Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fletcher 1 Lara 0

What a fantabulastic match!!!!

The send off match for 2 individuals - a send-off by their teams for their tremendous contributions to the respective teams - one of them a coach who helped England win the memorable Ashes victory against all odds and the other - a player who enthralled the audiences world over by his amazingly beautiful batting style and hunger for runs.

Both teams were badly bruised and humiliated in the tournament so far and needed to go out on a high for themselves and the two individuals.

And it couldn't have been better than the match it turned out to be!

For the WI, the only hope, as I have always said, was the final arrival of Gayle storm, and boy did it come? Chris Gayle finally thundered and played a wonderful innings for his 79 complimented well by the new opener Smith (instead of Chanderpaul), Samuels got his act right too in the final match and scored wonderfully to his potential (hopefully that would have reduced his guilt of getting Lara run out) and even Chanderaul played a breezy knock with a SR of 88!
Final total - a formidable 300, which would have reduced Lara's agony of being run out stupidly.
For the England too, it was a response that had failed them earlier in tournament. Vaughan finally came good with bat (and surprisingly with ball too) and played an excellent captain's innings for his 79 but WI kept their grip on the game as wickets fell at regular intervals. The only man standing between WI and victory was Pieterson who was p laying a characteristically aggressive innings. WI were awesome in the field and it was Bravo who had kept them in the hunt by effecting 2 run outs, 1 catch and 2 key wickets including that of England's man friday Collingwood. But apart from Pieterson's century, almost equal contributor to England's hopes was the old chap Nixon who played a superb cameo to bring the equation to 4 of final 6 balls. Lara turned to Bravo yet again who responded by taking out the dangerous Nixon, but Stuart Broad, all of 21 years old and 6 match experience denied the honours to Bravo and won the match for England, and for Fletcher.

England won with 1 wicket and 1 ball to spare - doesn't get any more interesting than this, does it?
Wonderful game by all players from both sides but finally Lara didn't get the send off victory game. That was unfortunately as characteristic as Lara's role in WI cricket - that of valiant innings and disappointing losses.

Thank you guys for another memorable game in this World Cup!
(Images source : Cricinfo)

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