Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chennai stun Punjab to qualify for IPL final

The Chennai Super Kings stunned the favourites – Kings XI Punjab – when they easily won by nine wickets to qualify for the final here Saturday in the second semi-final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium.

Chasing an easy target of 113 runs, the Chennai achieved the victory by losing only one wicket with 31 balls remaining.

Parthiv Patil and Suresh Raina struck unbeaten fifties to take their team into the final of the IPL. They added 102 runs off 75 balls for an unbeaten second wicket partnership.

Patil made 51 with eight fours and Raina scored 55 off 34 balls with four sixes and as many fours.

Earlier, the Kings XI Punjab could not take the advantage of toss and were restricted by the Chennai Super Kings at 112 for eight in the allotted 20 overs.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, Punjab collapsed for 112 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

Their main scorers were Ramesh Powar (28 not out), Wilkin Mota (25) and opener Shaun Marsh (23).

At one stage, it was looking very difficult for Punjab to reach 100 runs but an eighth wicket partnership of 35 runs between Mota and Powar made it possible.

Main wicket-takers from Chennai were Manpreet Gony (2-14), Makhaya Ntini (2-23) and Albie Morkel (2-27) while Muttiah Muralitharan claimed one for 19.


Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Yuvraj Singh (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Irfan Pathan, Wilkin Mota, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, VRV Singh, Sreesanth.

Chennai Super Kings: Parthiv Patel (wk), S Vidyut, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Chamara Kapugedera, S Badrinath, Albie Morkel, Manpreet Gony, Laxmipathy Balaji, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini.

Indian squad announced for tri-nation series

Indian cricket board has announced a 15-member squad for the tri-nation series to be played in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan.

Irfan Pathan’s brother Yousuf Pathan and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha have been included in the squad.

According the the board, they have been selected for their excellent performance in the Indian Premier League while Dinesh Karthik and Munaf Patel failed to get the selectors confidence.

The Indian squad consists of Mahinder Singh Dhoni (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yousuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Ishanth Sharma, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Pyush Chawla and Pragyan Ojha.

Ponting joins 10,000-run club

Australia captain Ricky Ponting became the seventh batsman to score 10,000 Test runs on the opening day of the second Test against West Indies at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground here on Friday.

Ponting drove a full length delivery outside the off-stump from Ramnaresh Sarwan, bowling his modest leg-breaks, through extra cover for two to reach the milestone about 15 minutes after the tea break.

He became the third Australian batsman to reach the coveted landmark, after former national captains Allan Border (11,174 runs) and Steve Waugh (10,927).

Ponting is playing in his 118th Test, after making his debut against Sri Lanka in 1995 at Perth.

Following is the list of batsmen with 10,000 runs or more in Tests following Ricky Ponting reaching that milestone:

Tests Runs Average
Brian Lara (West Indies) 131 11,953 52.88
Sachin Tendulkar (India) 147 11,782 55.31
Allan Border (Australia) 156 11,174 50.56
Steve Waugh (Australia) 168 10,927 51.06
Sunil Gavaskar (India) 125 10,122 51.12
Rahul Dravid (India) 122 10,098 54.88
Ricky Ponting (Australia) 118 10,004 58.84

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils, 1st semi-final, IPL

Rajasthan Royals 192 for 9 (Watson 52, Yusuf 45, Maharoof 3-34) beat
Delhi Daredevils
87 (Dilshan 33, Watson 3-10, Munaf 3-17) by 105 runs

This was Shane Watson's match. Imposing himself on the first semi-final, he boosted Rajasthan Royals with an electric fifty before rattling Delhi Daredevils' top order with an outstanding opening spell. Shane Warne had complained about being deprived of home advantage but his side adjusted perfectly to the conditions at the Wankhede Stadium, putting on a show that illustrated exactly why they have been the stand-out team in the competition.

Delhi were like a side struck with stage fright. Their bowlers were rattled by a brand of unconventional strokeplay - even the peerless Glenn McGrath went wicketless for 38 runs - before their batsmen succumbed against a disciplined attack. Virender Sehwag decision to field may come under scrutiny but Rajasthan's ruthless efficiency might have steered them to the final either way. The farcical end to the match - when Mohammad Asif took an age to get his bat into the crease - summed it up.

The scorecard may indicate a hopelessly one-sided contest but Rajasthan had their shaky moments. Losing the toss meant facing up to Glenn McGrath and Mohammad Asif on a juicy pitch and three quick wickets for Farveez Maharoof pushed them from 65 for no loss to 76 for 3.

Graeme Smith, who was aided by a runner once his hamstring injury resurfaced, and Swapnil Asnodkar, who broke a window pane at fine leg with an audacious pull, provided the early impetus but the innings could have easily lost its way with Maharoof, utilising the bounce and movement on the surface, luring the top order into loose strokes.

