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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Interesting IPL - KKR beats RCB - drops !!

Watching IPL – it is interesting ! – yesterday, Virat Kohli top edged, Gambhir at point messed it up. There have been some great catching and some rank poor drops – the team with greatest fielder Jhonty Rhodes as fielding catch has been dropping so many.  ,, ,.. .. and do you know that Yusuf Pathan made his T20 debut in that memorable final at New Wanderers, Johannesberg in 2007 as an opener.

There cannot be a better line-up, at least on paper. Rahul, Gayle, Kohli, de Villiers, Shane Watson …and this team is languishing at the bottom of points table after half of its matches.

Elsewhere, roof is falling down in Pak Cricket - Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan chief selector, has dropped Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad on disciplinary grounds from the training camp ahead of the team's tour of England. The selection committee has also ignored Shahid Afridi and decided to move on to younger players.  The trio had been a major point of contention in the former coach Waqar Younis' scathing report after Pakistan's exit from the World T20. Waqar had suggested that both Akmal and Shehzad be dropped from the side and made to re-earn selection through their domestic performances. He had also lambasted Afridi's leadership style, which he felt left the players confused, and said his own performances did not merit a place in the side. "We have a policy that nobody above 30 will be selected for Pakistan A," Inzamam said.

Back home, another day, another injury for Rising Pune Supergiants. Australia captain Steven Smith became their latest casualty when he was ruled out of the rest of the 2016 IPL with a wrist injury. Supergiants had earlier lost Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis and Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh to injuries. "Steve has been struggling with pain in his right wrist for the last week during his stint in the IPL," Australia's sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris said.

Yesterday, KL Rahul was left beaming after his third successive half-century lifted Royal Challengers Bangalore from their worst Powerplay score this season - 40 for 1 - to 185 for 7. About two hours later, he was left disappointed as Royal Challengers lurched to their fifth defeat in seven matches, in part because of one big error Rahul made behind the stumps. The wicketkeeper's night summed up the cruel nature of T20 cricket. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal had Andre Russell five feet down the pitch and beat him with turn in the 14th over of the Kolkata Knight Riders chase. But Rahul was also beaten by the turn and the ball snuck away for four byes. Two balls later, Rahul failed to gather a flat fizzer down the leg side as the ball hurried away for five wides. Russell, whose reprieve came on 13, slapped 39 off 24 balls and went on to claim the Man-of-the-Match award in Knight Riders' five-wicket victory. I felt MoM should have been Yusuf !

The win, which was achieved with five balls to spare, was later termed an "easy" one by Yusuf Pathan, who added 45 in a rapid 96-run partnership for the fifth wicket in Russell. Chris Gayle, who returned to the Royal Challengers XI, was bounced out for 7 in the second over.

Chasing KKR required 47 off 24 after over 16.  Watson to Pathan. 1st at mid wicket for 4; 2nd fell just inside the boundary lofted over covers for 4; 3rd pulled from wide outside off for 4; 4th over long on 6; 5th ran 2; 6th outside edge nearer Keeper for 4 – which was shown in TV again and again – not those good shots ! 18th Chahal bowled a beauty, conceding just 6 so it was 17 0ff 12 balls.  Shamsi to Pathan – 1st over long off for another sensational 6; 18.2 – 4; 18.4 Suryakumar Yadav – 4 – and a solitary run was required off the last over.  From  14 of 14 balls, Yusuf hit another 45 off the  next 14 !

Now Gujarat Lions leads the points table with 12; KKR & MI at 10 [Mi has played 9 matches]; DD has 8 from 6; Sunrisers has 8 – interesting it has been.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

3rd May 2016.  

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