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Cricket Bros : Daily Cricket Sensations

References in classic literature

Short and grisly had been the work of the mutineers of the Fuwalda, and through it all John Clayton had stood leaning carelessly beside the companionway puffing meditatively upon his pipe as though he had been but watching an indifferent cricket match.

Talking Points: Kohli needs to be in two places at one time?

Vishaal Loganathan in Bengaluru • 
Kohli has been named for the two T20Is against Ireland which clashes with his last commitment with Surrey in June.
Kohli has been named for the two T20Is against Ireland which clashes with his last commitment with Surrey in June. © AFP

The press conference on Tuesday (May 8) at the Taj West End in Bengaluru was not the usual run of the mill stuff. BCCI Acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary and Chairman of the senior selection committee, MSK Prasad were to announce five squads.

The India Test squad: With Virat Kohli opting for a County stint, Ajinkya Rahane was named captain. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were both rested, Rohit Sharma was dropped while there were call ups for Karun Nair, Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur.

The ODI squad: Ajinkya Rahane was left out, while Ambati Rayudu and Siddarth Kaul – both impressing heavily in the current IPL – were called up. KL Rahul too returned to the side.

The T20I squad: Suresh Raina and Manish Pandey retained their spots in the line-up, whereas Jaydev Unadkat lost out to Kaul.

India A (one-dayers): Iyer will captain the side which also includes the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Krunal Pandya and Khaleel Ahmed among others.

India A (four-day): Nair will captain the side that also includes Rajneesh Gurbani, KS Bharat and Hanuma Vihari among others.

Any squad announcement is concomitant with questions – the whys, the why nots and the whos. When there are five announced, expect a lot more.

But that evening Jo fancied that Beth’s eyes rested on the lively, dark face beside her with peculiar pleasure, and that she listened with intense interest to an account of some exciting cricket match, though the phrases, `caught off a tice’, `stumped off his ground”, and `the leg hit for three’, were as intelligible to her as Sanskrit.

Karn stars with five-fer in affluent India A display

Shirshendu Roy in Visakhapatnam • 
Karn Sharma ran through the New Zealand A middle and lower order to keep the visitors to 143
Karn Sharma ran through the New Zealand A middle and lower order to keep the visitors to 143 © Getty

After a thrill-a-minute second one-dayer the preceding evening, the 22-yard strip seemed to have woken up tired as it registered a remarkable drop in pace and assisted spin. New Zealand A, undisturbed by all of it, or having read the wicket not as well, elected to bat in the third game on Wednesday (October 11) at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

From erasing the embarrassing batting displays of the four-day games on the previous day to stumbling again, New Zealand A saw a poor change of fortune again, being bowled out for a meek 143. While the hosts didn’t start off too well, skipper Shreyas Iyer took the mantle upon himself once again to put the chase back on course, before Vijay Shankar and Deepak Hooda provided wholesome entertainment through their glitzy cameos to help India A seal a comfortable six-wicket win with more than half their overs to spare.

The touring side made three changes to their unit to extend their examination for the ODI selection, due in a couple of days’ time, by resting all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn, ‘keeper Tom Blundell and paceman Matt Henry for Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Seifert and Seth Rance. India A replaced both their pacers, Shardul Thakur and Siddarth Kaul, with local boy Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi. Having won the toss, New Zealand A openers George Worker and Colin Munro started off cautiously till Munro went back to his usual self. Striking boundaries off back to back balls in the third over, Munro got going, seeing which Worker too played an upper cut to send one packing over third man off Siraj for a six.

Their joy didn’t last long as the first-change bowler of the afternoon, Deepak Hooda, got Worker out stumped for 22 by beating him in flight and length. Munro cleared the deep mid-wicket fence with a towering blow before slicing one to cover point off Thampi. Little did New Zealand know that their downward spiral had just begun.

The centurion from Tuesday’s game, Glenn Phillips, fell to the trend of the day as another bowling change made way for a wicket. Phillips, trying to pull Vijay Shankar off the first ball, missed it to be clean bowled. Tom Bruce didn’t last long either. While Henry Nicholls was watching all of this unfold from the other end, he was joined in by de Grandhomme, with whom he added 37 runs to ignite hopes of a fightback. India A tightened the noose during this phase with Shahbaz Nadeem and Karn Sharma bowling in tandem for 12 overs. Nicholls in an attempt to break the shackles, miscued a heave to long off, falling for 35 off Karn Sharma.

From 134 for 5 to 143 all-out, New Zealand A went crashing down in less than seven overs, three of those scalps going to Karn Sharma as the legspinner ended with a five-fer.

The hosts’ reply didn’t start off on the brightest of notes as New Zealand A removed the top-three with just 23 on the board. India A could have witnessed the worst when their skipper Iyer tucked one straight to Phillips at short leg to be dropped on blob. An overthrow made things worse as it canoned away into the long off fence for four bonus runs. There was no plug to be pulled on Iyer from there on as he went downtown off Todd Astle for two sixes in consecutive overs.

On a surface that seemed sticky in the usual moist conditions of Visakhapatnam, Iyer misjudged a short ball from Seth Rance. But the quick learner that Iyer is, he adjusted quickly to the lack of pace to cut the next ball – similar length – for a boundary. Sodhi was then taken on as Iyer sent one packing for his third long hit of the evening. The leggie though had last laugh as he induced the outside edge off an attempted drive from Iyer, who fell for 37.

Shankar, who had walked in at the fall of Shreevats Goswami, took his liking to Astle – hitting him for a six and four in the 21st over – who just couldn’t find his mojo unlike last evening. The showstopper though was Hooda as he sparkled for his 35 off 26, hitting three fours and two sixes, almost at will. Shankar remained unbeaten on 47 with seven fours and a six to help India A pick up their first win in the series after Tuesday’s tie.

Brief Scores: New Zealand A 143 in 37.1 overs (Henry Nicholls 35; Karn Sharma 5-22) lost to India A 144/4 in 24.4 overs (Vijay Shankar 47*, Shreyas Iyer 37; Ish Sodhi 2-31) by six wickets.

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