Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh ruin South Africa’s comeback party

The West Indies and South Africa teams before that historic Test at Kensington Oval © Getty ImagesSouth Africa had lost their maiden ODI series since readmission to international cricket, but they interested all and sundry by reaching the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup. The real test, however, lay ahead of them in the Caribbean Isles, for what would be their first Test in 22 years; the fact that they had to play West Indies — then the most formidable team in world cricket — at their den made the contest as difficult as any. And yet, South Africa dominated the Bridgetown Test for the first four days before they ran into one of the fiercest fast bowling pairs in the history of cricket. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the day when Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh ran riot at Kensington Oval. When the topic of South Africa’s participation in the 1992 World Cup had come up, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) did not reach a unanimous consensus. As a result, Deryck Murray, WICB representative at ICC, refused to vote at the meeting. South Africa were immensely popular on return to international cricket, earlier that winter in India. Cracking West Indies, however, was different. Bacher set up a meeting with Clyde Walcott and Steve Camacho of WICB. The proposal was regarding 3 ODIs and a Test in West Indies in the summer of 1992. There were opposition to begin with. Even Michael Manley, the Jamaican President who penned down A History of West Indian Cricket — one of the most definitive books on the history of cricket in the isles — was not in favour. It eventually took Nelson Mandela’s request to get the tour underway. Also ReadEden Gardens witnesses South Africa’s return from exile FW de Klerk also played a crucial role in the tour getting underway. De Klerk had asked the white South Africans whether they wanted to end the apartheid policy in South Africa. The question was simple: “Do you support continuation of the reform process which the State President began on 2 February 1990 and which is aimed at a new Constitution through negotiation?” The results came out on March 17, 1992 — two days after South Africa had beaten India to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. The support was overwhelming: 68.73% people welcomed the reform and wanted the discriminatory policy to end. In fact, of the 15 provinces, 14 voted in favour (the percentage zoomed to 85% for Durban and Cape Town). Only in Pietersburg (now Polokwane) did they lose. The letter from Mandela and the outcome of de Klerk’s referendum definitely played a role in the tour going ahead. Note: For the uninitiated, de Klerk was the last State President of South Africa. The post would be replaced by President of South Africa in 1994; Mandela would be the first President, and de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki would share Deputy President’s role during his tenure. Mandela and de Klerk were both awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993. The tour went ahead. What was more, the tour was telecast on open-to-all national television in South Africa — in stark contrast with the World Cup, which was available on satellite television, mostly to the privileged white population. Wisdom of Wessels Of course, South Africa had played ODIs in India. They would also play in the 1992 World Cup, brushing Australia aside, crushing West Indies, and beating India and Pakistan comfortably. His spectacular fielding made Jonty Rhodes the poster boy of the tournament. His run out of Inzamam-ul-Haq remains one of the most-watched YouTube videos from that tournament. Also ReadWorld Cup 1992: South Africa humiliate Australia on World Cup debut But Test cricket was different. Test cricket was what they had been banished from when they had arguably reached their peak in the international arena. They had humiliated Australia on that 1969-70. The whitewash was a result as fair as any. Meanwhile, as Bacher was going all guns to get that first Test underway, Kepler Wessels was not too confident. It perhaps had to do with the fact that Wessels was the only one in the side to have tasted Test cricket. He was aware of how demanding, how daunting a contest it was going to be like. He felt South Africa were not ready. It did not help that South Africa would return to Test cricket in West Indies. Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall, and Jeff Dujon had quit Test cricket together after the 1991 tour of England. Gordon Greenidge had retired as well. Richie Richardson was yet to lead them in a Test. Also ReadSouth Africa win their first ever ODI, against India, 1991-92 But even then, despite everything, West Indies were still the strongest side in the world, a fact that was evident in the ODIs. Phil Simmons thrashed the South Africans with a 113-ball 122 in the first ODI at Sabina Park. West Indies piled up 287 for 6 before their fast bowlers routed South Africa for 180. Curtly Ambrose and Anderson Cummins took 3 wickets apiece in the second ODI, at Queen’s Park Oval. Worse, Andrew Hudson, Hansie Cronje, and Rhodes were all run out. South Africa folded for 152. Desmond Haynes and young Brian Lara dished out a 10-wicket defeat to the tourists, scoring at nearly 6 an over. Also ReadSouth Africa’s all-time Test XI since readmission in 1991-92 South Africa did bat all 50 overs in the dead-rubber match, also at Queen’s Park Oval. They crawled to 189 for 6. Simmons scored another hundred, and West Indies sauntered to a 7-wicket win with 7 overs in hand. Wessels’ fears suddenly seemed real. After all, Kensington Oval, the venue of the one-off Test, was West Indies’ indestructible fortress. They had not lost a Test at the venue since 1935. Let alone a defeat, they had not even drawn a Test there since 1977. Wisden, however, did not look too much into the South African defeat: “The South Africans went straight into the first game without a practice match 72 hours after their arrival. The nets in both Kingston and Port-of-Spain were unsatisfactory and the team were unable to get used to the perfect batting pitches and, after the white ball of the World Cup, a red ball which hardly swung.” There was, of course, a bigger battle to be won, and that was done without much fuss. Omar Henry, the only coloured member of the touring side, was greeted with enthusiasm. And in the second ODI at Port-of-Spain, the tourists were given a standing ovation when they were practising before the match. This was the same Port-of-Spain where a touring England side had faced protests because four of their men — Graham Gooch, John Emburey, Peter Willey, and Les Taylor — had toured South Africa. Yes, South Africa were finally welcomed back to Test cricket. NO CUMMINS NO GOINGS Of course, it was not all smooth for West Indies, who lost both Gus Logie and Carl Hooper to injuries just before the Test. But that was not all. The Bajans were not amused when Marshall had been left out of the 1992 World Cup. The most-feared man in the most-feared bowling attack in history never played international cricket after that. And then, there was the case of the Antiguan Richards being replaced by the Richardson (another Antiguan, and younger to boot) ahead of the Barbadian Haynes. No, that had not gone down well, either. The final nail in the coffin came when Cummins was left out of the final XI. There were two uncapped pacers in the squad. Obviously, there was only one slot to be filled, as a support to Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, and Patrick Patterson. They went for the Antiguan Kenny Benjamin ahead of the local boy Cummins. Bridgetown collectively boycotted the Test as a city — to the extent that a total of 6,500 attended across five days — 3,000 of them on Day One. Yes, inter-island rivalry can reach extreme levels in the islands that look happy to the unsuspecting outsider. As a result WICB incurred a loss that amounted to an estimated £100,000. Thankfully, the South African branch of British Petroleum paid the tourists’ expenses, which meant that WICB made a profit for the first time in a home tour in 15 years. When play eventually got underway, the television cameras repeatedly focused on a banner at the ground with the text NO CUMMINS NO GOINGS sprawled across it in large letters. The attitude of the spectators was telling. That, however, could not prevent the Test from becoming one of the greatest in history. At a Snell’s pace South Africa, too, fielded a pace-bowling quartet to counter the West Indians. It was an intriguing decision because of ICC’s new mandate: no bowler was allowed to bowl more than one bouncer per batsman per over. Leading the pack was Allan Donald, at that point as fast as anyone in the world. Donald was always quick, but at that point of time in his career he also had the stamina to bowl for an hour, perhaps more, at extreme pace. There was the erratic Tertius Bosch, who could sometimes be as quick as Donald, but was consistently guilty of overstepping. Meyrick Pringle was not as quick, but he had single-handedly scythed through West Indies in their only previous encounter, in the 1992 World Cup. Pringle’s 4 for 11 that day were the best figures in the tournament. Richard Snell, the fourth of the pack, could move the ball off a length at a shade above medium-pace. They were four of the ten South Africans who made their debuts that Test. Wessels, of course, had played 24 times for Australia. On this day became the 14th man in history to play Test cricket for two nations. West Indies, too, had three debutants, one of them being Benjamin. The others were Jimmy Adams, the obdurate batsman, and David Williams, the little-wicketkeeper. The replacements, a batsman, a fast bowler, and a wicketkeeper, were probably the best the selectors could bring in