Posted by: nestaquin | October 15, 2009

Champions League 2009: The Vanquished

fidel edwardsAs we enter the next phase of the inaugural Champions League four teams are packing their bags and heading home and below is a summary of their misfortunes.

OTAGO

Outclassed in both matches and far too reliant on the world’s most over-rated cricketer Brendan McCullum. Their fielding was of a high standard but having to chase big totals in both games proved too difficult. The bowling lacked penetration and was wayward when under pressure and if they get an opportunity to return next tournament they’ll need to improve ten-fold to have any chance.

SUSSEX

Smashed by NSW and then lost their way in the crunch match against the Eagles from Bloemfontein. Their highest individual score in the tournament was 25 by Joe Gatting batting at seven and their fielding especially around the boundary was abysmal. Their bowling was serviceable with Yassir Arafat and Dwayne Smith very good but with scores of 95 and 119 their failure to build even one partnership over 30 was the main reason they are heading home winless.

DECCAN

Chock full of a cashed-up and in most cases washed-up internationals the team representing Hyderabad were woeful. They lost two matches they had in the bag through sloppy unprofessional cricket. Beamers, no-balls, wides, ridiculous slogging, dropped sitters, you name it, they made every cricketing error imaginable interspersed with all too brief moments of brilliance.

WAYAMBA

The champions of Sri Lanka never stood a chance after Sehwag, Karthick, Nannes and McGrath took then to the cleaners in their first outing. They bounced back with a consolation victory when they defeated Victoria but never scored enough to put any pressure on the Vics who only needed 80 odd to qualify. Never scored beyond six an over in the tournament yet they were the best of the vanquished by a long way and could have gone further if their draw would have been more favourable.

Of the eight going through to the next round NSW, Cape Cobras, Trinidad and Victoria already have a win and two points under their belt and with only two matches to play before the semi-finals and barring a catastrophic loss just one more win should see them through.

GROUP A

NSW 2 points play Trinidad and Somerset
Trinidad 2 points play NSW and Eagles
Somerset 0 points play NSW and Eagles
Eagles 0 points play Somerset and Trinidad

GROUP B

Cape Cobras 2 points play Victoria and Delhi
Victoria 2 points play Cobras and Bangalore
Delhi 0 points play Bangalore and Cobras
Bangalore 0 points play Victoria and Delhi

Some tasty fixtures to come especially in Group B while NSW look overwhelming favourites to progress in Group A.

What do you reckon?

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Responses

  1. It was such a disappointment to see the Chargers mess it up in both the matches.

    As for the rest, I will stick to NSW being the favorites, but I think Delhi has a good chance to being the other finalist.

    Two among the three- NSW, Delhi and Cobras will contest the finals.

  2. The NSW v. T&T is very, very tasty. Will be interesting to see how the free swinging T&T openers take to the likes of Lee & Clark.

    Don’t discount Victoria too in Group B. They’ve been the most consistent T20 side in Australia since they started playing the game down here.

  3. Handy round-up of a tournament that I’m finding hard to follow, due to work rather than its format.

  4. For the third game running a different bowler stands up to be conted for Victoria. 4-21 off 4 for McDonald. Well I never!

    Let just hope the batting isn’t as boring as last time.

  5. Come on Big V – 35 from 51 with 9 wickets in hand! Time to keep calm and bring it home.

    • Oh crap!

  6. Bear seems to be such a calm presence at the moment.

    If only someone at Cricket Australia could teach him keep his shoulders still during interviews!

    Well played boys!

    I think the carrying points into stage two part will be dropped for the next time they run this event!

    • Terribly sad news coming through regarding Trescothick and his stress illness recurring.

  7. Very awful,. jim.. setbacks like those are very hard to overcome, a long haul in front of Trescothick, there.

    Super game , I love to see Anil Kumble get done like a dogs dinner, and while I am sorry for Steyn and Boucher, and Ross Taylor, .. them’s the breaks. The Vics played an extraordinary game of tactics, skill , PLANNING and determination. Loved it.

  8. 21 extras for Bangalore.. hard to compete with baggage like that. Steyn bowled with all the skill of my cockatoo, Nigel, attempting to type, it was painful to watch, and I hope I dont ever see it again, really. Terrible, terrible.

  9. They reckon Trescothick will be captain of Somerset next year. Surely, this is a tragedy best avoided. If touring in 5 star luxury is tough then captaining a First Class team could possibly send him right over the precipice.

    Hopefully common sense will prevail.

    • But he doesn’t have problems travelling around in England. He will be fine captaining Somerset, he always looks very happy whenever I see them playing on Sky.

