April 26, 2013
Chris Gayle has received widespread acclaim for his remarkable 175 not out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Allan Donald, coach of Pune Warriors laid to the sword by Gayle, has suggested that Gayle’s innings left bowlers ‘scared’, a far cry it seems from the days when it was fast bowlers like Donald himself who did the scaring.
Teammate Tillekaratne Dilshan remarked “I have never seen the ball hit so cleanly. I was just standing at the other end and enjoying every bit of it.” Aaron Finch, the Warriors captain joked “Maybe we should ban him from the game.” Gayle’s knock set new records for the individual highest score in T20 cricket, the fastest-ever century in cricket history (30 balls) and the highest number of sixes hit in an innings (17).
Gayle has now established a clear lead as the tournament’s leading run scorer. Thanks to consistent performances from their skipper, MS Dhoni, and the ever-dependable Mike Hussey, Chennai Super Kings have now joined RCB at the top of the table; each side having completed six wins from eight games
The sun has appeared and things are starting to hot up in the English County Championship. Hard on the heels of early Division 1 leaders Middlesex are champions Warwickshire who inflicted a crushing 318 runs defeat on Durham. Test players are being allowed a rare run out in county games and fast bowlers Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan seem to have found their radar and have already picked up clutches of wickets. All are keen to impress but only three of them will be selected for the forthcoming series against New Zealand.
Kevin Pietersen remains injured and will not be seen at a county ground until late June at the earliest. We await significant early season contributions from England’s other front line batsmen. Somerset’s Alviro Petersen and Durham’s Graeme Onions are respectively the leading run scorer and wicket taker in the Championship. The third round of matches, currently in progress, has seen an unbeaten double century from Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams against Worcestershire.
Ryan Harris looks like becoming the first casualty of the newly selected Australian squad to tour England, having picked up an Achilles injury at the IPL that will probably keep him out of the game for eight weeks. Seamer Harris has history with serious injury and may struggle to regain fitness in time for the Ashes.
In the first test in Harare, Zimbabwe defeated Bangladesh by an overwhelming 335 runs. The hero, with scores of 171 and 102 not out, was captain/keeper Brendon Taylor. Bangladesh, who once again are looking a sorry side, were bowled out in each innings for less than 150. The second and final test is currently in progress.
The Scoop 26/04/13