Australia v/s Scotland

The second day of the 2007 World Cup was the day of the Aussies. With their recent defeat to the Kiwis, they were to regain the lost spirit in the starting match of the grand tournament. And they did it. Australia won the match against Scotland by 203 runs. Ricky Ponting whose bat showered an awesome 113 runs was selected as the Man of the Match.

The day started with Scotland winning the toss and opting for bowling. It was a favorable field for the Aussies. It all started with the commanding Gilchrist who managed to reach the 46 run point till he was declared lbw at 16.6 overs. Another powerful wicket was that of Hayden who contributed 60 runs from 73 balls with six 4’s and one 6.

Ricky Ponting was in full form, scored the first century in the world cup and set a mark in the field against the Scotland team. He scored the wonderful 113 off 93 balls, not allowing three of the team members, Bracken, Tait and McGrath, to come forward for batting in their first match in the 2007 world cup. It was an easy game for the Aussies though the cloudy atmosphere tended to be a little hostile. The black clouds did not affect the enthusiasm of the Aussies, and they finished the 50 overs with an easy grip of 334 for 6.

The important wicket of the Aussies were two lbw’s of Gilchrist and Hayden in the 17 th over and the 27th over respectively. Another important wicket was of Ricky Ponting. Ponting was bowled out by Wright in the 46 th over. A wonderful job by Wright! The Scotland bowlers Hoffmann and Haq also proved to be worth of their effort in the bowling field.

The Scot team started batting with a tough target of 335, opened with Watts and Haq. Haq sacrificed Scot’s first wicket by being run out in the 5.5 overs after scoring 16 runs off 22 balls. The highest performer of the Scot team was Smith who scored a commendable 51 off 76 balls irrespective of the strong bowling by the might Aussies. He managed to save the team from the ultimate humiliation with his first half-century, but was bowled out by Hogg in 41 st over.

McGrath’s bowling was the greatest challenge that the Scot team had to face at Basseterre. McGrath’s unyielding spirit smashed the three important wickets of Scot team, Watts, Watson, and Hamilton, in the crucial overs. With the powerful fielding and bowling from the Aussies, Scotland could score the first 100 only in the 32.3 overs off 199 balls. The wickets fell one after another and they had to wind up with the injury of the last wicket JAR Blain, and ended the match for 131 at 40.1 overs.

The Aussies have more reasons to be proud of their first victory in the 2007 world cup. This is the third time a team wins over 200 runs in a world cup match. First it was England against India and the second was Australia ’s win against Namibia. It seems Aussies are ready to deliver more wonders at West Indies.

Kenya v/s Canada

The third match of the ICC world cup 2007 added a favorable note for Kenya. Kenya won by 7 wickets with 40 balls remaining. Steve Tikolo, the captain of Kenya team, has been selected as the Player of the Match for his contribution towards the victory of the team with 72 runs and two wickets. Tikolo, the highly professional team leader with four world-cup experience helped the team imbibe the spirit of the game and play a powerful match with the perfect batting, bowling and fielding.

It was Kenya to choose, after winning the toss, and they opted to field. The Canadian team opened with Barnett and Samad, and was picking up slowly when they lost their first wicket of Samad at 10.3 overs. It was a catch by Tikolo after a perfect bowling from Odoyo.

Kenya outperformed their counterpart in all aspects. The bowling was very strong. The bowling team presented an amazing performance in thrashing the powerful wickets of the Canadians. In just 29 overs that are shared by Hiren Varaiya, Jimmy Kamande, and captain Tikolo, the Canadians lost five important wickets, scoring just 78 runs. The powerful ball from Ongondo resulted in the fall of the most important wicket, that of Barnett, when Mishra had a wonderful catch at it.

Billcliff and Dhaniram contributed 34 runs each. Billcliff gave up when he got bowled out by Tikolo in 41 st over. The team had just scored 146 runs and by then they had lost six wickets. Mulla got out next at the 46.3 over at the verge of 175 runs, causing great worry to the team. It was Dhaniram alone who could withstand the powerful bowling of the Kenyans. The last three wickets of Canada contributed to a negligible three runs; surprisingly the last three wickets, Bhatti, Cummins, and Osinde, got run out, all scoring one run each. The match ended with the wicket of Osinde in the last ball, and the Kenyans left a smile at the ground having to achieve an easy target of 200 runs.

Come Kenya! The great show started with Ouma and DO Obuya. However, Obuya could not reach up to the expectations of the team as he was bowled out by Cummins in the 6 thover scoring only 4 runs. The great catch was achieved by Bagai. The team had just gained momentum with the third batsman RD Shah taking over. Alas! He also got out immediately after, at 12.5 overs. The Kenyan team had just scored 52 by then, with Shah scoring a mere four runs.

For sure, it was the Captain’s Day. Tikolo entered; the duo Ouma and Tikolo stared at each other and decided not to yield to the unfavorable air. The ground witnessed the daring batting from both, Ouma delivered seven 4’s and one 6’s from his dexterous hands, contributing a total of 58 runs off 89 balls till his ball got caught by Mulla. It was an important wicket for the Canadian, and the wonderful bowling feat from Dhaniram was an imminent one.

Mishra followed to aid the Captain. It was a wonderful combination. Tikolo maintained a stable run rate till the end of the match by scoring 72 runs off 76 balls including seven 4’s and one 6’s. Tikolo and Mishra together reached the target at 43.2 overs, with Mishra scoring 35 runs off 54 balls including three 4’s and one 6’s.

It was really a Kenyan feast for the cricket fans at the stadium and all over the world.