Bangalore blues continue as Jaipur notch up massive win | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Bangalore blues continue as Jaipur notch up massive win

Chasing a stiff target of 198, the hapless Bangalore players could offer not even semblance of a fight. Varun Gupta reports.

cricket Updated: May 18, 2008 01:54 IST
Varun Gupta

Perhaps it was during the two-minute silence that preceded the game, or during the team's amble towards the center even before the game had started.

But one didn't need to be Harold Larwood, the notorious implementer of the fast leg theory in the infamous Bodyline Series, to sense the dread and apprehension that had already crept into the Bangalore ranks.

It is said that bad body-language is a bit like having smelly armpits, in the sense that the stench might escape you but definitely not others nearby. The Jaipur bats, fresh from a four-day break, seemed to have sniffed down Bangalore's frail nerves, swooshing down on them like a hawk on its prey.

Chasing a stiff target of 198, the hapless Bangalore players could offer not even semblance of a fight as Jaipur pulled the plug on their hopes of even playing for pride by blanking them by 65 runs. The Bangalore batting collapsed dramatically and if it weren’t for Rahul Dravid, the margin would have been even more shameful.

As the rest of the batsmen came and went, Dravid was the lone constant, offering defiance that was as entertaining as it was soothing.

In the run up to the contest, Dravid has endured and parried many vile barbs with his stony silence. On Saturday, he responded at a place that is his 'forum', at a time that he thinks is apt and on an occasion befitting his character.

Dravid did all he could to save his face and that of his owner as he played an uncharacteristically unrestrained knock of 75n.o. from just 36 deliveries. He was brutal and brilliant, determined and dynamic, and ironically, the hunter as well as the hunted.

Earlier, the pint-sized Swapnil Asnodkar and the sturdy Graeme Smith, who may not make a very attractive couple — in fact together they look a little incongruous walking out together due to the huge difference in their sizes — but they certainly make a darn effective one as they helped Jaipur reach 197 for one.

What the duo lacks in terms of panache, they make up with unflinching desire and determination. Right from the outset, Asnodkar made his intentions clear.

In the very first over, he had the cheek to not only disdainfully clobber Zaheer Khan over mid-wicket for a flat six, but also to hold his pose for a few seconds more, perhaps to drive home the point about the ease with which he managed the shot.

Initially, he was the aggressor as outrageous stroke followed outrageous stroke, with Smith calmly playing second fiddle to perfection.

In a matter of few days, Smith and Asnodkar have developed such an understanding that whenever Asnodkar consolidates, Smith breaks free, and vice versa. They always have a word or two to say to each other besides the usual glove-to-glove thump and also run cannily between wickets. And on this day, they were on song. As were Jaipur. Expectedly.

Scoreboard
Jaipur
Smith not out (49 b) 75
A’dkar c Misbah b Kumble (44) 50
Watson not out (28) 46
Extras: (b-1, lb-6, w-18, nb-1) 26
Total: (for 1 wkt in 20 ovrs) 197
Fall of wickets: 1-109
Bowling: Zaheer 4-0-46-0, Praveen 4-0-28-0, Kallis 4-0-39-0, Razzak 2-0-29-0, Kumble 4-0-32-1, Kohli 2-0-16-0

Bangalore
Arunkumar c Trivedi b Tanvir (3 b) 0
Kohli b Sohail Tanvir (7) 3
Misbah c sub (Kohli) b Patel (1) 0
Kallis c Yusuf b Trivedi (29) 20
White c Trivedi b Patel (16) 10
Dravid not out (36) 75
Patil c Jadeja b Warne (12) 9
Praveen c Kaif b Warne (1) 0
Zaheer c & b Warne (5) 1
Kumble c Rawat b Tanvir (8) 8
Razzak not out (2) 0
Extras: (w-6) 6
Total: (for 9 wkts in 20 ovrs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-5, 4-31, 5-40, 6-73, 7-73, 8-83, 9-118
Bowling: Tanvir 4-0-10-3, Patel 4-0-21-2, Watson 2-0-6-0, Warne 4-0-23-3, Trivedi 2-0-23-1, Pathan 2-0-28-0, Jadeja 2-0-21-0