Saturday, May 23, 2009

Discipline vs thrill – who will win?


Deccan Chargers vs Bangalore Royal Challengers

Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers face their biggest challenges today in the finals of IPL 2009. It will be a battle between Deccan’s thrilling batting and Bangalore’s discipline on the field.

The two bottom-placed teams of last year’s IPL now face today to decide who will be the champion of IPL 2009. While Deccan Chargers (DC) relied on their strong batting and fielding, Bangalore Royal Challengers (DC) depended on their disciplined batting and bowling to make a complete turnaround this year.

DC takes the lead over BRC in every department of the game – batting, bowling and fielding. With Adam Gilchrist in devastating form, Andrew Symonds showing promise and stocky Rohit Sharma in the middle order, DC looks perfectly set to launch an all out attack on BRC in the final. RP Singh has performed extremely well throughout this tournament and it will be a perfect finale if he can bowl to his potential today.

But with gritty Anil Kumble leading BRC to 7 wins in the last 9 games – 5 of them on the trot before the semi-final – will it be a cakewalk for DC? BRC triumphs over DC in being consistent performer in the last few games. Rahul Dravid could make the difference with his ability to anchor an innings. The bowling department has also tuned perfectly to compliment their batting which has ensured Kumble to stick with his regular bowlers and not venture with his part-timers. But if the match goes to a close finish, DC holds the edge over BRC as is shown by the higher Extreme Pressure Performance (EPP) score in the Castrol Index.

Can BRC hold their winning momentum or will it be another batting thrill that can bring in the laurels for DC? 

 

Kumble;s team outplayed Dhoni Co. to Reach IPL Cricket 2009 Final

In a interesting match today, Banglore outplyed Dhoni;s company to secure a place in the IPL final.An blastering and fluent innings from Panday supported by Dravid;s responsible innings was finished in a style by Kohli And Tylor. They finished the asked target of 147 with one over remaining and will fight tomorrow with Hyderabad.

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2nd IPL Cricket Tournament Coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Commissioner Lalit Modi is considering plans to stage two Indian Premier League tournaments a year - one in India and another shorter one overseas.

The IPL was forced to move this year because of security concerns in India.

But the event in South Africa has been so well received that Modi is exploring the possibility of taking the game into untapped markets across the globe.

"The IPL will be based in India but a second season will help us see if a market exists elsewhere too," he said.

"The potential is huge. We have turned the challenges and adversities in moving to South Africa into an opportunity. It is fans who determine if you are successful or not and they have come out in force here.

"It has shown that the tournament can be in any region, in any country. This opens up many different opportunities for us."

The USA, where the ICC has advised cricket officials to install an IPL-style Twenty20 league, is one of the countries Modi is considering as a potential host.

"America throws up challenges but the format we have developed works. That will work anywhere," the IPL commissioner told the Daily Telegraph.

Modi also revealed he could yet take the tournament to England after they were overlooked in favour of South Africa to stage this year's event.

"Before this tournament we did not know if we could do it," Modi added. "But we do know now. We have to satisfy an appetite across the world and build a fan base across the world.

"We will talk to the England and Wales Cricket Board, and South Africa are natural allies who want us to come back every year.

"The public and the boards want us but it is not realistic to come back to the same place every year."

The rise of Twenty20 is set to continue with the launch of tournaments in England, and another event involving players from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Friday, May 22, 2009

2nd semi-final -- Chennai still Favourites


There can be few sights more intimidating in cricket than Matthew Hayden walking in to face the new ball. If the left-hander is on a song, there might as well be a blast. 

That thought alone will keep Royal Challengers on their toes when the second semi-final of the IPL begins at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday. Hayden, wearing his Orange Cap and carrying the willow that looks like a toy in a truck-puller’s hand, will keep playing on the opposition’s mind. 

Royal Challengers called for an emergency meeting on Friday that had all players in a huddle in a small conference room at hotel Sandton Sun for close to an hour. Whatever their personal work, the players had been asked to keep it aside until the all-important meeting was over. Captain Anil Kumble, 
coach Ray Jennings, Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis walked in first, followed by the rest who were still celebrating Manish Pandey’s ton on Thursday. 

There was an important issue to be discussed and it remained no secret once the meeting ended. All the players walked out of the conference room except for Praveen Kumar, B Akhil, Roelof van der Merwve, Kumble and Kallis. They had an extended half an hour discussion amongst themselves. 

Kumble knows that stopping Hayden alone will be the key to Royal Challengers making their way to the final. If they can get the belligerent left-hander early, the option of applying pressure on the rest of the line-up will be better than having him out there in the middle. Of course, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in equally good form, S Badrinath has been impressive and is fit after a slight niggle, Jacob Oram is still waiting to explode and Albie Morkel’s return from injury can make things tougher. But Hayden still remains the key. 

"He is dangerous and we all know what he’s capable of doing. He’s the tournament’s highest scorer. If we can get him early, fine,’’ says Jennings. 

In seven out of 11 innings, Hayden has given Team Chennai the right kind of start. His strike rate has been consistent at around 140. He has accumulated five fifties and an individual best of 89, so far, adding to the team’s top-order muscle. If Chennai can once again afford to flex that, Royal Challengers will have a lot of work. Dhoni’s best bet to follow-up on the start given by Hayden is Raina, the tournament’s second best batsman after the giant Aussie. At 414 runs, Raina has been the mainstay in Chennai’s middle-order and should be no less a worry for the Challengers. 

However, it was interesting to hear Jennings bring Hayden’s name into the discussion whenever the topic of Chennai’s batting came up. Be it mind games or simply a lurking fear, Challengers do know that he’s a bigger threat than anyone else.

Hyderabad in the Final of IPL Cricket 2009


 Adam Gilchrist is the new Nizam and Hyderabad are a step away from being the champions of India. No, Team Delhi didn’t do anything 
Adam Gilchrist
 Gilchrist plays a shot against Delhi at SuperSport Park in Centurion
wrong, just that they were dazzled by an old man’s frenzy that threw them out of the IPL, yet again in the semi-finals. 

