Welcome to my world of blabbers ..

Monday, August 24, 2009


So it was a fairy tale finish for a well fought sereies . Winning crucial moments in the series enabled England to take away the Ashes . Take for the case the first test in Cardiff , if Monty Panesar and Anderson would not have held on , the series would have turned the Aussies way taking momentum from a victory in the first test .
Amid scenes of delirium unwitnessed in South London since the unforgettable summer of 2005, England's cricketers reclaimed the Ashes on a tumultuous fourth afternoon at The Oval, as Australia's brave resistance - led by a century of incredible mental fortitude from Michael Hussey - was unpicked, wicket by wicket, minute by minute, until, at 5.47pm, and with an expectant crowd willing on the moment of glory, Hussey prodded Graeme Swann to Alastair Cook at short leg to spark the celebrations into life.

At the moment of victory, all of England's players rushed into a huddle on the edge of the square - all except for one, that is. In his moment of Test retirement, Andrew Flintoff's first instinct was to seek out and console the crestfallen centurion Hussey, whose 121 from 263 balls had given his side a hope of salvation, but whose careless running between the wickets during a fraught afternoon session had been the single biggest factor in their demise. By calling for the single that led to the run-out of his captain and resistance-leader Ricky Ponting for 66, Hussey is unlikely to recall this particular innings with any fondness whatsoever.

Inevitably, it was Flintoff who stole the show from the Australians. He could not be the tub-thumping batsman of old in this series, while his bowling - though thunderous at Lord's - faded cruelly as the concerns about his right knee began to mount. But as a presence, and as a man who can make things happen on a cricket field, his spell has scarcely diminished. In a moment that is sure to be replayed for years on end, he gathered a firm clip from Hussey, steadied himself as Ponting hesitated fatally, then unleashed a fast, flat, unerring swing of the arm that plucked out the off stump with Ponting a foot short.

Though the decision went to a replay, Flintoff was in no doubt. He raised his arms in his now-habitual Kodak pose, and waited to be enveloped by his jubilant team-mates. It was a moment eerily reminiscent of Gary Pratt's series-turning shy at Trent Bridge in 2005, when Ponting once again was the fall guy, and it uncorked the tensions in the crowd as surely as the champagne was uncorked in England's dressing-room some three hours later. It brought to an end an unnerving stand of 127, and it shattered Australia's collective will.

Five balls later, their batsman of the series, Michael Clarke ran himself out for a duck after a clip off the pads ricocheted to Andrew Strauss at leg slip, and Australia could not recover their poise. Though Hussey was badly dropped by Paul Collingwood at slip on 55 off Swann, in Swann's next over, Marcus North dragged his back foot out of the crease as he swung at a big ripper, and Matt Prior, having gathered well high to his left, flicked off the bails almost as an afterthought. Their target of 546 had become a distant figment of their imagination, and at 236 for 5, their only remaining hope was to bat out the final four sessions of the series.

Brad Haddin chose pugnacity as the means to reboot Australia's innings, and he signalled his intent with two fours in his first nine balls, including a fizzing cover-drive as James Anderson overpitched. But Anderson might have dismissed him three times in a single over, including a regulation clip to short midwicket that was spilled by the substitute, Graham Onions. As he and Hussey took their seventh-wicket stand to 91, an ever-anxious crowd began to shuffle in their seats. On 34, however, his luck finally ran out, as he advanced down the track to Swann and picked out Strauss with a lofted flick to deep midwicket.

It was to be the game-breaking moment. Strauss, usually the coolest of characters in the field, celebrated euphorically as The Oval erupted once more, and seven balls later, the end truly was nigh. Steve Harmison - hitherto muted on a pitch that did not suit his style - extracted enough life for Mitchell Johnson to fence to second slip, where Collingwood, to his relief and joy, finally held on. Then, when Peter Siddle played around his front pad to lob a simple chance to mid-off, Harmison had his second scalp in the space of 12 balls.

That quickly became three in 13, as Stuart Clark fenced nervily to Cook at short leg, and though Hilfenhaus averted the hat-trick with a stabbed defence straight back down the track, there was no longer any way to stem England's tide of emotion. With Harmison stalking to the crease with a predatory menace unseen in Ashes cricket for four long years, the crowd finally dared to proclaim the Ashes were coming home. Fifteen balls later, they were.

