Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chennai Super Kings VS Rajastan Royals - IPL 2009

The last time this rematch of last year's final happened, both the teams were languishing in middle-and-lower part of the points table. Things have changed since then. Chennai Super Kings have won four on the trot, including that rematch. Rajasthan Royals have come back from that defeat with three straight victories, and now both teams are the joint leaders.

Given the tight nature of the event, we will surely have a new leader by the time Chennai and Rajasthan face each other again tomorrow, the second game of the day. Then again we might not if Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers both lose their matches. But what's certain is that both Chennai and Rajasthan will be in the top four. What's also certain is - more importantly - that by the end of tomorrow, the teams closest to them will have matches in hand. In that light, it's needless to say how important two points will be for both the teams.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)

Chennai: WWWWL
After describing his batting form as "pathetic", MS Dhoni has now become part of a dangerous Chennai trinity, the other two being Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina. Between them they have scored 895 runs, the rest have scored 391.

Rajasthan: WWWLW
In two matches Amit Singh has taken seven wickets at four runs per wicket and has given away runs at 3.5 an over. But as with Rajasthan's earlier prodigy Kamran Khan, Amit's action is also under suspicion.

Watch out for

Murali v Yusuf: Like Warne v Hayden, this one is a crucial sub-plot to this drama. Main batsman v main spinner, that's where the difference could lie.

Team news

Chennai, despite their winning streak, have two missing links in their piece: the opening pace bowler (Manpreet Gony is not fitting that role) and the opener along with Hayden (S Badrinath was tried last game, and scored a golden duck). But the bright side is that ever since Badrinath has moved up the order - and has thus got a few balls to play himself in - he has played an important anchor role in the middle order.

Chennai: (probable) 1 S Badrinath/M Vijay/Parthiv Patel, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Jacob Oram/George Bailey, 7 Shadab Jakati, 8 Sudeep Tyagi, 9 L Balaji, 10 Manpreet Gony/Joginder Sharma/extra batsman, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

It's unlikely Rajasthan will drop Amit. Lee Carseldine, Naman Ojha and Abhishek Raut have been good additions late in the season. It should be touch and go between Morne Morkel, who got his first game when he played against Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Dimitri Mascarenhas.

Rajasthan: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Naman Ojha (wk), 3 Lee Carseldine, 4 Yusuf Pathan, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Niraj Patel, 7 Abhishek Raut, 8 Shane Warne (capt.), 9 Dimitri Mascarenhas/Morne Morkel, 10 Amit Singh, 11 Munaf Patel.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chennai Super Kings Vs Kings XI Punjab - Indian Premier League 2009 South Africa

After a thumping win over Deccan Chargers in its last encounter, a rejuvenated Chennai Super Kings will take on Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

The 78-run victory against the Deccans has only added to the growing confidence of the Chennai side as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team, which fell at the final hurdle last year, is now comfortably placed second in the points tally.

In contrast, the Punjab team which lost its last match to Rajasthan Royals is on the sixth place with four wins and it will certainly count upon its batting might to register a win to go up in the standing.

Skipper Yuvraj Singh, who made gutsy 37-ball 48 against Rajasthan, is the mainstay of its batting line-up with Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Australia batsman Simon Katich joining him in the middle order.

After young opener Sunny Sohal’s golden duck in the Rajasthan match, Yuvraj might opt for the previous combination at the beginning of innings and may himself pair up with Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.

The left-arm paceman Yusuf Abdulla has surely made the batsmen’s life miserable and currently has the purple cap with 14 scalps so far, but Irfan Pathan and S. Sreesanth would have to lend support to the South African and fire in unison against the mighty Chennai batting.

On the other hand, Chennai team has found a devastating opener in Matthew Hayden, who has been in good form. M. Vijay too impressed in the last match.

Besides skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shrugged off his bad run with a 37-ball 58 as his exploits helped the Chennai team romp home in the last match against Hyderabad.

Suresh Raina, who has played a couple of timely knocks to his team’s cause, all-rounder Jacob Oram and Albie Morkel will prop up the middle order.

While Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan will keep the batsmen guessing, some timely spells from left-arm tweaker Shadab Jakati who scalped for wickets for 22 runs against Hyderabad, may well change the colour of the proceedings.

The new-ball pair of Morkel and Sudeep Tyagi has not forged a lethal pair, but its ability to fetch some early breakthroughs has often left the opponent team in disarray.

Rohit Sharma is the hero for Deccan Chargers - IPL 2009



Mumbai Indians spectacularly self-destructed to go down to Deccan Chargers by 19 runs in the IPL match at the Super Sport Park on Wednesday.

Rohit Sharma’s part-time off-spinners worked brilliantly with the abysmal batting to enable a lower-order collapse. He finished with four for six in two overs, including a hat-trick that featured Abhishek Nayar, Harbhajan Singh and J.P. Duminy as his victims.

