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Super Smash 2021-21 | Match Review: Wellington bat Otago out of the game

The Otago Volts took on the Wellington Firebirds at John Davies Oval, Queenstown on Tuesday, December 28. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Otago got off to a good start, with openers Hamish Rutherford and JJ Tasman-Jones putting on 41 for the first wicket, before the latter fell victim to Neesham at 35 (26). 

The middle-order fell apart quickly, but Anaru Kitchen 54(34) and Michael Rippon 28 (25)* rebuilt the innings with a 75-run partnership for the sixth wicket. They were able to get closer to a reasonable total thanks to this collaboration. In the allotted 20 overs, they eventually scored 166/7.

The Firebirds used seven different bowlers, except captain Bracewell, and everyone chipped in with a wicket. James Neesham was the pick of the bowlers with his figures reading 3-0-17-2.

During the chase, Finn Allen and Tim Robinson teed off in the power play. Allen was flying before he got out to Bacon. He scored a quick-fire knock of 32 (13) which consisted of three fours and three sixes. While Robinson anchored the innings with his 65 (49).

Similar to Otago’s middle-order the Wellington's middle-order too crumbled. But thanks to their lower order batter, Nathan Smith, their run-chase was resurrected. Smith played an unbeaten cameo of 38 (18) consisting of four biggies. 

As a result, the Firebirds chased the target with four balls to spare and won the match by five wickets. Rippon was the standout performer for the Volts as he took two wickets in his four overs along with a maiden to go with it. Jacob Duffy was too expensive as he conceded 50 runs in just 3.2 overs.

With this victory, the Firebirds moved up to fourth place on the table with eight points from five games, while the Volts languish at the bottom with six points from six games. Otago will play Auckland tomorrow, while Wellington will play Otago again on January 6, 2022.

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Kapil’s Natraj shot came very naturally to Ranveer: Balwinder Singh Sandhu

The Bollywood film ’83’ based on India’s World Cup-winning triumph in 1983 has been doing wonders on the big screen. This was the first time when the Indian team lifted the World Cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev. Kapil’s role has been played by actor Ranveer Singh who has been making the headlines for the same. Balwinder Singh Sandhu who was a part of the side is also the film’s associate director and has played an important role in the making. “Kapdo me kitna mitti hona chahiye, yeh bhi maine decide kiya tha. Mujhe bohot creative satisfaction mila,” (“The extent of mud stains on the clothing was also decided by me. It gave me a lot of creative satisfaction,”) he said according to Sportskeeda. Kapil’s 175* against Zimbabwe remains one of the most important knocks in the Indian cricket history but unfortunately that wasn’t televised as according to reports the BBC which was the host broadcaster for the 1983 World Cup was on strike. It is also said that the BCC had a crunch as far as the crew is concerned as there were four matches going on at the time and the broadcaster were covering England vs Pakistan and West Indies vs Australia. Coming back to that match and the film, Sandhu rated the former India captain’s knock as the greatest in World Cup history and also revealed that Kapil’s “Natraj shot” came very naturally to Ranveer. “To judge the greatness of that innings, you have to understand the context. We went into the reverse fixture against Zimbabwe having lost the previous two matches very badly. So, it was a do-or-die match for us,” he said. “Kapil’s 175* was the tournament-defining innings. It’s undoubtedly the greatest innings in World Cup history,” he added. “In the movie, we tried to recreate the shots. Ranveer [Singh] has done a great job. He worked very hard, but never looked tired. At the same time, he was a good listener. He grasped whatever instructions I gave him and was highly motivated to emulate all the shots correctly. In fact, Kapil’s Natraj shot came very naturally to Ranveer! I told him to stick to his natural ability because Kapil’s pull shot came naturally to him,” Sandhu further said.