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Bravo stars as Mumbai register first win

cricket Updated: Apr 29, 2008 23:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Mumbai then coasted through with singles and doubles, taking Agarkar and Dinda for a combined 11 runs and Bravo finished it off with a superb boundary for a boundary and the winning runs, chipping it over mid-off for 2 runs, which rounded off an against-all-odds victory for Mumbai.

Shukla was then brought into the attack by Ganguly and Bravo, as he fended it away first ball. Shot ! The ball thumped off the backfoot by Bravo sped across to the long-on boundary, but the fielder could not mop it off, and the ball went through to the fence for a boundary. Bravo, then rotated the strike off the next delivery - giving Uthappa the much needed one. And Uthappa, spanked it past cover and deep point and no fielder moved. He kept it wide of the fielder and the ball went just one way - towards the ropes. One more for Uthappa as he tried to nurdle it down to mid-wicket for a single. And fifty for Bravo as McCullum dropped it, as it took an edge and no one could stop it. Mumbai, 121/3 off 14 overs.

Ajit Agarkar, was brought back into the attack by Ganguly and was pulled right away by Uthappa for a single. Bravo tried to spank it past the backward point fielder, but failed to make good contact. He, then took a single to give Uthappa the strike who just took a stride forward and stroked it past cover for a superb stroke. Brilliant timing from Uthappa on that one. Another stroke from Uthappa towards the same region, but this time all along the ground and just a single. A yorker from Agarkar rounded off his over, but Bravo did well to keep it away and convert it into a single. Mumbai, 110/3 off 15 overs.

Dinda then came into the attack and was flicked well past square leg for a quick couple. Was brilliantly timed by Bravo. Going for the through-the-covers Caribbean shot, Bravo missed the next one completely as it went past his bat through to the keeper. Next ball, Bravo guided it to third man for a single. Three runs off the over so far. Good, sensible batting from Bravo. A similar shot from Uthappa as he also guides it to third man, making it four runs off the over. Bravo, then played out a dot delivery to Dinda's next one. And the other one was also a dot ball, just four off with Mumbai at 102/3 off 14 overs.

A single began Ganguly's second over as Uthappa stroked it down the ground for a good single. Uthappa playing the sheet-anchor role here. 47 off 47 now. Another hit from Bravo, stand and deliver, a straight lofted drive off the front foot, just down the ground for four runs. And, smart batting as Bravo picked up a single to rotate the strike. Uthappa, played it back to the bowler, no runs. And a single, from Uthappa - down the ground a neat short for one. A big partnership here for Mumbai. Bravo, then clipped it off his pads for a single towards deep square leg as Mumbai ended the over at 97/3 after 13.

Uthappa then took strike to Kartik and he almost played it back to the bowler and he was lucky to escape as the ball went past Kartik for a single. Bravo then spanked Kartik past the vacant cover boundary, for an important boundary to bring down the asking rate to under seven now. Bravo, then defended Kartik's arm ball playing it back to him. The second six of the innings was stroked by Bravo when he timed it down the ground for a big six. Sublime shot. Dot ball again as Kartik kept it away. Magnificient shot by Bravo. Superb shot. Effortless indeed. Flicked it off his pads and timed it past mid-wicket for an important boundary. Mumbai, 90/3 after 12 overs now.

Ganguly then came into the attack to loud roars and Bravo picked him over the cover fielder for a single. Uthappa, did the same - giving the strike back to Bravo. A decent start to the over - 2 runs off 2 balls so far. Bravo, then checked his shot as it went past mid-off for just a single. 3 off 3 now. Where's the boundary for this over ? An overpitched delivery from Ganguly was met well by Uthappa, who guided it past square leg for a single. A solid punch off the backfoot by Bravo then followed, as he guided the ball past mid-off for yet another single. Another single, 6 off the over with Mumbai at 75/3 off 11 overs.

A neat flick from Bravo gave a good start to Kartik's second over, with the batsmen finishing a single. Uthappa was then caught on the pads by Kartik, a loud appeal from McCullum, but to no avail. The next one was pitched short and wide by Kartik and Uthappa meeting it fine past cover for another boundary. Uthappa's looking good now. Next ball, Kartik struck him on the pads, but no one was interested except for Ponting. And, a dot ball then followed and then a wide. Six runs off the over so far. Another appeal, another denial from Bowden. Mumbai, 69/3 after 10 overs.