for Richards, Marshall, and Dujon. Wessels had no hesitation in bowling first. No side had opted to bat at Kensington Oval since 1977, and there was no reason to opt otherwise. Unfortunately, it almost backfired. Haynes and Simmons took firm control, adding 99 in 93 minutes before the latter hit Snell to Peter Kirsten at mid-off. Out came Lara. He edged one to Wessels at slip first ball, but Wessels grassed it. Snell struck nevertheless, claiming Haynes for 58 shortly afterwards, caught at slip. Soon afterwards, Lara was caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Dave Richardson. The score read 137 for 3. Richie Richardson took control, bringing a sense of calm to the middle. Partnering him was the more aggressive Keith Arthurton, who kept on finding the boundary at regular intervals. Just before tea the score read 219 for 3, and West Indies seemed firmly in control at that stage. But they threw it away after that when Snell came back for his third spell. Richardson edged the fourth ball of the over to his surname-sake. Arthurton had batted beautifully for his 97-ball 15 (he hit 10 fours) before slicing to Adrian Kuiper at point off Pringle. Williams was the third in the list, getting out to another poor stroke, this time off Donald. Nine runs later Donald ran through Adams’ defence, bringing his hour-long vigil to an end. The tail did not last, and West Indies were bowled out for 262, Snell taking 4 for 83. They had lost their last 7 wickets for 43 runs. Andrew Hudson and Mark Rushmere played out time, finishing on 13 without loss at stumps. Hudson keeps ’em at bay Ambrose struck early next morning, removing Mark Rushmere, but that was about it. The West Indians ran into the broad bat and grim face of Wessels, who played some uncharacteristic cricket. He took his risks, often flashing outside off and watching the ball fly over point, but refused to cut down his shots. Hudson carried on at the other end, almost dreamily, blocking or leaving anything pitched up but cutting or pulling anything marginally short. He got a reprieve on 22 when Ambrose bounced one and Hudson hooked and top-edged, only to see Walsh drop the catch at long-leg. Patterson found his edge, too, but Williams put him down. Wessels finally cut Adams to backward-point for a 102-ball 59 with 8 fours and a six. Neither Kirsten nor Cronje lasted, and at 187 for 4 it seemed West Indies would claw back into the match. Hudson needed support at the other end; he found that in Kuiper, a man usually touted as a limited-over specialist. Also ReadSouth Africa win their first ever ODI, against India, 1991-92 Months before the Test Kuiper had led the charge during South Africa’s maiden ODI win with a brutal onslaught at Delhi. This, however, was different as he dug deeper and deeper, letting Hudson do the scoring. At the other end, Hudson pushed Adams to mid-on for a single to become the first South African to register a hundred on Test debut. South Africa reached 254 for 4 by stumps, a mere 8 runs in arrears. Hudson was on 135. Kuiper hung around till the third morning, falling only after South Africa had secured a lead. Richardson fell cheaply, but Hudson went on to amass 163. Till that point only ‘Tip’ Foster had scored more on Test debut away from home. South Africa eventually scored 345, obtaining an 83-run lead. Surprisingly, Adams was the most successful of the bowlers, with 4 for 43. Adams patches things The West Indian second innings began in spectacular fashion: Haynes played Donald’s second ball on to the stumps — without a bail being dislodged. He survived. There was no such luck for Simmons, who fell to Bosch soon afterwards. Haynes made his reprieve count, scoring 23, but more importantly adding 56 quick runs with Lara. Then Snell got Haynes and Richardson in quick succession, and West Indies were in trouble at 68 for 3. Arthurton batted calmly, but there was some drama at the other end. Soon after bringing up his maiden Test fifty, Lara played Bosch on the back-foot. His foot touched the off-stump. A bail was dislodged, Steve Bucknor and David Archer confirmed, and Lara was declared not out. But his luck did not last, for Donald soon had him caught-behind, for 64. Williams and Ambrose followed shortly afterwards. At stumps the score read 184 for 7. And Donald trapped Benjamin leg-before early on Day Four. West Indies had accumulated 196 for 8. They led by a mere 113. Adams was there, but he had to bat alongside Walsh (the ubiquitous tail-ender) and Patterson (who batted below Walsh and never made it to 30 at First-Class level). But Adams batted on. Wessels perhaps did the right thing by going flat out in pursuit of a wicket, but he left yards of open space on the square boundary on the off-side. Adams took full advantage, ran hard, and Walsh responded. The ninth-wicket stand yielded 25. The wayward bowling did not help, either. “We didn’t bowl as well he could have. You can’t bowl one good ball and then four bad balls,” Wessels later admitted in the press conference. Patterson hung around, too. Just like Walsh he ran quickly, always willing to give Adams the strike. Adams capitalised on the bowling, and the last pair added a whopping 62. It was probably expected of Adams, but Patterson? Neither Walsh nor Patterson had hit a boundary, but between them they kept out 77 balls to score 24. They had also helped Adams add 86 for the last two wickets. Adams never had the exuberance of Lara, but every run of his unbeaten 79 was worth in gold. Donald and Snell picked up 4 wickets apiece. After bowling out West Indies for 283, South Africa had to chase 201. Ambrose took out Hudson and Rushmere quickly, but Wessels and Kirsten eased into proceedings. They dominated the four fast bowlers to reach 122 for 2 at stumps, adding 95 in 42 overs before stumps that evening. True, the wicket was deteriorating. True, the ball was doing things. But then, South Africa needed a mere 79 on the final day with 8 wickets in hand. The runs still had to be scored — but didn’t Adams add 86 for the last two wickets with Walsh and Patterson? The night before Dave Richardson told ESPNCricinfo that Pringle had got champagne in anticipation of the historic win. “When we found this out, he was admonished for his over-confidence and the bottles were banished from view,” Richardson later confessed. But there was no stopping Pringle, who made it a point to inform Lara that the South Africans were going to have gala celebrations once they won the Test. Lara, tongue-in-cheek as ever, responded with “I hope you won’t be the one to hit the winning runs.” Pringle, who batted only above Donald and Bosch, responded that he would not be needed. Whether coach Mike Procter was aware of this is not clear. He told Reuters that “the lads are pretty quiet; there’ll be no partying tonight.” Demolition by pace There were barely five hundred spectators at the ground to witness Ambrose and Walsh go all out at the South Africans. They had barely settled down when Wessels flashed at Walsh in the last ball of the third over of the day. Lara took a brilliant catch at first slip. Wessels walked back without adding a run to his overnight score of 74. He would admit after the match that “one of the most difficult innings he had ever played”. Ambrose did not give an inch away at the other end. The next 5 overs fetched 7 runs. Then Cronje edged Ambrose to Williams. At the other end, Walsh found Kuiper’s inside edge, and Williams flung himself to his right to pull off a sensational catch. The score suddenly read 131 for 5. Some resistance came from Richardson, but Walsh eventually got the big wicket. Despite the rogue wicket Kirsten had ambled to 52, reaching his fifty with a cut past backward-point. Then he tried to cut one too many off Walsh, chopping it on to the stumps. The score read 142 for 6. By now the balance had shifted. Snell survived that over, but was up against a snorter from Walsh that he could barely fend off his hips. Adams took a brilliant catch at short-leg. And finally, after batting for 50 minutes for a painstaking 2, Richardson edged one to Williams off Ambrose. The end came near, when Ambrose ran removed Pringle and Donald off successive balls. West Indies won by 52 runs. South Africa had added a mere 26 runs in 21.4 overs on the fifth morning, losing 8 wickets in the process. Walsh bowled unchanged, moving the ball both ways off the deck and taking 4 for 8 from 11 overs. At the other end, Ambrose claimed 4 for 11 and finished with figures of 6 for 34. Postscript Wessels was all in praise of Walsh and Ambrose after the match: “I knew today would be difficult. When they get a whiff they bowl superbly. They gave us hardly any bad balls to hit.” Before that, however, there was a spectacle to behold when the West Indians stood in a row, their fingers linked with each other’s — to show their inter-island solidarity: after all, as long as they were playing under the West Indian banner, did it really matter how many men represented each island? The handful of spectators — fans to whom it did not matter how many Barbadians had been picked — fans who had witnessed one of the greatest displays of fast bowling in history — cheered till their heroes disappeared from sight. They cheered for their Jamaican and Antiguan fast bowlers, their Antiguan captain who had struck gold in his first Test, the Trinidadian prince who had just arrived, the Jamaican debutant who had shepherded the tail to make sure West Indies had a sizeable lead… Brief scores: West Indies 262 (Desmond Haynes 58, Richie Richardson 44, Keith Arthurton 59; Richard Snell 4 for 83) and 283 (Brian Lara 64, Jimmy Adams 79*; Allan Donald 4 for 77, Richard Snell 4 for 74) beat South Africa 345 (Andrew Hudson 163, Kepler Wessels 59; Jimmy Adams 4 for 43) and 148 (Kepler Wessels 74, Peter Kirsten 52; Curtly Ambrose 6 for 34, Courtney Walsh 4 for 31) by 52 runs. Players of the Match: Curtly Ambrose and Andrew Hudson.