      • Last night I actually heard it reported as separation anxiety instead of the usual “stress related illness” every other outlet calls it. I’ve no idea if that is what his condition is, or if they were jumping to conclusions, but it would explain why it’s not a problem at home.

  10. that’s goodbye to Somerset, luck can only take one so far, then skill must kick in, and it didn’t for Somerset at any stage of that game. Bad Luck , Justin.

    The next match, T and T v NSW Speedblitz Blues has all the capacity to make me dive behind the couch for many long minutes, I suspect. I have fortified myself with a handful of liqorice allsorts in the faint hope and an unquenchable belief that Simon Katich can do what seems impossible, really, T and T are that good and that fast, and that skilled.

  11. If T and T had got their batting discipline up to speed they would have knocked this tournament on it’s backside.. but.. good bowling from the Blues and truly awful running and calling stuff from the T and T’s has nearly done them in.

    They are not going down without a tremendous struggle, though. No giving in for the Tata’s..

  12. of course, simply gorgeous batting from Warner and Hughes and Henriques set the stage.. they were damn near perfection at the crease. And great running between the wickets, too.

  13. … this big boy, Pollard for the T and T’s could take this game to a nervewracking ending.. he is just sixing it again and again..

    behind the couch time.

    • Not even close to nervewracking! :-)

  14. Tresco will be all right in England. I’m not that sympathetic about his going to India – it seems clear that overseas travel has always triggered his condition and he should have followed that advice to be fair to his family, friends and doctors.

    Anyway – that seems a truly extraordinary innings from Pollard. What a sight that must have been. I didn’t see Hughes and Warner, but they must have played well on a wicket better suited to the one they played on at the weekend or they’ve developed a wide range of shots very quickly!

  15. Whirlwind knock from KP of T&T.

    The last 11 deliveries he faced had 5 sixes, 4 fours, a single and a dot for 47 runs. 42 of those off the hapless Henriques

  16. Pollard is a monster. He doesn’t come off that often, but when he does…

    Brett Lee is probably just glad that it was Moises bowling instead of him. He doesn’t need any more nightmare material from West Indies batsmen.

  17. all the talk is about Pollard and he deserves all the praise. What an innings. Australian team were blown away by windies in the same fashion in T20 WC and Pollard did something better. I would also like to highlight innings of Darren Bravo. T&T seem to have unearthed a player who gives pleasant memories of Lara and the disdain with which he played Hauritz sure brought back memories of Lara Playing spinners.
    I see 4-5 players from this team who can straightaway join the windies outfit.

  18. oh, Mr Bling, Mr Bling.. Kieron has the largest diamond earrings in the tournament, and thats not all that’s large about him.. what a fabulous innings he had. Me and the dog couldn’t look!.

    No one can defeat this T and T team.. if the Blues can’t , no one can. Not even the Bushrangers, who are laying out some terrific stuff..

    Keiron, Keiron, how marvellous it will be to see the WI team in AU this summer, I can hardly wait.

  19. VIc Bushrangers and the Cape blokes tonight, I am switching to barley sugar, as liquorice Allsorts didn’t do the trick against the T and T..

    hardfought match, I suspect, is the most likely probablility, The Bushies are playing with extraordinary cunning, and the Capers , too, and they have Duminy. Duminy , of whom I have an immovable admiration for, he can do what Pollard does at half the size. ..

    I agree with you about Trescothick, Toot. god alone knows what persuasion he was subjected to, mismanagement on a grand scale. It’s a bit worrying that 3 cricketers in succession seem to have been buggered about medically, Kev with his unhealed Achilles, Flintoff with his thrombosis, and Trescothick with some really bad advice.

    I wouldnt want to be ill in England!!. :)

  20. Totally outplayed by the Cobra’s but I was surprised by two things today.
    The first was that Bear batted after winning the toss, seeing as the team had no warm up to speak of, I thought it was odd and the poor start was to be expected.
    The second was that the Cobra’s didn’t try to get their run rate closer or ahead of Vic’s. I guess they back themselves to beat Delhi, so that it is of no consequence.

  21. Understandably, there was mass confusion at the start but I think that both Victoria and the Cape are through after Delhi’s loss to Bangalore last night.

    NSW have to beat Somerset tonight to make sure they are through with Trinidad, however, the Eagles are still a chance if Somerset win and they beat Trinidad handsomely.

    Saying that the likely match-ups in the semis will not be decided until The Cape take on Delhi Monday night.

    If I was to speculate I’d say the semis will be Trinidad v Victoria and Cape Cobras v NSW.

    • Agree with your speculation about the semis lineup, Nesta. These four teams are also, by some distance, the better teams in the cup.

