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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today’s Topic: Australia v South Africa the series 2006: A recap

People will remember this series for a very long time. This cricket series was more exhilarating than the Poms’ defeat of the Aussies in the Ashes series of 2005.

SA had just been crushed by the series in Australia where they had failed to make it to the VB series final (Sri Lanka got to the final only to lose to the Aussies). They were distraught. The fans had bullied and booed the South Africans. The Aussies expected a big backlash. The South African fans wanted to give the Aussies a piece of their own action, and so began one of the greatest series’ ever.

The One Day Series:
This one day series was indeed one of the greatest ever. Australia did receive the backlash. Before they knew what was happening, they were 2-0 down in the 5 match series. I guess the turning point here was Ntini’s five fer which led to the aussies being bowled out for under a 100.

The Aussies decided enough was enough but they were still not completely up to the challenge. They beat SA in the third oneday somehow and then convincingly in the fourth. The series was now all square with the final one at Johannesburg.

The Big One: 5th ODI: Series leveled at 2-2

Australia starts with a bang. 97 for the first wicket between Gilchrist and Katich in 15 overs. Ponting comes in at the fall of Gilly and blasts a 154 ball 164. A sparkling innings studded with 13 hits to the fence and 9 hits over it. The second wicket (Katich) falls in the 31st over with the score reading 216. Hussey walks in and the aussies continue the onslaught. Hussey falls with the score on 374 from 46 overs. The world record 396 (by Sri lanka v Kenya 1996 WC) is at stake. Ponting continues to blaze and finally falls with the score at 407 in the 48th over. Late hitting by Symonds ensure that the Men from Oz finish with 434 in the allotted 50 overs.

What a scintillating batting performance.

The south Africans are dejected. 435 to win in 50 overs. The mood is somber. Kallis breaks the mood in the dressing room by saying “ Guys, it’s a 450 wicket. They were fifteen runs short.”
I guess that changed everything. South Africa came out in a way that was well awesome..

Dippenaar fell in the second over to take aussies to the moon. The came the big one. Smith and gibbs batted with gay abandon, flaying the Aussie bowlers to all parts of the ground. Smith finally fell for 90 in the 23rd over with South Africa already on their way with 190. Gibbs then took over and blasted the Aussie bowlers everywhere. 94 run partnership with AB de Villiers with de Villiers scoring just 14. Gibbs finally fell with the score on 299 in the 32nd over for a brilliant 142 ball 175. The essay contained 21 beautiful boundaries and 7 towering sixes. South Africa looked to have the match under their grasp until Gibbs fell. Kallis and Kemp followed soon to raise the hopes of an Aussie Victory. C’mon no one has ever scored past 400 before. But could the South Africans do it???

Score 355/6. In walks this un-assuming bloke called JJ van der Wath and starts smashing the ball about. JJ van der Wath and Mark Boucher put 44 quick runs with Mr. van der Wath hitting 3 huge sixes. van der Wath fell on 399. 36 more required from 21.
Boucher keeps his cool as the Proteas reach 423. Telemachus falls and it is now 8 down. Hall gets in and gets the score till 433 and gets out. Nine down 3 balls 2 runs to win.

Either team could win.

Ntini edges the ball to third man for the tie. Mark Boucher hits it towards long on for four for the win. An epic victory.

Mike Lewis of Australia becomes the only bowler in ODI history to concede 100 runs in a match. He conceded 113 runs off 10 overs. Why ponting continued to bowl him was beyond my grasp, especially when Lee still had 2 overs and Michael Clarke was quite economical of the lot giving only 7 an over. Bracken was the pick with a 5/64 haul in 10 overs.

MOTM: Herschelle Gibbs

End Result: RSA bt Aus 3-2

Test Series:

South Africans were Jubilant. Aussies had a point to prove.

The emergence of Stuart Clark with 9 wickets in his debut test ensured that the Aussies won the first test comfortably by 7 wickets.

A century in each innings by Ponting buoyed the aussies as Lee took 5 in the first and warnie took 6 wickets in the second to beat the Proteas by 112 runs.

