Musings from Beyond the Boundary | 17 September

Club Cricket

Musings from Beyond the Boundary | 17 September

Praneel HiraClub Cricket

Sad news recently of the passing of Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, he of the angled, bouncing run-up, the exuberant appeal, and the transparent passion for the game and his craft. Before Shane Warne, he was the man who did so much to make wrist-spin fashionable again, and to remind us of the entertainment it could provide. Qadir was 63.

We were fortunate enough to see him in Test match action at Eden Park on a couple of occasions. In 1984-85 he managed just 1/52 off 22 overs, but that one was a certain Martin Crowe, dismissed for 84. New Zealand won that Test by an innings and 99 runs with Hadlee, Cairns and Chatfield sharing 18 wickets between them and Stephen Boock providing New Zealand’s four overs of spin in the match. Boock’s solitary wicket was that of Wasim Raja, another leg-spinner who passed away too early, aged just 54.

It was a different story four years later. Pakistan batted first and declared at 616 for 5 with Javed Miandad scoring a masterful 271. It was a performance which lingers in the memory; Miandad so in command that he seemed able to score runs almost at will, conjuring up gaps to deftly take advantage of and looking for all the world like he would never be dismissed. Ultimately Ewen Chatfield did the business, in the course of the 65 overs he delivered through the innings. At the other end Stephen Boock bowled 70 overs in ending with 1/229.

New Zealand were in the unusual position of scoring 403 and still having to follow on, the match petering out into a tame draw. However, in the home side’s first innings Qadir bowled 58.1 overs and finished with 6 wickets for 160. It was the fifteenth, and final, occasion that he would take five wickets in a test innings – his best was 9/56 against England in 1987.

One of Qadir’s sons, Usman Qadir, another leggie, played for the Pakistan Under-19 team but is now plying his trade in Australia, turning out for Western Australia once last summer in the Sheffield Shield but playing a regular part in the Big Bash with the Western Scorchers.

In England, the Vitality Blast T20 Finals Day is coming up at the end of this week, with Worcestershire playing Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire meeting Essex to determine who plays off for the title. In the meantime, the County Championship has resumed and inevitably it has been Jeetan Patel who has caught the eye amongst the New Zealanders in action. Essex survived with a draw against his Warwickshire side after being asked to follow on, as Patel scored an unbeaten 52 and then followed up with 6/73 from 45.3 overs, his 38th five-wicket haul in First Class cricket.

Doug Bracewell has flown in to join Northamptonshire and after an unsuccessful first innings spell against Leicestershire he scored 38, batting at number eight, and took 2/44 in Leicestershire’s second knock. Both his victims were lbw, two of seven leg-before victims in the innings, making it eleven for the match after a further four lbw decisions had gone in Northamptonshire’s favour in Leicestershire’s first turn at the crease.

Hamish Rutherford flew back to England after his first ball duck against Sri Lanka and managed 19 and 52 for Worcestershire against Glamorgan, continuing from the good start he made in the Championship to begin the season.

There are also Kiwis seeing action aplenty in the CPL T20 competition. Jimmy Neesham has been in consistent form for the Trinbago Knight Riders. His team’s strong batting line-up hasn’t allowed him a lot of time at the crease but he has regularly picked up wickets, with a best of 3/18 against St Kitts and Nevis after scoring 33 with the bat.

Colin Munro underlined his liking for Caribbean conditions in his first match back with the Trinbago Knight Riders, having arrived from BLACKCAPS duty in Sri Lanka. On the back of his 50-ball unbeaten 96, Trinbago made 267/2 – the highest team total in T20 franchise cricket. The Jamaica Tallawahs put up a valiant effort to chase this down ending on 226/5, with Glenn Phillips scoring 62 off 32 balls and out-scoring Chris Gayle in an 88 run opening partnership. George Worker also contributed 18 before falling victim to Neesham.

Earlier in the competition Worker had scored 46 against the same opposition. This was Phillips’ second half-century of the competition, following his 58 against the St Lucia Zouks, when he was caught by Colin de Grandhomme, who scored a 20-ball 25 after also flying in from Sri Lanka.

On the international scene, great news over the last few days for those with a passion for the game’s global expansion. Afghanistan delivered their second Test match victory, a very comfortable win over Bangladesh on the back of eleven wickets from Rashid Khan, a first innings century from Rahmat Shah and knocks of 92 and 50 from Asghar Afghan.

Afghanistan followed that up with a comprehensive T20 victory over Zimbabwe in the Tri-series in Bangladesh. This was Afghanistan’s 11th consecutive T20I victory and it came courtesy of a 107 run fifth wicket partnership between Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi scored in the final 6.4 overs of the innings. The partnership included a soul-destroying seven successive sixes.

In the women’s game, Thailand finished runners-up to Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup Qualifying Tournament and have booked their ticket to the T20 World Cup in Australia during February and March next year.

It is only sixteen years since women’s cricket was first played in any organised manner in Thailand. In 2007, Thailand were bowled out for 40 by Nepal and then succumbed for the same total to both Hong Kong and Malaysia. Two members of that team remain in the current side, including captain Somnarin Tippoch. Thailand’s first match amongst the top echelon of the game will be against the West Indies in Perth, and they will also face England, South Africa and Pakistan in their Group matches.