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Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Part 5 - Top Moments Of CWC15

This one comes from another cliff hanger at the Eden Park, Auckland.
The #CWC15 final clearly belonged to Australia and #MitchellStarc.
This game also belonged to them ... well almost!

Game started on a normal note, with Australia winning the toss and electing to bat. After a stormy start, Finch was bowled by Southee. Warner and Smith continued in similar vein before Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum brought in the old Dan "the man" Vettori in to bowl.

His magic spell not just slowed down the run rate, but captured two crucial wickets of Warner (caught in the deep) and Smith (caught behind) to pull things back significantly for New Zealand.

Then began the "Lightining" Boult show. 
He just came, saw and conquered the Aussies in an exhibition of awesome swing bowling claiming 5 wickets for almost nothing. For 78 for 1, Australia crumbled to 108 for 8.

Some late inning heroics by Brad Haddin ensured Australia closed their innings at 150 all out. Paltry score considering their batting lineup and start they received.

Cake walk, you'd think for New Zealand?
McCullum starts in own belligerent style but Australia strike exactly like the Kiwis and put them under a lot of pressure. At 135 for 7 and 146 for 8 and 9 (Mitchell Starc's extra ordinary death bowling spell) Australia look all set to upset the Kiwis.

Trent Boult survives a hattrick ball and its all come down to #KaneWilliamson to see how he can farm strike and chase the remaining 6 runs.

Pat Cummins the bowler, Williamson on strike, in-out field to save twos and boundaries. Williamson goes for it ... and bang ... six over long on does it.

Extraordinary scenes at Eden Park, Kiwis rejoice, Australia stunned but hold their head high. They made 150 look like Mt. Everest and almost pulled it off until Kane hit that winning shot.

Glorius moments from Eden!
Cricket, winner all the way...

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Saturday 4 April 2015

Part 3 - Top 5 Moments of CWC15

This one is from the epic semi final at Auckland between South Africa and New Zealand. Both teams vying for their first final appearance at the world cup and both had disappointing histories in previous world cup key games

South Africa, has a freaky World Cup experience - 1992 (Rain rule elimination in semifinal at Sydney), 1996 (pitted to win to win trophy easily - ran into Lara and knocked out), 1999 (another epic at Birmingham - a tie vs Australia but lost place in final due to super six defeat at Australia's hands), 2003 (miscalculated the D/L system and did not take extra single that would take them into the super sixes), 2011 (again strong contenders to win - run out of AB and Kiwis ran over them in the quarters).

Not to be left behind, Kiwis appeared in six semifinals at the World Cup and lost all of them!!

With that kind of history and high stakes, it was going to be some moments of individual brilliance and failure that would determine the outcome of the game for sure.. and indeed it happened that way!

The match see-sawed all the way through.
SA skipper ABDevilliers kept reiterating his team would win the world cup but his moods were brilliantly captured in the game that oscillated brilliantly right until the very end.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, SA were brilliantly placed at 216 for 3 in 38 overs. AB himself looking ominous on 61 in 38 balls and looking to launch in the end overs. OH NO ... rain once again!

After resumption, match curtailed to 43 overs a side.
That allowed SA to bat for another 5 overs only but Miller dynamics allowed them to score 281 for 5. Score readjusted to 298 for NZ to win under D/L rule.
AB seemingly happy to get that many on board and confident his bowlers would defend that score!

Then the McCullum assault on SA bowlers left him wondering what hit him!
Puzzled, confused and shaken at times, he hoped for Mc's wicket and got it eventually but a fine start put NZ ahead in the game.

Quick wickets in the middle meant SA pulled things back brilliantly. AB looking composed.

Then Anderson-Elliott partnership flourished and AB was looking for options, confused. To add to that, he missed a simple run out opportunity to dismiss Anderson something he will rue for a long time.

In the 47th over, a top edge off Elliott and Duminy-Behardien collision means catch dropped, Agony.

Last over, 12 runs to win. Steyn with ball in hand. Seems secure.
Vettori sludges one past third man for four and sneaks a single from somewhere to hand over strike to Elliott.

5 off 2.
Steyn steams in, and Elliott slams one over long on/midwicket fence for a six.
What a shot under pressure. AB resigns, distraught and inconsolable. Tears flowing down his cheek and ditto with his team mates. Kiwis rejoice, Elliott picks Steyn up and consoles him. 