Spinners in tandem for Kolkata now. And he's welcomed with a boundary. A superb use of the flick from Bravo as he just flicked it past the vacant mid-wicket gap for a boundary. And then, a neat single from Bravo and Uthappa - good sensible batting from the duo. Bravo, then played it to short third man where Ganguly was stationed, taking a neat single. Hafeez followed it with a wide, which McCullum couldnt collect and it went past for a boundary, a much-needed five for Mumbai. Uthappa, then cheekily paddled it fine past the short-fine leg fielder and despite the best efforts from the deep fielder, it went for a boundary. A big over for Mumbai as they picked up 16 runs from this over to end it at 63/3 after 9.

Bowling change for Kolkata, as Murali Kartik comes in for the first time. He's been good all through the tournament, barring the Chennai game - could well be a blemish. If he bowls as well as Jayasuriya, Mumbai are doomed - with three wickets already down. Uthappa played it off his pads towards square leg, and a single the result. Bravo, then kept Kartik's second ball away and missed the third one completely as it thudded into his pads. And a quicker one from Kartik missed everything completely and struck Bravo on his pads, before the umpire felt it was going down the leg-side. Uthappa, in the meanwhile kept the scoreboard ticking with a good single played off his pads down to deep square leg. The sweep came out of Bravo's armoury, but he could only manage a single. Mumbai, 47/3 after 8 overs.

Dinda then was spot on with his line and length as Uthappa saw it through neatly with a front footed defence. Out ! Oh, Dropped ! Uthappa timed this short and wide one from Dinda superbly, but Debabrata Das couldnt latch on to it at backward point. What a miss ! And, a piece of sensible batting from Uthappa as he guided it towards third man for a single. A dot ball, then followed from Bravo who couldnt do much to a good delivery except keeping it at bay. Another dot ball from Dinda, a fantastic over so far. And a boundary to wrap the over up, as the ball hit Bravo on the hips and went past the gap between the keeper and the slip for a much needed boundary for the Mumbai.

Ishant Sharma, continuing his spell, was welcomed with a smart piece of batting by Uthappa. Just a defensive push from the Mumbai batsman and with Ishant's pace, the ball raced past the lush outfield. Uthappa, then cautiously fended one away from Sharma, keeping it to a dot ball. His stay is imperative for Mumbai now. And steered it through to third man for a single. A good delivery from Sharma as it looped up and Bravo fended it away for no run. Shot ! and four. A typical Caribbean shot from Dwayne Bravo as he just stayed on his toes and pushed it off the backfoot through the covers for a boundary. And watchfully played away. Mumbai, 38/3 after 6 overs.

Ashok Dinda, then came onto bowl for Kolkata, replacing the effective Ajit Agarkar and the young Pandey to face him. What is he made up of ? Eden's roaring. And bowled him. Disaster for Mumbai as Pandey played it back into his own stumps. Mumbai in deep deep bother now. Bravo and Uthappa the key for Mumbai now. Bravo looked nervous as the ball took his outside edge and sped past the empty third-man region for a boundary. Wasn't convincing, but Mumbai'll take that given their situation now. And defended off the backfoot by Bravo. Dinda bowled one outside the off-stump, which was just left alone by Bravo. Gayle miced up now. Bravo, left the next one alone too, making it three dot balls in a row now. And, another one to round off the over, with Mumbai at 29/3 after 5.

Sharma, continued his spell from the Pavilion end and he began the over the same way he ended his first over - with the ball defeating Jayasuriya, who was trying to go for the slash. Sharma pitched the next delivery up and Jayasuriya responded by just picking it up over mid-off for an easy boundary. His eyes must have lit up with that one from Sharma. Seems a decent start for Mumbai, despite Rahane's loss. Sharma, coming round the wicket, tried to bounce Jayasuriya, and the batsman hung his bat like a periscope, with the ball taking his edge in the last minute and going over the wicketkeeper for a boundary. Next ball, was a lethal delivery from Sharma - pace with that one - just sheer pace, as Jayasuriya was beaten all ends up, only to see his off-stump take a walk behind. Mumbai, 25/2. Has the chase wilted ? Sharma into the act now. Robin Uthappa walks into the middle now. Eden in full volume now. And played cautiously by Uthappa, both the remaining deliveries. Sharma doing an Akhtar as Mumbai, 25/2 after 4.