IPL 2017: Rohit Sharma thanks Wankhede Stadium crowd for support after Mumbai Indians’ narrow...

Rohit Sharma fell for lg-spinner once again and was dismissed for 5 © BCCIMumbai Indians (MI) pulled off a sensational 14-run win in Match 25 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Having set DD a target of 143, the visiting side was reduced to 24 for 6 in just the seventh over of the innings. Mitchell McClenaghan was excellent with the new ball. He got rid of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and Corey Anderson in quick succession to leave DD reeling. MI captain Rohit Sharma believes that it was the crowd, who played their part today and helped them win, referring to them as the 12th man. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match 25 Rohit said after the match, “The crowd support has been amazing, they’ve rightly been the 12th man for us. The support means a lot, they’ve been coming in large numbers and pick us up when we are down. I hope they’ll keep coming back in large numbers in the next few games as well.” Rohit feels that he always believed that his bowlers could restrict 142. “We were outstanding with the ball. To be able to defend 142 on that wicket was never going to be easy. We knew that we could defend any total out here, we’ve done it in the past and have the bowlers to do the job for us. We were excellent with the ball, not quite so with the bat. It was one of those games where we couldn’t kick on with the bat but I do not want to blame them for we’ve done very well in the past,” the MI skipper said. Rohit also mentioned that the wicket was dry and the slower deliveries were the need of the hour. “The wicket seemed slightly slow and that is what we spoke about in the dressing room. It looked a little dry and the slower balls were effective. The bowlers did exactly that on the field and it is easy to set fields and make bowling changes. There was no dew tonight, it is very unpredictable to determine but we wanted to play our best game,” Rohit said. With this win, MI move on to 12 points from seven matches, whereas DD are placed in the fifth position of the IPL 2017 table with four points from six matches.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, match 27 preview: RCB look...