AB's reactions in that match, moments to remember from #CWC15.

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Saturday 14 March 2015

CWC15 LIVE - Zim Counterattack After Early Wickets vs Ind

#India v #Zimbabwe, #EdenPark, #Auckland
14th Mar 2015

In their last Pool match, India have won the toss and put Zimbabwe into bat on a lovely day at Eden Park, Auckland. 

After losing three quick wickets to India's seamers, #SeanWilliams and #BrendanTaylor have decided to take the Indian spinners on and rebuilding well.

They have unsettled both #RaviAswin and #RaviJadeja by employing #reverse #sweeps galore and collecting boundaries and sixes.

Zimbabwe: 117 for 3 in 26 overs
#BrendanTaylor - 48*
#SeanWilliams - 47*

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Saturday 7 March 2015

CWC 2015 LIVE - Seamers Bowl Pak To Famous Win Over SA

#SouthAfrica vs #Pakistan,

If Pakistan needed any luck to progress further in this tournament, it was today.
 - they were up against tournament favourites and red hot form Proteas
 - their batting and over performances so far have been unconvincing and scratchy to say the least
 - other weaker teams in the group like Ireland and even Zimbabwe were threatening their position in the Pool table.

But, boy! did they respond well? and how !! WOW.

For beginners, they made their own luck like all true warriors and champions.
Their batting, even today, saw shades of classy aggression at the top from #SarfarazAhmed to the laboured anchor of #MisbahUlHaq. Whats more they were bowled out for 222 in 46.2 overs. Not convincing at all considering they were 90+ for 1 at one stage.

But, once the bowlers took over trying to defend 232 (revised target adjusted according to D/L system), they were on immediately. There was a brief period where #FafDuPlessis and #HashimAmla looked to take the game away from them very early. But, once duPlessis was caught behind and Amla followed suit in the very next over, the slide began.

All Pakistan seamers bowled beautiful lines, lengths and extracted everything the wicket had to offer to induce batting errors or false shots.

#IrfanKhan, #RahatAli and #WahabRiaz contributed equally to the team with 3 wickets each. #SarfarazAhmed took 6 catches behind the stumps to set up a new #CWC record!

For #SA, it was again a classic case of their team not able to perform under pressure.
No matter how good they are, we have seen them crumbling at critical junctures in various tournaments (the clich├ęd "Chokers" tag isn't there for nothing). Its all in the head at this level and that's where they seem most vulnerable.

#ABDevilliers shouldered a lonely battle 77 (58 balls) but couldn't cross the finish line.
Rest fell like nine pins.

With this win, Pak has almost ensured their entry in the next stage of this tournament.
Remains to be seen what position in Pool B would they end up with.
Their position will also depend on some other results in Pool B. 

End of Match Score
Pak - 222 all out
SA - 202 all out

Pak win by 29 runs

Man of the Match: #SarafarazAhmed

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CWC 2015 LIVE - Quick Wickets And Pak Are Back vs SA

#SouthAfrica vs #Pakistan
7th Mar 2015

After a solid start to their run chase of 232 (D/L method), South Africa are pushed back by twin strikes from Pakistan.

From 67 for 1 in 10 overs, they are suddenly staring at 74 for 4.
#RahatAli got #FafDuPlessis to edge one behind for 27 while #WahabRiaz induced an edge off #HashimAmla for 38. First three wickets to fall so far have been caught behind by wicketkeeper #SarfarazAhmed

Wahab struck again when he got #RileeRossouw to hook one down long leg's throat.

Game on at the #EdenPark

Pakistan steamed up.
South Africa need to regroup.

#ABDevilliers at the crease is joined by #DavidMiller.

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CWC 2015 LIVE - Who Will Take The Initiative - SA vs Pak

#SA v #Pak, #Auckland

The match is on the edge.
Pak batting, SA bowling

#LIVE #Score
Pak - 165 for 4 in 34 overs

16 overs to go.
How many can Pakistan get? How much do they need to threaten that powerful SA batting?
Will SA keep them under 250?
Will #Misbah and #UmarAkmal fire now? or will #Steyn and #Morkel stifle them into submission.

Interesting one hour or so... #Batting #Powerplay coming up soon!

Whatever the situation, Pak has to win this game to harbour QF qualification at #CWC15.
Can feel the tension and nervousness around!