Chasing Chargers’ 145 for six, Mumbai could manage only 126 for eight in 20 overs. The start of the chase didn’t augur well for Mumbai.

R.P. Singh held back his length to Sanath Jayasuriya who slashed for Ryan Harris to complete a spectacular catch in the deep. R.P. Singh nailed Sachin Tendulkar with a beauty in the next delivery.

Pinal Shah briefly made the best of his promotion to No.3, using his wrists splendidly to Dwayne Smith for a six over deep square-leg and slog thereafter. But part-time spinner T.S. Suman ensured Shah didn’t last long. Suman struck again in removing Dwayne Bravo.

Recklessness

Mumbai’s recklessness was consistent. Gilchrist turned to Rohit in the 16th over, who didn’t disappoint. Nayar swept and missed, and immediately, Harbhajan bottom-edged a short delivery to the stumps.

Duminy, who had until then batted with relative serenity — save a chance Suman spilled — tried clearing square leg, but found Gilchrist instead for Rohit’s hat-trick.

Gilchrist featured again two balls later, stumping Saurabh Tiwary for Rohit’s fourth wicket. The task by then was beyond the reach of Mumbai’s tail.

Earlier, Gilchrist chose to bat and began in earnest for Chargers. Gilchrist and Suman paid no heed to the early dismissal of Herschelle Gibbs as the runs piled on. Suman looked good before he was deceived by the bounce from Dwayne Bravo to edge it to wicketkeeper Pinal Shah.

Gilchrist’s rampant striking went on briefly. His trademark six over mid-wicket executed on one knee covered a massive 106 metres off Harbhajan Singh.

Some aggressive running nearly gave Chargers the edge going into the ‘strategic timeout’, before Gilchrist swung carelessly at Rohan Raje. The ball was pitched up on off, and Gilchrist was bowled. Rohit mishit Malinga for Bravo to play to the gallery with a catch-and-dive close to long-on. He departed for 38 with the score at 118.

Forced to do all the scoring, Y. Venugopala Rao struck a couple of boundaries, but Chargers could manage just 145, which at that stage looked gettable.

Chargers’ Pragyan Ojha was forced to miss out after an ankle injury. Deccan Chargers’ win moved the side up to No. 2, while Mumbai was at No.7.

SCOREBOARD

Deccan Chargers: A. Gilchrist b Raje 25 (29b, 2x4, 1x6), H. Gibbs c Tendulkar b Kulkarni 0 (5b), T. Suman c Shah b Bravo 20 (13b, 1x4,2x 6), R. Sharma c Bravo b Malinga 38 (36b, 2x4, 1x6), D. Smith b Jayasuriya 16 (12b, 1x4, 1x 6), Y. Venugopala (run out) 28 (17b, 2x4, 1x6), R. Teja (not out) 4 (4b), R. Harris (not out) 5 (4b); Extras (lb-5, w-4): 9. Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 145.

Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-37, 3-62, 4-85, 5-118, 6-137.

Mumbai Indians bowling: Malinga 4-0-24-1, Kulkarni 4-0-21-1, Harbhajan 2-0-23-0, Bravo 3-0-16-1, Raje 3-0-25-1, Jayasuriya 4-0-31-1.

Mumbai Indians: S. Jayasuriya c Harris b R.P. Singh 5 (7b, 1x4), S. Tendulkar b R.P. Singh 2 (4b), P. Shah c Smith b Suman 29 (19b, 3x4, 2x6), J.P. Duminy c Gilchrist b Rohit 52 (48b, 7x4), D. Bravo c Harris b Suman 13 (16b), A. Nayar b Rohit 1 (4b), Harbhajan b Rohit 0 (1b), S. Tiwary st. Gilchrist b Rohit 3 (5b), R. Raje (not out) 11 (7b), D. Kulkarni (not out) 7, (9b); Extras (lb-2, w-1): 3; Total (for eight wkts. in 20 overs): 126.

Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-7, 3-60, 4-97, 5-103, 6-103, 7-108, 8-109.

Deccan Chargers bowling: Harris 4-0-25-0, R.P. Singh 4-0-19-2, Harmeet 3-0-28-0, Smith 1-0-13-0, Shoaib 2-0-19-0, Suman 4-0-14-2, Rohit 2-0-6-4.

Source : Hindu

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rajasthan Royals beats Kings XI Punjab in a huge margin - IPL 2009

Rajasthan Royals fired out a warning to the rest of The IPL with a mauling of Kings XI Punjab in Durban.

Graeme Smith and Najan Ojha crashed half-centuries to help The Royals post the first total above 200 in this season’s IPL and the target proved beyond Kings XI’s heralded batting line-up.

The only thing Yuvraj Singh got right was to call correctly at the toss, as his side bowled and fielded poorly and came up short with the bat, while The Royals’ resurgence under Shane Warne continues apace.