A riveting clash awaits at Eden Gardens when Kolkata Knight Riders host Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday © AFPIt was a rare sight for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to lose a home game. Ever since the setback received against Mumbai Indians (MI), KKR were ticking all the boxes right before Gujarat Lions (GL) halted their progress in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Nonetheless, Kolkata Knight Riders will like to get act together when they host a misfiring Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. Virat Kohli-led side will like to come hard against Gautam Gambhir’s well-oiled XI with the overall head-to-head record interestingly tied at 9-9. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Match 27 Team combination: KKR have been smart buyers since revamping their side in 2011. Gambhir and co. have stuck with their core members, bought some useful foreigner players and used them judiciously as well. KKR have some settled faces in the form of Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawala and Umesh Yadav. To top it all, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Trent Boult and Chris Lynn have joined the party and contributed in wins as well. Gambhir is not likely to tinker much with his line-up, despite the drubbing received against GL. Gambhir will open the innings with his new partner Sunil Narine. The West Indian has been given the full license to go after the opposition bowlers in the powerplay overs and initiate a solid start. Narine has done justice with the ‘pinch-hitter’ tag with blitz against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and GL. He will like to come hard against RCB’s inconsistent bowling line-up. Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav will come in at No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. There may be some changes in the order according to situations. Talking about KKR’s vice-captain, Suryakumar, will like some runs under his belt who has been a non-performer in this edition. Shakib-Al-Hasan played his first game of the season against GL on Friday. He is expected to come at No. 7 followed by Woakes, Kuldeep, Umesh and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Shakib was out of sorts in his first appearance in IPL 10 and the team management may replace him with Boult. The Kiwi pacer may trouble Chris Gayle early in the innings. Nonetheless, if they resist with Shakib, KKR are likely to play the same XI. KKR’s bowling gives them enough blanket to restrict a starry batting line-up of RCB. With the likes of Woakes, Boult/Shakib, Kuldeep, Umesh, Narine and Coulter-Nile, there is no stopping the hosts. KKR’s likely XI: Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan/Trent Boult, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile RCB are languishing at the bottom half of the points table. With some uninspiring performances and injuries, RCB still not roared in IPL 10. However, with a victory against GL in their last tie, Royal Challengers Bangalore will like to maintain momentum while travelling. Kohli will continue to open the innings along Gayle. The Caribbean batsman finally got some runs in the tenth edition and became the first player to cross the 10,000-run mark in T20s. He will be hopeful of making a mark against a better bowling line-up than GL. AB de Villiers’ missed RCB’s last game due to a shoulder injury. Nonetheless, Yuzvendra Chahal has stated that the South African may make it for the clash against KKR. If he comes in, Travis Head will again have to sit out despite vital contributions. De Villiers will come at No. 3 followed by Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Shane Watson and Stuart Binny. Binny and Mandeep will have to pull up their socks and raise the bar in the upcoming matches. Pawan Negi will be their last recognised batsman at No. 8. Sreenath Aravind, Chahal and Adam Milne will be the prime bowlers for RCB. Tymal Mills is expected to return as well, but RCB may continue to go with Milne. RCB’s likely XI: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers/Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Mandeep Singh, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Milne Predictions: KKR are down with a defeat but things are expected to turn around on Sunday. Their head-to-head record versus RCB at home will also bolster them ahead of the clash. With a win ratio of 4-2, Gambhir’s side start as favourites. Nonetheless, RCB have got the better of their opponents in the last two meetings at Eden Gardens. Expect a cliff hanger when these two starry sides clash on Sunday. Squads: Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Darren Bravo, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sunil Narine, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Rovman Powell, Ishank Jaggi, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Ankit Rajpoot, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sayan Ghosh Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Sreenath Aravind, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Aniket Choudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake Time: 20:00 PM IST | 14.30 GMT It was a rare sight for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to lose a home game. Ever since the setback received against Mumbai Indians (MI), KKR were ticking all the boxes right before Gujarat Lions (GL) halted their progress in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Nonetheless, Kolkata Knight Riders will like to get act together when they host a misfiring Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. Virat Kohli-led side will like to come hard against Gautam Gambhir‘s well-oiled XI with the overall head-to-head record interestingly tied at 9-9.

IPL 2017: Zaheer Khan praises Delhi Daredevils (DD) despite defeat to Mumbai Indians (MI)

Zaheer Khan remained wicketless against MI © AFPDelhi Daredevils (DD) had to undergo 14-run defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. DD riding on impressive performances from their bowlers restricted a strong MI to 142 for 8 in their 20 overs as Amit Mishra and Pat Cummins took 2 wickets each. But Mitchell McClenaghan (3 for 24) and other MI bowlers halted the weak DD batting at 128 for 7 in 20 overs thereby winning their sixth consecutive game in IPL 2017. DD were rattled very early in their run-chase as they were tottering at 24 for 6 at one stage and so Zaheer Khan, DD captain criticised his batsmen for letting the team down. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match 25 Talking about the poor show from his batsmen, Zaheer said after the contest, “The only chance MI had in the game was by taking early wickets and we brought them back. How many times you are 24 for six and come so close. Early wickets never really help.” “Our bowlers did a fantastic job. We needed some smart batting. Strange to see bowlers dominating. One of the games where I felt our pace battery was brilliant. We felt they were 25 runs short,” said the veteran Indian pacer. MI bowlers had successfully removed the top six DD batsmen for just 24 runs on the board and it looked like their innings would soon get over well within 50 runs. But Chris Morris and (52*) and Kagiso Rabada (44) scored 91 runs for the seventh wicket igniting the hopes of DD victory. But the MI bowlers kept things tight in the end eventually winning the game by 14 runs. Talking about Morris and Rabada’s batting, Zaheer said, “Considering 24 for six and to lose like this, it was a fantastic effort. I was ready (to bat) for 9-10 overs and when I am ready that early, things are not that well.” DD have played seven games in the tournament so far and have managed to win just two and are currently at No. 5 in the IPL 2017 points table. With the group stage games entering into its final round, the Delhi-based franchise have a tough task of turning their defeats into victories. But Zaheer, still being optimistic, said, “We should believe in ourselves and put some good performances together. When we are batting well, we are not bowling well and vice versa. Once things start turning for us, three or four wins should get us back in the tournament.”

Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD) IPL 2017 match No. 25: Kagiso Rabada’s...