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CWC 2015 LIVE - Massive Pool B Clash Starting Shortly - Pak vs SA

#Pakistan v #SouthAfrica, #EdenPark, #Auckland
7th Mar 2015

This is massive. #Pak take on #SA in a huge pool B clash on 7th Mar 2015. The game is most important for Pak to win and progress towards qualification to next stage of #CWC15. For SA its about holding on to second spot in Pool B behind #India.

Pool B Tally:
India 4 matches 8 points
South Africa 4 matches 6 points
Ireland 3 matches 4 points
Pakistan 4 matches 4 points
West Indies 5 matches 4 points
Zimbabwe 4 matches 2 points
UAE 4 matches 0 points

Its all becoming very interesting in the #GroupOfDeath.
A lot of teams have to not only win their games but also wait for other team results in their favor to progress ahead. Looks like a very exciting next week for this pool as every game is becoming ever so important for each team.

#MsibahUlHaq needs his team to fire in all cylinders (and more...) if they have to dream of beating the mighty Proteas, #ABDevilliers' SA is high on those two back to back 400 plus scores and wins over two minnow sides. They are yet to chase a formidable score though. This could be Pak'a opportunity to put decent runs on the board and put pressure on SA with their bowlers especially spinners #Afridi and #Yasir (another weaklink in the SA armoury)

Their bowlers have to dismiss #HashimAmla and #ABDevilliers as soon as possible to prevent them from piling huge scores too. 

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Saturday 28 February 2015

CWC 2015 - NZ Win But Australia Take Bow - What A Fightback

#NZ v #Aus
#LIVE #Cricket #Score
28th Feb 2015

#EdenPark, #Auckland

You DO NOT take Australia lightly. You cannot nail them all the way in both innings of a one day match. They will not lose their belief. They will fight hard until the last ball.

Well, New Zealand just found that out today in the biggest Pool A match here at Eden Park, Auckland. 

Earlier in the day, the Kiwis had steamrolled the Aussies in an amazing burst of speed and spin bowling by #TrentBoult and #DanielVettori. Australia bundled out for 151. From 80 for 1, they slipped to 106 for 9 before #BradHaddin and #PatCummins hung around to take the score to something they could bowl at.

Boy, did they bowl well? and how well did #MitchellStarc bowl? 
NZ kickstarted their batting with #MartinGuptill smashing 11 runs of the first legitimate ball of their run chase. A boundary off the hip off a no-ball. The proceeding #Freehit was dispateched over long on fence for a towering six. #MitchellJohnson, the hapless bowler. 

#BrendonMcCullum continued in the same vein of form he has brought into this #CWC15 with a blistering 50 off 24 balls. His fall led to a mini collapse for the Kiwis triggered by #MitchellStarc.

Suddenly from 78 for 1, they were 79 for 4. Taylor and Elliot out off consecutive Starc deliveries.
#CoreyAnderson survived the hattrick ball but Australia sensed they could push through this Kiwi middle and lower order.

Anderson and #KaneWilliamson ensured there was no further damage and carried the score past 130 without too many hiccups. NZ victory in sight. 22 runs to win. 

Just as everyone looked relaxed and yet another big-team game going down a one-sided path, drama began to unfold. This is where the Aussies are so proficient and their tenacity and ability to bounce back from hopeless situations comes to the fore. 

A bowling change accounted for Corey. #GlennMaxwell got his man with his dibbly spinners.
131 for 5. Easy victory still in sight with Williamson settling down at the other end.

But, Starc had different ideas.

To begin with, he induced an edge from #LukeRochi
139 for 6

#PatCummins chipped in with the wicket of #Vettori shortly,
145 for 7

Things beginning to get uncomfortable for the Kiwis given their tail didnt have to bat much in this World Cup so far. In walked #AdamMilne to a crowded Australian field. They hustled up to the NZ batsmen knowing pressure was on.

Starc cashed in on that big time uprooting Milne's stumps for a blob.
146 for 8

The very next ball, #TimSouthee got a taste of his own medicine when his wickets were broken by a scorching Starc delivery for nought.
146 for 9

Dear o dear ....

Can New Zealand lose this one now?
Had Australia completed their Houdini escape?

Kane Williamson stranded at the other end watching  #TrentBoult walking in with the weight of the world on his shoulders (he had bowled beautifully for his 5-For to set up this easy run chase and now here he was needing to score 5 runs or atleast block a couple of deliveries from the rampaging Starc)  

Starc steamed in for a second time in the game on a #hattrick, but Boult survived pretty comfortably. Huge roar from the crowd. Another ball to survive though. 

