December 8, 2000

Mohammad Ghouse steals the thunder

Guru Nanak College Ground, Chennai was the venue for the South Zone Ranji Trophy One Day Tournament match between Kerala and Hyderabad. Kerala who had scored back to back wins against Goa and Andhra Pradesh were hopeful of an upset victory against Hyderabad. Mohammad Ghouse dashed all Kerala hopes with a whirlwind knock of 20 in just 8 balls including three consecutive sixes and then bowling an economical spell of 10-2-29-1.

On a crisp Friday morning, Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat. The grassy outfield had more to it than what met the eye. Grass was uneven and the outfield bumpy and to add to the misery the Kerala fielders found it painful diving around. Hyderabad amassed 272/7 in their 50 overs. Thanks to the useful knocks by Daniel Manohar (60), Vanka Pratap (55) and D Vinay Kumar an unbeaten 53. For Kerala Ananthapadmanabhan picked up 3/45. The 48th over of the innings bowled by Sreekumar Nair produced 28 runs as Mohammad Ghouse swung three sixes in a row over the midwicket fence. Tinu Yohannan who bowled the 49th over, sent Ghouse's off stump cartwheeling of a no ball, which summed up Kerala's day.

Clear blue skies, brilliant sunshine and a stiff breeze that swayed the trees that stood all around the ground, was just picture perfect for a cricket match. Kerala batsmen strolled into the middle with absolutely no idea of making a match of it. The pitch also made things worse with an uneven bounce. At one point, Kerala were batting as if to save a four day match, defending the balls with dour determination. Opener MP Sorab who has had a reasonable run with the bat in this tournament again got a start and made 44 in 85 balls. K Chandrashekhara tried his best with an innings of 55 in 62 balls. The reliable captain Sunil Oasis disappointed as he tried to steer an arm ball from India reject Venkatpathy Raju and was bowled for 24 (33 balls). Sreekumar Nair hit hard to make 16 in 10 balls, but all was over for Kerala in the 48th over when the innings folded for 208. Raju had an afternoon out with no effort at all to finish with 3/32. Hyderabad took two points while Kerala took none.