AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • It wasn't bad bowling from Stokes, just really good hitting from Brathwaite

    And why the third six was the best of the four.

    Carlos Brathwaite stunned the cricket world with four booming sixes that sealed the West Indies' second World Twenty20 title at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

    England entrusted Ben Stokes with the job of defending 19 runs in the final over of the title clash. Stokes had done a good job of bowling yorkers in the preceding games, and the odds of the Windies pulling this off were poor.

    BAD BOWLING? HARDLY...

    Stokes set a leg-side field and tried to fire balls into Brathwaite's pads. The powerfully-built 27-year-old batsman did a great job of getting under all those balls and clubbing them with fearsome force.

    Looking at the replay, it wasn't all bad bowling from Stokes -- just really, really good hitting. Here's why.

    SIX # 1

    The first ball was angled into Brathwaite's pads -- perhaps the worst of Stokes' four balls of the over. The Barbadian swung powerfully to the leg-side and the ball comfortably cleared the long-leg fielder.

    SIX # 2

    The second ball was a yorker. It may seem that Stokes

    Read More »from It wasn't bad bowling from Stokes, just really good hitting from Brathwaite
  • The over of the year

    For a brief bit before India walloped Pakistan, Mohammad Amir created magic.

    Rahane looks on in disbelief as Amir celebrates his second wicket of the opening over of the chase. Rahane looks on in disbelief as Amir celebrates his second wicket of the opening over of the chase.

    The first ball was fast and full.

    If you have never seen Wasim Akram bowl, this delivery would serve nicely as a taste of Wasim’s viciousness. Mid-air, what happened to the ball wasn’t a change in trajectory. The magical curve towards the off-stump and the rapid dip were what Mohammad Amir had always intended as the ball’s destiny.

    Rohit Sharma probably sees things in slow motion. He was on to Amir’s deception. But even he was slow on this ball as it speared into his toes. Rohit jabbed his bat down in a hurry but failed to connect. A most confident appeal for LBW from Amir followed. But it failed to sway umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge.

    Amir was at his wit’s ends. Shahid Afridi got in Palliyaguruge’s face. What was the ball missing, Afridi wanted to know. Nothing, the replay showed. Maybe Rohit’s front-foot was a moonbeam outside the line. A lucky escape.

    In 2010, Wasim – possibly the greatest exponent of left arm bowling, and the man we keep comparing Amir to – commented that even he

    Read More »from The over of the year
  • Everything You Need To Know About Pranav Dhanawade’s World Record

    The Mumbai schoolboy has become the first cricketer to score 1000 runs in a match, shattering the earlier record set in 1899.

    Who is Pranav Dhanawade?

    Pranav is a 15-year-old school cricketer who plays for KC Gandhi English High School, Kalyan, near Mumbai. He is the son of an auto-rickshaw driver.

    What did he do?

    Pranav scored 1009 runs not out against Arya Gurukul, Kalyan, in a school match during the U-16 HT Bhandari Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament. This is the highest individual score at any competitive level of the game. Only one other person has scored a sextuple century—Arthur Collins. We will discuss his record below.  (Here's the scorecard from the match.)

    What happened in this match?

    On Day 1 of this game, Arya Gurukul were bowled out for just 31 in 20 overs. In response, Gandhi English High raced to 956-1 by the end of the day. Pranav, with 78 fours and 30 sixes, had moved to a world record 652 not out. His team-mates Akash Singh (173) and Siddhesh Patil (100) also cashed in.

    What happened on Day 2?

    Pranav continued batting at an astonishing pace, becoming the first cricketer ever to score a

    Read More »from Everything You Need To Know About Pranav Dhanawade’s World Record
  • Ashwin Had AB de Villiers For Breakfast This Morning

    The world's best batsman had no clue how to counter the India off-spinner.

    The foundation of AB de Villiers’ brilliant stroke-play is the precision of his movements: limbs, eyes and willow moving harmoniously to set up the perfect platform that launches ball after ball into the orbit.

    Today, however, AB was all arms and legs against Ravichandran Ashwin.

    AB was struggling to read the off-spinner, coming down one ball, playing back on another. Ashwin was getting acute turn and getting the ball to drop out of AB’s reach.

    In the 24th over, Ashwin got an offie to rip past batsman and keeper for four byes. This played on AB's mind and forced him to rethink his tactics.