Gilchrist went back in time, probably to March 23, 2003, when he rattled India in an opening burst to help Australia retain the World Cup. There was a sense of deja vu as Ashish Nehra ran into bowl, and Gilchrist put him out of the park with effortless ease, just as he had done some six years back. 

The assault, though, started with a brutal attack on one of the best bowler of the tournament, Dirk Nannes. Chasing 154, he took 21 off Nannes’ first over, employing all the shots that could have been played. Anything short was hooked or pulled mercilessly, and if the bowler dared to pitch it up, it was driven down the ground. 

Spinners came on as early as the fifth over, but there was no shift in momentum. Gilly swept Pragyan Ojha and when he hit three sixes in a Virender Sehwag over, the writing was on the wall. 

Looking clueless and dispirited, Delhi merely hoped that Gilly would play a wrong shot and get out. He edged one to get out in the 10th over, but by then the score was 102, off which the legend had contributed 85 (off 35 balls)! 

The rest was child’s play and with the likes of Andrew Symonds around, it took Hyderabad eight more overs to reach the target. 

Earlier, Gilly’s decision to play medium-pacer Ryan Harris paid off as he dismissed Gautam Gambhir and David Warner in the first over. 

The Hyderabad attack was looking all charged up, but Sehwag knew how important it was for him to stay at the wicket. The Delhi dasher never took a backward step and kept counter-attacking the Hyderabad attack. Standing tall, he carted Harris and RP Singh around the park and Tillekeratne Dilshan (65 off 51 balls), too, gave him excellent support. 

It had to be the strategy break to break Viru’s rhythm and right after the interval, the skipper missed the line of an Andrew Symonds delivery to be caught plumb in front. 

But Dilshan carried on with the good work that he had been doing right through the tournament, finding the gaps and keeping the scoreboard ticking. 

He was joined by AB de Villiers, who attacked right away and it seemed that a score of 170 was on the cards. But RP struck right when the game was drifting away from them, inducing an edge off AB, and Hyderabad were back in the hunt. Both RP and Harris were excellent in the last few overs, pitching it right up in the blockhole and varying the pace, which made it difficult for a well-set Dilshan to give the final push to the innings. 

But with the kind of form Gilchrist was in, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference either.

IPL Cricket

IPL ugly ducklings are sitting pretty

A recent survey by Brand Finance India suggested that the Indian Premier League's "brand name alone" was worth $311-million.

The value of the tournament, it suggested, as it approached the end of just its second season, was $2-billion.

How these figures are reached would, no doubt, include processes well beyond the comprehension of most cricket followers. But one thing we do know, as cricket people, is that the boffins with calculators who put the survey together have a very different perspective on things.

The Kolkatta Knight Riders are seen as the most valuable franchise, despite coming last in the eight-team league with a single victory from 11 games. They tell us that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who bought the franchise for $75,1-million, could expect to fetch $42,1-million should he decide to sell now.

They reckon that the Mumbai Indians, bought by businessman Mukesh Ambani for $111,9-million, could expect $41,6-million should he sell now, while bargain basement team, the Rajasthan Royals, bought by Manoj Badale and Lachlan Murdoch (son of Rupert) for a mere $67-million, could fetch $39.5-million despite winning the inaugural tournament.

The greatest loss, however, was reserved for the Chennai SuperKings, who were bought for $91.9-million, but are now valued at just $39,4-million despite reaching last year’s final. And yet the whole shebang is worth $2-billion and the name alone $311-million?

Make any sense?

Neither does much of the cricket, but at least there’s a serious element of thrill and desperation now that the scramble for semi-finals has reached its climax. Some franchise owners can measure their success by the amount of television exposure they have received, which makes sense given the tournament's stated aim to "combine sport and entertainment".

But for others, such as business tycoon Vijay Malya, who invested more than $120-million in the most expensive team, the Bangalore Royal Challengers, it is crunch time. With three games left in the league, one more defeat will probably mean a second season of ignominy among the also-rans. Not what a billionaire who owns airlines and 90% of India’s liquor trade expects.

The Mumbai Indians must win their three remaining games to be sure of a semi-final spot, while Chennai and the Deccan Chargers can still be caught if they falter in the final rounds.

The keys to success are mixed. Luck is certainly one of them, but can be overplayed. Runs upfront? Wickets at the death? Economy rates in the middle? Everyone has a theory and most are right.

But there are two realities that cannot be denied. Big-name players do not win an elongated competition such as this, especially when you're allowed to play only in the starting XI. They may win isolated games, but it is the other seven Indian players in the team — and mostly the four or five "no-name brand" players -- that decide the fate of their teams.

And second, teams with the least-inflated egos are succeeding far more than those with most attachments of glitz and glamour.

Among overseas players, the Delhi Daredevils have Tillekeratne Dilshan to thank for their surge to the top of the log, with AB de Villiers and Dirk Nannes. And the king of anti-bling for more than a decade, Glenn McGrath, hasn’t even played a game for them yet.

Chennai, too, have made do with Albie Morkel, Jacob Oram and the ageless Matthew Hayden.

All magnificent cricketers, but without an ounce of bling between them. Matter-of-fact and down-to-earth. And when they did lurch into the glam market, Andrew Flintoff beat a hasty retreat back to England after a week -- injured.

Perchance there is an element of coincidence that the glam franchises are being overpowered by the dull ones. Perchance not. If the King’s XI Punjab make the semis, that would be three out of four ugly ducklings sitting pretty.

Indians from all over the world have rightly rejoiced in the success of the tournament and the attention it has brought to the country. India
now "rules" world cricket and has done for the best part of a decade, though we were all (India included) a little slow to recognise the obvious.

After a century of fielding for its colonial masters and only being given a token bat and bowl when they deemed it appropriate or convenient, India’s cricket-loving masses -- and all Indians, for that matter -- are damn right to be celebrating their ascendancy to the highest seat in world cricket.

Power, however, as history tells us, in all walks of life is best accepted with large sidedishes of responsibility and humility. The Indian national team were courted and pampered to the point of embarrassment on their recent tour of New Zealand, so desperate is that country to curry favour with the new superpower. Only England and Australia can reasonably be expected to survive comfortably without India's financial clout.