The third test…Johannesburg… The aussies wanted to get back and get even at the same ground.
Ntini picked up 6 in the first innings to give South Africa a 33 run lead. But Warne, Lee and Clark did not let the Proteas get away and set themselves a target of 292.
A hundred by the comeback Martyn and a polished 89 buy hussey put Australia on the road to victory before Ntini took a flurry of wickets to reduce the men from OZ to 275 for 8. Brave hitting by Lee made sure the Proteas suffered their first ever whitewash at home.

Result: Aus bt. SA: 3-0

A fitting reply from Australia after losing the one dayers.

Wish we get to see more matches and series like this in the near future.
Don’t hope for another exciting ashes series as the Poms aren’t at very good strength right now…

Maybe we will have a similar series if the current Indian team lead by the WALL takes on the Men from Oz.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Short Story


The following is my entry in a recent short story competition. Commentz welcome.


"Firing a gun is a binary choice: you either pull the trigger or you don't. As surely as the bullet rips through the victim's flesh, organ and bone, it shatters the image of the man who presses the trigger". – Max Payne

The bullet is one of the most destructive pieces of machinery ever invented by man. A single small piece of lead and gunpowder can shatter, virtually, anything living.

It could bring down a person from dizzying heights to become a lowly cripple or worse face death. A bullet is one of the most commonly used methods of exacting revenge. Yes, Revenge. A harmless little seven letter word designated to bring doom based on the seven deadly sins. All revenge originates from one of the seven deadly sins, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Pride and Wrath.

So why am I talking about all this revenge? Who am I?
Listen to me, mortal, while I unravel the sands of time and take you back into my past.

I am a bullet. Yes, one of those vessels of doom. I am talking about all this because this is the reason why I was created. This was my purpose in this hateful life. I was born in an armament factory in the USA as a .45 steel magnum bullet. I thought that this was great. I had a shiny look and the land of freedom and liberty was perfect for me. I was soon packed into a box containing other bullets. Chip was my friend there. (He was called chip because his body was chipped off while manufacturing.) Chip was a regular old shotgun bullet. Slow and wise. One shot was all it took. I guess one shot in the right place was all it took no matter what the bullet.

I was shipped into a small town called Happyville. Happyville, I am so happy. Little did I know that this would be the hit. I was taken to a small gun store and placed on the shelf. A few days later, I was bought by a soft looking person who said he was looking for a gun for self defense. This was good because, at least, I will save someone’s life.

But something did not seem right. Why was a soft looking person buying a .45 magnum? Wouldn’t a normal .3 suffice for self defense or a shotgun which was so that the adversary would be scared away? But I kept my thoughts to myself. The next day found me in the gunslinger of my owner. A nice leather gunslinger, which increased my doubts of this person even more. He cleaned me and kept me shiny. I was happy to get such a nice owner who made sure that the machinery was maintained well. But why? This constant thought kept nagging my head.

The D-day had arrived. My owner (I overheard people calling him SAM) took the gun and placed it in the gunslinger. I was surprised and a little scared here because I was the only bullet in the gun. He sat in his 98 Chevy Corvette. Vrooom!!! and off we went. The destination: Sam’s fiancĂ©e Sheila’s home.

We reach there in twenty minutes amid the bustling traffic. Sam knocked on the door; Sheila opened it and let Sam inside. They wasted no time in getting into an argument. Apparently Sam suspected Sheila of having an affair with his friend Joe. The argument got a little out of hand.

BANG! Everything happened too fast. I was released from point blank range straight into her head. I guess she moved a little, but not too much, because I went right through her face taking an eyeball with me and crashing into the brick wall behind. It was over. I could hear her body slump into the floor. Blood was flowing down that beautiful face, which I had just scarred to death, staining the new carpet.

So what happened? Why am I feeling so bad? My purpose was fulfilled, albeit the killing of a lady. But what is that which makes me feel so remorseful? A day later, I was taken by some forensic experts in a plastic bag. The eyeball had since been removed from me. I came to know as I overheard the cops talking. My worst fears were realized. This was a classic case of wrongful revenge.

Sam had indeed misunderstood the relationship between Joe and Sheila. Those long meetings between them were only a plot to surprise Sam on his wedding day with a huge gift, the gift that he would now never receive.

As Sam now sits behind bars regretting his rash decision, I realize that the seven sins were the keys for doom. Yes, those seven deadly sins which fuel that seven-letter word REVENGE.