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Rediff.com  » Sports » ICC T20 WC: The first impressions...

ICC T20 WC: The first impressions...

June 8, 2009 19:59 IST

Taking England in the Wright direction

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First impression is the last impression, they say.

The second edition of the ICC T20 World Cup started with a couple of upsets, and there are still a few more possible are on the cards.

While some of the high profile players have begun their campaign on a sour note, there are a few who have had the sweet taste of success.

With all the teams having begun their campaigns and played at least one match [save Sri Lanka], rediff.com takes a look at some players who have made a good first impression and have the ability to make a lasting one on the tournament.

Luke Wright (England)

Luke Wright scored 71 in England's opening match against the Netherlands on Friday.

He also put on 102 runs for the first wicket in just 11 overs with Ravi Bopara (46) before his side fell off the pace.

Even though England suffered a shocking defeat in that match, Wright's contribution was nonetheless a significant one.

And, as the hosts bounced back with a thumping win over Pakistan on Sunday, it was Wright again who came up with another significant contribution.

The all-rounder made a whirlwind 16-ball 34, took two catches and the wicket of Shoaib Malik to help his side's cause.

No wonder he was adjudged the man of the match.


Image: Luke Wright
Photographs: Reuters
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Jesse jaisi koi nahin

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Jesse Ryder (New Zealand)

Jesse Ryder scored a superlative 12-ball 31 in New Zealand's comprehensive six-wicket win over Scotland at the Oval on Saturday.

The Kiwi southpaw had three hits to the fence and two huge ones over it, as he gave ample showcase of his potential in this format.

He also shared a 51-run partnership for the opening wicket with captain Brendon McCullum (18), a partnership that came off just 17 balls and sealed Scotland's fate.

And if New Zealand are hoping to go far in the tournament, they would expect Ryder to be at his consistent best.


Image: Jesse Ryder
Photographs: Reuters
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This David is Australia's Goliath

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David Warner (Australia)

The Australian opener played a significant and composed innings in their opening match against the West Indies at the Oval on Saturday.

The diminutive left-hand opener anchored the innings with 63 from 53 balls, laced with six boundaries and a maximum.

Australia, reduced to 15 for three after 3.3 overs, did well to reach their eventual total of 169 for seven.

And even though they lost the match, Warner's effort was a majestic one, particularly because he played a controlled innings that was very unlike his usual knocks.


Image: David Warner
Photographs: Reuters
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This Gayle blew Australia away

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Chris Gayle (West Indies)

West Indies captain Chris Gayle smashed the Australian bowlers to all parts of the Oval on Saturday to lead his team to a seven-wicket victory in their opening Twenty20 World Cup group C match.

Gayle struck 88, inclusive of six sixes and six fours, from 50 deliveries as West Indies overhauled Australia's 169 for seven with 4.1 overs to spare.

Andre Fletcher proved an excellent foil, scoring 53 from 32 balls in an opening partnership of 133.

Gayle launched an audacious attack on Brett Lee, bowling in excess of 145 kms an hour, in the fifth over of the innings.

He clubbed the Australian fast bowler over long-on into the street and struck another huge six over mid-wicket.

Twenty-seven came from the over.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting turned to David Hussey's gentle slow-medium and Gayle responded by lofting two more sixes into the crowd.


Image: Chris Gayle
Photographs: Reuters
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Yuvraj shines yet again

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Yuvraj Singh (India)

It was Yuvraj Singh -- who struck four sixes in total -- who really took the game away from Bangladesh on Saturday.

The left-hander's innings of 41 from 18 balls, including three sixes in one over, helped India pile on 180 for five at Trent Bridge.

"Everyone contributed but especially Yuvraj (Singh) with the bat," said man-of-the-match Pragyan Ojha, applauding his teammate's innings.

Even the opposition camp was in awe.

"Those three sixes (in one Naeem Islam over) from Yuvraj was probably the telling point," Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said.


Image: Yuvraj Singh
Photographs: Reuters
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Ojha leads India to victory

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Pragyan Ojha (India)

India's Pragyan Ojha claimed four wickets on his Twenty20 international debut to bowl the holders to a 25-run win over Bangladesh in their opening World Cup group A game on Saturday.

The left-arm spinner, yet to play a Test, took 4 for 21 from his four overs and ended an early victory charge from Bangladesh, who managed 155 for eight in reply to India's 180 for five at Trent Bridge.

Bangladesh were 74 for two after eight overs and managing a run rate of more than nine runs per over. Ojha then spoiled their chances of an upset, gradually steering India towards a comfortable victory.

"We are defending champions so when you get into the team there is a lot of responsibility on you to perform," Ojha said. "I'm glad I was able to do a job for my captain.

Ojha had Shakib Al Hasan caught from his first delivery after the batsman top-edged a drive to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Opener and top-scorer Junaid Siddique (41 from 22 balls) followed four deliveries later, caught at deep midwicket.

Mahmudullah, caught by a diving Yuvraj, and Mashrafe Mortaza (bowled) capped off a fine opening match for Ojha, who had been part of the winning Deccan Chargers side in last month's Indian Premier League final.


Image: Pragyan Ojha
Photographs: Reuters
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De Villiers inspires South Africa

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AB de Villiers (South Africa)

AB de Villiers cracked 79 from 34 balls to inspire South Africa to a crushing 130-run victory over Scotland in their Twenty20 World Cup group D match at the Oval on Sunday.

South Africa reached 211 for five, the highest score of the tournament so far, before bundling the Scots out for 81 from 15.4 overs.

De Villiers, who had a great IPL with Delhi Draedevils, hit six sixes and five boundaries during his unbeaten knock.

He and Albie Morkel (24) put on a 50-run partnership from only 19 balls to help their team put up their highest T20 total.


Image: AB de Villiers
Photographs: Reuters
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Pietersen makes a perfect return

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Kevin Pietersen (England)

Kevin Pietersen celebrating his return from injury with 58 from 38 balls, helping England reach a competitive 185 for five against Pakistan on Sunday.

Pietersen had a life on 30 when off-spinner Saeed Ajmal dropped a sharp caught-and-bowled opportunity, one of four chances spilled by the Pakistanis whose ground fielding was also sloppy.

He hit three sixes, one travelling more than 100 metres into the stand over long-off, and shared useful partnerships with opener Luke Wright (34) and Owais Shah (33).

Pietersen and Wright shared a 53-run stand for the second wicket to set the tone for England's innings while the former captain also added 66 for the third wicket with Shah.


Image: Kevin Pietersen
Photographs: Reuters
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