Rajasthan had been crying out for a decent start and Warne’s decision to pull Swopnil Asnodkar from the line of fire paid off in some style as Ojha made a whirlwind start. He clattered Romesh Powar for 16 in the first over and the scoreboard ticking at the other end appeared to ease the pressure on Smith.

With Ojha swinging from the hip, Smith was able to play himself in. But once he had built a platform, the South African took severe toll on the King XI attack.
Smith blasted his way to 77 from 44 balls, as The Royals put on 135 for the first wicket – the highest in The IPL.

The South African skipper fell to the off spin of Romesh Powar, but it did not check the momentum as Ojha continued his attack and Yusuf Pathan bludgeoned a couple of boundaries.
Ojha’s innings was brought to an end by Piyush Chawla after making 68, but Ravi Jadeja (33 off 12 balls) and Lee Carseldine (16 off 9 balls) took The Royals to 211/4 – the first total over 200 in the 2009 IPL season.

Kings XI needed a solid start chasing down 212, but they did not get it as Amit Singh took the wickets of Sunny Sohal and Karan Goel in the first over.

Kumar Sangakkara was offered a life by Warne who dropped the Sri Lankan at second slip, but he failed to cash in as he was stumped by Ojha off the bowling of Yusuf Pathan.
Big hitting is not Mahela Jayawardene’s forte and he fell to the bowling of Shane Harwood when attempting to up the rate.
\
Rajasthan’s attack bowled with real aggression, Harwood hit the deck extremely hard, and Kings XI had no answer.

Yuvraj hit a few booming sixes to thrill the crowd but he became Singh's third wicket of the game as Kings XI tumbled to a 78-run defeat.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Doomsday again for Kolkatta Knight Riders - IPL 2009

The Kolkata Knight Riders paid dearly for four dropped catches and inept bowling as they crashed to their sixth defeat in eight matches in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

The Kings XI Punjab won by six wickets off the last ball at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and stayed in hunt for a berth in the semi-finals. They clearly outperformed the Knight Riders through the chase and held their nerves in a close finish.

For the second consecutive match, Brad Hodge’s impressive half-century went in vain for Shah Rukh Khan’s men.

Chasing 154, the Kings XI Punjab rode an unbeaten 52 off 41 balls from Mahela Jayawardene and Simon Katich’s 34 off 28 balls to victory. The former Sri Lanka captain was, however, lucky to have got away with a strong leg before appeal off Murali Kartik.

It was Katich and Sunny Sohal’s 43-run partnership off 26 balls that set up the chase after Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed in the first over. Katich and Jayawardene then joined hands to stitch together 33 off 25 balls to put them firmly in control.

Sohal, playing his first match, made 25 off 17 balls, including three sixes. The right-handed former India Under-19 batsman was dropped twice in two balls and Katich also had his share of luck.

Punjab needed six off the last over. Though Ajit Agarkar bowled a tidy spell, it came a bit too late for the Knight Riders. Irfan Pathan, who contributed an useful unbeaten 17, hit the winning run.
This was after Yuvraj’s innings was nipped in the bud by Ishant Sharma, the dismissal inviting a mouthful from the pacer. The aggression didn’t benefit the side, though.

The start wasn’t that attractive for the Knight Riders after winning the toss, but Hodge’s flamboyant unbeaten 70 off 43 balls took the score past the 150-run mark. Only 52 had come off the first ten overs.

Hodge had to overcome a subdued start by the openers and picked and chose deliveries to hit in the first half of his innings before throwing his bat at everything in the final over. Irfan Pathan conceded 21 in the last over that provided the much-needed impetus to the Knight Riders. The left-arm pacer paid for bowling a plethora of over-pitched and full tosses as Hodge and Morne van Wyk went hammer and tongs at him.

With McCullum struggling, Chris Gayle tried to make the most of his last appearance this season. After hitting two consecutive boundaries off Yusuf Abdulla in his run-a-ball 17, the West Indies captain perished trying another flashy stroke over mid on.

McCullum’s form is an indication of the confused state of affairs in the Knight Riders’ camp. A flamboyant striker of the ball, who set the tournament off to a rollicking start last year, the New Zealand vice captain has only been a shadow of his former self after being bestowed with the burden of captaincy.

Sunday he agonisingly battled 31 balls for his painstaking 19 before holing out to deep backward square leg.
While the captain’s form has hit rock bottom, Brad Hodge has been a revelation. Having recorded the Knight Riders’ lone half-century in this edition of the IPL in their previous game against the Mumbai Indians, he carried on in the same vein. The only bright spot in an otherwise dismal tournament for the Knights.

Rotating the strike and picking the loose deliveries, Hodge showed good attacking instincts in hitting 10 boundaries and a huge six.

Sourav Ganguly and Morne van Wyk provided Hodge adequate support with useful cameos. While Sourav made 22 off 17 balls, Van Wyk remained unbeaten on 18 off 12 balls, including a six off the last ball of the innings.