Daredevils have a field day
Battle for the top: CSK take on RR
Gul sinks Aus in T20
Eng beat WI by 10 wkts
Matty gets chatty
India out to defend title
Welham Girls, Sherwood win
Airtel, Man U enter agreement
Daredevils have a field day
The Delhi-Mumbai rivalry has been a fascinating talking point of Indian cricket since the 1970s. For years, Mumbai’s hold on the Ranji Trophy was unshakable. In recent times, Delhi have enjoyed the upper hand.
This trend continued as Delhi Daredevils trounced Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their first meeting in the 2nd edition of the Twenty20 Indian Premier League. Daredevils thereby moved to the top of the league table with 12 points from eight games, while Mumbai remained stuck on seven points from nine matches.
Quite honestly, Mumbai didn’t give themselves a chance by folding up for 116. Nonetheless, Daredevils’ extra firepower as compared to Mumbai was all too transparent, as even after losing their openers in consecutive overs, Tilakaratne Dilshan and Abraham de Villiers (61 for the 3rd wicket) easily stabilised the venture, although the former was caught at the wicket off Mumbai’s premier strike bowler, Lasith Malinga.
In an over from Sachin Tendulkar, wherein he mixed it between off-cutters and leg breaks, de Villiers took a heavy toll, hitting three fours and a six, all via midwicket. De Villiers, the only centurion of the tourney, deservingly remained not out on 50.
But even on a dull evening, one learns a thing or two. One such revelation was the amount of turn Jean Paul Duminy extracted with his off-spin. Indeed, he tantalisingly looped one up to David Warner to have him comprehensively stumped.
In contrast, for an off-break bowler of his experience, Harbhajan Singh is a little short of wickets in this year’s IPL, especially in conditions which have suited spinners. Perhaps, given his reputation, batsmen have treated him with greater respect; and the evidence undoubtedly is he’s more or less contained opposition. In this game, although he defeated Gautam Gambhir, he appeared to be pushing the ball through a bit quicker than is ideal for him.
Mumbai can in theory still qualify for the semi-finals; but after their latest defeat, they are really cutting it fine. Admittedly, they are handicapped by a couple of injuries, but are not an exception in this respect.
Sachin Tendulkar’s objective of setting a target went awry from the moment Luke Ronchi, in for Sanath Jayasuriya, was brilliantly run out by compatriot Warner fielding at extra cover in the first over of the innings. And a body blow followed in the last ball of the same when the in-form Duminy, promoted to open, was beaten by an away going ball from Dirk Nannes, the left-arm quick who has kept Glenn McGrath off-stage throughout the competition.
The only slight resistance came from the 5th wicket stand of 57 from Abhishek Nayar and Dwayne Bravo; the latter top scoring with 35 till he was caught behind trying to drag a ball from off side to on. Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, though, later dropped a sitter in the swirling coastal winds - but this was no excuse - to extend an escape to Harbhajan, albeit a brief lease of life, off Ashish Nehra.
Trinidadian Bravo, who has enjoyed a decent tournament, smote leg spinner Amit Mishra for six over extra cover, before blasting Nannes for a maximum to long on.
Nehra was more comfortable when given the benefit of the breeze, eventually capturing two wickets. But the pick of the bowlers, statistically, was Rajat Bhatia, whose return was an impressive three for 15. While this was not necessarily the case with this all-rounder, bowling analysis in T20 have sometimes got to be taken with a pinch of salt. Cheap scalps are often obtained because of batsmen’s madness.
Player of the match: Nehra
Kimberley, May 8
There is little to separate between the two teams if their performance in the last couple of matches are to go by although Chennai seemed to be much more consistent in batting and bowling but sloppy in fielding.
Chennai will be aiming to notch up their fifth win on the trot while the Royals would be plotting revenge after losing to the same opponents by 38 runs at Centurion on April 30 and also record their fourth successive victory.
Besides having the same points (11), the two teams have the same number of wins (five), losses (three) and no results (one), the only difference being the net run rate, +1.281 for Chennai as against -0.050 for Rajasthan, a fact which indicates Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side has done better in batting.
In fact, Chennai have been the most consistent side with their scores in all the matches so far crossing 150 while Rajasthan have struggled to touch the 150 mark though they notched up the IPL second season’s highest score of 211 in their second last match.
Rajasthan were also dealt a huge blow by the injury of all-rounder Shane Watson who has been ruled out of IPL after suffering a mild groin injury during Australia’s one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Dubai. Watson, the IPL 2008 player of tournament, would have sored up the inconsistent Rajasthan middle-order besides also strengthening the pace bowling stocks after youngster Kamran Khan was reported for suspect bowling action.
Chennai’s batting has been firing all along with retired Australian Matthew Hayden leading the charge and Suresh Raina and Dhoni himself in fine touch. In fact, Chennai has the two current highest scorers in Hayden (378 runs) and Raina (296).
In bowling department, L Balaji has been in fine touch with 11 wickets from seven matches and his accuracy in the death overs has been Chennai’s asset.
Veteran Muttiah Muralitharan (seven wickets from seven matches) and little known Shadab Jakati (nine wickets from four matches) have been doing wonders for Chennai and Dhoni can also rely on part-time slow bowler Raina to a great effect as was witnessed against Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jawardene of Kings XI Punjab yesterday. One area of concern for Chennai has been the fielding.