Watson's arrival put the innings back on track. From the moment he took 21 off the 11th over, with two ferocious pulls for six, only one team bossed the contest. With the high, straight back-lift that's been the feature of his batting in the tournament, Watson swung through midwicket and square leg. He targeted specific bowlers and went through with shots even if he wasn't to the pitch of the ball, allowing the timing to take care of the rest.

Amit Mishra, the legspinner, teased with his flight and loop but Watson was intent on spoiling his rhythm - going down on one knee, he slog-swept him over midwicket, a technique that Yusuf was to pick up later.

Such a commanding total wouldn't have been possible without the final flourish. Yusuf celebrated his recall to the one-day squad with a blistering 21-ball 45, an innings where four mighty sixes dripped off his bat. Without the Watson back-lift, without too much initial movement, he showed what brute force could do, blasting over long-on and midwicket. He spotted slower balls too, smearing Mcgrath over midwicket for the shot of the evening.

Delhi have their fielders to thank for avoiding further embarrassment but their effort was put in the shade by some acrobatic catching by Rajasthan. Shikhar Dhawan pulled off a diving catch to dismiss Smith but it was Tauwar Kohli's peach of a dive, throwing himself to the right of cover to latch on to a Gautam Gambhir slash, that will stick in the mind.

Watson may have top scored for his side, but his job wasn't done yet. Up against one of the most formidable opening combinations in the IPL, he cranked up his pace. Sehwag was done in by the extra bounce, holing out to deep point, Gambhir was frustrated into slashing in the air and Dhawan pulled straight to square leg. Every wicket was accompanied by an ecstatic expression - one that indicated the triumph of a well-laid plan.

Tillakaratne Dilshan's furious swinging was never going to be enough against a constantly mounting asking-rate and he kept losing partners who misread the bounce in the track. Manoj Tiwary top-edged a bouncer from Munaf Patel and Yo Mahesh struggled against a short one directed at the shoulder. The rest were clueless against Warne's fizzers.

He admitted he would have bowled first if he had won the toss but would have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of turn and bounce the surface offered. He toyed with the tailenders, mixing legbreaks and sliders as if this was a Test, and he could afford to wear an impish smile through the spell, considering how the match was long gone.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mumbai thrash Kolkata by eight wickets

The Mumbai Indians outclassed the Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets when they achieved the easiest target of 68 runs in only 33 balls here Friday in the 38th Twenty20 match of the Indian Premier League played at the Wankhede Stadium.

The whole match lasted 20.5 overs. Kolkata were routed for 67 in 15.2 overs and Mumbai gunned down the target off only 5.3 overs, thanks to a blitz from opener Sanath Jayasuriya.

Jayasuriya, who is in terrific form these days, smashed an unbeaten 48 runs from just 17 balls with three sixes and six fours after Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed by fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar for nought.

Shoaib Akhtar and Ishant Sharma took one wicket each.

Earlier, the Kolkata Knight Riders were routed for the lowest total in the Indian Premier League after Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and put them into batting.

Kolkata’s 67 is also the fifth-lowest total in any form of Twenty20 cricket.

The pitch did assist the seam bowlers, offering bounce and lateral movement and Pollock and the others exploited it to the hilt. Kolkata's batsmen failed to gauge the conditions quickly enough and collapsed in a heap.

Their top-scorers were captain Sourav Ganguly (15), Ajit Agarkar (15) and Salman Butt (13) and no other batsman could reach the double-figures.

Veteran pace bowler Shaun Pollock claimed three wickets for 11 runs off four overs and was declared the man-of-the-match for his outstanding spell. Dwayne Bravo and Rohan Raje got two wickets each for 13 and 16, respectively.

Mumbai made one change to their winning combination as they brought in the left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar in place of Dhawal Kulkarni.

Kolkata dropped Murali Karthik, Tatenda Taibu and Iqbal Abdulla and brought in the veteran Ajit Agarkar and Mohammad Hafeez.

Mumbai now have the best net run rate of the tournament and leveled Delhi and Kolkata on ten points in the league table.

Australia look at new Twenty20 tournament

Australia could introduce a tournament similar to the Indian Premier League in two years after Cricket Australia revealed it has started planning for another domestic Twenty20 event.

The IPL has forced other countries to consider their options, with England already involved in talks with the billionaire Allen Stanford.

Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive, has pushed for an international league system like the one used in soccer and Peter Young, a Cricket Australia spokesman, said the organisation was looking at the possibilities.
“In reality we have taken a blank sheet of paper and said: ‘What might a domestic Twenty20 competition look like?’”
Young told the Herald Sun.

