March 28, 2013
South Africa has prevailed against Pakistan, winning the fifth and final ODI in Benoni by 6 wickets, with AB De Villiers (95 no) once again the star of the show. Pakistan’s continued weakness against quality pace bowling remains a major concern for the team management. Expect to see South Africa lifting the ICC Champions trophy in England come June.
India has duly completed its test series whitewash of Australia. The team will be particularly encouraged with the recent emergence of world-class players Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja during the course of the series. And Australia? Seemingly a team in total disarray.
Sri Lanka is showing early dominance over Bangladesh, setting the pace with a comfortable victory by 8 wickets in the first ODI in Pallekele. The match was notable for centuries from Tamin Iqbal and Tillekeratne Dilshan.
Following the recently completed drawn series between New Zealand and England and in anticipation of the return matches in England, talk has shifted from how naïve Kiwi batsmen will cope with the moving ball in early English summer to how their own seamers more than held their own on home soil. Chief executives at Lord’s and Headingly will be hoping that a more competitive New Zealand will now draw in bigger crowds for the two tests in May
Jessie Ryder, New Zealand’s charismatic all rounder, has suffered serious head injuries after twice being assaulted in the street following a night out with other players in Christchurch and currently lies in a critical condition in hospital. Family, friends and the whole cricketing world hold their breath and pray for news of his recovery.
With the new IPL season less than a week a way, franchises are counting the cost of a number of high profile withdrawals. Kevin Pietersen (knee), Michael Clarke (back), Daniel Vettori (Achilles) and Jessie Ryder (accident) will not be there and doubt must now be cast over Brendon McCullum’s (hamstring) availability for the full series. Meanwhile, international politics rears its ugly head with all Sri Lankan players prevented from playing matches in Chennai. This may well prove advantageous to the home team Chennai Super Kings.
And finally, English county cricketers, currently involved in outdoor practice matches, are protecting themselves from the elements by wearing an assortment of thermal underwear, snoods, hats and gloves. Middlesex, for one, have found themselves bowling at Taunton in arctic conditions. Maybe their bowlers are discovering a third type of swing – one that happens when snow gets compacted on one side of the ball.
The Scoop 28/03/13