Mitchell McClenaghan ended with figures of 3 for 24 vs DD © BCCIIn what turned out to be a low-scoring encounter in the 25th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, Mumbai Indians came out victorious by 14 runs against Delhi Daredevils (DD). After being reduced to a modest 142 for 8 batting first, Mumbai Indians produced a scintillating display of fast bowling with Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah claiming more than half of the wickets that Delhi lost. However, the limelight was hogged completely by the IPL debutant Kagiso Rabada, who notched up his highest T20 score of 44. Let us take a look at the highlights of the Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils’ IPL 10 clash: FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match 25 Malinga missed out on the fun: After being punished for a plenty of runs in the previous game, the veteran Mumbai Indians’ bowler Lasith Malinga missed out on a game in which bowlers had all the fun. After Delhi Daredevils skittled Mumbai out for a mere 142 for 8 in their 20 overs, Mumbai bowlers bowled with tremendous intensity to reduce Delhi to 26 for 6 in their chase. Rabada’s impressive debut: To watch Rabada bowl in this IPL was one of the aspects to look forward to, and when his chance finally arrived, the South African pacer did not disappoint. He began with an erratic over but by the time his second over ended, Rabada had a wicket in his kitty. Rabada also affected the dismissal of Harbhajan Singh late in Mumbai Indians’ innings. When Delhi were tottering in their reply at 26 for 6, Rabada teamed up with Chris Morris to add a vital 91 runs for the seventh wicket. While their partnership was enough to carry Delhi close to an improbable win from a situation they were in earlier, Rabada and Morris could not finish the game in the team’s favour. An umpiring howler: On the first ball of the 19th over, umpire Nand Kishore called a no-ball for overstepping when Rabada’s foot was well within the legal limits. New Zealand’s former cricketer-turned-commentator Simon Gould screamed for third umpire’s intervention while the umpire signalled for a free-hit. The young Rabada, who bowled a terrific yorker outside the off-stump for a dot on the free-hit, did not carry any grudge against the umpire. He had seen what went wrong on the giant screen at the Wankhede. However, after completing his follow-through, the bowler tapped the umpire on his shoulder in compassion. Rohit Sharma vs leg-spinners: On a comeback trail into the national side, Rohit has shown tremendous weakness against the leg-spinners. After becoming the hat-trick victim of Samuel Badree not long ago, Rohit once again fell to a leg-spinner — Amit Mishra on this occasion. With Mumbai needing a strong stand, Rohit played one straight to the man at deep square leg and fell for a mere 5, which left Mumbai Indians struggling at 60 for 4. Amit Mishra, you beauty: For someone who has been in and out of the national side on a consistent basis, it remains important to keep making the right statement. Mishra did exactly that on Saturday, claiming 2 for 18 off his 4 overs. Mishra mixed his deliveries perfectly, squeezing the life out of Mumbai batsmen, not allowing them to score runs in the middle overs at all. Mitchell McClenaghan’s night: In a game wherein bowlers had a lot to cheer about, McClenaghan had the most to cherish. His opening spell broke the back of Delhi Daredevils, reducing them to an embarrassing score of 26 for 6 inside the first seven overs. McClenaghan, who claimed the wickets of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer and Corey Anderson to return with the figures of 4-0-24-3, was adjudged the Man of the Match. Ball boy’s catch: There have been several instances of ball boys going on to play cricket at the highest level and even garner a lot of success. The biggest example could be of Sachin Tendulkar, who served as a ball boy in the 1987 World Cup. Several years later, Arjun Tendulkar served as a ball boy in his father’s last Test. However, on Saturday night, one of the boys took a splendid catch running towards his left. A stroke from Jos Buttler off Rabada was enough to clear the ropes, but displaying perfect technique, the ball boy ran towards his left and leapt in the air at just the right moment to grab the ball with both his hands. Mumbai Indians on a roll: With six consecutive victories in last seven matches after losing their opening tie, Mumbai Indians have now equalled their best run in IPL so far. Mumbai Indians have also consolidated their position in the IPL 10 points table, with a lead of 4 points over the second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Live Cricket Score 2017, Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match...

Mumbai Indians look to continue their winning streak © BCCIHello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live cricket blog and updates post of Match No. 25 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. I am Aditya Sahay and will bring you the live cricket scores and updates from this game. MI who are in red-hot form enter their seventh game of the tournament. Mumbai Indians received an early jolt against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Since then, the team has shown different form compared to the previous years by getting rid of the ‘slow-starters’ tag. With experienced as well as debutant players bringing ‘A’ game forward, Mumbai Indians are also on top of the IPL 2017 table battling it out with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Full Cricket Scorecard: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 2017, Match 25 at Wankhede Stadium With another win against DD, MI would want to strengthen their position. While skipper Rohit Sharma’s form has been unmoved, it has given opportunity to players like Nitish Rana, the Pandya brothers, Parthiv Patel and Jasprit Bumrah to carry forward their consistency. Amongst the international players Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler have provided match-winning performances. However, their concern would be to restrict the flow of runs that their experienced bowlers, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga, who leaked against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the previous match. But with ratio reading 6-1 favouring MI, DD have task on hand. DD, who started their campaign on a positive note, have shown no momentum barring a few players. Angelo Mathews’ inclusion has not bolstered DD in any department. Meanwhile, Karun Nair’s on and off performance have added further dilemma. However, players like Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and Morris have stepped up in precarious conditions. The fourth-placed DD will hope to end their two-match losing streak and reclaim their position at the top of the table. Squads: Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma(c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Ambati Rayudu, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, Karn Sharma, Asela Gunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan(c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Angelo Mathews, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Shashank Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Carlos Brathwaite, Chama Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Ben Hilfenhaus

IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils (DD) restrict Mumbai Indians (MI) to a modest total in...

Amit Mishra returned with the figures of 4-0-18-2 © AFPAmit Mishra returned with the figures of 4-0-18-2 and Pat Cummins claimed 2 for 20 off his 4 overs, as Delhi Daredevils did a terrific job of restricting Mumbai under 150 on what has remained a batting-friendly wicket at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Mumbai Indians (MI) crawled to a total of 142 for 8 against Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Saturday night, in the 25th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 tournament. For Mumbai Indians, Jos Buttler top scored with 28 and Kieron Pollard managed 26, as none of their batsmen could really get going against disciplined bowling. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match 25 Mumbai Indians were off to a confident start after Delhi Daredevils won the toss and invited the home side to bat first. Both the teams made plenty of changes, with Corey Anderson and Aditya Tare coming back in for Delhi, and the South African Rabada making his IPL debut. On the other hand, Lasith Malinga sat out for the Mumbai Indians with Mitchell Johnson coming in. Rabada began with an expensive over in which he struggled for line. There were 5 extra runs given with Rabada bowling one down the leg side. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match 25 Jos Buttler made intentions clear when he smacked a six off Chris Morris in the second over’s fourth ball, and hit the next ball for a boundary. However, there was a lifeline provided to the Mumbai batsman when Rishabh Pant spilled a regulation catch, with the batsman making room and trying to scoop the ball over the wicket. Rabada came on for the fourth over, and Buttler smashed it over the leg side for another six. However, with Parthiv coming on strike, Rabada began bowling fuller, aiming for the wickets. After missing out on a leg-before appeal, there was success for the South African bowler who cleaned up Parthiv, thus snaffling his first IPL wicket. Nitish Rana and Buttler joined forces to rebuild for Mumbai. Buttler hit two boundaries off Zaheer in the sixth over, but their plans were spoiled by a brilliant effort from Sanju Samson. Responding to a tight single was Buttler’s misjudgement, as Samson ran in from his position inside the circle on the leg side and a direct hit did the rest. Rohit and Rana could not do much for their side as the latter was dismissed by Cummins, getting the in-form batsman caught at deep square leg for a mere 8. Rana has been in red-hot form for Mumbai but he had a forgettable game on Saturday night. Mumbai skidded further when Mishra consolidated Rohit Sharma’s struggles against leg-spinners. This time, the Mumbai captain was caught at deep square leg for a mere 5. With their top-order blown away, Mumbai pinned hopes on Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard. While the pair resisted for a few overs, runs were hard to come by with Delhi Daredevils being all over their opponents. Mishra added more to his kitty when Pant caught a late-cut off Krunal’s bat in the 13th over, piling up further misery on the Mumbai Indians. Pollard tried waging a lone battle when Mumbai Indians were in tatters. He added 36 runs for the sixth wicket with Hardik Pandya, and scored 26 runs with the help of 4 boundaries. Just when it started to appear Mumbai Indians may post a late fight-back, Pollard fell to Cummins in the first ball of the 18th over. More to follow… Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 142 for 8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 28, Kieron Pollard 26; Amit Mishra 2 for 18, Pat Cummins 2 for 20) vs Delhi Daredevils.