“Should it be just one side from each state? Should we look at overseas models, including the IPL model, where you have a city base and more than one team from certain states? Should it involve New Zealand or not? We are thinking that through.”

While the ideas are speculative, the paper reported a salary cap, icon players for each team and a draft for the international talent could be employed.

Similar moves have helped make the IPL a major success in India over the first half of the competition. A domestic Twenty20 tournament has been held in Australia for the past three years but has only involved state players, limiting its potential for international exposure and television revenue.

Clarke to miss first Test against West Indies

Australian vice captain Michael Clarke will miss the first Test against the West Indies after delaying his departure to the Caribbean for family reasons, the player and officials said Friday.

Cricket Australia said Clarke will arrive in Kingston, Jamaica on May 23 -- the second day of the first Test -- after staying in Australia to be with his fiancee following the death of her father.

"I will miss the first Test and am sure the boys will serve Australia well,"
Clarke said in a statement, noting that he would be "ready to go" for the second Test in Antigua.

Cricket Australia's Michael Brown said:
"I've spoken with Michael and he has Cricket Australia's absolute support. During this difficult time it is appropriate he spends a little more time with his fiance's family in advance of leaving for the West Indies."

Brown said that Brad Hodge, who was added to the squad to replace the batsman, would be released from duties if he was not selected for the first Test.

Australia will play the first Test in the West Indies in Jamaica starting May 22, moving to Antigua for the second from May 30 and the final Test in Barbados on June 12.

The tour will also include one Twenty20 international and five one-dayers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Balaji’s hat-trick makes Chennai beat Punjab by 18 runs

Right-arm medium-fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji’s hat-trick in the final over got Chennai Super Kings a 18-run thrilling win over the Kings XI Punjab here on Saturday in the 31st match of the Indian Premier League, played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk.

The Chennai Super Kings set a rather difficult target of 182 runs and the Kings XI Punjab made a brave effort to chase it but Balaji’s hat-trick, the first of the IPL, turned the tables in the final over.

Needing 25 runs in the final over, Irfan Pathan got eight runs off the first two balls from Balaji but on the next ball he was out caught by Suresh Raina at deep square-leg. Then Balaji struck two more wickets to get the hat-trick and also to get victory for his team and win the man-of-the-match award for his five for 24.

Opener Shaun Marsh was the top scorer from the Kings XI Punjab, making 58 off 38 balls with four sixes and three fours.

Later, all-rounder Irfan Pathan smashed 40 off just 18 balls with three sixes and three fours and he brought his team close to win when Balaji dismissed him.

Earlier put into batting by Punjab captain Yuvraj Sing, the Chennai Super Kings after losing two early wickets succeeded in making 181 runs for four wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

This was all due to a fourth wicket stand of 90 runs between Subramaniam Badrinath and captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni.

Badrinath made 64 runs off 47 balls with six fours and three sixes while Dhoni scored an unbeaten 60 off 43 balls with four sixes and two fours.

Suresh Raina contributed 26 off 17 balls with four boundaries.

Sreesanth claimed two wickets for 29 runs and Pyush Chawla took one wicket.

Punjab made one change, bringing in Karan Goel for the bowler Gagandeep Singh. Sangakkara is not fit and according to Yuvraj he will take another four-five days to recover so Uday Kaul kept wicket once again.

Chennai fielded an unchanged eleven from the game against Delhi.

Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Yuvraj Singh (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Karan Goel, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Uday Kaul (wk), Sreesanth, VRV Singh.

Chennai Super Kings: S Vidyut, Stephen Fleming, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wk), Suresh Rania, Albie Morkel, Chamara Kapugedera, S Badrinath, Manpreet Gony, Palani Amarnath, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lakshmipathy Balaji.

Rajasthan Royals thrash Deccan Chargers by eight wickets

A solid opening stand of 109 runs between Graeme Smith and Yusuf Pathan guided the Rajasthan Royals to an easy eight wickets victory over the Deccan Challengers in the 30th Twenty20 match of the Indian Premier League on Friday at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.

Chasing 141 runs, the Rajasthan Royals achieved the target from just 16 overs for the loss of only two wickets.

Pathan smashed 68 off just 37 balls with nine fours and two sixes while Smith made an steady 40 off 43 balls with four fours. Later, Yusuf Pathan was declared the man-of-the-match.

Mohammad Kaif (17) and Shane Watson (5) remained not out.

RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha took one wicket each.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne won the toss and put the Deccan Chargers into batting and then restricted them to 140 runs for eight wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

Deccan Chargers’ stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist smashed a quick fifty and along with Herschelle Gibbs provided a solid opening stand of 61 runs off 48 balls.

However, when Gibbs and later Scott Styris departed at 88 they were losing run-rate and the collapse began.

