Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thirimanne, Sangakkara Tons Set Up Huge Sri Lanka Win Against England

Sri Lanka vs England, Westpac Stadium in Wellington - 1st March 2015 - Match Review

Sri Lanka beat England by 9 wickets.

England and Sri Lanka have met each other quite a few times since the last year and Sri Lanka seem to have a measure of the English (well, who doesn't at the moment?) and they once again trashed them by 9 wickets as they chased down a massive 309 runs with almost 3 overs to spare! Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to bat first once again at Wellington, the place where they were massacred by Tim Southee and Brendon McCullum just last week. It was a beautiful sunny day and the pitch looked flat. Ian Bell started off in a frenzy as he fed off the loose bowling of Suranga Lakmal and England were motoring at around 8 an over for the first 6 or 7 overs. But the introduction of Dilshan and Mathews himself put a break on the run rate and the pressure finally got to Moeen Ali who threw away his wicket with a half hearted loft straight to Lakmal standing at mid off. Gary Ballance, who I believe seriously, unbalances this English side scratched around for 15 deliveries or so before giving Dilshan a simple catch off his own bowling. The wind had been taken out of the English sails and Bell too had gone in a shell after a bright start. He too was bowled by Suranga Lakmal on 49.

 Morgan and Root put on a decent partnership with Morgan still not entirely convincing in his footwork or shot making and Root too was dropped by Mahela before he had made it in to double figures. The English skipper got out to Perera just before the power play was to be taken and England had a chance to promote the dynamic Jos Buttler ahead of James Taylor but they stuck with the conventional line up. Taylor kept the scoreboard ticking and made 25 before getting out. Joe Root in the meanwhile had quietly compiled the runs and was looking fluent by the minute. He brought up his century, the youngest Englishman to do so in a World Cup, and then upped the ante. Jos Buttler was welcomed to the crease by a scorching bouncer by Lasith Malinga which caught him just below the ear and the entire ground gasped as the episode of Phil Hughes is still fresh in everyone’s mind. But everything was fine and Buttler hammered a 19 ball 39 to take England to a competitive 309 after their 50 overs.

Sri Lanka had made a big total in their last game against Bangladesh and one could feel that they were quietly confident about chasing down this total. Dilshan and Thirimanne got them off to a safe start as Anderson and Broad kept things tight but there was no swing or seam for them. Thirimanne edged one at the start of the innings but was dropped by Root after he was blinded by Jos Buttler as he pulled out of the catch at the last moment. Dilshan and Thirimanne stitched together another 100 partnership and they were just starting to open up when Dilshan got out to Moeen Ali as the ball appeared to have stopped a bit on him. That brought Kumar Sangakkara, fresh from his fastest hundred against Bangladesh, to the crease.

Twin Centuries by Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne saw 
Sri Lanka home against England by 9 wickets

In the end, Sri Lanka cantered to a victory with 9 wickets and plenty of balls and fire power stored in the tank. This Sri Lankan team is starting to peak at the correct time and they have a reputation of lifting their game in the big tournaments. Their batsmen are piling on the runs and they have now lost only 2 wickets and scored around 700 runs!!! England is down and almost out and their clash against Bangladesh becomes a virtual Quarter Final and if they lose that they can pack their bags and go home.

PS - The image used is courtesy

Apno Ko Apne Dum Pe Jeena Sikhao

I was always a naughty child. When I was in school, I would receive 50 Rupees as pocket money for a whole week and whatever money I would receive from my father, I would spend it on buying chocolates and other trivial stuff. I would never save anything and would always be asking my Dad for more money before the week was over. He gave in to my demands and tantrums most of the times but then one day at the start of the month he called me over and told me that he wanted to have a talk with me.

He gave me my 50 Rupees for the week and told me that if I could save 100 Rupees by the end of the month he would buy me my favorite toy or my favorite comic book set. He told me that he wished and hoped that I saved so that he could gift me an item of my choice at the end of the month. I was excited to hear that and gave him a slight nod. I was really skeptical about how I would save that much money as I would spend it either on chocolates or some junk food outside my school or on some new erasers or pencils.