#MichaelClarke made field changes for the last ball of Starc's over to avoid a boundary. Plan was set to trap Boult through a full ball but he sprayed the ball wide, a wasted delivery and chance to seal a famous win for Aus.

Over changed and so did NZ fortunes.
For starters, the well set Williamson was on strike but 5 runs was still an ask. He needed to farm the strike well. Pat Cummins the bowler. Field set inside out to avoid boundaries and doubles. Kane had a plan and Pat's inexperience at the death showed as he bowled a full length delivery. Williamson freed himself of the wickets, created room and smashed the bowl over the bowler's head straight down the ground for a SIX!

The Eden Park erupted, NZ batsmen ecstatic while Aussies disappointed. Amazing scenes.
NZ won by 1 wicket in hand and 161 balls to spare (just goes to show if Australia had scored another 15-20 runs more, the story could have been different)

Good game ... made extraordinary by Australia and their never-say-die spirit.
Take a bow! This is how you defend low scores. This is how you fight when the chips are down.
You may lose but you walk off head held high. This is the ultimate sports team!

Man of the Match: Trent Boult for his 5-For. If he had scored those 5 runs, am sure he'd have ranked them above the five wickets he took :)

NZ - 4 wins from 4 games - 8 points
Aus - 1 win from 3 games - 3 points

Opens up Pool A beautifully now.
Things hotting up for the QF berths at the #CWC15.

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CWC 2015 LIVE - 2 Quick Wickets Pegs Australia Back v NZ

#Aus v #NZ, #Auckland
28th Feb 2015

#DanielVettori has brought the Kiwis back in the game brilliantly.
Brought in to bowl in the opening #Powerplay to curb the rampaging #Aussies, he has produced a dream spell of control, guile and produced the much needed breakthrough. He had #ShaneWatson caught in the deep by Tim Southee.

Immediately after that, Southee trapped the very dangerous #DavidWarner #legbefore.
Warner and Clarke reviewed it but #hawkeye went with the umpire and out was the decision.

Two new batsmen at the crease
#MichaelClarke playing an international after almost 3 months

#LIVE #Score - 94 for 3 from 16 overs.

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Friday 27 February 2015

CWC 2015 - NZ v Aus - Biggest Game In Pool A

#NewZealand v #Australia , #Auckland
28th Feb 2015

In whats the biggest game of the tournament probably, New Zealand take on Australia at Auckland in high voltage Pool A match. Australia were and are always firm favorites to win the cup based on their overall ability and form. The Black Caps probably have the best chance to win the trophy owing to home conditions and form of some of their key players. 

Its going to be a battle of nerves and the team that takes an initiative and innovates will come up trumps. So, whats is favor of each team then?

New Zealand
 - Home ground in Auckland. Australia will travel to New Zealand after a long time and need to adapt quickly
 - Home crowd support and conditions to suit the Kiwis more
 - Big chance to set the record straight against their neighbors (Aus have always been the better team)
 - Bowling and Batting clicking at the same time. The only worry is some of their middle and lower order players havent got a decent hit in yet. Same with the Aussies who have played on the opening day of the tournament and nothing after that. Thats 14 days ago. That should make them a bit rusty?
 - The fielding is at par but Kiwis seem to just have an edge there

 - Home or away, the Aussies are massively adaptive and aggressive in all environments. This is the reason why they have been so dominant over the years.
 - Man to man - skill wise - they are the better team no doubt. Kiwis don't have the superstar batting or bowling prowess but they are performing brilliantly as a unit.
 - All round ability is better and even under pressure they can stand up tall unlike most other teams who generally crumble, NZ being one of them.

Our judgment says its Aus 60 - 40 NZ.
We may be wrong and if we are, this World Cup is alive and kicking. 
Imagine Australia stuck on 3 points after 3 games battling it out with other teams in the group to qualify for the quarter finals! That would dent their pride big time.   

Players to watch?

Aus - David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (well finally he gets to play after a long injury layoff), Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc

NZ - Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Daniel Vettori

May the better team win.
We just hope this is the first "heavyweights" game of this #CWC15 that goes down to the wire. Many of these games so far have been one-sided while the minnows have produced some cracking and thrilling results!  

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Thursday 15 January 2015

Pak v NZ (Semifinal, Auckland, World Cup 1992)

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
A batting superstar has arrived .... 
Best way to describe this match.