Gilchrist made 61 off 49 balls with nine fours and one six while other main scorers were Venugopal Rao (23), Gibbs (19) and Styris (13).

Shane Warne was the most successful bowler with two for 20 while Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan and Munaf Patel took one wicket each.

Adam Gilchrist again captained the Deccan Chargers in place of Venkat Sai Laxman, who is still unfit due to hand injury.

Deccan left out Arjun Yadav and brought in Ravi Teja while Rajasthan also made one change as Swapnil Asnodkar was replaced by Niraj Patel.

Deccan Chargers: Adam Gilchrist (captain and wk), Herschelle Gibbs, Scott Styris, Rohit Sharma, Shahid Afridi, Venugopal Rao, Sanjay Bangar, Ravi Teja, RP Singh, P Vijaykumar, Pragyan Ojha.

Rajasthan Royals: Graeme Smith, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, Mohammad Kaif, Ravindra Jadeja, Mahesh Rawat (wk), Shane Warne (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Siddharth Trivedi, Munaf Patel.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mumbai Indians win by 29 runs

In 23rd match, Mumbai Indians won the match against Delhi Daredevils by 29 runs in today’s first match of the Indian Premier League on Sunday, which started at 15:30

Earlier, Mumbai Indians gave 163-run target to Delhi Daredevils, which could not achieve it and were restricted to 133 runs. Delhi Daredevils were all out, when still seven balls were to go.

It was only Virender Sehwag who could put up some resistance against their rivals and played 40-run innings with three fours and three sixers.

Other batsmen could add up runs short of the target. Karthik 28, Shoaib Malik 24 and de Villiers could make only 21 runs.

Mumbai Indians’ Nehra bowled out three players against 25 runs. Shaun Pollock and Kulkarni preyed two wickets each.

In the beginning, Delhi Daredevils won the toss and elected to field first against Mumbai Indians. Delhi Daredevils’ Sanath Jayasuriya was the top scorer with 34 runs comprising six fours and one sixer. Shaun Pollock was the second highest scorer with three sixers and two fours.

Yo Mahesh was the most successful bowler from Delhi Daredevils, who showed three Mumbai Indians out into the pavilion. While, Mohammad Asif, Virender Sehwag, Shoaib Malik and Rajat Bhatia achieved one wicket each.

Geo Super telecasted the match live from DR DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai.

In the next IPL fixture Rahul Dravid will lead his team Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Jaipur.

Mumbai Indians: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanath Jayasuriya, Robin Uthapa, Dwayne Bravo, Shaun Pollock (captain), Abhiahek Nayar, Pinai Shah, Musavir Khote, Dilhara Fernando, Ashiah Nehra, Dhawai Kulkarni.

Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, Shoaib Malik, Dinesh Karthik, Rajat Bhatia, Yo Mahesh, Glenn McGrath, Pradeep Sangwan, Mohammad Asif.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Daredevils’ easy 8-wkt win over Super Kings put them on top

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir’s solid opening stand of 115 runs from just 11.4 overs guided Delhi Daredevils to an easy eight-wicket victory over their arch rivals Chennai Super Kings in the 20th match of the Indian Premier League here at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk on Friday.

Thus, the Delhi Daredevils ended Mahindra Singh Dhoni’s all win IPL record.

Needing 170, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir's century partnership took the game away from Chennai Super Kings in the first 12 overs and the Delhi Daredevils achieved the target for the loss of both their openers with one over left.

Captain Sehwag smashed 71 off just 41 balls with four sixes and seven fours while his partner Gambhir made 50 off 37 balls with five fours and one six.

Manpreet Gony and Joginder Sharma were the only bowlers to get one wicket each.
Earlier, the Chennai Super Kings after winning the toss batted first and made 169 runs for six wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan top scored with 54 runs. He hit seven fours and one six for Chennai. Captain Dhoni scored 32 runs off 27 balls with two fours and one six.

Glenn McGrath, Mohammad Asif, Yo Mahesh, Rajat Bhatia and Sehwag took one wicket each.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 45 runs

: The Rajasthan Royals defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 45 runs in the Indian Premier League here on Thursday.

The bowlers and fielders of Rajasthan Royals did not let the batsmen of Kolkata Knight Riders play with full force hera at Sawai Mansingh Stadium and limited them to 151 runs in 20 overs leading to the Rajasthan’s win by 45.

Saurav Ganguly skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders made 51 runs and David Hussey 42. No other batsman could face the bowlers of Rajasthan and wickets kept falling in short intervals. Kolkata players could not even play complete 20 overs and got all out in 19.1 overs.

Siddarth Trivedi and Sohail Tanvir took 2 wickets each for Rajasthan.