Some six hours earlier, England's day of destiny had dawned with more than just a frisson of anxiety in the air, thanks to the ease with which Australia's openers had pushed along at four runs an over on the third evening of the match. But Swann soothed the nation by claiming the initial breakthrough at the end of his second over, tweaking a succession of sharply spinning offbreaks past Simon Katich's edge, before nailing him plumb lbw with the arm-ball.

Swann bounced for joy in the middle of the pitch as a massive roar of relief and ecstasy erupted from the stands, but almost immediately the fervour morphed into a respectful standing ovation for the incoming Ponting, in his 136th Test and almost certainly his last in England after four memorable Ashes tours.

Before he had faced a delivery, however, England had struck again, as Broad this time hurried Shane Watson on off stump and beat the inside-edge of his defensive prod. Watson did not seem best amused at the decision, but replays suggested there was nothing wrong with the appeal at all. For all of Watson's impressive form in five innings at the top of Australia's order, it was nevertheless the fourth time this series he had fallen in such a manner. Food for thought as he works on his new career as an opener.

At 90 for 2 and with a jittery Hussey at the crease, England swarmed onto the offensive, with Swann camping four men around the bat at all times and at one stage sending down 28 dot balls in a row as Hussey prodded and smothered with desperate determination. At the other end, Ponting's eagerness to play the pull was tempered by his wariness of the vagaries of the wicket, although whenever he was tempted, he executed the stroke with the mastery that has made it his calling-card for the past decade.

In the first over after lunch, Ponting laced a first-ball full-toss from Broad through the covers for four, then tickled Swann around the corner to bring up a battling and brilliant half-century from 76 deliveries. Broad subsequently received a warning for running on the pitch to deepen the crowd's growing concerns, who had just seen Collingwood at slip parry a rare Ponting edge with his left boot. But then up popped Flintoff, and once he'd had his say, there was no holding back the inevitable.

Monday, August 17, 2009


So taking a break away from cricket , i took up this challenge of attending the premier open quiz of the country . Yes it was fun and also knowledge gaining to the max . Got a score of 21 or 22 on 40 , very decent i believe as i attended an open quiz after a long time . Named my team THE SWINE BUSTERS , yes we were given protective face masks when entering the audi (THE MUSIC ACADEMY ...what a great place really ) but found that the people had forgotten about swine flu and the masks were dangling in their necks . The questions for the prelims are given as follows..........................................

1.1st two symbols in footnote of a book .- Asterisk and Obelisk (Star and Dagger)

2.What does M stand for in MLV and MR Radha – Madras

3.What does it take to find lost love – 4 options? which movie poster – Slumdog millionaire

4.(Logo shown FedEx)Between which two letters of the FedExlogo do we find the arrow – E and X

5.What are the three words that is most important in mountaineering uttered by George Mallory who was the 1st to climb the Everest – Because it is there

6.What does ‘s’ stand for in https – secure

7.Former employee of system research institute pune one who received Magsaysay award d for changing the way NGO worked and also one who has changed the corporate world – Deep joshi and Narayan murthy

8.Exactly 40 yrs ago, in New York Maya kulkarni a student in newyork was asked to replace and play tambura for a concert held in empire state building by 2 people. Who a re they? Pt Ravi Shankar and Allah Rakha

9.Which organization got its name because each member visits the other in their office in the group in turns? – Rotary club

10.What was the original person s face in the Apple computers logo – Newton

11.Who was listed in vogues 1st 10 beautiful women in 1960’s from India – Gayatri Devi and Leela Naidu.

12.What is a bunch of bananas called – a hand of bananas

13.Only fictional character whose death was announced in the newyork times in the year 1975? – Hercule poirot

14.After Nepal and Pakistan , the vulture population was reduced by 97% which was worrisome for a society of people in India – Parsis

15.In traditional Indian metal work , the shape of many vessels was based on the Sanskrit name for Leaf – Pathram

16.There is a board game which also has a quiz show in its name – Mastermind!

17.Which American writers boyhood home s the pic – the pic is tough ( would attach if I can) – Mark twain

18.Nagesh’s title character with Manorama a funny old tamil movie – Server Sundaram .

19.Where did this swine flu start from this yr 2009 – Mexico?

