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Raising money for the devastating bushfires that took place in Australia last month, former and present cricketers, AFL football players, and more, played a charity T10 cricket match at the Junction Oval in Melbourne. The Big Appeal charity match had two teams – Ponting XI and Gilchrist XI. The Ponting XI was coached by Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar while the Gilchrist XI’s head coach was Australia’s current Test skipper, Tim Paine.

Toss Time and Playing XI’s

Out for the toss strode Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist. The latter won the important toss and opted to field first. The playing XI’s looked like this:

Gilchrist XI: Adam Gilchrist(wk/c), Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Yuvraj Singh, Elyse Villani, Andrew Symonds, Cameron Smith, Nick Riewoldt, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed, Courtney Walsh

Ponting XI: Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting(c), Phoebe Litchfield, Brian Lara, Alex Blackwell, Brad Haddin(wk), Daniel Christian, Luke Hodge, Brett Lee, Wasim Akram

First Innings – Ponting XI Batting

Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden opened while Peter Siddle had the bowl in hand, first up. First ball and Langer collected a fruitful boundary through backward square leg. The start was a good one before Courtley Walsh knocked over Langer’s stump. In walked Ponting at 3, and he looked in sublime touch (barring the first ball where Walsh dished out a beamer).

Next over was bowled by Riewoldt (former AFL player), who impressed by giving away just 2 runs (It also included a dodgy 3rd umpire decision. Hayden hit the ball straight back at Riewoldt who threw the ball at the strikers end. It seemed as though Haydos’ bat was slightly in the air, but the decision was in favour of the big Queenslander.

Yuvraj Singh bowled the next over, who after being hit for a huge six by Hayden, got the better of him next ball. Villian at mid on, took a regulation catch to end Haydos’ mini stay. Young women’s cricketer Phoebe Litchfield walked in at 4 to join Punter. She looked really good, but it was Punter who was collecting all the run for the team. When the skipper reached 26 off 14, he retired out so that others could get to bat. Brian Lara walked in at 5 and looked in steller touch. Meanwhile, Litchfield was dismissed by Andrew Symonds. Riewoldt took a solid catch the dismiss the young 16-year-old Aussie.

Lara raced to 30 off 11 before retiring out. His brilliant cameo was studded with 3 fours and 2 sixes. Alex Blackwell and Luke Hodge (AFL player) finished the innings off in style, especially Hodge who went unbeaten on 11 off just 4 balls. Ponting XI ended on a healthy 104 for 5 in their allotted 10 overs.

Mid Innings Break Special

There was something special that took place during the mid innings break. Australian women’s cricketer Ellyse Perry was bowling to Sachin Tendulkar. First ball and Sachin flicked it to backward point for four (it included a misfield). Ball two, Sachin collected a couple. In ball three, the little master picked one. Ball four, Sachin cut it straight to the point fielder. For ball five and six, Perry tossed the ball to Annabel Sutherland. Two good yorkers by her, but Sachin dug both of them out with ease.

Second Innings: Gilchrist XI Chase

Adam Gilchrist and Shane Watson opened while Brett Lee took the ball in hand. Both batters looked in ominous touch by hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. Wasim Akram bowled the second over, which included two big sixes by Watson of the final two balls of the over. The over went for 17! Next over bowled by Dan Christian was even worse; it went for a whopping 23 runs!

Before the fourth over began, Watson retired out for a solid 30 off just 9 deliveries. Once he went back, Gilchrist soon followed him back to the hut after missing a straight and low one by Luke Hodge. Brad Hodge who had walked in at three was joined by Yuvraj Singh. Both did not last long and was dismissed by 0 and 2, respectively. Elyse Villani and Andrew Symonds tried to bring the Glichrist XI back into the game, with the latter smashing anything and everything dished out to him.

When the target neared, Symonds retired out on 29 off 13 deliveries. Soon after, Villani too retired out to make it a tad hard for the team to get over the line. AFL players Cameron Smith and Nick Riewoldt were given a herculean task of needing to score 17 off 6 of the bowling of Dan Christian.

A comedy of errors took place, with multiple no-balls called and a frenetic last ball, wherein 5 were needed, but both batsmen managed to run three (the video tweet below explains it all).

Ponting XI were declared winners by a solitary run.

The Big Appeal

It was an enjoyable game, no doubt. But it was not about the result, but for a great cause. Lots of money have been raised and donations are still open for THE BIG APPEAL! Hurry, donate now!

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