Alright, so there it is: the away leg of the Tri-Nations, contested by our Springbok B-team-that’s-not-a-B-team is over, and no, no miracles occurred. We got beaten by better sides carrying a higher calibre of international player with more experience, both individually and as combinations, and the heavy losses we sustained against both Australia 2 weeks back, and 3 days ago against the All Blacks are a result of this.
The All Blacks on Saturday were a much more “game-plan orientated” team than the Australian side we faced the week before, and the Springbok side that pitched up was a lot more organized in defence, a product of an extra week of practice and cohesion. The communication seemed a lot more organized, and as any coach worth his salt will tell you, good defence is a product of good communication as much as what it is of physical commitment. (more…)
Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay came out to bat at the typically humid Chepauk and spectators were expecting something special from their home side The Kings. But even the most loyal of fans would not have imagined what came next. A charmed opening partnership, that featured Hussey’s half-century (63 off 45) and a near-ton by Vijay (95 off 52), took the hosts to the unassailable position of 159 for no loss. Bludgeoning the RCB bowlers to every direction possible, the duo left the visitors already dreaming of one of those Gayle specials that would miraculously win them the chase.
Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and when the umpire called play, the MI bowlers were exceptional and the fielders backed them up with some great catching. When they came out to bat, the batsmen were in great touch. Despite all that, MI managed to get themselves into a sticky situation towards the end, needing seven off the final over.
This time, Gautam Gambhir tossed the ball to Shakib Al Hasan and not Lakshmipathy Balaji. The result was no different. However, it took only two balls on this occasion. MI defeated Kolkata Knight Riders, for the second time in as many games, by four wickets. The finisher: Harbhajan Singh with a huge six over mid-wicket.
Suresh Raina played a magnificent innings for the Chennai Super Kings to see them through to the 2011 IPL final after Virat Kohli’s 70 runs helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore set a respectable total of 175 in their semi-final encounter.
The defeat makes Bangalore’s path to the final – and beyond – tougher. They will have to win the second Qualifier on Saturday, if they are to meet Chennai in the final at the MA Chidambaram stadium, where the hosts have been unbeaten all season.
Bangalore will look back and rue at a few poor overs. There were full tosses and length deliveries galore and Chennai capitalised in some style. Virat Kohli bowled a slew of full tosses in the ninth over to leak 16 runs, and Abhimanyu Mithun kept bowling length deliveries in the 13th over, bleeding 23 runs.
A devastating Adam Gilchrist hit a blistering 106 runs off 55 balls to help the Kings XI Punjab set an unattainable 232 target for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL on Tuesday. The 206-run stand between Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh set up a 111-run win for Kings.
The Australian pair put on the record Twenty20 partnership in 96 balls on Tuesday, propelling Punjab to a season-high total of 2-232 in Dharamsala.
Captain Gilchrist (106 off 55 balls) and Marsh (unbeaten 79 off 49 balls) smashed the Bangalore attack to all parts of the ground after the wicketkeeper had elected to bat first.
The Royal Challengers were never in the chase, particularly after opener Chris Gayle was dismissed for a seven-ball duck in the second over, and they were skittled for 121 with three overs remaining.
The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) will lodge a formal criminal complaint against former Australian leg-spin bowler Shane Warne for his share in a bust-up with an official.
Warne, captain of the Rajasthan Royals team in the Indian Premier League, was involved in an angry exchange with Sanjay Dixit, secretary of the Rajasthan state cricket association, following his team’s defeat at home on Wednesday.
Leg-spinner Warne on Saturday apologised for the incident but the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) said they would still lodge the complaint, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported.
“It is an aggravated offence and it needs to be dealt with like that. Some kind of disciplinary action is to be taken,” PTI quoted Dixit as saying.
The Kolkata Knight Riders piled more misery on the last-placed Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Thursday evening by beating them by 17 runs to move up to second spot on the IPL table.
Tiwary hit three sixes and two fours in his 47-ball knock to take Kolkata to 7 for 148 before Delhi was restricted to 9 for 131 in 20 overs at a packed Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
Delhi fancied its chances with 26 runs needed off 12 balls but Australian paceman Brett Lee effected two brilliant run outs in two balls to tilt the scale in Kolkata’s favour.
The win, Kolkata’s fourth from seven outings, propelled them to joint second place in the points table while Delhi continued to languish at the bottom after its fifth defeat in the Twenty20 competition.
Delhi now need to win five of its remaining seven matches to make it to the play-offs.