Agarkar continuing for Kolkata and Rahane drove it well, but could not pierce the heavy off-side cordon placed by Ganguly. And truly beaten. Rahane was sucked forward by Agarkar, and Rahane was in no position to do much except see the ball through to the keeper. Three dot balls in a row for Agarkar, as Rahane once again fails to pierce the off-side field. In the air, and out. Agarkar struck the first blow for Kolkata as he tried to clear the mid-on, but could not time it properly and the ball landed straight into David Hussey's hands as Kolkata drew first blood. Mumbai, 16/1. The pressure was showing on Rahane, who tried his best to get out of the situation, but could only succumb to it. Manish Pandey, the Under-19 Bangalorean came in to join Jayasuriya and kept his first one away. The first run of the over came through a wide, trying hard for the extra pace. Agarkar was charged up this over. And well defended by Pandey as Mumbai end over number 3 at 17/1.

Ishant Sharma then began proceedings from the Pavilion End, Eden's right behind him. First ball, and Jayasuriya picks it up and dispatches it past mid-wicket for a superb boundary. It was hit up in the air, but bisected the gap with aplomb. A big swing and a miss as Sharma bowled it outside the off-stump, Jayasuriya went for a big swish but could not make the connection. And then, a six - a flat six from the Sri Lankan opener. Fantastic bat speed from Jayasuriya as he got the room he wanted and swung it and it just sailed past the third man for a six. Next ball, Jayasuriya was beaten as the ball just whizzed past his bat. Superb delivery from Sharma, as the ball beat Jayasuriya's bat once again. A half-hearted appeal from behind the stumps. Again, a swing and a miss from Sanath as he finished the over at 16/0 off 2 overs.

Ajit Agarkar to Ajinkya Rahane - familiar situation. And straight on the mark. A yorker from Agarkar was kept away by Rahane. Good start. Wide next up from Agarkar. Trying too hard it seems. Wickets is what Kolkata need. A hint of away movement for Agarkar, as Rahane left it alone. Another wide from Agarkar this time. Inconsistent bowling by the Mumbai-based Kolkata bowler. Rahane, couldnt put the short and wide one away, as he cut it straight into the ground. Nice shape from Agarkar, the ball just left the right hander as Rahane left it alone through to the keeper McCullum. Nicely worked on the on-side from Rahane as Agarkar strayed onto the pads and the ball just sped to the boundary for the first runs off the bat for Mumbai. The last ball of the over was left alone by Rahane as Mumbai were off to a cautious start, beginning their innings at 6/0 off the first over.

Fernando was Pollock's nominee to begin the final over, and he began it well, with a fully pitched yorker, which Shukla guided past the short-third man fielder for a boundary. Next ball from Fernando, bowled it quicker, as Shukla failed to connect it as the ball landed in no-man's land, the batsmen finishing a single. Kartik then was dismissed looking to go over mid-wicket, but Sanath Jayasuriya running behind took a fine catch to peg Kolkata back further. Kolkata, 131/8. Ishant Sharma walks into bat now. And Four ! Full toss from Fernando, a gift at this stage of the innings from the Mumbai bowler and all he had to do was to smash it past mid-wicket for four runs. And, Fernando bowled a dot delivery as he followed the room-giving Shukla, trying to pull it and he missed it completely. Last ball coming up...and Wide. He's got to bowl it again now. Another bouncer from Fernando under pressure as Kolkata finish with 137/8 off their 20-over quota.

Dhaval Kulkarni, who started off the innings economically, bowled the 19th over and Shukla slapped it through to Pollock at covers, who did a superb job of keeping it to one. Kartik came down the track, giving himself room down the leg-side and Kulkarni just followed him down and the batsmen finished another single. And another shot from Shukla, who backed off his front-foot and swung the bat - with the ball going through the ground for a single. And confusion all around. Kulkarni bowled a wide, and the batsmen scampered through for a single and Shah, the wicketkeeper threw the ball to the bowler's end where no one was backing up. And a brilliantly bowled dot ball followed, and then a single. And a fine piece of death bowling from Kulkarni as it speared it into his bat. Just a single from Shukla. Maybe a last-over charge awaits the Mumbaikars.