The first week was a disaster as I could not save more than 10 Rs and as the cravings increased the savings further diminished in the second week. I think I had around 15-20 Rs by the end of the second week. I decided to approach my Father to tell him that it would not be possible for me to save the 100 Rs by the end of the month. Later that night, I and my Father sat down together to have a chat and I narrated to him my worries. He asked me where I had spent my money and on what day. I had no answer. He told me to always keep a tab on your spending so that I can know if I am spending my money the correct way and can cut out something which is not required. He suggested that I keep a diary in which I write all the spending that I make through the week. He also gave me a simple solution that in order to save Rs 100 in a month I needed to save 25 Rs per week on an average. He advised me to not spend more than 25 Rs every week unless absolutely necessary and that way I will easily meet my target of 100 Rs.

I heeded the suggestions of my Father and made a diary in which I wrote down my daily expenditures. I also started to plan what things I would spend on, a week in advance. I would make a list of the things that were absolutely necessary to buy and things that could wait a little more. With the help of my Dad, I was transforming slowly. That month I could save only about 50 Rs. And the second month was no better. But my Father kept on egging me and told me that I had it in me to do what I was being told. Slowly, the savings started to increase and in the 4th month I had saved 120 Rs! My happiness knew no bounds and when I disclosed it to my Father he patted my back and told me that he had always believed in me.

He asked me what gift I would like and I told him I will want the Automatic Flying Airplane and he agreed to get me that the next day. He also told me that the challenge will continue as long as I wanted and that I could discontinue anytime. Thinking back to those days, I guess that he knew that I would not back off from a challenge and he succeeded. He opened a bank account in my name and handed me its reins. It transformed me from a spendthrift to a more responsible and self-reliant person. I had saved so much in a year or so that I no longer needed to ask him for any pocket money!!

It is very important how a person manages the money and I would like to thank my Dad for making me a better person in my life by making me self reliable and responsible!

This post is written for Indiblogger Happy Hours.

Check out this really beautiful #MyFamilyMyPride ad film by HDFC

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lankan Tigers Look to Hunt Down England

Sri Lanka vs England, Westpac Stadium in Wellington on 1st March 2015 - Match Preview

The Sri Lankans are on an upward curve after beating Afghanistan in a tough chase and then dismantling Bangladesh to shreds at the MCG. England, on the other hand have had a nice little confidence booster against Scotland which they won convincingly after they were were trashed by the Kiwi team in Wellington.

The Sri Lankan batting got a big boost as both Dilshan and Sangakkara slammed quick centuries and shared an unbroken 200 run partnership against Bangladesh. The classy Mahela Jayawardene had already announced his hunger as he guided the Lankans to a win against Afghanistan with a calm century of his own. Dilshan will be partnered by Lahiru Thirimanne who has also made two half centuries in the three games although he was very very lucky against Bangladesh who missed several chances to get him out. Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are also in good form and can hit the big sixes in the final ten overs.

Kumar Sangakkara will look to repeat his last match performance against England

Lasith Malinga is slowly getting in to his rhythm and he bowled reasonably well against Bangladesh. The ball that got Tamim out was an absolute ripper and the yorkers that he known for were finding their target. Suranga Lakmal has been a revelation and he has bowled superbly in all of the Sri Lankan games thus far. Rangana Herath provides a steady and calming influence in the middle overs with his stifling left arm spin. I think that Sri Lanka must drop Karunaratne for this game and go in with Senanayake as he has a very record against the England and is a brilliant fielder and can wield the long handle too if required. Mathews, Perera and Dilshan provide the part time option.

