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India win the Border-Gavaskar trophy

India create history in Nagpur, as they bring home the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

The nation revelled today (Nov 10), as India, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, created history by registering a 172 run victory in the fourth and final Test at Nagpur against world champions Australia, to bring home the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-0 series win. India now lead the overal series wins by 4-3 in the last decade.

This historic Test also saw the end of one the most celebrated Indian cricketers career — Sourav Ganguly. The classically elegant Ganguly had announced that he will play his last Test in this Orange City before hanging up his boots.

Earlier, set the daunting task of scoring an imposing 382 to win the fourth and final Test against India, Australia were tottering at 111 for three wickets at lunch on the fifth and final day in Nagpur today.

As play resumed post lunch India continued to inch closer to victory with their spinners bringing about the dismissal of the dangerous Michael Hussey and Matthew Hayden. Soon, the Australian wicketkeeper too fell prey to the spin web wound by India as he fell prey to Amit Mishra having been caught by Sachin Tendulkar at mid-on.

This catch has given the Master Blaster another berth in the record books, as he claims his 100th Test catch.  The batting maestro, who holds several batting records in Tests and ODIs, reached the milestone in his 154th Test to follow compatriots Rahul Dravid (179), Sunil Gavaskar (108), VVS Laxman and Mohd Azharuddin (105) into the record book. The world record for the most number of catches in a Test career, 181 in 128 matches, stands in the name of Mark Waugh of Australia.

Soon, Shane Watson too fell prey to the the 300 wicket taker Harbhajan Singh for nine runs. In no time, leg spinner Amit Mishra got rid of ten wicket hauler on debut Jason Krejza and Brett Lee.

Mitchel Johnson and Cameroon White looked to consolidate and defend towards the end of the innings, however, failed to save the Test as Bhajji claimed the last wicket of Johnson.

Brief scores: India: 441 and 295
Australia 355 and 209 (Matthew Hayden 77; Amit Mishra 4/64, Harbhajan Singh 3/27)

Earlier, the batsmen out in the visitors’ second innings, after they had commenced at the overnight 13 for no loss, were first innings centurion Simon Katich (16), captain Ricky Ponting (8) and his deputy Michael Clarke (22), promoted up the order in quest for quick runs despite being unwell.

Ishant Sharma, India’s most successful bowler of the four-Test rubber, was easily the pick of the attack this morning and accounted for Katich and Clarke, while Ponting was run out through a brilliant piece of fielding and throwing by Amit Mishra.

The home team should have ended the session with more Australian wickets in their clutch but for a few dropped catches and a few edges that eluded the slip cordon.

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November 10, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sourav Ganguly completes 7,000 Test runs

Sourav Ganguly reached a personal landmark on Friday when he became the fourth Indian batsman to cross 7,000 runs during the first day’s play of the second cricket Test against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here.

Ganguly’s feat came just an hour after Tendulkar surpassed the record of West Indian Brian Lara as the highest scorer in Test cricket.

The Prince of Kolkata, who will retire from international cricket after the four-Test series, crossed the milestone while on 40 after gliding a Johnson delivery to sweeper cover for a double.

Tendulkar and Ganguly stitched a crucial partnership after India lost four wickets with 163 runs. The reached the duo in the post-tea session of the first day’s play here.

Ganguly took 111 Tests to achieve the feat, in his 12-year illustrious career.

The other three in the 7,000-run category are Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid. Ganguly is the 33rd batsman in world cricket to cross the 7,000-run mark in Tests.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India ride high of Dada’s ton

India were all out for 469 on the second day of the second cricket Test against Australia today (Oct 18). While Sourav Ganguly scored his 16th century (100 of 219 balls) in the longer version of the game, skipper MS Dhoni was unlucky to miss out on a much-deserved ton, when he was declared LBW to Siddle for 92. Earlier, Ganguly, playing in his farewell series, added more than 100 runs with the stand-in captain to frustrate the Australian bowlers on an unresponsive pitch. The former skipper batted for more than five hours, hitting nine fours after adding 142 runs for the fifth wicket with Tendulkar on Friday to rescue India from 163 for four.