Fernando, then came into the attack - bowled it short and wide, which Kartik flayed it past cover for a boundary, a bad misfield from the deep fielder on that occasion. Fantastic start to the over. Kartik then picked up a single to give the six-hitter Shukla. Six more from Shukla. Superb shot from the Bengal batsman. A top shot to a length delivery from Fernando, just pulled it superbly over mid-wicket for a big big six. And a low full toss from Fernando, was sliced down to third man, didnt get it completely where the fielder mopped it up. Another outside edge from Kartik, and the strike goes back to Shukla. Boy, he's on fire now. Eden's behind him. Fernando seems struggling in his opener. He finished the over with a shot he hit hard into the ground, just for a single though. Kolkata, 118/7 off 18 overs

Bravo then began his last over, when Shukla's bat took an outside edge through to the third-man for a single. Kartik, kept Bravo out with a defensive stroke next up and in the third delivery of the over, Kartik fended one down from Bravo and gave the strike back to Shukla. And then, a wide from Bravo added a run to the Kolkata scorecard while two singles off the next two deliveries took Kolkata closer to the 100 mark. And the last ball of the over was thumped away for a huge six over long-on. Shukla really thumped it. Kolkata, 104/7 off 17 overs.

Jayasuriya began his last over with a single, Agarkar took to give the dangerous Shukla the strike. He then gave the strike back to Agarkar who took the initiative and the same Jayasuriya-Nehra combination came into effect and Nehra collected his second catch of the night. Shukla, then played one to give strike to the new batsman, Murali Kartik who again ensured that Shukla got the strike back. Kolkata are sinking now, 92/7 off 16 overs.

Dwayne Bravo was then introduced into the attack and began the over on bad note as he strayed down the leg-side and the ball was helped through by Shukla down the fine-leg boundary for four runs. The next ball, was a single as Shukla stroked it fine towards third man and the ball and the batsmen rotated the strike. Agarkar then was lucky to survive as the ball took the inside edge and the batsmen completed a single by the time Pinal Shah reached to collect it. Shukla then played one over the reach of the mid-off fielder, checked his shot in the last minute, just ensuring that it had enough timing on that one to reach the fence. And then, two dot balls to end the over at 87/6.

Disaster then struck Kolkata, as Ponting was run-out after Hafeez played one to cover, and hesitation was certainly around as the fielder collected the ball and threw it to Jayasuriya who calmly removed the bails off at the non-striker's end. Jayasuriya's next delivery turned past the bat and left Hafeez in two minds. Following that delivery, Hafeez was snapped up by Jayasuriya as the ball took the thinnest of edges before going through to Pinal Shah, who took a low-sharp catch behind the stumps. Kolkata in dire straits now, 77/6. And a wicket maiden for Jayasuriya as Agarkar watchfully kept the last two deliveries off the over out.

Pollock, bowling his final over of the innings, then kept it straight first up - right on the money as Hafeez missed it completely. A slight appeal for stumping from Pinal Shah, but to no avail. Hafeez, then got off the mark off his second delivery and gave Ponting the strike, who kept out Pollock's third delivery with one straight to backward point. He then steered one down to third man, where Ashish Nehra cleaned up to keep it down to a single. Hafeez, ran through for another single, and Ponting kept out Pollock with a dot ball off the final delivery. Kolkata, 77/4 off 13 overs.

Jayasuriya, began his second over started in typical miserly fashion, conceding just three runs off his first four deliveries. Hussey, after Ponting gave him the strike, tried to go downtown to a Jayasuriya full-toss, but could not get the elevation and he held out to long on where Ashish Nehra made no mistake. Kolkata, 74/4 after 12.

The Mumbai skipper brought himself back into the attack and the over got off to a quiet start with a single played down to square leg. Hussey, then got into the act, giving himself some room and middling it straight over cover for his second boundary in as many balls. Hussey, then played one straight past the bowler down to long-on for a single, giving Ponting the strike. And, another single from Ponting as his bat face turned as he was closing it, with the ball hurrying through towards third-man. A dot ball then followed, when Hussey played it away to the leg-side. And four ! Awkward bouncer, as Hussey tried to hang his bat like a periscope, the ball taking an edge, and going past the diving short-third man fielder for another boundary. Kolkata, 71/3 after 11 overs.

