A Merry Outing for Taylor's Men

A Merry Outing for Taylor's Men

Post by Vishwa Prasad Gaddamanug » Tue, 05 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Cricket: A merry outing for Taylor and his band

By Vijay Lokapally

NAGPUR, March 1.

Those  who   stayed   away   did   not   miss   much,   and   the
enthusiastic  who turned up must have wondered if this really was
what  they  call one-day cricket. The contest  never  rose  above
mediocrity which is what a major part of this Wills World Cup has
been the past fortnight or so.

One lopsided  encounter  after  another  is  what  one  has  been
witnessing in this competition. A West Indian defeat at the hands
of  Kenya might e*** the action-starved cricket fans but   such
miracles  do not happen everyday. Zimbabwe just did not have  the
heart, nor will, nor the competence to match the Australians, who
seem  to be cruising well towards their destination.  The  eight-
wicket  victory at the VCA stadium here today goes to prove  that
Australia  is best equipped to sweep aside all challengers,  weak
and strong, in its calculated *** at the title.

Shane Warne, the  ``Man  of  the  match``,  would  not  like   to
honestly  cherish the honour, for the opposition was too brittle.
Here  today  it looked as if the Zimbabweans had never  played  a
leg-spinner  before. True, he offered a few uncharacteristic  bad
balls, but then Warne was so relaxed, probably experimenting with
his line and length. The crafty leg-spinner could afford to do so
as  Zimbabwe`s batting came apart, with the exception  of  Andrew
Waller,   who  notched  a fifty  just to  put  up  some  sort  of
resistance when all his colleagues were interested in was walking
in  and walking out in an unprofessional manner, most  unbecoming
of a Test-playing nation.

The Zimbabweans contributed immensely towards making  it  a  non-
contest by ignoring the basics of good batsmanship of playing the
ball on merit in the early stages. There are very few batsmen who
can  defy  this  theory  but  Zimbabwe surely does not possess  a
batsman of that calibre who would create bad balls than wait  for
them.  There was nothing to suggest that this Zimbabwe  team  was
capable  of posing any threat to the Australians at any stage  of
the match.

``We   did   nothing   to  improve   our   chances,``    conceded
Zimbabwe skipper Andy Flower. He must be pretty sick with the job
of  captaincy which appears to have affected  his  batting.   ``I
am batting  pretty  well in the `nets` but can`t get past ten  in
a  match,``  Andy  sounded  dejected  at  his  poor  run  in  the

Mark  Taylor was obviously pleased with  the  result.   ``It  was
easier   than   expected.  Maybe  another   60  runs  might  have
stretched  us because the ball was turning. I thought  we  played
pretty well. We played good cricket and that is important. We got
to play our best all the time,``  said  the  Australian  skipper.
0};3 A  total past 200 might have proved fairly  competitive, but
once Zimbabwe, electing to bat, collapsed  for  just  over   150,
there  was little interest left in the Australian chase,  if  one
could term it so. Leg-spinner Paul Strang, who came in for praise
from  Taylor and Warne, lacked support and it was quite  a  merry
outing for the Aussie batsmen, with Mark Waugh once again  giving
an impressive account of his ominous form.

Mark Waugh, confidence personified

The other day Waugh spoke of small grounds in India  which  meant
that   the batsman had to concentrate on  picking  gaps  to reach
the fence. He demonstrated it amply in his innings   of  76  (109
balls,  ten  fours) which was marked by some classy drives. He is
enjoying his batting and the confidence should  be  seen  to   be
believed.  Mark Waugh gives the impression that he walks  out  to
bat  with the firm belief that no bowler can shackle him. He  had
expressed  his  mind  when  he said that he  loves  to  open  the
innings.  This  match was evidence of how nicely he  has  settled
into  this role, much to the delight of his partner  and  skipper

Zimbabwe had  struggled  to  organise  its  batting  in  all  the
preceding  matches and the collapse today showed the side in poor
light. Waller alone had the grit to stand up and give the bowlers
a   charge  before  he ran himself out for an  admirable 67  (101
balls,  ten fours). The rest proved unequal to the task,  failing
to  read  the seamers and faring miserably against  the  spin  of
Warne, who terminated the innings in style, pitching the ball  on
the leg to square up the batsman and hit the off-stump.

Good work by Healy

There was some good work behind the  stumps  by  Ian   Healy,  an
excellent   stumping  to  pack  off Andy Flower  and  a  tumbling
catch at leg gully to arrest a promising innings by Craig  Evans,
who  hit the only six of the match, the ball landing on the  roof
at midwicket.

Well, it was yet another contest which had little of  the thrills
of    limited    over  cricket.  A  poor   adverti***t   for  a
tournament  of  this stature, devoid of quality  stuff,  and  one
could not fault the locals for staying away from the match.  They
certainly did not miss much.

Source :: The Hindu (http://SportToday.org/)