Which is exactly why India needs to be fair and consistent when handing out fixture gifts and other assorted aid packages and appearances to the hungry cricket-playing nations -- starving in the case of Pakistan and West Indies.

Otherwise, India will be king -- but of what?

Indian Premier League 2009 South Africa,

India's IPL fans miss exiled heroes

A new shopping mall on the outskirts of New Delhi is the closest that fans of the city's IPL cricket team get to attending a home game this year.

In an open-air square between fashion shops and chain restaurants, a huge screen shows every Delhi Daredevils match live from South Africa to a few hundred cheering supporters.

The loss of the Indian Premier League abroad this year has dented public support for the tournament, which in its inaugural season last year attracted massive fan loyalty to its eight city-based teams.

"Last year was great, and everyone was watching every evening," Shashank Sharma, an 18-year-old student, said. "But this time there is less excitement.

"It is better when there are Indian crowds in the stadium, they are very noisy."

Sharma watched the match at the mall with six of his friends, as huge speakers blared out the commentary and loud music.

Every time the Daredevils -- led by captain Gautam Gambhir -- took a wicket or scored a boundary, four scantily-clad, female dancers jumped on to a stage in front of the screen to lead the celebrations.

Organisers were forced to move the five-week event out of India due to its clash with general elections, which meant security arrangements could not be made for the cricketers.

With the action exported to South Africa, interest among India's massive cricket following has not matched last year's event -- even though games have been scheduled in television prime time.

Viewing figures were down in 18 of the first 27 matches compared with 2008, according to Audience Measurement and Analytics, an independent ratings company.

Last year the IPL's blend of dramatic, short-format cricket and Bollywood glamour proved irresistible to millions of Indians for whom the games became an evening fixture and the biggest talking point in the country.

Sponsors hope the teams, including the Mumbai Indians and Bangalore Royal Challengers, will develop passionate fan bases similar to those enjoyed by British football side such as Manchester United.

SC Vohra, a retired diplomat, watched the Delhi Daredevils beat the struggling Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday evening at the mall with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

"The big screen makes this a good place for a family evening out, but there is not the same atmosphere with the team playing so far away," he said.

"In theory it is the same on television wherever you watch it, but the IPL is about entertainment and they will have to be careful that interest doesn't decline year after year. The novelty factor has gone already."

Also among the crowd was Nani Kapur, a 25-year-old who works in marketing.

"I went to the stadium to see the Daredevils last year and it was fantastic. The atmosphere around the tournament is less this year," she said.

"Of course people still watch it on TV but definitely the general mood is down. It can't be same without the team playing here."

One person counting the cost was Vicky Suri, a manager for Genesis, the official merchandise partner for the Delhi Daredevils.

"We've lost a lot of sales, we can't deny it,' he said. "We sell replica shirts for 600 rupees ($13) and the games going outside India has been a real blow.

"We sell a lot of goods at the stadiums and that opportunity has just disappeared. We've been shipping shirts to South Africa, but that very expensive."

"I just hope there will now be a hunger when the teams finally come back home and play here next year."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

IPL CRICKET 2009 South Africa



1ST SEMI FINAL :DELHI Vs HYDERABAD:THE REAL GAME STARTS NOW



It's semifinal time and Team Delhi are on top. Their opening duo hasn't been at its best, but that hasn't stopped them from looking a formidable unit right through the tournament.If the star of the middle-order has been AB de Villiers, there have been two silent performers in the team who have always chipped in with useful performances at the right time to take Delhi out of trouble.


Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Karthik are not the biggest stars of the Delhi team, they are not used to too much stardom at the national level either. While Karthik is still coming to terms with the fact that he is not in the T20 World Cup team, Dilshan is finally relishing the opportunity to bat up the order, which he doesn't always get while playing for Sri Lanka. "Most of my career, I have batted down the order at No. 5 or 6. But I always prefer going up and I think that has a lot to do with my success in the tournament so far," Dilshan told the TOI. It's the bounce in the South African wickets that the Sri Lankan is also enjoying. "These are the wickets I have always loved batting on. I can play on the backfoot and that has helped me immensely here," Dilshan added. The right-hander, who captained Sri Lanka in a one off T20 game against India, feels his success also has a lot to do with the innovative shots he plays. "To be a good T20 player, you've to play those chip shots here and there. A lot of hard work goes into perfecting those shots and I think it's all paying off now," the Lankan added. It's these innovative shots that has made Karthik a potent customer in T20 cricket as well. "I don't know whether to take it as a compliment when people say I am becoming a T20 expert. I guess I have done well in all forms of the game and I try these shots even when I am playing the longer version," Karthik said. Karthik was a member of the T20 World Cup winning team in South Africa and when the news came that he is not there this time, it did disappoint him. "It obviously felt bad, but I knew my job was to keep performing. It's good that the IPL has gone well for me so far," the Tamil Nadu keeper added. His Team Delhi coach Greg Shipperd, too, believes the secret behind Karthik's success is his "allround skills". "He is easily the best wicketkeeper batsman in the country after MS Dhoni. Coming at No. 6, he is our perfect allrounder, and so is Dilshan. He often comes up with those few good overs which become vitally important. These two have really gone a long way in lending the much-needed balance to our team," Shipperd said. For the duo, it's just a matter of keeping it going for two more games. "We have done everything well in the tournament so far. We're extremely confident that it will be the same in the last two games as well," said Karthik.
Team Delhi
Team Hyderabad
Last year's ranking : 4
Captain: Virender Sehwag
Coach: Greg Shipperd
Record: Matches-14, Won-10, Lost-4
Last year's ranking: 8
Captain: Adam Gilchrist
Coach: Darren Lehmann
Record: Matches-14, Won-7, Lost-7
Team form: But for a brief period, they have maintained pretty high standards for themselves right from the beginning of this event. It can be assured that they won't let all their good work be undone with one bad show!
Team form: They have improved tremendously from the last season, and look a tight, determined unit this time.
The glitch is, they tend to throw the game away from winning positions.
Drawing board: Get Gilchrist early. They must somehow get past the dangerous Symonds too.
Drawing board: RP and Ojha need to be at their best. Get Symonds in early. Let him take out his Ashes ouster frustration!
X-factor: Gambhir can re-discover his form in a big game.
X-factor: Pragyan Ojha's left-arm spin can be troublesome.
Key stars: Nehra, Warner, Sehwag.
Key stars: Symonds, Gibbs, RP Singh, Gilchrist
Probable team: Gambhir, Warner, AB de Villiers, Dilshan, Karthik, Manhas, R Bhatia, Sangwan, Mishra, Nehra, Nannes.
Probable team: Gilchrist, Gibbs, Suman, Symonds, Rohit, Venugopal, Teja, Harris, Shoaib, Ojha, RP Singh

Sehwag, Gambhir return to form as Delhi thrash Mumbai


Sehwag and Gambhir marked their return to form with blistering knocks as Delhi Daredevils prepared for the IPL semifinals with a comfortable four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in their last league match in Centurion on Thursday.

After restricting Mumbai Indians to 165 for eight, Sehwag cracked 27-ball 50 while Gambhir blasted 47 off 38 balls to guide their team to victory at Supersports park.

The Daredevils, who had already assured themselves of a berth in the semifinals, could have won with a bigger margin had they not lost four wickets in quick succession to make it a little tight in the end.

Chasing 166 to win, Delhi had a rollicking start with opener David Warner (15) and Gambhir clobbering the pacers all over the park, which included a six off Dhawal Kulkarni over long on by Warner.

However, the Australian was sent packing by Kulkarni when he mishit a raising delivery only to lob it to Ashraful.

Skipper Virender Sehwag then joined Gambhir in the middle and the duo recreated their old magic by stitching together a 68-run partership for the second wicket to help Delhi score fifty in 5.2 overs and then reached 104 in 11 overs.

Out of form, Sehwag found his form back and punished the bowlers with disdain. Kulkarni was at his receiving end in the sixth over when he dispatched the lanky pacer three times across the boundary to accumulate 14 runs.

In the 10th over, Sehwag picked up his first six off Abhishek Nayar and followed it up with two more fours to score 16 runs off the over.

Gambhir, meanwhile, kept the scoreboard ticking before his mishit skier was caught by Ashraful at third man in the 12th over.

After cruising along comfortably at 104 for one at one stage, Delhi lost the wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan (24) and Sehwag in successive deliveries in the 15th over to slump to 144 for four.

Two overs later, inform AB De Villiers (6) and Rajat Bhatia (2) returned to the hut to reduce Delhi to 153 for six with Harbahjan Singh capturing all the four wickets giving away only 17 runs.

But by then it was too late as Amit Mishra picked up the winning run to take his team home in 17.3 overs. Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane cracked a brisk 41-ball 56, while Sachin Tendulkar hit a patient 46 as Mumbai Indians posted a competitive 165 for eight.

Rahane stitched together a 54-ball 73-run partnership with Tendulkar for the fourth wicket to anchor the Mumbai Indians after skipper Virender Sehwag won the toss and decided to field.

Rahane's innings was studded with five boundaries and two hits over the fence.

Put into bat, Mumbai made a shaky start, losing three quick wickets -- Sanath Jayasuriya (0), JP Duminy (9) and Mohammad Ashraful (2) -- as they stuttered to 31 for 3 in the first six overs.

Australian Dirk Nannes in his first legal delivery in the first over trapped Jayasuriya leg before wicket to put Mumbai on the back foot.

Tendulkar then played two beautiful looking shots at square leg and mid-off to step up the tempo, while new man Duminy also got into the act, greeting Nannes with a flashy hook and a straight drive for successive boundaries.

However, Nannes had the last laugh as he sent him packing in the next ball, when Duminy nicked his away swinging delivery only to be caught behind by Dinesh Karthik.

Playing his first match in the IPL, Bangladesh import Ashraful also didn't last long and was sent back into the hut by Pradeep Sangwan in his first over.

Tendulkar and Rahane then steadied the ship and involved in some copybook shots and quick singles to bring up the fifty in 7.3 overs and then the hundred in 13 overs.

But three balls later, all-rounder Rajat Bhatia brought Delhi back into the game, as he got rid off Tendulkar. Trying to make room for himself, Tendulkar found his furniture shattered by Bhatia's straight delivery.

However, Rahane kept the scoreboard ticking and sent Amit Mishra across mid-wicket for a four and then brought up the first six of the Mumbai innings in the 17th over with a flashy strike over extra-cover.

In the next over, Rahane picked up the second six off Aavishkar Salvi. Pinal Shah (12), Harbhajan Singh (12) also played some useful shots in the end to help Mumbai across the 150 mark.

Most Valuable Player of this IPL


With few day to end IPL 2009, its time to look back and pick this year’s Most Valuable Player .

Selecting the best player in a league is a subjective call. And when it comes to cricket you can be sure that everyone has their own opinion.In cricket, it gets even harder because you end up comparing across species- batsmen and bowlers . Then there are all-rounders and keeper-batsmen which add to the complexity.

So let’s take a look at this year’s candidates. For simplicity, we first compare within a species (i.e. batsmen with batsmen) before looking across categories. We also look at player’s who have been a part of at least half the tournament, long enough to have made a sustained impact.

Best Batsmen

Player Runs Runs per innings Strike Rate
ML Hayden 546 49.6 145.21
AB de Villiers 433 39.4 132.01
SK Raina 394 32.8 147.01
AC Gilchrist 395 30.4 146.84
JP Duminy 363 33.0 113.79

Matthew Hayden is well ahead of the pack- the most runs, an average score of nearly 50 per innings (a hallmark of consistency) and a high strike rate. The rating also tells you that while Duminy has a lot of runs, his batting momentum score is a fair bit lower than the rest- and that’s because of his low strike rate.

Best Bowlers

Player Wkts Average Economy Rate
SL Malinga 17 16.11 6.02
A Nehra 18 17.11 6.55
RP Singh 19 16.89 6.73
A Kumble 15 18.53 5.89
IK Pathan 15 23.86 7.72

This one is harder to call. RP Singh may be the purple cap holder, but Malinga and Nehra have been better overall bowlers thanks to their superior economy rates. SL Malinga just edges out the Delhi Daredevil in this list.

Best All-rounders

Player Runs per innings Batting Strike Rate Bowling Strike Rate Economy Rate
DJ Bravo 21.8 107.38 18.0 7.80
YK Pathan 19.5 139.28 30.0 6.94
JH Kallis 27.7 110.29 44.4 7.97

The bowling strike rate (i.e. deliveries bowled per wicket) indicates Bravo was by far the most effective wicket taker of the lot, which led to him overcoming Kallis and Yusuf Pathan in the rankings. Plus, the West Indian got bonus points for his fielding efforts. Pathan did have the best batting strike rate and economy rate of the three, but his lack of consistency led to fewer wickets taken and fewer runs per innings. A tough call, but statistically Bravo wins out.

Castrol Cricket has estimated Most Valuable Player Index which makes it possible for players contribution to the game irrespective of their mode of contribution. According to that index ,Matthew Hayden is well ahead of others. His overall Castrol Index of 81 is top of the pack. His batting momentum score of 79 is nearly 40% better than his closest competitor Maliga. His consistency has been unparalleled by anyone- no other batsman, bowler or all-rounder has maintained his level of sustained excellence. And Hayden has led his side to a winning record and a place in the semis. Without a doubt, the IPL 2009 Matthew Hayden in the most precious asset for out of the all commodities sold in the IPL ,according to the cost benefit analysis.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rajasthan Royals to play Twenty20 Cup winners Middlesex at Lord's


The first appearance by an Indian Premier League team in England will be confirmed today with the Rajasthan Royals, led by Shane Warne, due to play at Lord's on the eve of the Ashes series.


Shane Warne and Graeme Smith - IPL champions Rajasthan Royals to play Twenty20 Cup winners Middlesex at Lord's
Big names: Shane Warne and Graeme Smith will play for the Royals
The MCC will today announce the formation of the British Asia Cup, an annual tournament that will see the winners of the IPL play the reigning champions of the Twenty20 Cup, or P20 as it will be next year.

The Royals will field a full-strength team captained by Warne and including Graeme Smith, as well as Morne Morkel and Pakistan's Sohail Tanveer and Kamran Akmal.

The match will be played on July 6 and will be the final appearance at Lord's for Warne.

"This is yet another milestone in the international development of the IPL," said Lalit Modi, the commissioner of the IPL.

"We have shown this year that the IPL truly has global appeal, and for one of our teams to be playing at the 'home of cricket' in front of the wonderfully passionate British fans is very exciting."

Proceeds from the match will be pledged to the British Asia Trust. From 2010 the Cup will be contested as a best-of-three tournament.

"After the disappointment of not being able to play the Champions League last year it is fantastic that the 2008 Twenty20 Champions of England and India can play such a match", said Vinny Codrington, Chief Executive of Middlesex. "The fact that the game will benefit such a worthy charity is tremendous bonus."

The competition finally brings together English cricket and the IPL. Previous attempts to hold an IPL match in England have failed due to problems over clashes over the England & Wales Cricket Board's Sky television deal.

The entire IPL tournament came close to being held in England this year and there is no doubt that cracking the British market remains a major aim.

Manoj Badale, chairman of the Rajasthan Royals, added: "This is a great opportunity for the Rajasthan Royals to expand our fan base in the UK, and to showcase the great international talent in the team, and on a personal note, I am especially pleased that the British Asian Trust will be benefiting from the event."

IPL 2009

Super Kings make IPL semis

Durban: Chennai Super Kings (116-9) bt Kings XI Punjab (92-8) by 24 runs

Muttiah Muralitharan led a disciplined spin attack as Chennai Super Kings qualified for the Indian Premier League semi-finals with a 24-run win over Kings XI Punjab here on Wednesday.

The Sri Lankan off-spinner finished with 2-8 off four overs as Chennai restricted Punjab to 92-8 after posting 116-9.

Delhi (18 points) and Chennai (17) have made it to the semi-finals, while Punjab await the result of Thursday's match between Deccan and Bangalore as the three teams now have 14 points apiece. The top four sides advance to the semi-finals.

Defending champions Rajasthan Royals (13 points), Mumbai Indians (11) and Kolkata (seven) are already out of the race.

Man-of-the-match Muralitharan was superbly backed by off-spinners Suresh Raina (2-17) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-13). The trio conceded only 38 runs off 12 overs.

Australian Luke Pomersbach top-scored with 26 in Punjab's dismal batting display in the last match.

Punjab earlier put in an impressive bowling performance to restrict Chennai to a modest total, with fast bowlers Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan taking two wickets apiece.

Australian paceman Brett Lee also prevented the Chennai batsmen from scoring freely, conceding only 16 in his four overs.

Chennai added 40 for the opening wicket off just 4.5 overs through India's Parthiv Patel (32) and Australian George Bailey (15), but lost their way after the openers' dismissals. Raina was the other main scorer with 20.

Sreesanth got two wickets in three balls when he had Subramaniam Badrinath (four) caught by Pathan at mid-on and then bowled skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for two.

Pathan removed New Zealander Jacob Oram (17) and Ashwin (eight) to finish with 2-32.

Shane Warne's Rajasthan miss IPL semis


Durban: Kolkata Knight Riders (102-6) bt Rajasthan Royals (101-9) by 4 wkts


Laxmi Shukla hit an unbeaten 48 while Charl Langeveldt took three wickets as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Rajasthan Royals by four-wickets to dump the defending champions out of the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

"It's really disappointing but we were just not good enough the whole tournament," said Rajasthan captain Shane Warne. "I want to thank everyone in South Africa that supported me and the Royals."

After displaying a disciplined all-round fielding performance to restrict Rajasthan to 101-9 in their allotted 20 overs, Kolkata stuttered in reply and midway through the innings it seemed Rajasthan would scrape through.

But man-of-the-match Shukla reversed the momentum, cracking three boundaries and two sixes in 46 balls to take Kolkata to only their third win of the series with just three balls to spare. He shared a match-winning unbeaten stand of 57 runs with Ajit Agarkar (13 not out).

"Every game in the series has gone down to the last over and today was not different," said Kolkata captain Brendon McCullum. "We bowled really well but put ourselves under pressure with the bat. But Shukla and Ajit were brilliantly to take us home."

Kolkata lost opener Sourav Ganguly in the first over after nicking Munaf Patel to Ravindra Jadeja at point for a duck.

McCullum was then trapped lbw by Amit Singh on the first ball of the second over to leave Kolkata on 9-2. Rob Quiney produced a stunning diving catch to dismiss Yashpal Singh off Patel in the fifth over.

Pace bowler Patel was Rajasthan's best bowler with 2-14 in four overs.

Nine runs later Brad Hodge was stumped by Naman Ojha off Johan Botha for six, then David Hussey was well taken in the deep by Niraj Patel from offspinner Johan Botha's ball to leave Kolkata on 37-5.

Suicidal running between the wickets saw Shoaib Shaikh being run out by a combination of Botha and Yusuf Pathan for six in the 12th over.

Kolkata, who are already out of contention for the semi-finals, were put on the victory path by their bowlers in a remarkable fielding show.

South Africa medium pacer Langeveldt extracted good bounce from the Kingsmead wicket to finish with an impressive 3-15 in four overs, while pace bowler Ajit Agarkar ended with 2-15 in from his four overs.

KKR's clean sweep over Chennai - IPL 2009

Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni described his side’s bowling performance in its seven-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders as one of the worst in the Indian Premier League while admitting that the team was outplayed by the opposition.

Chasing Chennai’s daunting total of 188, Kolkata reached the target in the last ball with skipper Brendon McCullum (81) and Hodge (71 not out) setting the SuperSport Park on fire. The win gave Knight Riders its second victory from 13 matches. “It is disappointing to lose the match. We had (enough) runs on the board (to defend) but they (Kolkata) had some brilliant batting and on the other hand one of the worst bowling performance in the IPL,” Dhoni, who was clearly not happy with the effort of his bowlers, said after the match.

“Kolkata batted really well. They outplayed us more than anything else. When you have to chase nearly 190 you need good effort from some of boys. That was what they did,” he added.

McCullum was pleased to win the match though his team has been out of contention for a semifinal berth much earlier.

“We are feeling a lot better with the win. For the last three-four weeks we have been trying hard. We have been backing ourselves to do better. We had been finding it hard to do it but we are pleased to win today (Monday),” said McCullum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Indian Premier League Cricket 2009 South Africa,

Bangalore thump Delhi by 7 wickets, keep semifinal hopes alive


Ipl
Jacques Kallis delivered when it mattered most as the South African cracked an unbeaten half century to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thumping seven-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils and keep their semifinal hopes alive in the Indian Premier League Cricket here today.

Kallis (58 not out) carried his bat through the innings hitting two fours and two sixes from 56 balls to steer Bangalore to their seventh win from 13 matches after Delhi elected to bat and posted 134 for seven.

Kallis first shared a 70-run stand from 69 balls for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid (34-ball 38) and then combined with Ross Taylor (12-ball 25) for 29 runs from just 14 balls for the third wicket to take Bangalore home with one over to spare.

Bangalore, now at fourth place in IPL table with 14 points to their kitty, will though need to win their last match against Deccan Chargers at Centurion on May 21 to make sure that they make it to the semifinals.

Chasing 135 for a win on a slow Wanderers pitch, Bangalore batsmen, except for Taylor, grafted for runs for most part of the match.

Robin Uthappa (1) continued his poor form but the other opener Kallis and one down Dravid stabilised the Bangalore innings.

The two experienced duo shunned extravagance and runs came in singles with boundaries few and far between though Kallis lifted an Aavishkar Salvi delivery for a huge six in the fourth over.

From 19 for one at the end of fifth over, Kallis and Dravid took Bangalore to 54 for one at the strategy break before the former India captain fell, caught and bowled by debutant Yogesh Nagar.

In-form Taylor, as soon as he came out, punished Salvi for a four and a six off consecutive balls to show his aggressive intent while Kallis dropped anchor only to open up towards the close.

Next over, Taylor eased the pressure further by smashing two sixes off the first two balls of Yogesh but he paid the price of being too adventurous.

The New Zealander, whose cameo brought down the asking rate, tried another six off the third ball of Yogesh to hole out to Daniel Vettori near the boundary.

Bangalore needed 33 from the last five overs, but they finished off the match in four.

For Delhi, Yogesh Nagar returned with two for 20 while Ashish Nehra took one wicket.

Earlier, Bangalore bowlers were spot on in their line and length and fielders backed them with some good work to restrict Delhi to 134 for seven.

Dinesh Karthik top-scored with a 29-ball 31 while AB de Villiers and Gautam Gambhir contributed 28 and 27 respectively.

Praveen Kumar returned with figures of 3/30 from his four overs while captain Anil Kumble chipped in with two wickets.

Delhi were in for a now familiar top order failure as they were down two wickets with just one run on the board in the first over with captain Virender Sehwag and Mithun Manhas falling to Praveen both out for a duck.

Sehwag, who has aggregated 109 from his nine innings so far, drove straight to Ross Taylor in third ball of innings. Two balls later, Manhas failed to connect Praveen's bouncer which kissed his gloves for Kallis to take a good catch.

Gambhir was in good touch and looked like on course for a big score before he fell for 27 to a bad shot off Kallis at the last ball of the sixth over.

The Delhi opener, who hit a huge six off Praveen and two fours off Balachandra Akhil, holed out to Taylor at cover point while trying to upper-cut a short and wide delivery to leave his side in trouble at 37 for three.

de Villiers (28), who have been in tremendous form, failed to wriggle out Delhi from trouble for once, with van der Merwe rattling his off stump just after strategy break.

Kumble then joined the party cleaning up Andrew McDonald (3) with a faster delivery that went through the Australian's defence and from 68 for three at the strategy break, Delhi were 70 for five.

Yogesh Nagar contributed a useful 20 before becoming Kumble's second victim but after Karthik was out in the 18th over, Delhi could not add much to their total.

Indian Premier League 2009 South Africa

 Crucial Game for Banglore

With the IPL moving towards the last leg of league games, things are desperate for Royal Challengers Bangalore. They have to win their last two games. A loss to Delhi Daredevils will seriously dent their chances of going further, but a win will suddenly put the pressure on Deccan Chargers, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, on 14, 14 and 13 points respectively. Should Bangalore beat Delhi, their last match against Deccan turns into a knock-out affair. Bangalore kept their semi-final hopes alive by pulling off an upset victory against Chennai Super Kings. Up against the top side in the tournament they will have to be at their best - there simply is no room for slipping.

Delhi are clearly the better side, with a far stronger opening combination and middle order, Twenty20's best slow bowler, a legspinner in form and a potent new-ball pair. Bangalore have constantly shuffled their dismal opening combinations and don't have a great pace attack, so plenty falls on Anil Kumble's shoulders. How Kumble, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Praveen Kumar match up against Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dirk Nannes, Ashish Nehra, Amit Mishra and possibly Daniel Vettori could well decide how this one swings.

Bangalore's support cast has been tidy if unspectacular. R Vinay Kumar and Roelof van der Merwe have six and five wickets respectively, and Virat Kohli is their third-highest run-getter. How these players perform under pressure is also critical. While Delhi's big-name openers have struggled, de Villiers and Dilshan have been awesome in this IPL. Praveen and Vinay can hope to dislodge Sehwag and Gambhir again, but getting de Villiers and Dilshan is the key. After leading Delhi on a smooth ride to the semi-finals, Sehwag has set his sights on regaining his form with the bat. Potentially bad news for Bangalore.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Indian Premier League Cricket 2009 South Africa

Knight Riders record rare IPL win

Centurion: Kolkata Knight Riders (189-3) 

bt

 Chennai Super Kings (188-3) by 7 wkts

 

Australasians Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge were the heroes as Kolkata Knight Riders shocked Chennai Super Kings on Monday in an Indian Premier League thriller.

Skipper McCullum from New Zealand struck 81 runs and Australian Hodge an undefeated 71 as Kolkata scored a single off the last ball at Centurion Park and triumphed by seven wickets.

It was only the second win in 13 outings for the bottom team in the Twenty20 extravaganza while a Chennai side lacking injured star batsman Matthew Hayden suffered their fifth loss of the group phase which finishes Thursday.

Suresh Raina top scored for Chennai with 52 as they made 188-3 in 20 overs on a cold, late autumn evening at the Test venue halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

McCullum was quickly into his stride as Kolkata chased a daunting total, reaching a half century during the sixth over before being bowled by Shadab Jakati with his side on 124-2 after 13 overs.

But Hodge carried the fight to Chennai and after going into the final over needing six runs to win, it came down the final ball which wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha scrambled for a single to avoid a super-over climax.

"Winning was far more important than my contribution," said modest man of the match Hodge. "We have tried so hard in the IPL only to finish on the wrong side of results."

McCullum added: "I would not wish the last four weeks on my worst enemy, but the boys kept lifting themselves off the floor and tonight we got over the line. Now we must enjoy ourselves."

Chennai skipper MS Dhoni said: "We got a lot of runs only for our opponents to bat brilliantly. Now we face the same situation as last year of needing a win from our final match to clinch a semi-finals place."

Kolkata face defending champions Rajasthan Royals and Chennai meet Kings XI Punjab Wednesday in a Durban double-head

IPL Cricket 2009 SOuth Africa

Stunning Victory for KKR At last

Centurion Twin cracking half centuries by captain Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge ensured Kolkata Knight Riders pull off a stunning seven-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League thriller here today.

Chasing a huge 189, Kolkata reached the target in the last ball with McCullum (48-ball 81) and Hodge (71 not out from 44 balls) setting the SuperSport Park on fire to give Kolkata their second victory from 13 matches and in the process denting Chennai's chances of making it to the semifinals.

Kolkata's win does not make any difference to their chances as they are already out of semifinal contention though it must have given them the satisfaction of beating a strong side.

For Chennai, still second on IPL table with 15 points from 13 matches, they will have to win their last match against Kings XI Punjab on May 20 in Durban and wait for other results to see if they make it to the last four stage.

McCullum gave Kolkata to a flying start with an exhibition of stunning batting racing to his second IPL-II fifty in 21 balls though he did not get enough support from the other opener, Sourav Ganguly.

Hodge, who shared a 90-run stand for the second wicket with McCullum from just 56 balls, joined the party towards the close of run chase with some stunning fours and sixes to take his side home in the last ball.

Out-of-sort Ganguly's (4 from 14 balls) dismissal in the sixth over did not distract McCullum and he sent the Chennai bowlers for a leather hunt with superb display of batting before he was out in the 14th over off Shadab Jakati. His

superb knock included 11 fours and three sixes.

Kolkata needed 58 from the last five overs with eight wickets in hand and after David Hussey (3) was run out while going for a non-existent single the asking rate rose to above 13 per over.

Hodge, who hit four fours and equal number of sixes, kept Kolkata in the hunt with some stunning shots, including two sixes off Laxmipathi Balaji in the penultimate over.

Wriddhiman Saha also played his part with an unbeaten 13-ball 25 and sharing a 56-run stand from just 28 balls for the unbroken fourth wicket, besides hitting the winning runs off Suresh Raina from the last ball of the innings.

Earlier, playing without IPL-II top scorer Matthew Hayden, Chennai opted to bat first and scored an imposing 188 for three, mainly revolving around Suresh Raina's (52) superb half century and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 40.

Raina cracked his fifth IPL fifty with a 37-ball 52 which included three fours and three sixes while Dhoni carried his bat through the innings with a 28-ball 40 which was studded by four fours and a six.

Dhoni, who was dropped by Murali Kartik while on 16, shared a 74-run stand with Raina for third wicket from just 47 balls and then an unbroken 36-run fourth wicket partnership with Albie Morkel from just three overs.

Chennai were off to a quick start with Parthiv Patel and George Bailey bringing up 50 in the sixth over. Australian Bailey did not shy from taking risks by hitting over close-in fielders for boundaries, capitalising on field restrictions of

early overs.

But, two run outs of the two openers from direct throws by same fielder, Laxmi Ratan shukla, suddenly slowed down the momentum.

Parthiv Patel fell for a 19-ball 25 in seventh over while Bailey could score 29 from 26 balls (4X4) and from 59 for no loss, Chennai slumped to 82 for two by the strategy break.

Chennai found scoring a tad difficult when the spinners Ajantha Mendis, Murali Kartik and Brad Hodge were operating, but with wickets in hand, they stepped on the gas after the halfway mark.

A big over, which fetched 13 runs, off David Hussey was followed by a superb 15th over bowled by Ashok Dinda who gave away just two runs.

But, Raina hit Ajantha Mendis for two sixes to take 17 runs from the 16th over. Raina then brought up his fifth IPL fifty in style hitting Ashok Dinda for a six before he fell next ball caught by Shukla for a ball 52.

Chennai took 19 from the last over bowled by Ajit Agarkar with Albie Morkel hitting two sixes and a four.

IPL Cricket 2009 SOuth Africa

 Stunning Victory finally Come for KKR

Centurion Twin cracking half centuries by captain Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge ensured Kolkata Knight Riders pull off a stunning seven-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League thriller here today.

Chasing a huge 189, Kolkata reached the target in the last ball with McCullum (48-ball 81) and Hodge (71 not out from 44 balls) setting the SuperSport Park on fire to give Kolkata their second victory from 13 matches and in the process denting Chennai's chances of making it to the semifinals.

Kolkata's win does not make any difference to their chances as they are already out of semifinal contention though it must have given them the satisfaction of beating a strong side.

For Chennai, still second on IPL table with 15 points from 13 matches, they will have to win their last match against Kings XI Punjab on May 20 in Durban and wait for other results to see if they make it to the last four stage.

McCullum gave Kolkata to a flying start with an exhibition of stunning batting racing to his second IPL-II fifty in 21 balls though he did not get enough support from the other opener, Sourav Ganguly.

Hodge, who shared a 90-run stand for the second wicket with McCullum from just 56 balls, joined the party towards the close of run chase with some stunning fours and sixes to take his side home in the last ball.

Out-of-sort Ganguly's (4 from 14 balls) dismissal in the sixth over did not distract McCullum and he sent the Chennai bowlers for a leather hunt with superb display of batting before he was out in the 14th over off Shadab Jakati. His

superb knock included 11 fours and three sixes.

Kolkata needed 58 from the last five overs with eight wickets in hand and after David Hussey (3) was run out while going for a non-existent single the asking rate rose to above 13 per over.

Hodge, who hit four fours and equal number of sixes, kept Kolkata in the hunt with some stunning shots, including two sixes off Laxmipathi Balaji in the penultimate over.

Wriddhiman Saha also played his part with an unbeaten 13-ball 25 and sharing a 56-run stand from just 28 balls for the unbroken fourth wicket, besides hitting the winning runs off Suresh Raina from the last ball of the innings.

Earlier, playing without IPL-II top scorer Matthew Hayden, Chennai opted to bat first and scored an imposing 188 for three, mainly revolving around Suresh Raina's (52) superb half century and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 40.

Raina cracked his fifth IPL fifty with a 37-ball 52 which included three fours and three sixes while Dhoni carried his bat through the innings with a 28-ball 40 which was studded by four fours and a six.

Dhoni, who was dropped by Murali Kartik while on 16, shared a 74-run stand with Raina for third wicket from just 47 balls and then an unbroken 36-run fourth wicket partnership with Albie Morkel from just three overs.

Chennai were off to a quick start with Parthiv Patel and George Bailey bringing up 50 in the sixth over. Australian Bailey did not shy from taking risks by hitting over close-in fielders for boundaries, capitalising on field restrictions of

early overs.

But, two run outs of the two openers from direct throws by same fielder, Laxmi Ratan shukla, suddenly slowed down the momentum.

Parthiv Patel fell for a 19-ball 25 in seventh over while Bailey could score 29 from 26 balls (4X4) and from 59 for no loss, Chennai slumped to 82 for two by the strategy break.

Chennai found scoring a tad difficult when the spinners Ajantha Mendis, Murali Kartik and Brad Hodge were operating, but with wickets in hand, they stepped on the gas after the halfway mark.

A big over, which fetched 13 runs, off David Hussey was followed by a superb 15th over bowled by Ashok Dinda who gave away just two runs.

But, Raina hit Ajantha Mendis for two sixes to take 17 runs from the 16th over. Raina then brought up his fifth IPL fifty in style hitting Ashok Dinda for a six before he fell next ball caught by Shukla for a ball 52.

Chennai took 19 from the last over bowled by Ajit Agarkar with Albie Morkel hitting two sixes and a four.

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Indian Premier League Cricket 2009 South Africa

Can Kolkata salvage some pride?

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings

Having already qualified for the semis, Chennai will be looking to maintain their winning momentum against Kolkata today.

Kolkata KnightRiders finds themselves in the middle of nowhere. KKR fixed their batting woes with the arrival of David Hussey into their fold. But even an excellent batting performance, reflected in their Batting Momentum (BM) of 210 and Extreme Performance Batting (EP Bat) of 84 couldn’t save the match against Deccan Chargers. Poor performances in bowling and fielding have plagued the team just when they seemed to have found some rhythm in their batting.

CSK on the contrary has perhaps the strongest batting line-up in the tournament, going by their performance. In most of the matches, CSK’s batting has powered the team to victory. Their average Batting Momentum of 217 in the tournament bears testimony to that. But their worry will be their poor fielding standards and lackadaisical bowling performances in the last few matches.

As nothing much is at stake for CSK in this match having already qualified for the semis, KKR will want to leave a lasting impression in this year’s IPL. To achieve that, KKR will have to bat much better than their tournament average BM of 160 against CSK, bowl more precisely than their Bowling Efficiency (BE) of 103 and take all the chances that comes in the field.

Can they do it this time?