrice in the same tournament. Nathan Astle of New Zealand, Kris Srikkanth of India, Keith Arthurton of West Indies, and WK McCallan of Ireland are four of them. Name the other three players.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 33

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 14th, 2007 : Quiztion of the Day -33

A demolition derby act by Australia crushed Ireland’s hopes of rubbing shoulders with the cricket’s greatest team for a longer period of time. Australia proved that they are a class apart from any of the other teams that World Cup debutant Ireland encountered till now. Irish batsmen for a while looked like pigmies before the Goliath as Glen McGrath opened the bowling in the absence of rested Nathan Bracken after Ricky Ponting won the toss and put Ireland into bat on a lively pitch of Kensington Oval which had lot of pace and bounce.

Ireland’s inexperienced batting succumbed to the pace and fury of Australia’s hostile opening attack as both McGrath and Tait terrorized the batsmen on a dreadful Friday the 13th. By midway through the eleventh over Ireland lost half of their side for just 32 runs on the board and the game became a mere formality after that. Ireland, who had not yet encountered a bowling combination like that of McGrath and Tait, that too on a pitch which would have made any average pace bowler as lethal and menacing, continued their innings for 20 more overs and almost tripled the score to 91 . Only three of their batsmen Kevin O’Brien (16), Trent Johnson (17) and John Mooney (23) reaching double figures along with 16 extras.

Only negative of the game that Ricky Ponting can point out to his team and ask them for improvement is the number of wides they conceded. Shaun Tait was the main culprit by bowling 9 of the 15 wides. McGrath’s analysis of 7-1-17-3 fetched him the Man of the Match award where as Shaun Tait was lot more expensive in claiming same number of wickets, 3 for 39 of six overs. Stuart Clark, Brad Hogg & Andrew Symonds each chipped in with a wicket.

Australia knocked of the 92 runs required for a victory before the scheduled lunch time. Gilchrist batted the only way he could and made 34 of 25 balls before getting out for 34, also the only way he could getting clean bowled by right hand medium pace bowler bowling round the wicket. The only Australian wicket that fell in the match must have made the day for the Irish fans present at the ground as Trent Johnson engaged himself in his now famous and customary chicken dance after Gilchrist lost his stumps.

Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds who were promoted in batting order to get some batting practice made 30 of 41 balls and 15 of 9 balls respectively. They finished-off the game in a hurry and reached the target by the second delivery of the 13th over. Obviously they must have felt getting into the nets and practicing against their own bowlers might be a better option than staying at the wicket for longer time against the mediocre Irish attack.

Australia thus becomes the first team in this tournament to seal their place in the Semis. Other contenders still need some catching-up to do before they can reach there and a lot more after to advance beyond the last four if they have to face the thunder from down under.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is about another World Cup match, which too had like in this game against Ireland, five Aussie bowlers sharing nine wickets including three each by two of their fast bowlers and one wicket falling to a run-out. Here it is:

In one of the World Cup matches all the five Aussie bowlers who bowled in the innings shared the nine wickets that fell. They bowled out the opposition for a reasonable total but faltered while chasing and lost the game in the end.

This match was a very significant one for a particular reason in the career of the cricketer shown in the picture below. Name the cricketer and the significance this particular match holds not only in his career but also in the World Cup history.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.
Cheers...

Friday, April 13, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 32

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 13th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 32

New Zealand finally met its waterloo in the World Cup ending their nine ODIs winning streak including six in this tournament. The Lankans beat them comprehensively by six wickets even though they did not field their spearhead Lasith Malinga due to an ankle injury he suffered in a training session. But it did not affect Sri Lanka’s performance with Chaminda Vaas providing the initial breakthroughs. When Fleming won the toss one would have imagined he would field first so that Shane Bond can exploit early morning conditions. But in a surprise move Fleming chose to bat first and with just five deliveries into the match he must have regretted his decision. Not because the pitch offered assistance to the bowlers but for his fourth consecutive duck against Sri Lanka with the same mode of dismissal by the same bowler. Vaas claimed him lbw in each of his last four innings at Napier in 2005/06 4th ODI Fleming stay at the wicket was for 3 minutes and 2 balls, at Mumbai in 2006/07 Champions Trophy he struggled at the wicket for 23 mts and 11 balls, at Auckland in 2007 he returned for the 4th ODI after missing first three and stayed at the wicket for 10 mts and played 5 deliveries . Fleming’s innings in this World Cup match lasted for four deliveries. The Vaas syndrome basically did not let Fleming face any other Sri Lankan bowler in any of these ODIs.