Sanath Jayasuriya, was then brought into the attack by Pollock and like most of the Mumbai bowlers today, hit the straps staight away. And next ball, Ponting hit a target in long-on and gave the strike back to Hussey. Jayasuriya, slowing that down and a dot ball. Two-in a row from Jayasuriya as Hussey played it back to the bowler. A close one from Jayasuriya as the ball kept low. A quick over from Jayasuriya ended with a boundary played straight down the ground by Hussey. Kolkata, 60/0 after 10 overs now.

Fernando, began his second over with a single that brought Kolkata's 50. Ponting then scored the first boundary off the bat for a long time, with sublime timing. It looked like Ponting was taking evasive action, but just guided the ball past square leg for a boundary. And then, he gave Hussey the strike after a neat single to square leg. Swing and a miss - but to no avail. The length defeated Hussey - as it was overpitched from Fernando and Hussey tried to go for the drive, not making contact and Pinal Shah, behind the stumps collecting it with ease. Fernando, then bowled one straight, which Hussey kept away. And a brilliant piece of fielding from the cover fielder to a well-timed Hussey stroke, conceded no runs and kept Kolkata's score at 55/3 of 9.

Bravo, then began his second over with three dot balls in a row. Bravo, pitched it straight, giving the batsman nothing to work with and Ponting had no choice but to defend. Finally, the first run of the over was scored, when Ponting played one to mid-off and the batsmen completed a single. Shot ! and just a single. Hussey crunched it through the overs off the backfoot, but all he could manage was a single. Ponting, then finished the over with just two runs off it when he sliced one to point where Uthappa was alert. 49/3 off 8 overs, Kolkata.

Kulkarni then continued his spell, and began with a poor delivery down the leg-side, which Ponting tucked past the wicketkeeper for four. Ashish Nehra, with a poor effort at fine-leg could not round it off, in fact he helped it past the ropes. Ponting, then gave the strike back to Hussey, who looks determined. Another single, this time from Hussey, who tried cutting it, but couldn't make the desired contact and by the time the fielders got to the ball, the batsmen hurried across for a single. Another dot ball from Kulkarni as Ponting prodded his front-foot forward and played it away to cover. No run. Two in a row from Ponting, as his bat turned in his hand as he tried to play it down to mid-on. And, finally a single to finish the over. Kolkata, 47/3 off 7 overs.

Ponting has been overshadowed by Das so far. Pollock's ringing in the changes now. Dwayne Bravo it will be to replace Dilhara Fernando. A quick single from Das, could have been close if it was a direct hit. The batsman just came in, saved by the miss from the fielder. Another single from Ponting to give the dangerous Das, who tried beating the leather out of that short and wide one from Bravo, who just couldn't get past Uthappa at point. Big blow for Kolkata, given the way Das was going. 40/3 now. Hussey comes in to bat. This one won't be going anywhere till the end of the IPL, maybe Nottinghamshire after that. He left his first one alone, playing in his 49th game - the second most twenty20 appearances. And then, he played one away bowled straight by Bravo. Another leave to round off the 6th over with Kolkata in slight bother at 40/3.

Dhaval Kulkarni then replaced Shaun Pollock and was bang on target straight away. Third ball of the over, and a superb shot from Das. Well picked over mid-on for a boundary. The man at mid-on was just a spectator to that shot. And then, Kulkarni bounced back well with a dot ball and then Das rounded the over with another single. Kolkata, 38/2 after 5.

Dilhara Fernando, playing his first game of the IPL so far, began his stint with a ball bang on target, which Ponting had no option but to defend. And then the batsmen rotated the strike with a single they scampered through. Similar delivery, but Ponting played it with soft hands and good understanding among the batsmen. And, a wide ! Dilhara, after two good deliveries lost his radar on that one. And four ! Superb shot from Das now. Dilhara strayed on his pads and Das just helped it on its way all along the ground through mid-wicket for a superb boundary. Eden on its feet now. Dilhara pitches the fourth ball of the over straight and Das kept it away, without much ado. The next delivery was a full-toss from Dilhara, which Das just helped it on its way past mid-wicket - similar shot from Das for yet another boundary. And a single to round off the over. Kolkata, 33/2 off 4 overs.

