Wait, we are already on the 22nd edition of the Cricket.com weekly?
Just as awesome as the cricketing action from last week. Seven days that saw Mumbai Indians’ dominate the Women’s Premier League (ya, sure, boring) to India crushing Australia’s hopes with a pitch that is as dead as someone's will to work on a rainy day.
What’s or who is making the headlines?
Kane Mama to New Zealand’s rescue
Kane Williamson is back.
New Zealand are back.
All the tweets about ‘Test cricket, you beauty’ too are back. But only barely. The BlackCaps won the first Test by the barest of margins, off the last ball of a five-day event. Who could have written such a solid script?
I’m sure even the IPL and the BCCI couldn’t have been so immaculate with their writing. To think that the right-hander only scored one run in the first innings is really A JOKE! Come the second innings, he turned into a monster. He even batted with a monster, in the form of Daryl Mitchell, who scored an 86-ball 81, with three fours and four sixes.
8 runs were required from the last six balls. Six off four balls. Five off three balls. That’s when Williamson’s bat wielded like a sword, and under pressure, slapped Asita Fernando through point for a massive boundary. But then came the dot ball. 1 off 1, and Williamson misses but then runs through for a tight single, NEW ZEALAND HAVE WON!!!
BANGLADESH CREATE HISTORY
Oh, while you were busy with New Zealand-Sri Lanka or India-Australia, Bangladesh were busy creating history. The Tigers have now defeated all three giants – Australia, New Zealand and England – at home in the shortest format. That’s quite an achievement, to be honest. But this perhaps was the most impressive of the three wins, because England are the defending champions, they know how to win (well, not in Bangladesh but surely at other places).
If there’s one thing England realised over the course of that one week, it is that ‘batters are of utmost importance’ and that’s something that cost them dearly in the Asian conditions. For Bangladesh, it was the resurgence of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who picked up five wickets, including four in the second T20I, which gave them a series win.
Delhi Capitals, welcome your new Oz skipper?
Rishabh Pant is out of the IPL, at least that’s what this news from the Delhi Capitals camp has confirmed. But the leadership has moved from one southpaw to another, well two southpaws to be honest. On March 16 (Thursday), DC confirmed that the 2016-IPL winning skipper, David Warner will be at the helm of things for Delhi on the field.
Davey's at the wheel,
Tell me how does it feel,
We’ve got Shaw, Marsh and Ahmed,
Yash Dhull, a Delhi born and bred,
If that’s not the chant at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, consider me disappointed.
Kohli, Kohli, Kohli
Who doesn’t love breaking a drought? Well, Virat Kohli for the longest time was one, he hated breaking the drought. Jokes aside, the former Indian skipper finally got the monkey (Test century) off his back, against a dominant Australian bowling unit. Sure, the pitch was placid and runs were easy to come by but considering his form, there was a strong chance he could have missed out.
But nope, Kohli stood tall, literally and figuratively to punch a heavyweight, with a 186, which showed he was BACK. BACK WITH A 186-BANG. Might be because of the placid wicket but you could sense that the confidence is back. At least, it should after the knock.
What’s happening in international cricket (on the field)?
- No shockers, India and Australia finally play out a dull draw. If after the toss, you expected a result, I’m not sure how much cricket you’d have watched. Can’t even call it a road in Bangalore, at least it has bumps. 480 & 175/2d vs 571, that’s how the entire Test could be summed up, and India wrap the series 2-1.
- If you think India-Australia was done, then the ODI series began, with a humdinger that was won by India in Mumbai, all thanks to KL Rahul’s sublime 75, and of course, a valuable 45 and 2/46 from Ravindra Jadeja.
- Bangladesh registered a thumping three-nil series win over the current champions, England in the three-match T20I series. Their three wins – six wickets win, four wickets win and finally, a 16-run win.
- South Africa completed a stunning 2-0 whitewash over the West Indies, and the visitors stood no chance against such a strong bowling unit. They were blown away to smithereens in the second Test.
- After taking a 1-0 series lead, New Zealand started strong in the second Test, with twin centurions, in the form of Henry Nicholls (200) and Kane Williamson (215), to take them to 580/4 before Sri Lanka crashed to 26/2, leaving a lot for them to do on the remaining three days.
Dominant Mumbai make WPL extremely lop-sided
The first season of the competition, you expect some fun and close contests between teams, right? That’s where Mumbai Indians made it a dull sport. Winning five out of five is okay but then trashing four teams en-route, is simply not ACCEPTABLE. Which demonic team has a net-run rate of +3.325 after five games. Either way, WPL has become just too lop-sided.
Who else have competed? Delhi Capitals, they have done quite well. Four wins out of six, two losses, one against MI, so Delhi are up there, thanks to some good calls from their skipper, Meg Lanning. And, of course, the team. But the others – UP Warriorz, Gujarat Giants and RCB – are struggling and will need more than a dominant display to catch up at third place. Anyone’s race to be honest, for the third.
PSL is buzzingggggggggggggggg
You thought WPL was bizarre, then PSL was like on ‘high-performance’ drugs. Not the cough syrup one. We have gone past the crazy run-scoring fests, some mind-boggling individual displays from people you least expect, and some pitches that were literally the graveyard for the bowlers.
The play-off clash between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars was anything but high-scoring. 160/5 vs 76 is extremely one-sided, and that really showed Multan’s bowling unit. Then Lahore Qalandars went on to beat Peshawar Zalmi to set up a re-match but this time in the final.
Will it be the dominant Multan or the Qalandars who will lift the PSL trophy? Set your alarms for 7.30 PM tonight to find out. ICYMI, this is really how the PSL has behaved this far!!!
Come on, give me those articles
Well bowled, Gazza. I’m sure you would have heard that over and again in the last four-five weeks of riveting action between India and Australia. Is Gazza the GOAT? Well, at least he is definitely the visiting GOAT to India. Read what makes Lyon so special, in this piece from Aakash.
This year’s BGT was a definite mood board, sorry Jarrod Kimber. But this mood board had everything, including a snooze-fest in Ahmedabad, two Prime Ministers with a lit chariot, and all those crazy turning action, like it was a bendy-curve race track. In case you need any help remembering it all, Gaurav’s got you covered.
India are going to be without Shreyas Iyer. How long? Not sure but long enough for his presence to be missed. So, what can they do? Anirudh Suresh has answered that question.
Let me throw another piece from Anirudh here, on a certain Travis Head. How did he defy the odds, and make the Australian selectors look like fools for dropping him from the first Test in Nagpur!
What can 18 seconds do to life? A lot. For a certain Proteas skipper, Dane van Niekerk, it was enough to call it time from the game. Her last words as a Proteas player, ‘it was unfortunately, not enough’. Read how an 18-second delay rattled South African cricket, all thanks to Shweta Haranhalli’s writing.