The England batting got a bit their self confidence and pride back as Moeen Ali and Bell first put on a steady opening partnership and then Morgan also getting some runs down the order. Though James Taylor has not fired since his opening blast against the Australians and Joe Root has also looked a bit rusty. Jos Buttler also needs to come to the party in the late overs and he is a very capable hitter down in the slog overs.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad were expected by many to be a force to be reckoned with on the pitches down under and in the swinging and seaming pitches in New Zealand. But they have largely disappointed as they have appeared to be rudderless and have extracted no significant swing or seam movement. Steve Finn took a hat trick against the Australians but was ineffective and was carted to all parts of the ground by McCullum, he bounced back against the Scots and took 4 wickets. Woakes has been the only one who has bowled with some sort of a control and he has got the rewards to show for his hard work. Mooen Ali and Joe Root will shoulder the spin bowling responsibility but how effective they will be against the nifty footwork of the Lankan tigers remains to be seen.

Key Battles: Sri Lanka Vs England

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara vs James Anderson and Stuart Broad

Mahela Jayawardene vs Chris Woakes

Rangana Herath vs Joe Root and Eoin Morgan

This match promises to be a cracker as the loser will have to face either India or South Africa in the Quarter Finals. The jostling for positions will make the match very important and in the larger scheme of things, the outcome of this clash will play a significant part on how far the teams will progress in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

PS - The image used is courtesy

Kiwis Edge Out Australia in a Nail Biter in Auckland!

Australia vs New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland: Feb 28, 2015 - Match Review

New Zealand beat Australia by 1 wicket.

Who says low scoring matches are boring, who says that more 4's and 6's means more fun? I have for long believed that low scoring matches are much more interesting than when a team rakes up 400 and the pressure of that high score leaves the chasing side crumbling under pressure. Australia and New Zealand provided a match that ebbed and flowed and rose and fell like waves of a churning and turbulent sea. This match was always billed to be a classic and both the teams gave us a match to remember for a very long time!

The match started with both the teams a bit nervous as Tim Southee sprayed it around trying to locate his radar and Australia raced to 30 in the third over. Finch had just deposited Southee for a six straight over his head but was bowled the very next delivery trying to repeat the shot. Watson joined Warner and he struggled early on. Southee continued to leak runs up front but Boult was economical and found his line and length. McCullum turned to the experience of Daniel Vettori to put a cap on the scoring rate and he responded beautifully by controlling his pace and with subtle variations of flight. Watson would soon succumb to the pressure and hole out and when Southee, changing ends pinged back Warner to win an lbw decision the Australians had lost two in two and were 80-3 in the 13th over.

Michael Clarke and Steven Smith were entrusted with the job of resurrecting the Aussie innings but Smith departed soon to the guile's of Vettori again. Brendon McCullum, the most aggressive captain of the modern day then brought back his ace spearhead Trent Boult and he responded to the call by a brilliantly blinding display of bowling. If Tim Southee had ripped apart the English a few days ago, today was the turn of Boult who left the Aussie batsmen confounded. Boult cleaned up Maxwell and Marsh in the same over, both playing on to their stumps as uncertain foot movements led to their downfall. Clarke soon followed as he gave a simple catch to short cover off the rampaging Boult. He would soon dispatch the two left armers in the Australian team, Johnson to a brilliant catch by Williamson and Starc to an absolute peach that bowled him neck and crop. Haddin put on a fighting 45 for the last wicket with pat Cummins to lend some respectability to their total but the Australians had finished with a subpar score of 151. Boult finished his second spell with magical figures of 5-3-3-5

New Zealand again came out to bat before the lunch break and Brendon again went in to an overdrive against the pace of Starc and Johnson. He carved pitched up deliveries over mid-off, cover and point regions. The Aussie bowlers pitched it up to find some swing but the only swing that was found was off the bat of McCullum as he flayed them to all parts of the ground reminiscent off his innings against the English last week. Clarke soon switched to plan B and instructed Johnson to bowl short at the rampaging McCullum. The field was set for that and the first ball hit the Kiwi skipper flush in his arm. Ouch!! That was a painful blow and though he hit some more fours but he was quite ginger in his movements after that blow. McCullum departed in the 8th over after hitting 50 off just 24 balls and his pyrotechnics ensured that they were almost 80 by that time.