Pollock then hit the straps straight away, with Ponting struck on the pads once and the Australian skipper playing one back. Good start for Pollock. He then clipped one off his pads towards square leg, giving Debabrata Das the strike. Pollock followed it up with a jaffer of a delivery, with Das's bat hanging. What followed was a massive six over mid-wicket by Das. Superb timing on that one from Das. Pollock, then brought one back, squaring Das up, which he played it away safely. Kolkata, 22/2 off 3 overs.

Ashish Nehra, then bowled the second over for Mumbai and after Ponting grabbed an edgy single, Debabrata Das got himself going with two superb boundaries racing through the green outfield. The first one, a superb cut-shot that no fielder could have stopped and the other one edged past third-man that went to the fence. Kolkata, 15/2 after 2 at the Eden.

The match got underway to McCullum's shimy and the New Zealander getting off the mark. Sourav Ganguly, then got off the blocks straightaway when he pulled a short one from Pollock through to the fence, superb start for Kolkata. Next ball though, Pollock picked up the first wicket of the evening, when he drew Ganguly forward and all the left-hander could do was to poke it through to Jayasuriya, who took an astounding catch to dismiss Ganguly. Ricky Ponting, facing the ingomny of three consecutive first-ball ducks, then got off the mark straight away, giving McCullum the strike. Pollock then snapped McCullum plumb in front, with the umpire nodding in the affirmative. Superb start for Mumbai, with the hosts at 6/2.

Toss: Sourav Ganguly won the toss for Kolkata and opted to bat first on a wicket he thinks is well prepared and hard. Unchanged side for Kolkata. Mumbai, resigned to their fate in the competition so far, have made changes a plenty in their line-up so far. Manish Pandey, Dilhara Fernando and Pinal Shah come into the game instead of Luke Ronchi, Siddharth Chitnis and Musavir Khote. For the hosts, they have swapped wicketkeepers with Debabrata Das coming in for Wriddhiman Saha.

Teams:

Mumbai: Sanath Jayasuriya, Robin Uthappa, Dwayne Bravo, Shaun Pollock (capt), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashish Nehra, Dhaval Kulkarni, Dilhara Fernando, Manish Pandey, Pinal Shah (wk).

Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Mohammad Hafeez, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Debabrata Das (wk).

What was being dubbed as a battle between SRT and SRK, has now mellowed down into a clash between the last team in the tournament (Mumbai) and the third-placed Kolkata. Mumbai go into this clash having been through the whole Harbhajan-Sreesanth saga, where the Indian off-spinner was slapped with a comprehensive 11-match IPL ban and their coach Lalchand Rajput fined 50% of his match fee.

Mumbai, winless in the tournament after being pulvarised into submission by Adam Gilchrist of Hyderabad in their previous encounter will be desperate to win this game. But, with Kolkata's strength and the support of the vocal Eden crowd, they know it might not be an easy outing after-all. Still sweating on Sachin Tendulkar's fitness, Mumbai might well have to show some character if they have any aspirations of launching a spirited comeback into title contention. Mumbai's bowling has been a worry for them all tournament, with no one among the wickets, and the economy rates. Ashish Nehra's run in the tournament has been forgettable thus far, and the support bowlers in Abhishek Nayar and Dhawal Kulkarni have looked far from impressive.

Kolkata, in the meanwhile were humbled comprehensively by the might of Chennai on Saturday. They were unbeaten in the tournament till then, but a 9-wicket victory might have flattened them ahead of this encounter. Barring the first game, when McCullum's sublime hitting stole the show, Ricky Ponting's form has been woeful to say the least and Sourav Ganguly not exactly setting the tournament alight, the Kolkata batting will have to respond. With an insipid attack in Mumbai, this might be the ideal opportunity for their batsmen to get some runs in the middle.

The wicket was the centre of controversy last time around against Hyderabad, and for this game, corrective measures might be taken. This match will be played on a new strip, which might be good for batting. There was a tinge of grass, which will keep the wicket together for the distance.