Posts Tagged ‘muralitharan’

World Cup 2011 Hat-Tricks And Batting Feats

There have been only seven instances of a bowler taking a World Cup hat-trick, but two of those came within 24 hours of each other when quick men Kemar Roach and Lasith Malinga both achieved the feat in Delhi and Colombo respectively.

West Indian Roach took six for 27, ending his side’s game against the Netherlands with three in three while Sri Lankan Malinga then returned six for 38 to hustle out Kenya’s lower order with a series of deliveries that would have tested any batting line-up, let alone the beleaguered African side’s.

Remarkably, Malinga’s feat means he has now taken two World Cup hat-tricks – prior to Roach he was the previous man to take a hat-trick when he memorably knocked over four South Africans in four balls in Guyana in 2007. On that occasion, just as against Kenya, the hat-trick was spread over separate overs but unlike in Colombo, Sri Lanka still couldn’t quite force victory in Guyana with Robin Peterson hitting the winning runs.

In his joy at getting South Africa out of a tight spot, his celebrations included him hitting the stumps with his bat, an action repeated by Tim Bresnan – but for different reasons after he was dismissed – for England against India. He had bowled beautifully earlier in the day, taking the tournament’s second five-wicket haul (Shahid Afridi having managed the first).

He then slipped from second to fourth on the list of best bowling analyses with Roach and Malinga cottoning on to the blueprint of how to bowl fast and take wickets on unresponsive, slow subcontinental wickets. They bowled straight and full and got stunning rewards and it will be fascinating to see whether other bowlers will now follow suit.

The likes of James Anderson and Dale Steyn, who traditionally rely on movement through the air and off the pitch, for example, will have to mix things up and change their lengths if they are to succeed.

And one final point – Jonathan Trott has just equalled the record of Kevin Pietersen and Sir Vivian Richards in needing just 21 innings to reach 1000 One-Day International runs. His international record is outstanding and, just like Michael Hussey, Graeme Swann and Andy McKay, he is further proof that sometimes, taking your international bow once you know your own game inside out is the best way to go.

There will always be exceptions to that particular ‘rule’ – Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Clarke and Steven Finn to name just three – but like everything in cricket, it’s about finding the right balance.

Muralitharan Signing Gives Gloucestershire Hope

Legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has signed a two-year deal to play Twenty20 cricket for Gloucestershire in 2011 and 2012.

Fresh from helping one new team – Kochi – launch their IPL career, Murali is set to join his third county as they bid to put behind them a poor 2010 season.

Having lost the services of William Porterfield, Anthony Ireland, Gemaal Hussain and Steve Kirby over the winter, the recent news that captain Alex Gidman has signed a new contract and now the high-profile signing of Muralitharan has given the Bristol-based team a huge boost.

The club hasn’t won a top-flight competition since 2004. Could 2011 be the year that they get back to winning ways?

In 2007, they reached the final of the Twenty20 Cup and they will be hoping that Muralitharan – a man who has won both the IPL and the Champions League, not to mention the World Cup – can produce some of his magic in the two years he is with them.

He has an outstanding T20 record, conceding just 6.16 runs per over, which in the shortest format of the game where batsmen often dominate, is nothing short of world-class.

He may be retiring from international cricket following the 2011 World Cup, but Gloucestershire supporters will hope he can add his name to the long and illustrious list of stars to have played for their club. Even for Murali, living up to the feats of the likes of Mike Proctor, Zaheer Abbas, Courtney Walsh, not to mention W.G Grace and Wally Hammond, will be a tall order, however.