IPL 2017: Facing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is like battling Army in battlefield, says...

Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji remains optimistic regarding the encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) © AFP (File Photo)As former 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) get set to face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 27 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday, Kolkata’s bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji remains optimistic regarding the encounter. He also feels that facing off the Bangalore batsmen, especially the fierce duo Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle would be more like battling an Army in the battlefield. Bangalore, who posted a mammoth total of 213 for two, had Kohli and Gayle putting up a stellar stand of 122. A repeat of such performance would certainly make things difficult for Kolkata, as they lost defending a decent total of 180 plus against Gujarat Lions (GL) on Saturday. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Match 27 atv Eden Gardens “It’s hard to plan. It’s like Army men going into the battlefield. You may have a lot of planning but on the day you just try to disorient a little bit. But the important thing is what comes to us and what we can control. “In T20, it’s all about what you do on that day. The batting decides the outcome in most of the games. We have been playing good cricket. It’s about keep doing the things that has given you good results instead of being intimidated by the opposition,” said Balaji, as reported by PTI. “We just need to do look after our limitations. We cannot control the opposition. We can control many things that we are doing good, that’s why we are in top three. It’s about wickets, and not by runs. Your game destination is decided on how many wickets you take. Wickets form an important aspect and we have done exceedingly well in that department. But at the same time we will look to improve in the areas that needed to be addressed,” he added. Speaking on the performance against Gujarat, he said, “The good thing is we got five wickets, that’s a positive outcome. The batsmen are aggressive in this format, so you need to show your aggression by taking wickets. There has to be a balance. When you keep doing that, the outcome takes care on its own. The wickets decide the outcome most of the times rather than containing runs.” On being asked if he is worried regarding the split of support among the fans, owing to the involvement of crowd favourites Kohli and Gayle for Bangalore, he said, “Definitely, they are very good cricketers and ambassadors of the game. There will definitely be a lot of cheers. That’s good for us. We have got our own support. We have been doing well here. It will be an exciting match.”

Live Cricket Score 2017, Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 10, Match...

Mumbai Indians look to continue their winning streak © BCCIHello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live cricket blog and updates post of Match No. 25 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. I am Aditya Sahay and will bring you the live cricket scores and updates from this game. MI who are in red-hot form enter their seventh game of the tournament. Mumbai Indians received an early jolt against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). Since then, the team has shown different form compared to the previous years by getting rid of the ‘slow-starters’ tag. With experienced as well as debutant players bringing ‘A’ game forward, Mumbai Indians are also on top of the IPL 2017 table battling it out with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Full Cricket Scorecard: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD), IPL 2017, Match 25 at Wankhede Stadium With another win against DD, MI would want to strengthen their position. While skipper Rohit Sharma’s form has been unmoved, it has given opportunity to players like Nitish Rana, the Pandya brothers, Parthiv Patel and Jasprit Bumrah to carry forward their consistency. Amongst the international players Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler have provided match-winning performances. However, their concern would be to restrict the flow of runs that their experienced bowlers, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga, who leaked against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the previous match. But with ratio reading 6-1 favouring MI, DD have task on hand. DD, who started their campaign on a positive note, have shown no momentum barring a few players. Angelo Mathews’ inclusion has not bolstered DD in any department. Meanwhile, Karun Nair’s on and off performance have added further dilemma. However, players like Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and Morris have stepped up in precarious conditions. The fourth-placed DD will hope to end their two-match losing streak and reclaim their position at the top of the table. Squads: Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma(c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Ambati Rayudu, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, Karn Sharma, Asela Gunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan(c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Angelo Mathews, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Shashank Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Carlos Brathwaite, Chama Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Ben Hilfenhaus

Live Cricket Score, Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2: Play delayed due...

© AFPWhile trumpets are blowing at one end of the world with coloured-clothed cricketers dancing to moolahs in a cricket extravaganza called Indian Premier League (IPL), in another part of the world, West Indies and Pakistan are locking horns in a Test series. Hello and welcome, I, Rohan Sawant, has the rather pleasant job of covering a Test amidst the busy Twenty20 schedule. I will bring you the live updates from Day 2 of the Pakistan-West Indies first Test, which is being played at the iconic Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Live Cricket Scorecard, Pakistan vs West Indies 2017, 1st Test at Jamaica West Indies may not be the ideal competitors at the moment but the series had its share of hype as this will be the last time we will see Younis Khan and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq play for Pakistan. The visitors dominated the first day. Pakistan had reduced West Indies to 71 for 5 before a resilient effort from the lower middle-order guided the hosts to respectability. All-rounder Roston Chase (63) and Shane Dowrich (56) added 118 for the sixth wicket before Jason Holder (30*) and Devendra Bishoo (23*) added more solidity. Bad light forced early stoppage on Day One with West Indies ending at 244 for 7. Mohammed Aamer was the pick of the bowlers from the visitors’ camp with three wickets. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah picked 2 wickets. Pakistan will look forward to wrap up the West Indies innings soon and get a sizeable lead. There is rain forecast today as well and the organisers are using coal to dry the wicket. Squads: West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Vishaul Singh Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Ahmed Shehzad, Usman Salahuddin, Shan Masood

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Frederick Ponsonby: Cricketing peer, co-founder of I Zingari