      I had tickets for the T&T Vs NSW match, but could not go as the Mrs. delivered a baby boy two nights back and I was needed at home. I told my father-in-law that T&T had no chance when they needed 92 off 52 or some thing like that.So glad to be proved wrong ! And my friends were lucky to be around when one of the Pollard biggies landed near them.

      Every body and their little brother seems to bat well at Uppal, Hyderabad, except the DC batsmen.We want a new stadium built !!!

      • Perhaps a new team would be cheaper than a new stadium!

  22. Kumar – Congrats!

    • Thanks, Toots :)

      Nesta,

      I can’t be unhappy with the team that won us the IPL last time.They were rusty in the CLT20 and it showed in the key moments of both the matches they lost narrowly. But 8 consecutive losses on the home ground must be a record :)

  23. T and T look useful here.

  24. This guy looks quite quick : http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/video/2009/oct/19/usain-bolt-cricket

    • Japal,

      Great link! quick in more ways than one.

      Incidentally, Japal pronounced jaapaal is Kannada slang for a Mickey Finn – The diarrhea producing kind :)

  25. Hopefully the Cobra’s can win today.
    As I see it, the main point of this is for the teams to experience playing teams from other regions/nations. I’d much rather the two Oz teams were kept apart. T&T v Vic and CC v NSW sounds much more enticing than Vic v NSW and T&T v CC even if it does mean no Oz team in the final.

    • Well that’s a pity. I was hoping to have the Vic’s up in Hyderabad in a game full of sixes, but alas it’s back to the daily grind against the blues.

  26. Tonights game will be a very good game, I believe.. Vic or NSW can vanquish the best on their good days, and both teams have a lot of history between them.

    There’ll be no surprises from either to the other, as well, both are very familiar with each other, and know each others quirks and habits and intentions like the backs of their own hands.

    My dog Mango is all skippied up in the VIc stuff and I am in a sweet powder blue, rather like Goerings Luftwaffe formal uniform, and after a short kip I’ll BE THERE.

  27. Oh joy! Sheer unutterable joy! The standard cricticsm goes that they give you a baggy green when you get selected to play for New South Wales. But we can’t help it if we’re so good. Enough one-eyed boasting. T&T will be a real challenge should they (deservedly) make the final.

  28. Too bloody true, Peter… I was surprised at Cam’s Mob not doing better, but those cunning Victorians…those wheeler dealers, those grifters, those backyard bookies, I am sure they came to some ‘ arrangement’ with the Blues. And Nsw being Nsw would have been right up with it. Everyone looked a tad too happy, I thought.

    he he

  29. Ouch. That was some caining!
    Seems they couldn’t pull it back with the ball like they did against Bangalore and struggled with the bat like they did against Wayamba. The batting in the Wayamba game was tough to watch, so glad I didn’t get to see this one. Couldn’t bring myself to watch the highlights.

    1 toss out of 5 is poor – as bad as Punter’s current ODI record.

    So the Big V leave as semi finalists, but with only a 2-3 series. As is the way with cricket, they won the two games I thought they would struggle with and lost the 3 I thought they would win. Glad I don’t bet!

  30. What has happened to Cam White’s batting? He used to be a sure-fire wallop merchant but he has looked like… sucks in breath in horror… Michael Clarke in this tournament.

    Nudge and get down the other end.

    Ick.

  31. One can’t have too much joy. Good Ole Simon Katich. Well done. I spent a fair bit of time during that match with my head buried in a cushion, so terrible and scary to watch, a fabulous game , with an unexpected and entirely deserved outcome overall, I reckon!!.. but then again, I would, wouldn’t I .

    And on to India and the ODI’s..

  32. Very Nice, Punter.. AU wins by 4 runs.. it was a close fought game, but India left it just a bit too late to make a run for it in the end. Excellent fielding by AU

    ok. 1 down, 6 to go.

  33. Pepp, they can finish with the pie-chucking any time they want. I’m over it.

  34. Hi there. Please comment on my Pakistani cricket blog and I should do the same on yours.

  35. I can understand the silence on this blog w.r.t. the ODI series between India and Australia.

    But I just want to tell you all, how blessed I feel as a Hyderabadi for having watched Sachin’s kncok last night.Sure, India lost a match they should’ve won after coming so close, and the Aussies held their nerve in the final moments. But I am sure this series will be remembered in years to come only because of Sachin’s innings yesterday.

    I must also add a word about Ponting – he was the best Aussie fielder yesterday.How do these guys – Sachin, Sanath and Ponting maintain the intensity and commitment after so many years? Amazing…true champions all.

  36. Kumar – true. Credits to the game.

  37. Kumar, I was happy to see Aus win, and thought they deserved it. But I watched Tendulkar’s innings a couple of times on the highlights. I have really enjoyed watching Ponting bat – and field – lately, but Sachin’s performance was something else.


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