Arjun Raja is a NRIOL featured sports columnist. To read about Arjun Raja, please Know more.
South Africa began their pursuit of a second title at Sharjah in the best possible manner, with a resounding ten wickets victory against India in the first match of the Coca-Cola Trophy-2000.
Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly chose to bat first on winning the toss but was badly let down by his batsmen. Even he played a very poor shot after making 27 quick runs, and the trend followed.
It should be a matter of concern to the Indians that they are unable to acclimatise to foreign conditions quick enough and usually start an away series or tournament on a losing note.
The Cricket Board, the sooner the better, must solve this problem.
Maybe the answer lies in better preparation before a foreign trip, a few warm-up games, etc.
Coming back to the game, Tendulkar was dismissed early, bowled by Pollock through a gap between bat and pad- a kind of dismissal which has haunted him throughout the winter. I am certain that he is working on this slight defect in his otherwise fool proof defence.
Saurav soon followed Sachin back into the shade of the pavilion and after that it was pure disaster....
The Indian batsmen were literally tripping over each other on the way back to the pavilion! At the end of the 27th over, India were 102 for 9 wickets with Jadeja having hung on and only Srinath to follow.
Both of them batted extremely well, pushing the singles and hitting the odd boundary or two and slowly but steadily the partnership totalled 62 before Srinath was dismissed.
The outstanding bowlers among the South Africans was Elworthy with 3 for 17 followed by Ntini who bowled extremely well considering it was his first international game in 18 months. He had figures of 3 for 36.
A gritty performance by both Srinath and Jadeja enabled India to post a score of 164, well below par on a good wicket at Sharjah. Their last wicket partnership of 62 was a new Indian record.
The South African reply was brilliant while the Indian bowling was pathetic, especially the quicks. They bowled on both sides of the pitch making captaincy a difficult job to say the least.
Gibbs and Kirsten were supremely confident and focussed and gave the Indians no hope of making a match of it. A truly one-sided affair ended with SA reaching 168 for no loss in just 29.2 overs.
Gibbs scored 87 n.o. and Kirsten 71 n.o. to complete a sound thrashing .
India 164 all out in 45.2 overs
Ajay Jadeja 43, Srinath 30.
Elworthy 3 for 17, Ntini 3 for 36.
South Africa 168 for no loss.
Gibbs 87 n.o. Kirsten 71 n.o.
SA won by 10 wickets Read more
- Arjun Raja in Dubai, UAE
March 25, 2000
The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.For a listing of past columns by Arjun Raja, please Know more.