    Next ball, he tried to sweep Ashwin and missed.

    Then, he charged down the pitch and barely managed to pad the ball out of the reach of the close-in fielders.

    The next ball, AB played back and completely misread the carom ball, probably expecting the delivery to turn a bit.

    The ball straightened to trap him in front of middle stump for what may be the easiest LBW ever given.

    Watch what happened:

     

     

    Read More »from Ashwin Had AB de Villiers For Breakfast This Morning
  • Top moments from the final

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

  • Brendon McCullum has a message for Indian cricket fans

    New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is up for the biggest game of his life when he takes on Michael Clarke's Australia in the final of the ICC World Cup at the MCG on Sunday.

    He's banking on the support of fans in India.

    Here's what he says.

  • The Most Amazing Thing About Elliott’s Six

    It may have been a tribute to AB de Villiers.

    I’ve replayed the video clip of Grant Elliott’s match-winning six over and over, and I can’t get over how incredible that shot was. (Here's the clip.)

    Dale Steyn served him a length ball, albeit a fast one, cutting away. I couldn’t see the field setting for the delivery. But the line (and Elliott's shot) suggested there may have been three men back on the off-side, leaving just one guy manning the on-side.

    It was stupendous for Elliott to fetch it from outside the off-stump, swing it across the line and send it so far back wide of long-on. To do it all under immense pressure, and against the world’s best pace bowler, makes it even more unbelievable.

    But that’s not the only reason why the shot was great. In the clip, look how Elliott sets himself up: he shuffles his back-foot deep into the crease, clears his left leg and opens up the whole arc between midwicket and long-on.

    Which is exactly how AB de Villiers sets himself up during the slog overs. And you'll see AB playing this shot

    Read More »from The Most Amazing Thing About Elliott’s Six
  • It’s The Bloody Rain Rule Again

    Here's the aspect of the Duckworth & Lewis Method that cost South Africa today's semifinal.

    The missed run-outs, the dropped catch, New Zealand’s miscues that landed in vacant regions... all these little things added up and led to South Africa’s spectacular exit from the World Cup today. Messrs Duckworth and Lewis played their part, too.

    South Africa had positioned themselves brilliantly for a final assault against New Zealand today. They had scored 15, 5 and 12 runs off the first three overs of the batting Powerplay when rain halted play.

    When play resumed, the innings was shortened to 43 overs with no further Powerplay overs. And there lay exposed the inherent unfairness of the D/L laws regarding Powerplay.

    I quote from a list of FAQs on the rain-rule:

    17. Does the D/L method take account of the various rules on fielding restrictions, eg PowerPlay overs?

    If any allowance were made for the different scoring abilities for overs with fielding restrictions, then the identities of the different types of overs would have to be input into the target calculation, and this would be

    Read More »from It’s The Bloody Rain Rule Again
  • Dear Bangladesh Cricket Fans...

     

    Dear Bangladesh fans,

    I heard you guys are very, very upset about Rohit Sharma being given not out during yesterday's quarterfinal.

     

     

    You're even having a go at Shikhar Dhawan when there's no evidence yet for his catch being illegal.

     

     

    Some of you are rationalising the situation with misguided understanding of cricket's laws.

     

     

    You're sometimes blaming the umpire...

     

     

     ...

    Read More »from Dear Bangladesh Cricket Fans...
  • Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream

    A pumped-up Steyn’s animated celebration lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    The momentThe moment

    One often wants to get a sense of what great players are feeling ahead of a big game like the one today between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

    Are they pumped up, ready to give their best? Or are they nervous, full of doubt, setting themselves up for failure? Their thoughts manifest themselves in different ways and rub off on other players.

    During the 1999 Birmingham semi-final, Australia’s morale was sagging. Then came Shane Warne’s impassioned shouts of ‘Come on!’ Like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, they famously revived Australia.

    Conversely, look at what Jacques Kallis’ dismissal did to South Africa in the 2011 quarterfinal. The tournament favourites were cruising when Kallis was brilliantly caught in the deep. The wicket spooked the team and led to another one of their famed respiratory attacks.

    Power level: 1,000,000.Power level: 1,000,000.Which is why it was refreshing to see Dale Steyn’s pressing urgency to set South Africa’s record right. He was ready. He was pumped up. If he were in the army, you’d give him his rifle

    Read More »from Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream

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