But if New Zealand believed that they could have it easy against their hardnosed neighbors then they were in for a shock and a little collapse of their own. Starc clean bowled Ross Taylor and Grant Elliot either side of the lunch break to set hearts fluttering in the packed stands of the Eden Park and giving a glimmer of hope to the Australian fans. Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson took the score to 131 but Corey was tentative throughout his stay. He gave a catch off Maxwell looking for a release and then Starc had Ronchi caught by Haddin. When Vettori went for a duck the match was still in control of the Kiwis as they needed only 7 runs with 3 wickets in the bank. Johnson bowled a maiden and then Clarke tossed the ball to Starc once again. Williamson took a single off the second ball and left Milne with 4 balls to survive. Starc produced two high class yorkers to dismiss Milne and Southee off successive deliveries and New Zealand were suddenly 146 for 9 with 6 still needed for a victory. Out walked Boult, the hero with the ball for New Zealand and he somehow kept out the two deliveries. Williamson nonchalantly picked up the first ball off the next over by Pat Cummins back over his head to seal the game by a wicket.

The Kiwi players pose with the Chappel-Hadlee trophy after beating 
Australia by a solitary wicket in Auckland

With this win, barring a stunning reversal in fortunes, New Zealand are almost sure to top the Pool A. Australia, well they still have a lot to do as they have already dropped a point against Bangladesh, a game which was washed out. This was a match, which everyone expected the batsmen to dominate because of the short straight boundaries but classic swing bowling from both sides brought the batsmen to ground. Boult and Starc were the stand out performers though Vettori, McCullum and Williamson all had their say in the final result as well!

PS - The image used is courtesy

Get a Better Car with Quikr Nxt

I recently wanted to replace my existing Zen car with something better. That car had served me for over seven years, and although it was still in a good condition, I just wanted to change and upgrade to a better and newer car. A friend of mine suggested to me to use Quikr as I can put my Zen car on sale and can at the same time look out for a car of my choice there as well.

I immediately put up an ad on Quikr regarding my car where I posted the description and all the necessary details of the car. I also put up my telephone number and e-mail id so that the prospective buyers could contact me. But over the next few days I complained to my pal that most of the calls were prank calls and that I was often disturbed by calls in office or late at night. I also told him that I was finding it very difficult to keep a track of all the talks that I was having with various people. I also told me that I had tried reaching out to a few sellers of the car that I was intending to buy but was facing similar difficulties.

He then asked me to use the Quikr Nxt feature which he told me was a latest feature to be initiated by Quikr. He explained to me that the feature aims at reducing the prank calls and the calls received at inconvenient times and also allows keeping a record of all the conversations that one has with different buyers and sellers. The feature allows one to keep the phone number and e-mail id in private mode and Quikr Nxt can be used to chat with prospective buyers and sellers at times that are mutually convenient to both parties. It can be used either on the desktop or on a smart phone by downloading the app.

The Quikr Nxt feature also keeps a track of all the chats that you have thus reducing the headache of what you said to whom and you can access the log history at any time for a handy reference. The real time chatting is also a quick (in keeping with the name Quikr!!) way when compared to the long drawn process of sending e-mails too and forth.

I notified my friend that I found the feature very good as I could request the sellers to show the car from a certain angle or to upload a small video of the car from the inside so that I can gauge the condition of the car and not regret later. It also made my job of selling the old car easier as I had shown the uploaded pictures of my car and that way had found many interested parties.

Within a week of using the Quikr feature I had succeeded in getting a second hand car which looked as good as a new one and at the same time had got a very good price on my old car as well. I was very happy and was now suggesting others to try the Quikr Nxt feature as well.

This post is written for Indiblogger Happy Hours.

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