Against all odds Pakistan managed to scrape through to the semi-finals of this edition's #WorldCup semifinals (Remember the 1 point they gained from the hopeless performance against England, 74 all out, allowed them to move ahead of Australia and West Indies). Their opposition? The deadly in-form team, New Zealand. Unbeaten until their last league game (ironically their only loss came at the hands of Pakistan).

Stage was set. Eden Park, Auckland all set to stage its first ever World Cup semifinal game. The home team buoyant and clear favorites going into this game. But, as they say ... take Pakistan team granted at your own peril as the #Kiwis were to soon find out.

On a sunny March morning and a jam-packed stadium, NZ captain #MarttinCrowe won the toss and elected to bat first. Runs on the board was the clear plan. #MarkGreatbatch and #JohnWright opened the innings. Greatbatch was is great form and had blasted oppositions into submission during the course of the tournament. Danger man truly. But, the Pak bowlers had done their homework brilliantly. They pinned him and Wright by cramping them for room and no width to free their arms. #AquibJaved and #WasimAkram were awesome in that first spell. Aquib castled Greatbatch on 17.

#MushtaqAhmed then took over and had Wright and #AndrewJones caught to reduce NZ to 87 for 3. This is when captain Crowe and #KenRutherford took charge. Slowly, they built the innings before unleashing a counter-attack on the Pak bowling. Crowe's brilliant run in the world cup continued. He scored a fluent 91 before being run-out in the end stages of their innings.

Rutherford's steady 50 and some late blows for the Kiwi tail enabled them to score a very competitive 262 for 7 in their stipulated 50 overs. Wasim was the pick of the bowlers with an effective 2 for 40.

More than enough, you'd think as a Kiwi fan then.
Considering Pak's fallibility chasing scores or Kiwi tactics during the world cup to keep shuffling bowlers quickly were all stacked against Pak. Will they pull it off or would this be an end to their on-off campaign?

Then drama. Captain Crowe who suffered cramps and dehydration wasn't fit to take field. A big blow considering his audacious tactics and skill captaincy had brought them this far. His deputy John Wright certainly wasn't an inspirational figure on the ground but had to lead his side.

#AmeerSohail and #RameezRaja opened the innings for Pakistan. As usual #DeepakPatel, the offie opened NZ's bowling. This move to open with a spinner had brought them huge success all throughout. The trend continued when he had Sohail caught by Jones.

Pak 30 for 1.

Captain Imran promoted himself at No.3 to show his men how to lead from the front. He and Rameez slowly pushed things along. Plan was clear. Build and hold wickets for a late onslaught. They added 54 before Rameez fell to #WillieWatson. That brought in the wily old fox #JavedMiandad to the crease. Both him and Imran took it forward by adding 50 runs before Imran fell to #ChrisHarris.

Pak 134 for 3.

However, all this build-up was leading to required run-rate blowing up. Something had to give in. To add to their woes, Mr. Dependendable, #SalimMalik fell cheaply to #GavinLarsen reducing Pak to 140 for 4. 

Will Javed pull off a miracle with youngsters to follow? or Kiwis choke them? 

What Auckland and rest of the world witnessed after that was sheer magic!

In walked a 22 year old tall and burly youngster #InzamamUlHaq
With Javed at the other end, he unleashed an extraordinary counter attack on the Kiwis. This type of audacious strokeplay and power was never seen before!

His breathtaking hitting stunned the Kiwis. They were clueless. They were bamboozled. 

Javed held his end and encouraged #Inzi (as he later popularly came to be known) to play one of the finest match winning innings of all time. His 37 ball 60 became part of cricket folklore.

But there was still some drama to come. Inzy was run out trying to steal a single. Wasim was castled by Watson raising Kiwi hopes yet again. It needed someone to put the finishing touches from either side. #MoinKhan did it for Pakistan. Again, with Javed's astute presence in the middle.

His massive six and couple of boundaries deflated the Kiwis and Pakistan romped home with an improbable win. Amazing scenes at the Eden Park as Pakistan team engulfed Moin and Javed. 
Heartbreak for the Kiwis and more so for Martin Crowe. A golden chance to reach the finals had been lost.

But, the game belonged to the gentle giant, Inzamam.
A superstar had arrived ... in style!

MOM: Inzamam Ul Haq

Watch highlights here....