Archive for the ‘Cricket’ Category

Who needs highlights?

September 20, 2007

There’s currently a cricket tournament going on in South Africa, the first ever Twenty20 World Cup. (And yes, for those of you not familiar with the term, I know Twenty20 sounds funny. :-P) The whole concept behind this kind of game is that it’s bite-sized, to the extent that even people with short-attention spans *cough*Americans*cough* can find something to enjoy. Each complete game lasts 3 hours, and every major event, be it a wicket falling or a boundary being scored, is marked with multiple dancers shaking their groove thang in front of the live audience at the stadium (and captured on camera).

Anyway, India played what we call a “do-or-die” match against England. In order to have any chance of qualifying for the semis, India needed to win this game, and score a lot of runs in the process. We got off to a pretty good start, and with two overs to go, were handily placed at 171/3. The average score in the tournament thus far had been in the 160s, we so were doing ok. With a few good hits, we might get close to 200, which is a hefty score. Apparently, no one told Yuvraj Singh that this number was enough. So he decided to go a little crazy.

Over the next five minutes, Yuvi went ballistic. Six balls were delivered, each of them was dispatched for 6. The man scored 36 runs in the over, the maximum possible. For those of you who don’t follow cricket closely (which is pretty much all of you remaining readers), allow me to put that in perspective.

Before last night, in the entire history of first class cricket (that includes all international matches, as well as domestic matches between regions), there had been only three prior instances of such an event. The first two were in domestic cricket, and the third was in the One Day International World Cup held earlier this year in the West Indies. Last night was the fourth time this had happened in over one hundred and twenty years!

He went on to score 58 runs off 15 balls, before being caught off the 16th ball he faced. Absolute carnage!

Tonight is the second must-win game for us, against the hosts South Africa. Let’s see if we can do a repeat. 😉

31-Mar-2004

March 31, 2004

Well, today started off pretty well, even if I was a little late getting into work. First, I found out that, after making Pakistan follow on 268 runs behind, India had reduced them to 207 for 9 in their 2nd innings. When they resume tonight, Pakistan will need to score 61 more runs just to make India bat again, and they have only one wicket in hand. I think it’s safe to say that, barring an act of God, India will win its first test ever in Pakistan. I can only wonder at the repercussions after seeing how this Paki team capitulated so easily.

Then while I was checking the scores, I suddenly got a message from Ishani, who I hadn’t chatted with for over a year. In all honesty, I was more than a bit surprised. And since I gave Ish the URL for this blog, let me clarify… it was a pleasant surprise. She was always one of my funnier and more entertaining friends, and here’s to hoping we will bitch about other people for a long time to come.

24 yesterday was exciting as ever. I guess what makes it even more interesting is that everything they show is somewhat plausible. That stuff could really happen, except it would probably take longer than a single day to unfold. I can’t wait for the series to end, especially since both of the previous seasons have ended with fiendish cliffhangers to keep people hanging till the new season started. Personally, though, I don’t know if I want there to be a Season 4. They’ve done a remarkable job in maintaining the level of tension, and I’m afraid if they try to milk this cow for too long, it’ll dilute the quality of the show. Let’s see what happens.

Finally, Richard Clarke was the guest on the Daily Show last night. He gave some more revealing facts about how politics works in this country, and it made for some interesting viewing. Watch the replay this evening if you can. Tonight’s guest is Karen Hughes, a former advisor to Bush, who will probably explain why Richard Clarke (who gave 30 years of his life to government service, and voted Bush in 2000) is a lying, scheming , opportunistic bastard. Great TV.

19-Mar-2004

March 19, 2004

I love Fridays. On the days I’m on, I can leave an hour earlier than usual. On the days I’m off… well, I’m off. Have I mentioned that 9/80 rocks?

BTW, I know most of the people reading this blog regularly (all 3 of you) know what 9/80 means, but for any potential newcomers, here’s a quick primer:

Normal Work Time: (8 hours a day) x ;(5 days a week) x (2 weeks per period) = 80 hours per period
9/80 Work Time: Week 1: (9 hrs a day) x (4 days) + (8 hrs a day) x (1 day) = 44 hrs
Week 2: (9 hrs a day) x (4 days)  = 36 hrs
Total = 44 + 36 = 80 hours per period
Therefore, in Week 2 of every two-week period, I get one day off, because I’ve already worked my 80 hours. This day off is usually Friday, hence I get three-day weekends every two weeks. Make sense? Good.

India lost the match yesterday, in another reasonably close game. Fortuantely, it is now available for webcasting. It’s a bit steep at $150 for the remaining one day games and test matches, but at least I can watch highlights at work. The match itself was interesting to me for one reason. But first, another quick primer on how batting lineups work in cricket. Out of 11 players in the team, the first 5-6 are the batsmen. ;Then there’s the wicketkeeper. If the team is lucky (like Australia), then the wicketkeeper is good enough to be counted as a batsman as well. Finally come the bowlers. The bowlers come last because they are the worst batsmen. Consequently, the last 4-5 batsmen are considered the “tail” of the batting lineup.

Now, even though we lost the game, during the Indian innings I saw signs that we may be developing a tail that has some spine. Ever since India started playing cricket, its tail has rarely wagged (yes, it’s a bad pun, but it’s commonly used in cricketing parlance). But yesterday, I saw the number 10 batsman (i.e. a bowler) scoring runs off of Pakistan’s second fastest bowler, Mohammad Sami, who is very fast indeed. These weren’t just lucky runs, scored by blindly swinging. This guy knew what he was doing, and looked surprisingly comfortable holding the bat. It was a good omen for Indian cricket fans. I just hope they’ll pay attention to it over the inevitable breast-beating about having lost to Pakistan.

And if you’re a Yankee with no idea about the rules of cricket, check out this page . It explains the basic rules in terms even Americans can understand.