Vaas’s twin blows in three deliveries pushed the kiwis to a defensive mode and occupation of crease became the primary concern than scoring runs. The innings crawled to 18 for 2 at the end of first power play as Fulton and Styris tried to repair the damage done earlier. Had the umpire not given the benefit of doubt to the batsman New Zealand would have lost Styris’s wicket when the score was 59. TV Replays clearly showed that Styris’s attempted paddle sweep of Vaas came off the bat and landed between Sangakkara’s thigh and pad for what appeared to be a legal catch. After that lucky break both Fulton and Styris seemed like settling down and started to score at a better strike rate.

But with the score reading at 71 for 2 in twentieth over Vaas struck again by inducing Peter Fulton to have a wild swing at a full length delivery that landed straight in the hands of Chamara Silva. From then on Muralitharan and Tilakaratne Dilshan took the control of the match getting wickets at better pace than the runs scored by the Kiwi batting. Scott Styris stood alone at one end while wickets fell at the other and could not help much in taking New Zealand to a defendable score. The Sri Lankan spin trio Muralitharan, Jayasuriya and Dilshan restricted the scoring so much that for a period of 30 overs (18.2 to 48.3) there were no boundary hits except a couple of sixes, one by Jacob Oram in 38th Over and another by James Franklin in 48th over. Muralitharan helped himself with figures of 3 for 32 from his allotted 10 overs.

A target of 220 was always within the reach of Sri Lanka. If New Zealand wanted that not to happen they needed two things to occur: Bond should strike big and Jayasuriya shouldn’t. Unfortunately both did not happen with Jayasuriya hitting 64 of 80 balls and Shane Bond going wicketless for 26 runs of 8 overs. Sri Lanka never looked in trouble while chasing the target. Both Jayasuriya and Sangakkara hit fifties while adding 100 runs for the second wicket. Though Sri Lanka lost two more wickets once the partnership ended they never looked in any danger of losing the match. They preferred scoring the runs in ones and twos rather than showing off with big-hitting. In the end it was a comfortable win and easy two points for Sri Lanka who now tied up at the top with Australia and New Zealand with 8 points. Of course that will be changing in less than 24 hours with Australia playing their fourth match of the Super 8s against Ireland.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka may meet one more time in this tournament as the current standings place them in second and third positions of the Super 8 points table. Both the teams might swap their positions by the time Super 8s games are completed, but most probably they will not be slipping down to fourth position. If that happens they will fight it out for a spot in the World Cup final and with Malinga in all likelihood expected to play in that match, New Zealand should better prepare themselves if they do not want to see the same kind of result.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to the same teams battling out in World Cup semi-finals after facing each other in the tournament earlier. Here it is:

Only once in the history of World Cup Cricket a team was able to reverse the result of the last match they played against another team in the same tournament when they played them again in the semi-final. Provide the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 31

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 12th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 31

A win is a win is win: that was what England cricketers must have been saying to each other after surviving a scare in the hands of Bangladeshi spinners. A target of 144, which looked relatively small attained mountainous proportions after England’s top order failed once again and Bangladesh spin twins Abdur Razaak and Mohammad Rafique capitalized on English batsmen’s extra cautiousness and inability to score runs to the maximum effect. With just 110 runs on board and still 34 runs needed for victory England lost all of its top order batman except Paul Collingwood by the end of 32 overs.

Both the Bangladeshi spinners raised the hopes of another upset by accounting a pair of wickets each right when England looked as if they were coasting towards a comfortable win. Razaak first dispatched both Vaughan and Pietersen in a space of 7 deliveries during his fifth and sixth overs to leave England tottering at 79 for 4. Then Mohammad Rafique clean bowled both Freddie Flintoff and Ravi Bopara with his second and last deliveries of his sixth over. Suddenly, England was reeling at 110 for 6 and the prospect of even dreaming about a semi-final spot started to appear bleak. Collingwood for the umpteenth time in his ODI career became the savior and with the help of his side’s gritty wicketkeeper-batsman Paul Nixon painstakingly took England near the target and slowly but surely accumulated the remaining 24 runs in almost 13 overs, a run-rate of 1.84 which must have driven the handful of spectators present at the stadium to an eternal sleep.

In the end, a win was what mattered England most than the way it was achieved,. They can still at least fathom a possibility of reaching last-four provided they beat South Africa on April 17th on the same ground. However, England’s batting needs lot of improvement when they take on South Africa and a similar performance will not be enough to take them over to the next stage of the competition.

Though England’s batting still lacks the solidity at the top and the aggressiveness at the bottom of an innings, their bowling came out good on a bouncy Kensington Oval pitch at Bridgetown. All three seamers Sajid Mahmood, James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff exploited the pitch and tormented the Bangladeshi batsmen who came out top on a much stronger South African bowling attack, even though on a slower track just four days earlier.

Tamim Iqbal got a fast bowler’s dream delivery from Sajid Mahmood and could not withdraw his bat in time edging it to Collingwood at fifth slip for a comfortable catch. Then bad luck too played its part which led to Bangladeshi skipper Habibul Bashar getting run out after Vaughan dropped a sitter of Shariar Nafees’ ambitious shot and showed the anger on the ball while throwing it to the keeper. Nixon with great presence of mind whipped off the bails as Bashar was walking towards the striker’s end thinking that a catch was made and he was just crossing the wickets. Shahriar too did not last long and was out in a very unlikely fashion when he edged another Sajid Mahmood’s quick delivery and Nixon could just get his gloves on to the ball but with another display of his presence of mind he parried it towards the second slip where Strauss took the catch. Bangladesh never recovered from those early losses and their three young tigers Musfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed all departed in quick succession with the score reading a miserable 65 for 6.

While Monty Panesar applied the breaks and cleaned up the tail with 3 for 25 of 7 overs, Saqibul Hassan waged a lone battle with an unbeaten 57. A little bit of support from Mashrafe Mortaza(13) and Abdur Razaak(15) brought some respectability to Bangladesh’s final total of 143 which in the end proved out to be at least 20-30 runs short of defending successfully.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to chasing fewer than 150 totals in a World Cup match. Here it goes:

Though England stumbled across while chasing sub 150 total in this match against Bangladesh, in the end they won the match. But this was not the case when they chased a smaller target than 143 against another underdog team in a World Cup match. They lost that match even after fielding a much stronger side. Shown below is the picture of the ground where this match was played. Provide the details of the match that is being referred here.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 30

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 11th, 2007: Quizton of the Day - 30

Within three days of suffering the biggest upset of the tournament in the hands of Bangladesh, South Africa reversed their 67 runs margin of defeat on West Indies and buried the hopes of the Hosts reaching the semi-final once for all. So the World cup most probably will continue its tradition of not making the home team lift the trophy.

It is West Indian captain Brian Lara’s choice of the final eleven that raised more eyebrows than their performance on the field in a do-or-die battle against South Africa. Lara’s choice of not choosing their main bowler Jerome Taylor and all rounder Marlon Samuels in such a key match and bringing in Devon Smith to play his first game of the tournament and debutant Kieron Pollard will no doubt leave many West Indian fans disappointed and disgusted at Lara's captaincy skills and none of them will be complaining about Lara’s decision to retire from ODI cricket as his unimaginative and some times downright terrible captaincy along with poor form with the bat led to their fourth consecutive defeat in Super 8s stage and their imminent exit from the tournament before the semi-finals

Though the match started as per Lara’s anticipation after he won the toss and decided to field with South Africa were able to make just 27 runs of first 9 overs losing the wicket of their skipper Graeme Smith, a 170 run partnership between ever reliable Jacques Kallis and the exciting stroke maker AB de Villiers and a brutal assault by Gibbs and Mark Boucher during the last seven overs which yielded 95 runs took the wind out of West Indian bowling. Brian Lara’s inexplicable move to delay the power play till the 45th over helped the Proteas tremendously to amass a total of 356/4 of which 320 runs came off last 40 overs.

It’s almost impossible to believe a batsman of de Villiers’ caliber keep losing his wicket for so many low scores in between such wonderful batting displays. Since his 92 against Australia in that furious batting display along with Smith, de Villiers' scores in three innings were 0 vs SL, 0 vs Ire and 15 vs BD. He celebrated his timely return to form with a maiden century. His aggression with the bat and between the wickets was so contagious normally sedate Kallis to engaged himself in taking the bowlers out of attack and in one particular over of Dwayne Bravo he took 18 runs including 3 hits to the fence and one over it.

In the slog overs , which included the last powerplay, both Gibbs (61* of 40 balls) and Boucher with another under 24 ball fifty took the game out of West Indies’ reach and rubbed more salt on already wounded West Indian bowlers.

For West Indies to get anywhere near the target they needed a good opening partnership, the hopes of which disappeared very soon when Chanderpaul’s lazy drive of Shaun Pollock’s delivery spooned an easy catch for Graeme Smith at mid-off. West Indies also needed Chris Gayle to fire on all cylinders. For a while it looked as if West Indies was on their way to make a match of it with the score reading 65 for 1 during the 11 the over with both Gayle and Devon Smith racing to their 30s in no time. But both fell within 4 balls bringing the Captain Lara and in-form bat Sarwan at the crease.

If at all there was a moment to silence his critics, this was the ideal situation for Lara. He started well and along with Sarwan took the score to 119 for 3 by 20th over. But then instead of smashing the Kallis’ harmless delivery out side the off-stump Lara got an inside edge not being able to get to the pitch of the ball dismantling his stumps. Though he could not silence his critics, his wicket silenced the entire stadium. Though Sarwan tried his best with a fighting knock of 92 and Darren Powell used long handle for some lusty hits in the end which fetched him 48 runs, West Indies never had a chance of winning the match once Lara’s wicket fell.

South Africa after that debacle against Bangladesh resumes its journey in the World Cup and with this win they strengthen their chances of reaching the semi-finals with two more crucial encounters to go. The first one will be against New Zealand at Grenada on coming Saturday and the next one will be against England on April 17th.

Today’s 'Quiztion of the Day' relates to another World Cup match in which a major team after getting upset in an earlier game came out victors against West Indies and strengthened their chances for getting a semi-final spot. Here it is:

Which Cricket team after suffering an upset in an earlier World Cup match and being in a danger of exiting from the tournament came out victors against West Indies though in a much closely fought encounter than the one between South Africa and West Indies in current World Cup. Provide me the details.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

WORLD CUP CRICKET : QUIZTION OF THE DAY - 29

WORLD CUP CRICKET QUIZ:

April 10th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 29

The Kiwis continued their unbeaten run of ODI victories with another comprehensive win over the Ireland. Starting from Chappell-Hadlee series this is their 9th win in a row. No captain knows better than Stephen Fleming on how to put the opposition under pressure when they seem to takeaway the game. Ireland was no match for the Kiwis, at least in this match and wilted under pressure by letting New Zealand compile a huge total of 263/8 after being at a precarious position of 189/7 in 43rd over. Again after the O’Brien brothers put them in a good position for slog they lost last seven wickets for just 24 runs thus losing the match by 129 runs. For the first in the tournament Ireland came out below par than what they are capable off.

Ireland, still needs to find out a way on how to chase totals in excess of 250.At present their top order is not good enough and the approach of the middle order is not conducive to run scoring. Their lower order is not capable of withstanding any quality bowling attack. Except the Pakistani game in which they chased a target of just 131 runs that too at one time looked difficult when they last three wickets in quick succession, they never looked good while chasing a target. Ireland needs to elevate their batting skills if at all they want to put up a decent fight while chasing totals. Though they are not embarrassing themselves in any department of the game, at times their batting seems to be little boring and incapable of chasing any significant targets. Their work on the field meanwhile, especially that of Eoin Morgan who took three catches in the game, was very consistent throught out the tournament and is comparable to any other team in this World Cup.

Ireland’s bowling in this game was as good as any of the other teams, they restricted New Zealand to 189/7 in 43 over, but a late burst of brilliant batting by Brendon McCullum and James Franklin saw them adding 74 runs in last 7 overs and there by taking the match away from a range that Ireland ‘s brittle batting order is capable of chasing.

After Shane Bond took his customary first couple of wickets the O’Brien brothers tried repairing the damage but an unfortunate run-out of the younger brother , Kevin , opened the floodgates and both Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel seized the opportunity to skittle out Ireland from 110 for 3 to 134 all out.

For his patient 83 which came off 110 balls and anchored the New Zealand innings Peter Fulton won the man of the match. But in my opinion Brendon McCullum’s 47 of 37 balls and James Franklin’s 34* of 22 balls and their eighth wicket partnership of 71 in 7.1 overs was the main reason New Zealand ended up as victors.

Australian born Dave Langford Smith took the wickets of Hamish Marshall and Scott Styris in quick succession after Boyd Rankin removed Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming. More than the wickets his ferret dancing celebration may have pleased his captain who himself has a way of celebrating a wicket with chicken-dance.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ is about Australian born cricketers who played for Ireland. Here it is:

Current World Cup Irish team members Dave Langford-Smith and Jeremy Bray along with their captain Trent Johnson were all born in Australia. Both Johnson and Bray also played for New South Wales in Pura Cup. But there are two other Australian born cricketers who also represented Ireland in cricket though not in Official ODIS and played for Australia in both ODIs including World Cup and in Test Cricket. Name these two Australian Cricketers who also represented Ireland for their National Cricket team.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to vijay@dreamcricket.com with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on http://www.dreamcricket.com/ website within a week of the World Cup Final.

Cheers...