20.Which is the sweet made from wheat and ghee started by a Marwari family at tamaraparini , thirunelvi now running the company called Lakshmi vilas – Tirunelveli halwa

21.Spongebob - madam tussads museum ( some question related to that didn’t note that exactly)

22.Connect – Pepsi and capt vikram – Yeh dil maange more –Capt Vikram radioed his victory to the team yeh dil maange more after kargil victory

23.Hawk eyed technology is used in tennis, cricket and what ? - Snooker.

24.Who initiated the 1st Rathyatra during elections to reach out to people and was in Guinness book of world records -= NT Ramarao

25.Which is the max % of people stay in pak which has a capital – Quetta =- Baluchistan

26.In HG Well’s story The Martian war what did they die of ?– common cold – cold virus

27.French name for the tennis tournament as the French open is the golf – Roland Garros

28.Yensid Retlaw s from whose name – Walter Disney ( detailed question s not known)

29.Who gave away all the goodness earned by penance to Brahmins and all his knowledge to someone? in Mahabharata = Parasuram and Drona

30.What is the liquid bomb that Finns found during the WWII against Russia – Molotov cocktail

31The kannada poet whose statue is up in Chennai – sarvajna

32.Image of a some kind of temple which has the roof and light through the roof shown what is this , which also s the name of a road in Chennai – pantheon

33.Barbie – Katrina kaif ( image)

34.Who is the person who has been in all the movies like spider man etc in cameo – stan lee , editor of marvel comics(video)

35.The inauguration of this location – The atlantis hotel at Palm Jamera , Dubai- was visible from space ( video of the inauguration shown)

36.Michael jacksons fav song 1936 composed by ? Charlie chaplin (song played)

37.Vikram ‘s song – Mambo mami – Kandasamy (song played)

38.DK Pattammal song – Jana gana mana. ( song played)

39.What is that element discovered in the spectrum at Guntur – Helium

40.Which place did gandhiji visit and change his style to the peasants style of dressing with just dhoti and no hair which even Rajaji tried to persuade to change – Madurai

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So a Tame Draw at Edgbaston...

So it finished out to be a tame draw finally in a rain curtailed third test at Edgbaston . It was not again a walk in the park for the aussies , they were made to work for a draw . Michael clarke inspirational 106* and the much improving North unfortunately 96 , denied England a chance to chase . So one can blame the rain gods for playing spoilsport in such a wonderful encounter . The entire fourth day's play was lost . So talking about momentum Aussies have a few positives to carry into Headingley , Australia will take tremendous confidence from their second-innings batting performance, in which three batsmen passed 50 and one, Michael Clarke, a stoic century in his 50th Test to limit England to just five wickets from 112 overs. Shane Watson's returns of 62 and 53 in his first Test as opener will prove particularly encouraging as will the final-day efforts of Michael Hussey (64) and Marcus North (96), both of whom were in need of a confidence boost.
The hosts will also be satisfied by the manner in which they covered for Kevin Pietersen, but Andrew Flintoff is looming as a major concern. The England allrounder, who is understood to have had two further pain-killing injections to his troublesome right knee prior to this match, fell awkwardly on his left ankle when delivering the final ball of his 13th over. Flintoff required the better part of 30 seconds to climb back to his feet and appeared in significant discomfort, but managed to bowl two more overs in the session. His condition will be monitored with only three days between the third and fourth Tests. The latest is that Flintoff will be doubtful for the next test . This will come as a big blow to England.
Unlike the draw in Cardiff, where every ball of the final session was an angst-ridden affair, the Edgbaston Test concluded in anti-climax with part-timers Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara in operation and Australia's batsmen scoring at will. Clarke was fortunate to have survived a Stuart Broad delivery that clipped the bail and a subsequent catch off a Bopara no-ball, but eventually raised his 12th career ton with a pull to the boundary and look to the dressing rooms, whereupon he was summoned in by Ricky Ponting. Fortunate it might sound for Clarke, but he deserves the luck to move forward .
I was not able to follow this entire match on television , when i did follow the text commentary in Cricinfo , i saw a nice comment from a BBC commentator " England needs a bowler to take 6 wickets from 6 balls " sounds crazy , but the resolve showed by the Australian pair of clarke and north was brilliant .
So with two tests to play , the excitement mounts. The Fourth test promises a lot and may well decide the series . Waiting eagerly for the fourth test and eager to see a fully fit Andrew Flintoff.