Frederick George Brabazon Ponsonby, 6th Earl of Bessborough © Getty imagesThe family appears to have come over from North West England at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, having originally resided at Ponsonby, a parish in the Union of Whitehaven, Allerdale Ward, above Derwent, Cumberland. The family is reputed to have had one ancestor who had been appointed the Royal Barber to the court of King William I, a fact that is commemorated in the family crest in the form of 3 combs and a chevron symbolising the open razor that had once shaved the Royal cheeks. The family Motto reads Pro rege, legegrege, the free translation of which is “For the King, law and people. By the time this narrative begins, of course, the family had come a long way, no longer carrying out Royal tonsorial duties, the male members having themselves become Peers of the Realm. It was on September 11, 1815 that John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough, of Marylebone, London and his wife Lady Maria Fane, were blessed with a second son, christened in due course as Frederick George Brabazon. The young scion of the noble family was admitted to Harrow, in the Easter Midsummer semester of 1830. He played cricket in the Harrow first XI in 1832 and 1833, and is noted in the Harrow Register as having become a Monitor in 1833. He completed his Matriculation and left Harrow in January 1834. The archives show the Hon. Frederick Ponsonby (as he was known during his active playing days) playing 13 games for Harrow School between 1831 and 1834 (of which 7 were against MCC), principally as a right-handed batsman who batted in the lower-order. He appears to also have been an occasional wicketkeeper with 3 First-Class stumpings to show for it. He was not known to be a very heavy scorer, bagging a pair against traditional rivals Eton at Lord’s in 1832, and being dismissed for a duck in the only innings he batted in his other game against them, in 1833. During Ponsonby’s time in the Harrow first XI, the school was passing through a horrific run of defeats, the win against Winchester in 1833 being their first victory since 1822. The next step in the overall upbringing of the Ponsonby was admission to Trinity, Cambridge, on February 1, 1834. Ponsonby earned his Cricket Blue in 1836 and took his MA in 1837. It may be noted that he was a member of MCC from 1834, playing cricket for them while he was at Cambridge. He was admitted to Lincoln Inn for legal studies and training, and was called to the Bar on June 15, 1840. Ponsonby’s first game in the MCC colours appears to be a Second-Class match, ironically against his alma mater Harrow in 1834. He scored 9 and 8 and held a catch. He made his First-Class debut for Cambridge against Cambridge Town Club later that year. He scored 2 and 5 and the Town Club won the game by 10 wickets. Interestingly, playing for the Town Club was one Francis Phillips Fenner, and he took 8 wickets in the game. Fenner would become a well-known Cambridge and Hampshire cricketer in the years to come and would later establish a cricket ground in 1848 on land which he had himself leased. This ground, named FP Fenner’s Ground in his memory, is still used by Cambridge for all their home cricket matches. In a First-Class span of 1834 to 1856, Ponsonby played 67 matches (26 of these were for MCC), scoring 1,129 with a highest of 74 and an average of 10.96. He is seen to have scored 3 fifties and to have held 31 catches along with 3 stumpings. Of these, 26 were for MCC. Handbill for Gentlemen vs Players at Lord’s, 1841, a match that was possible only due to subscription raised by Frederick Ponsonby © Getty ImagesPonsonby entered the record books in 1842. Playing for MCC against Cambridge, he made one hit that fetched 9 runs in his first-innings score of 39. Scores & Biographies recorded the historic feat as “a hit to leg for 9, being one of the longest recorded in any match where there were no overthrows.” Ponsonby’s feat has since been eclipsed by the Derbyshire skipper Sammy Wood against the MCC at Lord’s in 1900 by a stroke that had resulted in 10. The match report states: “Wood, assisted by the net and an overthrow, scored 10 in one stroke off [Cuthbert] Burnup in the second innings. The revised net system was in use in this match.” Even so, Ponsonby’s 9 runs off a single delivery was the first of 14 such instance till date, and the only one that did not entail any overthrows. The match between Kent and England at Canterbury in 1841, a game England won by 74 runs, and a match where Francis Fenner was reputed to have scored 34 painstaking runs in about 5 dour and gritty hours in the England first-innings of 163 (Ponsonby contributing 30), proved to be the starting point of a novel show of talent of a different type on the part of the Hon. Frederick Ponsonby. In an article written by Lord Alistair Lexden and published in 2016, the author gives a fascinating insight into the events that ensued at Canterbury around the time that the above-mentioned game was played. Lord Lexden says: “For two weeks in August 1841, the city of Canterbury was en fete. Along with many other entertainments, the editor of a local newspaper wrote later: ‘The Tories had gained a great political triumph, and had succeeded in returning both members for the city to Parliament. The victory was celebrated with dinners and dances; there was a fancy bazaar, at which duchesses, marchionesses, countesses and baronesses kept the stalls.” The Kent vs England game had been witnessed by about 4,000 spectators, “including the leading county families”. In the words of Lexden: “The victory inspired the creation of an annual Canterbury Cricket Week (always spelt with capital letters) which only World Wars had the power to disrupt. From the start, the Week also provided a splendid daily diversion for those attending it: each evening theatrical entertainments of high standard were laid on by a company formed by some of the visiting cricketers and supplemented by friends with thespian talent.” The whole concept of these evening theatricals was mooted by one John Baker, a clergyman, local landowner and amateur cricketer. It seems that the success of the initial performances in a “rundown local theatre (recalled by the participants as a ‘den of dirt and distemper’)” led to a lasting bonding between the participants, led by members of the Ponsonby family, headed by the Hon. Frederick George Brabazon, and including his brother Spencer, both known to excel at amateur theatricals during their Cambridge days. The Hon. Frederick Ponsonby as Theophilus Pole (left) and the Hon. Spencer Ponsonby as Toby Tramp in the farce The Mummy staged by the Old Stagers in 1861. Photo courtesy: The Ricardo AlbumA contemporary media report read: “Many of the amateurs walked the stage with the grace and style of favourite professionals to whom they would bear comparison”. Inspired by the success of the evening theatrical entertainments, the participants were quick to find a name for the group: the Old Stagers. Still flourishing in England more than 170 years later, the Old Stagers, an enterprise inspired and founded by Frederick Ponsonby, is the oldest amateur dramatic society in the world. Since the group’s inception in 1842, their performances have become an integral part of the Canterbury Cricket Week celebrations through the years. The famous lime tree at St. Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, having been planted in honour of the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo, was already flourishing by the time the Canterbury Week and the Old Stagers came into being. The curtain rose on “the first performance of the Canterbury Amateurs” on August 1, 1842. Alfred Mynn was known to have been persuaded to become an active participant in these theatricals with the Old Stagers from 1847 till his death in 1861. There have been several nomadic cricket clubs in England over the years; the names of the Free Foresters, the Incogniti, the Cryptics, the Buccaneers, and the Arabs come to mind. The oldest of this genre of cricket clubs was undoubtedly the I Zingari. In his fascinating History of I Zingari, author WJ Bolland begins by saying: “An intoxicating combination of adrenaline and alcohol can be seen as largely responsible for the foundation of I Zingari on 4th July, 1845. After victory in a game against the school side at Harrow, William Bolland, Frederic and Spencer Ponsonby and R.P. Long had dinner at the Blenheim Hotel in Bond Street. Agreeing that much of the enjoyment of their victory stemmed from the fact that all eleven of them were amateurs, the friends decided that it would be sensible to found an amateur wandering club.” After long deliberations, the group of Old Harrovians decided that the itinerant cricket club would be named I Zingari (The Gypsies). The colours decided upon were Black, Red, and Gold, symbolising the Club Motto: “Out of darkness, through fire, into light.” It was decided that membership would be invitation only. The three founders of I Zingari. From left: Hon. Spencer Ponsonby, John Loraine Baldwin, Frederick Ponsonby © Getty ImagesA rough draft of the Rules of the Club was chalked out: “That the Entrance be nothing, and the Annual Subscription do not exceed the Entrance.” Bolland was elected Perpetual President, the title later being changed to Governor. It was this free spirit of amateur adventure and enjoyment of the game that has been the hallmark of the club ever since. The club celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1995, and the tradition continues with one match scheduled for I Zingari in the calendar for 2017, against Old Amplefordians at Ascot Park on September 10. An arm injury in 1843 imposed some restrictions on Ponsonby’s active participation in cricket to some extent. He repaid his debt to his old school by accepting an honorary coaching role and was instrumental in the recruitment of John Wisden as a bowling coach for the school in 1852. He was associated with MCC for a long period and was the perpetual Vice-President of Surrey County Cricket Club. He played his last First-Class game for the MCC against Sussex at Hove in 1856, bowing out of active cricket with a duck in his only innings. On January 28, 1880, upon the death of his elder brother John George, the 5th Earl of Bessborough, who had died without a male heir, the Hon. Frederick George Brabazon Ponsonby succeeded to the title as 6th Earl of Bessborough. As a Parliamentarian and a Member of the House of Lords, he was nominated as a Member of the Commission to look into the Land System in Ireland (the family had large land holdings in county Kilkenny of Ireland) in 1880. On the basis of the report submitted by the Commission, known as the Bessborough Commission, Prime Minister William Gladstone initiated the Land Bill of 1881. The 6thEarl of Bessborough was never married. He passed away from bronchitis on March 11, 1895 at his residence at 45 Green Street, Mayfair, London, aged about 79. Frederick George Brabazon Ponsonby, 6th Earl of Bessborough, was laid to rest on the family estate of Pilltown, county Kilkenny, Ireland, eight days later. His will was proven (by probate) on June 25, at £114,984 gross and £68,920 net.He was succeeded by his brother Walter William, Rector of Canford Magna, Dorset.

