Apr 182014

‘Hyderabad batting lost it in middle overs’

Rajasthan 135 for 6 (Rahane 59, Binny 48*) beat Hyderabad 133 for 6 (Dhawan 38) by four wicketsScorecard and ball-by-ball details

Stuart Binny set to slap the ball, Hyderabad v Rajasthan, Indian T20 league, Abu Dhabi, April 18, 2014Stuart Binny’s unbeaten 48 helped Rajasthan open with a win © BCCI

Hyderabad will be sick of the sight of Australia allrounder James Faulkner. Last year, he took five-wickets hauls in two encounters against Hyderabad, and though this time he didn’t make an impact with the ball, he secured a final-over victory by coolly cracking his first two balls for boundaries. It completed a day where 205 was easily hunted down in the afternoon by Punjab, but Rajasthan huffed and puffed to overhaul 133.

After Glenn Maxwell and Co. had cruised past Chennai’s huge score in the first game of the day, Rajasthan captain Shane Watson had, half-jokingly, said at the toss that he would be happy to chase anything below 200. His team was given a score substantially below 200, but the pursuit was anything but smooth as Hyderabad lived up to their reputation of being tenacious defenders.

Rajasthan sprung a surprise by sending Abhishek Nayar opening, and he began by coaxing the first ball from Dale Steyn through cover for four. That was among the few controlled shots from Rajasthan in the Powerplay as Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma had the ball swerving around under lights. Nayar was dismissed third ball while Sanju Samson barely middled a ball in his troubled stay before chipping a catch to mid-off in the fourth over.

That brought together the key pair of Watson and Ajinkya Rahane. Bhuvneshwar bowled an outstanding sixth over, beating the bat three times, twice with the ball leaving the batsman and once cutting in. Perhaps it was that pressure that helped Ishant dismiss Watson – who had a strike-rate of 227.77 against him – for the first time in the IPL, leaving Rajasthan at 31 for 3.

Rahane played and missed, had plenty of inside edges and outside edges, was dropped early at first slip, was struck on the helmet by Ishant, but he stuck it out through the difficult phase and kept Rajasthan in the game with a half-century. Even that landmark came through an outside edge to the third-man boundary.

Stuart Binny, the only other Rajasthan batsman to reach double figures, took on the weak link, Darren Sammy, early on but with the asking-rate never too high, he made sure he tucked the ball around to keep the score moving – he had only one dot ball in the final 14 he faced. He found the googlies from the legspinners, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma, hard to read but his combative 77-run stand with Rahane kept the game tight.

Rahane finally fell in the 16th over, and Rajasthan’s finisher Brad Hodge flailed against spin before perishing for an eight-ball 1. Mishra got both those big scalps, and Hyderabad were sensing a win. Steyn removed Rajat Bhatia, but with eight needed in the final over, Faulkner finished off the game with three deliveries to spare.

Hyderabad’s fancied batting, with a top three reading Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner, also had a tough time of it. Though Dhawan and Warner hit 30s, neither could really get going, scoring only at around a run-a-ball. Cameos from KL Rahul and Venugopal Rao took them to 133, though the line-up filled with big-hitters managed only two sixes all innings. Their team mentor, VVS Laxman, felt the total was 20-25 short, but the bowlers made Rajasthan scrap for the win.

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Feb 112014
Binny raring for more international exposure
Stuart Binny plays a pull shot, Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2013, Jaipur, May 12, 2013

Stuart Binny: “The IPL has given me a lot of confidence knowing that I could perform on the big stage when you play against international players, in big crowds and pressure games” © BCCI

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News : Raina out of Asia Cup squad

Players/Officials: Stuart Binny
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20 | Asia Cup

Amidst the big changes that were made in the India squads that were announced today, Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny not only retained his place in the ODI squad for the Asia Cup but was also picked for the World T20 ahead of experienced names like Dinesh Karthik and Vinay Kumar.

Binny was in the ODI squad that toured New Zealand, and thus had to miss the Ranji Trophy knockouts. He played the fourth ODI in Hamilton, where he didn’t get to bat and bowled one over for eight runs. That no other seamer conceded less than six an over would have helped his case, and it would have been unfair for the selectors to drop him without getting a fair chance to evaluate his performance.

“Yes, I would have loved to get a chance to bat in that game but the situation demanded a partnership at that time which we stitched so I wouldn’t say I was disappointed,” Binny said. “Also, that one over was what was needed at that time from the captain’s point of view. Sometimes it happens in cricket [that] as soon as you get the chance you need to go and perform. I didn’t get a good chance to bat or bowl but I wasn’t disappointed. You always want to come back and score runs, it’s always good to score runs so that you are on the selectors’ mind and keep the consistency going.”

Binny has been a consistent performer over the last few domestic seasons. In the six Ranji matches he played this season, he scored 321 runs at an average of 40.12 and a strike-rate of 78.10, and collected 11 wickets at 37.18. The season that shot him to serious contention was 2011-12. Karnataka did not go beyond the quarter-finals that season, but Binny, in eight matches, struck three hundreds and as many fifties, reaching a total of 742 at an average of 67.45. And that wasn’t all; he also took 20 wickets at 20.10.

“What I really take confidence from is my season two years ago from the Ranji Trophy [in] which I had 750-odd runs and then carried it into the IPL,” Binny said. “The IPL has also given me a lot of confidence knowing that I could perform on the big stage when you play against international players, in big crowds and pressure games. Where I bat I tend to finish games, that’s my role with Rajasthan Royals. So once that started happening for me I realised I could go on and do greater things.”

The 29-year-old also credited the ICL, in which he played for Hyderabad Heroes and rubbed shoulders with international cricketers for the first time, at the age of 23. He would have liked to play for India at a younger age but said he doesn’t think his selection came too late.

“ICL was something that transformed me,” Binny said. “It gave me confidence to play on a platform to do well, play with international players. It’s been a good journey, it’s a been an experience for me. I learnt a lot through the three-four years coming back from the ICL. I worked hard on my fitness to do well.

“I wouldn’t say it’s [selection for national squad] pretty late. I think I’ve peaked at this time in my career, I’ve matured as a cricketer right now and really looking forward to perform for my country.”

Even though there isn’t a direct correlation between scoring runs in first-class cricket and getting selected for limited-overs matches, or the other way round, an attacking 82-ball hundred against Rest of India on the send day of the Irani Cup a day before selection could not have done him any harm.

Jan 282014
Return of the bits and pieces cricketer

India picked Ronnie Irani. Hurray!

The Ronnie Irani in question is Stuart Binny. Speaking at the toss, MS Dhoni said that he would give India a lower order batsman and an additional bowling option. Needless to say, Binny bowls a bit of medium-pace.

How appropriate that he should make his debut in New Zealand, land of the Chris Harris. And what a debut! R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja batted ahead of him, so he didn’t make it to the crease and he was then entrusted with a single over, which went for eight.

A specialist number eight who doesn’t really bowl much. Every team should have one.

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