Posts Tagged ‘IPL’
So, finally the league matches in the Indian Premier League are over and we now head down to the business end of the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders ended their campaign with a consolation nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians, who fielded a nearly second-string side.
It was an obvious calls for the league leaders wanted to prevent their top stars from picking up an injury ahead of their semi-final match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
On the other hand, Kolkata must be ruing having lost a place in the semis only because of the run rate after four teams were locked at 14 points each.
Mumbai will no doubt start as the favourites against Bangalore, who managed to make it to the final four in the last round.
Mumbai also boast of the tournament’s top run scorer in Sachin Tendulkar, while Bangalore’s Jacques Kallis is second, the South African has not been able to lift the tempo in the recent few matches.
Mumbai’s bowling is also far superior and more than varied than Bangalore. Mumbai boast of three genuine match winning bowlers in Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga. On the other hand, Bangalore’s reliant would be on Anil Kumble and pace ace Dale Steyn.
Also playing into Mumbai’s hands is that the matches would be played in front of their home fans at the DY Patil stadium, giving them that extra edge.
So far, Mumbai has looked the superior of all teams in the league and are certainly the top favourites for the title. But they must be careful, for Bangalore has already beaten them at home this season.
Except for a miracle, I can’t see how the Bangalore boys can get the better of the Bhais from Mumbai!
Jai Ho Jayawardene! The Kings XI Punjab were singing out loud at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on Sunday.
After all, it was Mahela Jayawardene’s splendid century that ended the losing streak of Kings XI Punjab as they registered a convincing eight-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders.
It was only destiny that Jayawardene played in the match. He was not a part of the final eleven till minutes before the start of the match but as luck would have it regular opener Shaun Marsh injured his back during the warm-up and the Sri Lankan was drafted in his place.
And as he himself revealed at the end of the match, he asked the captain and coach at the innings that he wanted to open the innings and his braveheart approach certainly worked wonders.
Chris Gayle’s blistering 42-ball 88 had taken the hosts to 200 for three in their 20 overs, the highest total posted in the IPL at the Eden Gardens.
However, Punjab, reeling with just one victory from eight games, didn’t lose heart.
Set a huge 201 for victory, Punjab, riding on Jayawardene’s cracking innings of 110 from 59 balls, chased down Kolkata’s huge score with ten balls to spare.
It was Jaywardene at his fluent best as he found gaps at will to score boundaries at regular intervals and the Punjab innings appeared to be a cruise at times.
Jayawardene also became the second Sri Lankan after Sanath Jayasuriya to score a century in the Indian Premier League and also second centurion for Kings XI Punjab team after Shaun Marsh.
In the second match of the day, it was Paul Collingwood, who stole the limelight with a match-winning half-century for Delhi Daredevils.
Collingwood’s power-packed 75 from 46 balls and three wicket hauls from Pradeep Sangwan and Amit Mishra helped Delhi Daredevils script an impressive 37-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Collingwood played sensibly in the middle overs before cutting loose in the end to take Delhi to 184 for five in their 20 overs.
Bangalore never got off the blocks and despite Jacques Kallis’s fifth half-century of the tournament, they slumped to a 37-run victory.
The victory saw Delhi jump to second in the table, while Bangalore slipped a place to third.
It has been a strange tournament for Kings XI Punjab, one where nothing has gone right for them.
The bowlers and fielders had a horrible outing and failed to hold their nerves when it really mattered. One’s heart goes out to Preity for the way she has backed her team after every loss, but their losing never seems to cease. They have now lost seven out of their eight matches and are nearly out of the running for a place in the semi-finals and we are over halfway in the tournament.
What is even more disappointing that Punjab lost even after posting a mammoth 181 for five in their 20 overs. But this time their sloppy fielding was also to blame as they dropped as many as four catches at the stage when the match was evenly poised.
Royal Challengers Bangalore rode on Kevin Pietersen’s maiden half-century, who hit 66 from 44 deliveries, with the help of seven boundaries and a six, for a convincing six-wicket victory.
Virat Kohli made an important contribution of 42 from 26 balls, but the most important and perhaps the match-turning innings came from Robin Uthappa.
Punjab were still in the hunt with Bangalore needing to score 48 from the last four overs. But Uthappa changed the script as he hit Brett Lee for two big sixes and a boundary for 25 runs in the 16th over to turn the match in Bangalore’s favour.
The only positive for Punjab was the return to form for their two top batsmen. Kumar Sangakkara stroked a quick 45 from 27 balls, while Yuvraj Singh hit a couple of big sixes in his 20-ball 36.
So it was Bangalore who did the Balle Balle, while Punjab keep going Thalle Thalle
SACH A FANTASTIC FORM-
Well now it can be safely said or rather has been proved that Twenty20 cricket is no longer solely a youngster’s game.
Sachin Tendulkar, Muttiah Muralitharan and Jacques Kallis are the prime examples that a special player, irrespective of his age, can work his magic in any format of the game.
In the first two seasons of the IPL the youngsters did have a major bearing but slowly and steadily the great players are coming in to their own having understood the nuances of the new format.
I, for one, am quite sure that in IPL 3 any of the three players may walk away with the player of the tournament award, barring an injury.
On Thursday, though, it was Tendulkar’s day once again as his fluent innings of 72 guided Mumbai to a crushing five-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings.