IPL 2017: Dwayne Bravo of Gujarat Lions (GL) ruled out for the season

Dwayne Bravo did not play any of the six matches played by Gujarat Lions (GL) so far this season © IANSAfter suffering a hamstring injury earlier in 2016, followed by a surgery, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who plays for Gujarat Lions (GL), has been ruled out for the remainder of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Bravo has still not recovered completely to be eligible to play in the IPL 10 tournament. Gujarat owner Keshav Bansal confirmed the development on Twitter. Bravo did not play any of the six matches played by Gujarat so far this season. Following his exit from IPL 2017, he is also in doubts regarding his participation in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2017, slated to be held in England in June. With April 25 being the deadline for the announcement of the final 15-member squad for the tournament, chances looks bleak for the Trinidad and Tobago cricketer. Dwayne Bravo’s upcoming song to feature Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni? Earlier in December 2016, Bravo was ruled out of the Big Bash League (BBL) 2016-17 after he suffered a hamstring injury during a match against Perth Scorchers. Bravo sustained injury while trying to stop a boundary. Bravo held his hamstring as soon as he incurred pain. Bravo underwent a scan after he was stretchered off the field. He later underwent a surgery in January 2017. Meanwhile, Bravo has found quite a few ways to keep himself occupied in India. Apart from cricket, Bravo has made quite a name for himself in the entertainment industry in India. Going to miss this Champion! Unfortunately he has been ruled out this season due to injury! I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery! pic.twitter.com/XkKiMN9ojt — Keshav Bansal (@KeshavBansal08) April 23, 2017 Gujarat Lions earlier tweeted a video of Bravo and his younger half-brother Darren Bravo. In the video, both brothers can be seen talking about Dwayne’s upcoming song that features India’s current captain Virat Kohli and former skipper MS Dhoni. “We go over to India, India, India. I call up a boy named Kohli, Kohli Kohli. We tell him to WhatsApp Dhoni.” Soon after the stanza, both brothers were seen laughing at full strength.

Pakistan vs West Indies 2017, 1st Test at Jamaica, Day 3, Preview: Search for...

In the limited time available, Mohammad Aamer seized the opportunity to take a five-for — his first since making his comeback in international cricket © AFPThe second day of the first Test between Pakistan and West Indies was heavily affected by rain, resulting in a mere 11.3 overs of cricket. In the limited time available, Mohammad Aamer seized the opportunity to take a five-for — his first since making his comeback in international cricket. At the other end, West Indies skipper Jason Holder scored 55 not out off 69 balls, defying Pakistan. By the time the day ended, West Indies had reached 278 for 9 after resuming the day at 244 for 7. Yasir Shah claimed 2 for 91, while Wahab Riaz and debutant Mohammad Abbas got a wicket apiece. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies 2017, 1st Test at Jamaica Day Two had a lot of action in store. West Indies had resurrected their innings — they were 71 for 5 at one point on Day One — but a patient stand of 118-run stand between Roston Chase (63) and Shane Dowrich (56) rescued the hosts out. Yasir Shah struck against the run of play getting both Chase and Dowrich on consecutive deliveries. Pakistan had got the grip of the game yet again. At that stage the score read 189 for 7. Then Holder and Devendra Bishoo added 75 for the 8th wicket, frustrating the Pakistan bowlers. Pakistan had their opportunities of mopping up the tail, but missed chances cost them. Abbas looked dangerous with the new ball but that was it. Wahab has been wayward, often giving away runs and releasing the pressure. Untidy bowling has cost Pakistan, and will hurt them more if they allow Holder to score more runs on Day Three. Holder has already shown signs of cutting loose once Alzarri Joseph was cleaned up. Misbah-ul-Haq will have to end the innings. PAK vs WI, 1st Test, Day 1: Aamer, Abbas’ early damage, Wahab’s stunner and other highlights West Indies, on the other hand, will aim to make it past 300, which will definitely give them a mental boost. Their tail-enders have done a commendable job. It is likely that Holder goes away for big shots immediately on Day Three. With nothing to lose for West Indies, any run that comes on the third morning will be welcome. When it comes to their bowling, Gabriel and Joseph will be hoping to exploit the rain-hit pitch. We have already seen Aamer and Abbas do a splendid job with the new ball. If they get a couple of wickets in the first session, they will certainly be back in the match. Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2: Mohammad Aamer shines with 5-for on a rain-hit day On the other hand, quick wickets will also bring Younis Khan (23 short of 10,000 Test runs) and Misbah (48 short of 5,000) coming in to bat in their final series. But having said this all, there is this maximum possibility of rain playing the perfect spoilsport on Day Three just the way it did yesterday. Brief scores: West Indies 278 for 9 (Roston Chase 63, Shane Dowrich 56, Jason Holder 55*; Mohammad Aamer 5 for 41, Yasir Shah 2 for 91) vs Pakistan.
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