Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chris Gayle shares six-hitting secrets

World T20: Chris Gayle shares six-hitting secrets on his birthday 

 Colombo: Hard-hitting West Indies opener Chris Gayle celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday by telling batsmen how to hit sixes during the ongoing World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

"It takes a bit of strength and once the ball is in your slot you go for it," Gayle said ahead of the West Indies' first match against Australia in Colombo on Saturday.

"It's instinct to be honest. You have to let the mind and body flow together. You don't want to get stuck in a two-minded situation.

"You just try and be natural out there and things will actually flow for you in the end," Gayle was quoted as saying by the West Indies Cricket Board in a statement.

Left-handed Gayle, whose 27 sixes are a tournament record in the World Twenty20, is one of the most feared batsmen in all formats of the game with a penchant for big hits against both pace and spin. His rapid-fire 117 off 57 balls with 10 sixes and seven fours against South Africa in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 remains the highest individual score in the competition.

"The key is balance. You have to have good balance to be able to hit a lot of sixes," said the Jamaican, who also has two triple-centuries in Test cricket to his credit.

"I pay special emphasis to my balance. You have to realise that bowlers are not always going to make it easy for you. You have to create the shots, so you have to make sure you do it well."

Gayle said he looked forward to playing against Australia, who thrashed Ireland by seven wickets in their first game on Wednesday. "The first game is vital," he said.

"You don't want to play catch-up cricket in T20, so it's a very big match for us. It will also get our confidence going.

"In our team we bat right down, and bowling-wise we have spinners and fast bowlers. The key for us is to get to the second round and try and take it step by step."

The West Indies, one of the pre-tournament favourites, play Ireland on Monday.

IND VS ENG T20 :India, England in battle for supremacy on super sunday

World T20: India, England in battle for supremacy 

India will have to play their best cricket to beat defending champions England in their ICC World T20 Group A match at the Premadasa in Colombo on Sunday night.

It’s the biggest match-up of the 12-team tournament so far. Both teams have qualified for the super-eight stage and though this fact takes a bit of pressure off them, the game is a battle for supremacy. Whoever comes out on top will lead Group A.

Ahead of the contest, it’s India that look in crisis. Their 23-run win against Afghanistan was far from convincing, a fact admitted by captain MS Dhoni himself. Bowling is actually Dhoni’s gravest concern. The Indian bowlers don’t look equal to the task and the biggest worry is Zaheer Khan who seems to have lost all he is known to possess. It difficult to imagine that he conceded 32 run in three overs against the Afghan batsmen still in their salad days. India need him to fire on Sunday if they are to get the better of Stuart Broad’s men.

India’s batting looks in relatively decent shape with Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Dhoni looking in solid nick. However, there is a slight concern with the openers. Virender Sehwag and Gautam have been a bit out of form of late, and they need to get it right against England. A good start can do wonders to the team.

England, on the other hand, were mighty convincing during their 116-run win against Afghanistan the other night. The way Luke Wright - until a few weeks ago not even starter in this side - batted for his unbeaten 99 showed that he seems to finally have come of age as an international cricketer. He has long been tipped as a T20 specialist but it’s only recently that he has started living up to that reputation. England also have some really exciting youngsters in Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow who have been tipped as the next big things in English cricket.

England’s batting is nowhere near as experienced as India’s but it has enough firepower to give India a good run for their money. What gives England the upper hand is their world-class bowling. Steve Finn, Jade Dernbach, Graeme Swann and Broad himself seem to be a cut above Zaheer and company. Then they have allrounders like Wright and Samit Patel to send down a few useful overs.

The match also revives the great rivalry between Yuvraj and Broad. Remember, it was Yuvraj who hit the England bowler for six consecutive sixes in an over in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. Broad has since matured into a world class bowler, while Yuvraj has recently come back from cancer. It can’t be said he is the same player he was five years ago, still old rivalries can sometimes bring out the best in you. Yuvraj’s fans would hope that that happens.

As far as head-to-head is concerned, England enjoy a handsome lead. In four ties so far, they have lost to India just once - also winning the last three encounters.

Probable XIs:

India: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 R Ashwin, 11 L Balaji

England: 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jos Buttler, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

SRI VS SA T20 Worldcup Highlights : South Africa Trash Srilanka in rain reduced match

World T20: De Villiers leads South Africa to win over Sri Lanka 

 Hambantota: South Africa captain AB de Villiers hit a breezy 30 and his seamers pinned down Sri Lanka batsmen in a comfortable 32-run win over the hosts in a rain-shortened World Twenty20 match on Saturday.

De Villiers faced 13 balls and led from the front with a four and two sixes in South Africa's healthy 78 for 4 after rain reduced the last Group C match to seven overs per side. Dale Steyn (2 for 10) bowled well upfront as the hosts finished at 46 for 5.

 The result did not affect both the teams from advancing to the Super Eights after both recorded victories over Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka defeated the African team by 82 runs while South Africa won by 10 wickets.

Sri Lanka will be placed in Group 1 of the Super Eights while South Africa will be in Group 2.