Dhoni was understandably angry with the shoddy fielding of his side against Kings XI Punjab as his players dropped easy catches of key opposition players. Dhoni and Chennai team management will have to address the sloppiness of their fielders if they want to put pressure on stroke makers like Graeme Smith, Naman Ojha, Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan batting, however, can fire anytime with Graeme Smith shaping up to his best form after his 77 against Kings XI Punjab in Durban and explosive Yusuf Pathan having the capability to change a game single handedly.
In bowling, Rajasthan will be facing the prospect of leaving out Amit Singh who was reported for suspect action while Munaf Patel will have to do more than his seven wickets from seven matches. Warne himself though is capable of pulling something special out of his bag of tricks and can surprise Chennai batsmen.
Deccan cross swords with Kings
Fresh from their 19-run victory over Mumbai Indians, a rejuvenated Deccan Chargers would look to build a winning momentum when they cross swords with Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League match here tomorrow.
The Hyderabad side, who began their campaign with four wins on the trot, snapped their three match losing streak and they would look to improved their fourth position in the points tally with a win against an inconsistent Punjab side.
In batting department, Deccan skipper Adam Gilchrist and South African Herschelle Gibbs have been in good nick at the top of order while Rohit Sharma and T Suman are solid at the middle order.
Deccan will also be strengthened by the return of Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds who has been cleared by his board to play for IPL after the ODI series against Pakistan.
In contrast, Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI Punjab is sitting sixth on the ladder with just four wins against their name, although the picture could have been different had they not get ire of the rain-god thrice which resulted in their defeat through Duckworth-Lewis method.
The news of Australian paceman Brett Lee’s availability will surely bring smile on Yuvraj’s face and at the same time also add some extra sting to their bowling attack, which otherwise is lacking in penetration.
Punjab’s Protea bowler Yusuf Abdulla’s pace and deceiving swings have surely made the willow-wielders’ life miserable, but other bowlers have failed to lend support to him for the team to fire in unison. Lee is expected to share the new ball with Irfan Pathan while the side will expect Abdulla to keep up his good job. — PTI
Dubai, May 8
The 25-year-old fast bowler took (4-8) in his four-over spell, combining with leg-spinner Shahid Afridi (3-14) to restrict Australia to a modest 108 in 19.5 overs after Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and fielded yesterday.
In Pakistan’s reply, Kamran Akmal hit a rapid-fire unbeaten 59, while Haq scored 24. They shared an 85-run stand for the third wicket after Pakistan lost openers Ahmed Shahzad for (4) and Salman Butt (16). Akmal’s maiden Twenty20 fifty included five boundaries and three towering sixes off 42 balls and enabled Pakistan to reach their target with 3.4 overs to spare.
Earlier, Gul provided Pakistan with a crucial breakthrough, dismissing the dangerous-looking Shane Watson (33) with his first delivery to put the brakes on Australia, who had reached 42 without loss. Watson had struck three successive boundaries off paceman Sohail Tanvir in the fourth over.
Australia then suffered a severe jolt when four wickets fell for 12 runs in the space of 21 deliveries to leave them in trouble at 73-5. Brad Haddin made 24 before becoming one of Shoaib Malik’s two victims.
Pakistan were forced to leave out regular captain Younus Khan, who was suffering down with fever. Australia won the preceding five-match one-day series 3-2, a series moved to neutral venues here over security fears in Pakistan. — AFP
London May 8
A positive sixth-wicket stand of 143 between Brendan Nash and Denesh Ramdin made England work during the afternoon session, but either side of that there was precious little resistance as they were left a simple target of 32. — Agencies
England 1st Innings: 377
West Indies 1st Innings: 152
West Indies 2nd Innings:
England (2nd innings):
Kuantan (Malaysia), May 8
However, India's road to the title won't be a cakewalk as the event will provide Asia's top hockey nations an opportunity to book their place in the 2010 World Cup to be held in New Delhi.
India, the winners of the title twice in 2003 and 2007, will have to face off stiff competition from South Korea, Malaysia, three-time champions Pakistan, Japan and China, who will be vying for the lone place in the 2010 World Cup available from the tournament.
Although, the eight-time Olympic champions have secured their ticket to the World Cup as the host nation, coach-in-charge Harendra Singh has warned against complacency creeping in among the players and said he won’t settle for anything less than gold. — PTI
Welham Girls, Sherwood win
Chandigarh, May 8 N. Mehta of Sherwood was the highest scorer with 11 points. In other matches in the boys’ pool, Lawrence School, Sanawar, scored an emphatic victory win of 40-12 over Military School, Chail. In the girls’ pool Welham beat Lawrence School, Sanawar, by 33-8, while P.P.S Nabha beat Y.P.S. Patiala 17-5. In another lopsided game, Y.P.S. Mohali trounced P.P.S Nabha.
Chandigarh, May 8
N. Mehta of Sherwood was the highest scorer with 11 points. In other matches in the boys’ pool, Lawrence School, Sanawar, scored an emphatic victory win of 40-12 over Military School, Chail.
In the girls’ pool Welham beat Lawrence School, Sanawar, by 33-8, while P.P.S Nabha beat Y.P.S. Patiala 17-5. In another lopsided game, Y.P.S. Mohali trounced P.P.S Nabha.
Born: 20 July, 1983, Ujjain
IPL-I was a great success for Indian cricket as it produced some fine young talent. On this count, atleast, its successor, IPL-II has fallen short. But even in what has been a truly testing time for newcomers, Madhya Pradesh’s Naman Vinay Kumar Ojha has made his mark in just the three matches he has played so far. Here is looking at his showing:
l Ojha holds the record for the highest opening partnership in IPL-II along with Graeme Smith (135) against Kings XI
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