dear sir, please explain 1. Kumble earned 4 wickets for 56 runs but he alone could not paper over the cracks of another pitiful batting display. it was the scalp that the tourist[ s. africa] craved and effectively scuppered their hopes of a challenging total. He struck a clutch of lusty blows to frustrate south african' rampant attack and embellish the tourists' victory target with 20 potentially princeless runs. He clubbed 7 sixes in a blistering display of clean hitting. He spooned back a chance to bowler Haris. He slammed five sixes in his pugnacious knock of 56 runs.
:up: I'll add a few explanations of tricky words.
that the tourist[ s. africa] craved
: in some war-like cultures, fighting men 'scalp' their victims as a sort of trophy. In sports, people use the term 'scalp' to mean a person who is stronger than you on paper, and is well worth beating. 'Crave' is a strong way of saying 'want'.
scuppered their hopes: the scuppers are a sort of gutter that surrounds the deck of a ship. To 'scupper' a boat is to sink it. When one team scuppers another team's hopes, it makes their efforts hopeless.
A clutch of lusty blows: you'll find all these words in most dictionaries, but not one of them is the first
a clutch = a small number (typically used of eggs in a nest)
lusty = vigorous
blows = hits (noun)
clubbed = hit crudely and powerfully, without any finesse or elegance
spooned back - the batsman hit the ball straight back to the bowler. It was not a hard/direct shot - he 'spooned' it (its trajectory was curved like a spoon - with the implication that he was doing a service, as one would feed a baby).
pugnacious knock - 'knock' here is a noun. In cricket, a batsman's knock is his innings [=his turn to bat]
Hope that helps.