UPT20 LEAGUE: Green Park pitches produce run feast - Hindustan Times

UPT20 LEAGUE: Green Park pitches produce run feast

By, Lucknow
Sep 04, 2023 11:55 PM IST

Kanpur's Green Park Stadium is hosting the first-ever Uttar Pradesh Twenty20 League, with the pitches proving to be batting-friendly.

Nine matches, 3,343 runs, 309 boundaries, 160 sixes, 19 half-centuries, and three centuries—these stats reflect how batting-friendly the three main pitches are at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium, which is hosting the first-ever Uttar Pradesh Twenty20 League (UPTL).

UPCA’s chief curator Shiv Kumar (centre) monitors the rolling of wickets at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Monday. (HT PHOTO)
UPCA’s chief curator Shiv Kumar (centre) monitors the rolling of wickets at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Monday. (HT PHOTO)

Pitch No. 7 provided the best opportunities for batters so far on Sunday. Two matches on the fourth day of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association-backed event saw the teams scoring 875 runs. Lucknow Falcons scored the highest 227/8 in 20 overs to win against Kanpur Superstars by two wickets in a thriller.

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UPCA’s chief curator Shiv Kumar has used just three pitches out of nine available for the matches. He feels that even a 250-run target can be achieved on the Green Park Stadium pitches as they have been prepared to suit the shorter version of the game.

Not only batters, but bowlers too are happy with the way the ball is coming onto the bat, kicking, rising and even spinning, and it requires skill to do well.

“I used a special roller of 4.5 ft height, and it helped us prepare a good bouncy wicket, suitable for the fatafat style of cricket,” said Kumar who is also handling the Kamla Club ground in Kanpur.

“For the first time, I used this roller as part of a new research about the weight on pitches for this format. I got all the pitches ready eight days before the start of the event,” said Kumar, adding, “The behaviour of the pitch on Sunday night impressed Suresh Raina, who was too curious about it.”

He said that the roller was very much there but was never used.

“Rolling and moisture make a lot of difference.”

The Green Park Stadium pitches were re-laid in 2014 and local soil from neighboring district Unnao was used in their preparation.

“Local soil suits the conditions as per the weather. In fact, we have got a different cricketing culture. In the past, we used to have dull batting wickets for Test matches, but since the new formats of the game came into existence, we kept changing the nature of the pitches according to the demand.”

The pitches for the event are most suited to young right-hand batter Sameer Rizvi of Kanpur Superstars as he is leading the table with 253 runs, which included 122 his being the best so far. He is followed by Noida Super Kings’ Samarth Singh (218, 91 H.S), Meerut Mavericks’ Swastik Chikara (209, 101 H.S), Kanpur Superstars’ Ansh Yadav (180, 61 H.S) and Gorakhpur Lions’ Abhishek Goswami (173, 95* H.S). Kanpur Superstars Vineet Panwar leads the bowlers’ table with eight wickets in three matches with 4/26 being his best.

“I am enjoying my batting on the Green Park Stadium pitches. Ball is coming at a perfect speed and bounce,” Swastik Chikara said after hitting his back-to-back century on Sunday night.

The previous highest score at Green Park Stadium was 197 during the Indian Premier League match in 2017 when Suresh Raina-led then Gujarat Lions had made this venue their second home ground.

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    Sharad Deep is a versatile sports journalist, who loves writing on cricket and Olympic sport. He has played cricket at the university level and has been writing for Hindustan Times since 1997.

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