Resuming on 311 for five, India lost night-watchman Ishant Sharma (9) in the fourth over of the day and much of the credit goes to Australian captain Ricky Ponting who plotted the dismissal with a field setting that was spot on. Peter Siddle banged one short which Ishant fended and Simon Katich took the looping dolly at leg gully, completing the cycle.

Dhoni announced his arrival by hitting the first ball, from Brett Lee, to the ropes and then whacked Siddle over fine leg ropes for the first six of the match. Siddle was again worked past point and Shane Watson thumped through covers as Dhoni decided to impose himself on the Australian attack.

All along, Ganguly was quiet, dealing only in singles and twos. Playing his last series and with a century in sight, the left-hander was content grafting it at one end. Not for once, he went for the aerial route and even Cameron White could not draw him out of the crease as Ganguly nudged along and pushed more than he drove. He pulled Brett Lee for his first four of the day early this morning before retreating into a cocoon. Little before the lunch break, he flicked Mitchell Johnson and on-drove White for two more boundaries to get into the 90s.

Earlier on Day One, India finished day one at 311 for five wickets, which involved couple of partnerships. Openers Gautam Gambhir (67) put up a 70-run partnership with Virender Sehwag (35) and later Tendulkar(88) and Ganguly (batting 54) propped up India with a 142-run stand.

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tendulkar breaks Lara’s record

Sachin Tendulkar went past Brian Lara’s tally of 11,953 Test runs © AFP

Sachin Tendulkar broke Brian Lara’s record for most Test runs in the final session of day one in Mohali when he hit Peter Siddle to third man for two runs. The record stood for nearly two years after Lara played his final Test and it was inevitable that Tendulkar would eventually break it. Incidentally, he is also one-day cricket’s leading run-scorer with 16,631 runs.

Tendulkar was expected to attain the feat in Sri Lanka recently but he endured a poor series with the bat, scoring just 95 runs in three Tests. It was only fitting, though, that he achieved the record against Australia, a team he has tormented several times in the past.

Coincidentally, Lara too achieved the world record against Australia, when he went past Allan Border’s tally of 11,174 runs during the Adelaide Test in 2005. They remain the only three players to cross the 11,000-run mark in Tests. Though it is uncertain how long Tendulkar will prolong his Test career – which has lasted 19 years – the two players who stand the best chance of beating his eventual tally are Rahul Dravid (10,341) and Ricky Ponting (10,239).

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After battling draw, it’s the war of words

Australian captain Ricky Ponting greets Sourav Ganguly after the first cricket Test ended in draw in Bangalore.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting greets Sourav Ganguly after the first cricket Test ended in draw in Bangalore.

As soon as the on-field battle ended in a draw, the war of words kicked off. While collecting his Man of the Match award, Indian pacer Zaheer Khan said that the Aussies hadn’t been aggressive enough. And that triggered an exchange of words between the two camps.
Since there have been quite a few on-field scraps between the rival players during this hotly-contested Test, and in most contests between these countries in the recent past, should mean an entertaining few days between Tests.

Zaheer’s comments were in context of Australia’s run rate — which stayed under three — in both the innings, as well as the defensive fields set by Ricky Ponting, who employed a sweeper on both sides of the wicket for most parts.

But Ponting, who addressed the media after the match, said that the Indian pacer didn’t know what he was talking about. “We were the only ones here trying to take the game forward. We played aggressive cricket. I’m not sure what he means by that (statement). He can have a little bit of a chuckle to himself on the inside, that’s what I have to say to him. I don’t think it means too much to us,” he said. Later he added that it was the Indian team that was known to play for draws.

And once Ponting was done, Zaheer walked in from the Indian camp, ensuring that the issue simmered. “They generally play at four runs an over, but that was not the case here,” he said. After that he went on to comment about the Australian bowling attack. “Look, they (Aussies) couldn’t get us out twice, they couldn’t pick up 20 wickets… they couldn’t even get me and Bhajji out so what are they talking about?” he said.The Indian pacer also commented on the Australian spin-department. “On this fifth day pitch the spinners looked a long way from getting a wicket. Not just that even their seamers didn’t get many,” said Zaheer.

Ponting did admit though that his side missed a quality spinner. “A quality spinner might have made things a little different today. We’ve got a couple of days to recover from this game now and we hope to play hard Cricket in Mohali as well,” he said.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Cricket, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment