Saturday, March 13, 2010

Indians take on Royals today


After a show stopping opening night, the third edition of Indian Premier League will starts its usual proceedings today with Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians clashing against Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals in their own den as Preity Zinta’s Kings XI will fight it out with Gautam Gambhir led-Delhi Daredevils.
Yesterday’s encounter between Knights and Chargers has already given us a hint that there will be many close encountersthis year.
The first encounter of the day will seeMumbai and former Champion Rajasthan and here is the analysis:
Mumbai Indians always has been a under-achiever in the last two season of IPL but today they will be playing at home and will surely have an upper hand. They had some of the best players of International Cricket but some failed to reach the top 4. \Mumbai have a strong batting line-up that consist quality and dangerous players like Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan and J.P. Duminy.
They will surely miss West Indian Dwayne Bravo and even the new recruit and the money man Keiron Pollard will not be available due to his international duties. But the likes of Abhishek Nayyar will surely bolster the team’s strength. Their bowling line-up will be spearheaded by Zaheer Khan, Dilhara Fernando and Harbhajan Singh.
On the other hand Rajasthan will be heavily depending on Coach and Captain Shane Warne who strategy will set the pace for the game. Young pacer Kamran Khan’s speed will also make the difference as he can single-handedly stun the opponents with his fiery pace and Mornie Morkel who is a utility player for the team.
Royals have a strong batting line up and need no introduction with the opening pair of Smith and Asnodkar they can expect a good start today and the middle order gets stronger after the inclusion of Damien Martyn.
But my man of the moment will be the two all-rounder’s who looks big and even executes big stuff: Yusuf Pathan and Dimitri Mascarenhas.
Expect a scorcher of a match that will be coming live to you from 4:00 PM (IST)

KKR beat Deccan Chargers by 11 runs


In an Indian household, a homecoming is a reason for celebration. Relatives, friends and well-wishers queue up for the welcome party. So, in keeping with tradition, the Indian Premier League opener for the third edition was nothing short of a homecoming for the cash rich event after its South Africa sojourn. 
The Sony commercial for the tournament promised a red carpet welcome with a glitzy opening ceremony at the DY Patil stadium in Nerul. The 55,000-capacity stadium was all decked up but quite a few pockets of empty seats all around the ground were hard to miss.
The stadium was not even half full when the opening ceremony began, though the numbers did swell by the time the game began 15 minutes behind schedule.
And those trooping in late had no time to even settle before the Kolkata Knight Riders began from where they left off last year, when they lost two wickets without a run on board.
But Englishman Owais Shah (56 not out) and Lankan Angelo Mathews (65 not out) put on a rescue act which took last year's 'bottom of the table' team to a respectable 161 for four from their allotted 20 overs. And what was more incredible was when their bowlers then recovered from an early hammering to upset defending champions Deccan Chargers by 11 runs. Even as the stadium, roped in as a "home game" for the 'homeless' chargers, erupted, Sourav Ganguly's Knight Riders hugged with abandon in the middle.
But victory didn't come easy. While skipper Adam Gilchrist was at the crease, the Chargers looked set to run away with the match. The stumper made the most of two reprieves to make a quickfire 54, but his dismissal triggered a mini collapse. Gilchrist's departure seemed to also lift the KKR bowlers, who then tightened the noose.
The holders were 99 for 2 in 11 overs before batsman after batsman gifted wickets away. Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma all departed trying to slam the ball outside the park.
But KKR's bowlers should be credited for keeping to a tight line, forcing batsmen into playing false shots. If they can continue from here, it could well be third time lucky.
Brief score:
Kolkata Knight Riders: 161 for 4 in 20 overs (Angelo Mathews 65 not out, Owais Shah 58 not out; Chaminda Vaas 2/22).
Deccan Chargers: 150 for 7 in 20 overs (Adam Gilchrist 54, VVS Laxman 22; C Langeveldt 2/26).

IPL kicks-off with a dazzling opening ceremony


The opening ceremony was a breathtaking visual extravaganza and was also the most extensive hour of entertainment ever conceived and executed in India.
Legendary pop icon Lionel Richie then performed his hit single "Dancing on the Ceiling" as all the artists and performers converged onto the center stage to bring down the curtains with a spectacular fire-work.