World Cricket Weekly 26 May 2011

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Welcome, and thank you for coming on board with the second installment of ‘World Cricket Weekly’. This column will aim to have a general look at all that has happened in the world of cricket. We don’t try and cover all the stats, but instead give a conversation-style account of what happens each week in cricket. So, let’s get into it!

Pakistan in the West Indies

Pak 272 & 6dec377 def WI 223 & 230

Well, here we are…once again the West Indies have come ‘crashing back to earth’. After a fantastic victory in Guyana, the Windies could not back it up in the second test and were beaten by 196 runs in St Kitts. It was an interesting match. Each team’s first innings was fairly even, with good performances (again) from Devandra Bishoo (3/80) and the impressive Azhar Ali (67). But, it was Pakistan’s second innings that was the key element of this contest. Fantastic centuries from selection yo-yo Taufeeq Umar and captain-extraordinaire Misbah-ul-Haq ensured that the Windies never really had a chance.

It really is worth mentioning the heroic efforts of Misbah. Since taking over in the midst of one of crickets greatest ever scandals, Misbah has been super impressive. He’s averaging over 80 with the bat, seems to be sure in his fielding and captaincy, and more than anything, seems just to want to get on with the job. In recent times this is a rare commodity in Pakistani cricket. Furthermore, in the World Cup he was an important part of Pakistan’s success, and he now joins the rare group of players who actually improve their game after being appointed captain.

IPL 2011

Like proverbial clockwork, the Indian Premier League marches on. We are now, thankfully, at the business end of the tournament, and it really is time for the big guns to shine (apologies Warnie). We already know that Chennai is in the final, largely thanks to the efforts of Indian captain-to-be Suresh Raina. Raina is just superb, and seems to channel the glorious stroke play of Ganguly with the grit and determination of Dravid. His 73, including four boundaries and 6 sixes was enormous, and he found great company with Badrinath, Dhoni and Albie Morkel.

The losing Bangalore will now face Mumbai, who thanks to Aiden Blizzard (51) and (of course) Tendulkar (36), were too strong for Kolkota. The Knight Riders should be praised for a great series though, and it shows just how good Gambhir’s leadership is that he’s got this previously rag-tag team to perform well.

You would think that Mumbai would be too strong for Banglore, and this should set-up an enticing contest between them and Chennai. Be sure not to miss it!

Vale Terry Jenner

Finally this week, it is with great sadness that I write about the passing of an Australian great, Terry Jenner. Extraordinarily, Jenner played only nine test matches for Australia, but with over 380 first-class wickets, he was a true spinning great. More than his actual playing record though, Jenner must be remembered for his tireless work with young Australian players. Whilst his most famous pupil was a young, blonde tyro named Shane Warne, Jenner was a constant in Australian coaching circles, and mentored many young spinners. Much of Australia’s dominance over the past twenty years must be accredited to people such as Jenner who committed themselves to ensuring Australia’s position at the top. Also a standout commentator on the ABC, Jenner will be sorely missed through the cricketing world.

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