Tuesday, June 2, 2009

India Lose to Black Caps

The defending champions INDIA lose to the black caps in the warm up game by 9 runs. The game was so tight but ultimately it was Newzealand who grabbed it down with both hands. India were pegged back by a fine display of slow bowling from skipper Daniel Vettori, who returned figures of 3-24 in three overs to limit the batting side to 161-6 in reply to New Zealand’s 170-7.

India's reply began sedately with seven runs coming off the first two overs before Rohit Sharma peppered the on-side boundary to swing the game in the batting side’s favour. Gautam Ghambir (14) drove to extra cover after a first-wicket stand of 42 but that did not perturb his opening partner until spin took its turn.

Vettori took two wickets in his opening over to remove two of India's big hitters. Vettori first dragged a delivery down the leg-side as MS Dhoni moved down the track and Brendon McCullum took the bails off with the batsman well out of his crease. The slow left-armer then removed Sharma (36 off 20 balls) in freakish manner to bring the contest back towards parity. Sharma fended at a ball that shot up at him and he could only watch agonisingly as the ball spun back onto his stumps.

Suresh Raina showed that he wouldn't be dominated by Vettori as he hammered the experienced campaigner for two sixes and a four off the last three balls of his second over. The left-hander brought the equation tumbling down to a manageable 81 off the last 10 overs in the process. The 100 came up in the 12th over before Jesse Ryder’s entrance into the attack, in the next over, heralded the 50-partnership between Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. It was Raina who brought up the landmark by putting Ryder over midwicket for six. Ryder took a fine running catch at short third-man off Jacob Oram to finally remove Raina (45 off 24 balls) but by then the fourth-wicket pair had added 69 runs off 48 balls.

Oram then gave away only three in the next over to heap the pressure back onto the Indian batsmen. Jadeja to respond for a quick single when he drove Iain Butler to Vettori at extra cover in the penultimate over and Irfan Pathan was run out by an accurate return throw to the bowler. Twenty one were needed off the final over bowled by Oram, who had given away just seven from his first two overs. The right-armer mixed his pace and length up sufficiently to leave India well short of their requirement.

Ishant Sharma had earlier taken the wind out of the New Zealand sails with 4-25 during a hostile spell of bowling as the Black Caps reached 170 at the end of their 20 overs. McCullum put his IPL woes behind him with an early assault on the Indian opening bowlers. The New Zealand wicketkeeper, who captained Kolkata Knight Riders to bottom place in the tournament in South Africa, has quickly got back into his stride during his country's warm-up programme ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.