Suresh Raina smashed 83 from 52 balls to fire Chennai to 180 for two but Mumbai chased down the target without any real problems. Once Shikhar Dhawan had given them a flying start, hitting 56 from 34 balls, there was no looking back for Mumbai.
Mumbai surely must now be one of the favourites for the title, having won four of their five matches.
Royal Challengers are equal with Mumbai on eight points, but have played a game more. Their last loss to Delhi must hurt a great deal as they suffered their first defeat at home.
What is more striking is that Mumbai cruised to 184 for five with an over to spare, while Bangalore didn’t even come to close chasing Delhi’s 183 for four.
For once, Kallis failed with the bat, scoring 27, and the rest of the batsmen also failed to deliver.
Meanwhile, Chennai have now lost three matches in a row and if things don’t turn around, they could soon be out of the reckoning for a place in the last four.
Cricket has seen very few champions like Shane Warne.
He may have not been in the best bowling form in the tournament, but he is certainly leading Rajasthan’s comeback in the tournament with his superb captaincy skills.
Rajasthan’s bowling effort was a lesson. The bowlers stuck to a plan,bowling with discipline to some crafty field settings and Kings XI Punjab eventually caved in to the pressure. The hosts didn’t help their cause by throwing their wickets away with some reckless shots.
It was a sort of do-or-die match for both teams, perched at the bottom of the rankings.
And it was Rajasthan that showed more desperation and the players rose to the occasion.
With the bat, Michael Lumb gave the visitors a good start with a brisk before Australia’s Adam Voges’ fireworks at the end, 45 from 24 balls, took them to 183 for five in 20 overs.
Punjab’s top batsmen once again failed to live upto expectations.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara failed to carry after a good start (29 from 13 balls), while Yuvraj Singh, despite being dropped once, managed just 15.
Shaun Tait’s pace was too hot to handle for Punjab with the pacer taking three for 22, but the most impressive bowling isplay of the evening came from Siddharth Trivedi, who took two for 25, with good variations in pace and length.
This was Rajasthan’s second win in a row and it seems they have finally woken up after a deep slumber. While Shilpa Shetty and her team danced to Halla Bol after they deserved win, Preity Zinta’s Kings must be wondering how to change their fortunes, having won just one out of five games!!
Come on PZ- kings XI you can still do it.
A few months back a slogan in one of the stadiums in India read: “Sachin Tendulkar is like wine. He is getting better with age!”
And you needed no better proof after his vintage batting display against Kolkata Knight Riders. The master blaster was in total control as he played a delightful innings of 71 not out from a mere 48 deliveries and he entertained his Mumbai fans by hitting 10 cracking boundaries.
Not even the world’s fastest bowler, in Shane Bond, managed to make an impression as Tendulkar ensured Mumbai an emphatic seven-wicket victory with nine deliveries to spare.
Tendulkar has ruled supreme this year and whether it is Test cricket, ODIs or T20s, the bowlers still have no clue how to stop this run machine. Just when everyone thought he was getting too old for One-Dayers, he played one of the most astonishing innings ever as he completed the first ever double century in ODIs, a feat unimaginable.
And he has been doing this for more than 20 years now yet with all the technology and videos at their disposal, the bowlers still don’t know have a clue to how to stop the great man.
He rightly deserves to sit at the top of every batting record, whether it is most runs in Tests or ODIs or whether it is the most number of centuries.
And he has been doing for 20 years now. He is the ultimate — the Shehanshaah, the Gladiator — call him anything you like. We have not seen a Super Human Being like him.
And we are proud he hails from Mumbai!!
Here is saluting the one and only, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar!!
It turned out to be a houseful Sunday for the IPL. More than the on-field cricket action, it was the off-field drama that took center stage for once.
Even before the matches had started, IPL announced the addition of two new franchises for the forthcoming seasons.
As Lalit Modi rightly said IPL has proved to be recession proof and it was amply evident when Sahara bought the Pune franchise for a whopping $ 370 millions or around Rs 1700 crores. Rendezvous Sports World Limited were not far behind as they snapped up the Kochi franchise for $333 million or Rs 1533 crores.
So from 2011 we would see the two small but important cities take on the already established eight franchises, who were created in 2008.
So Maharashtra now has two IPL teams, while amazingly South India boasts of four teams, one each for all their major cities.
And moving on to the matches, it was Deccan Chargers, who continued their winning run as they outclassed Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs.
Andrew Symonds was the show stopper both with the bat and ball. He chipped in with 35 runs with the bat and then took three wickets for 21 runs in four overs to seal the deal for champions Deccan Chargers.
But the second match was a cliff hanger, a typical hindi movie suspense thriller where you just can’t predict the end.
Finally Preity Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab were able to break their losing streak in IPL 3 as they beat Chennai Super Kings in the Super Over after the match had finished in a tie.
A little known South African Juan Theron turned out the Super Hero for Punjab as he not only bowled well in the match, taking three for 27 in four overs, but showed great composure in the Super Over to keep Chennai down to nine runs, while taking two wickets.
Yuvraj Singh ended it in style when he reverse swept Muralitharan for a boundary to bring Punjab their first win after three straight losses.
As a cricket fan, it was a day that kept me on the edges. First the auction let me stunned and then late at night, the thrilling Chennai-Punjab match has made me yearn for more.
MAIN JYAADA NAHIN MAANGTAA