Lost in the Middle overs!!

People think T20 is too small to actually divide it into middle overs, starting overs and end overs like we mentally do for an ODI match. Today was the perfect example why people should. KKR has been known to dominate the middle overs, be it batting or bowling. But today KKR failed, thanks to the control that KXIP showed in their bowling performance.

Winning and the toss and choosing to bowl first was the expected decision from Gambhir. KKR had an awesome start to the match with the bowlers striking early and their batting was shambles when their 3 batsmen were out for just 56 runs on the board that too not with that great a run rate. KXIP captain Glenn Maxwell did well to take some time to settle in and make sure he sees the ball well enough when he started taking the charge in the 12th over. Till then the run rate was around 6 an over. But Maxi shot up the run rate in quite a few overs to near about 8 an over. But due to some tremendous bowling by the KKR bowlers in the end, specially Kuldeep, the young man, who single-handedly took both the set batsmen in the death overs, they were able to restrict them to just 167 on the board. Woakes and Narine both were on target as they looked to chase down a sure win to secure their place in the top 4.

Coming to chase, KKR yet again had a flourishing start. With Narine scoring a quickfire 18(10) and Lynn looking dangerous as always; KKR was surely on course at 6 overs 61/1. But then came the surprise. After 2-3 good overs for the Punjab team, Maxwell introduced Tewatia into the attack. And in his second over he took the unsetteled Gambhir and in form Uthappa in a span of 3 deliveries. And now all of a sudden KKR found themselves cornered. In the first 6 overs the KKR who scored 60 odd runs for a loss of 1 wicket, went down to scoring 25 runs in the next 6 overs loosing 2 crucial wickets. Lynn did his best to score 84 and dragged the match till the end but his lack of support at the other end lead to his dismissal and the loss for KKR.

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Losing this game KKR is on the verge of losing their position of top 2 in the playoffs and thus, will be biting their heads off; because they had the match in their hands when they let it slip away.

KXIP now has a decent winning form and they need to keep winning all their matches till the end to have a chance of getting into the playoffs.

Picture credit: iplt20.com

Home Domination in Hyderabad

Hyderabad has been clinical this year at their home ground winning 6 matches overall at home of the 7 home matches that are played. Dhawan’s Bang back to form overshadowed his Indian opening partner Rohit’s Shot back into the IPL scorecards this season.

Winning the toss Rohit took a surprise decision of batting first, explaining it later as trying new options as their place in the playoffs is quite set. They have really struggled this season batting first and the same thing has continued in this match has well. Losing three early wickets straight up at 36 with the 3 inform batsman already back to pavilion, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya had a tough task ahead for them. SRH continued to put in pressure and didn’t let them get back in the game thanks to some great bowling by Mohammed Nabi with his spell of 4 overs 1/13. Pandya did well to play through the middle overs to give his team a base to work on, but the run rate was ever so low. Pandya got out in the 15th over with just 96 on board till then. His innings of 15 runs of 24 balls was an innings to forget for sure. Rohit sharma did well to hit a few boundaries and take his team total up to 138 but, from a neutral perspective that was never going to be enough.

Hyderabad came out comfortable with their in-form opening pair, both of them amongst the top 5 run getters in this IPL. Warner’s early wicket could have cost the team a heavy blow but Dhawan took responsibility and played a wonderful knock of 64 not out helped his team to comfortably win the match with 10 balls to spare. Moses Henriques also played superbly well with his all-important 44 and their partnership was absolutely crucial for the team. Dhawan paced his innings well and made sure not to go for any rash shots because the target was low and the run rate pressure wasn’t really there. In the end it was just too much to ask off the Mumbai bowlers.

Mumbai shouldn’t be worried too much about this loss because of the form they have shown this IPL. They need to regroup and get back to the same routine because they have a winning combo and as they did over the group stage, they are quite able to dominate the opposition with relative ease.

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Sunrisers need to keep on winning if they have to qualify for the playoffs. Although they would be a little more relieved that they are now back to winning ways. Although everything depends tomorrow on the KKR vs SRH match, losing which there would be a certain qualification for all the 4 teams right now in the TOP 4 spot.

Royal Demolition by the Knights

The match is KKR vs RCB; the scoreboard shows 105/0 in 6 overs. Any other season and it would have been an easy call. Definitely RCB is batting. This season the tables have turned. Sunil Narine is scoring fastest fifties now; Players are coming back from an injury with his form as it was before; And the trio of Kohli, Gayle and Devilliers faltering consistently.

Winning the toss Gambhir, took a surprising decision of chasing, seeing what the Chinnaswami has done to the chasing teams this IPL, you can just imagine that the only motivation might have been their consistent performance chasing over the last few games. Coming to bowl first KKR took the danger man Chris Gayle in just the first ball of the innings. And then within the powerplay he was joined by his team-mates Kohli and Devilliers back in the dugout as the home team went down to 34/3. If it wasn’t for the young Mandeep Singh and Travis Head the home team was looking at another low total down the 20 overs. Mandeep and head took the partnership till the 15th over, the former scoring a hardfought 52. But RCB managed a score of 158 at the end of 20 overs just because of the brilliance of Travis Head. His score of 75 off 47 balls with 5 sixes and 3 fours was absolutely crucial. Umesh yadav bowled a great spell of 3/36, along with the brilliant Sunil Narine 2/29.

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For all the people who still had doubts about Gambhir’s Captaincy got a taste of the greatest captaincy move. With Lynn starting at the top of the innings with Gambhir in the first 2 matches and Narine the rest of the games; it was a tough decision on the table. But Gambhir with relative ease send both of them up the order and himself dropped to 1 down. From then along it was just the Lynn-Narine Show. If you think 2 overs 20 runs is a great start; then you gotta come up with a whole new word for 6 overs 105/0. Narine was quite in the first 3 overs with Lynn starting himself with a few clean hits already. But then came the Samuel Badree fourth over and Narine just despatched the first 3 balls over the long off region. He took 25 runs of that over and came back to score 24 runs in the next one, and thus scoring his first ever IPL 50, which also came to be the fastest IPL 50 this year. Chris Lynn couldn’t just stand there, right? He was already in the mood, and seeing his partner hitting 20s; he came on to scoring 20 runs off the Chahal first over. Lynn got the 4 th fastest 50 in this IPL in just 22 balls. But in quick succession Both of them got out, as the powerplay ended. Gambhir kept sending in the hitters and thus promoted Grandhomme ahead of himself. But in the end he had to play a part after Grandhomme also got out, not before scoring a handy 31 runs. KKR packed up the match with 6 wickets and 28 balls in hand.

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RCB s miseries has known no bounds this season as they broke their record of highest losing streak of 5 matches, by taking it to 6. Their team looks devastated and their Captain also has not been able to lead from the front.

KKR on the other side now looks stronger than ever with Lynn back. All they need now is Uthappa and Coulter-Nile to be fit before the Playoffs and they would be able to get the best team on the field.

Pic courtesy:- iplt20.com

ये IPL, Bowlers वाली !

Let’s not talk about how poor DD played but just to put it, runs scored by Mumbai’s one batsman equals total runs scored by Delhi’s entire team. Well! that has to be bad. I guess I won’t be mistaken if I say that this IPL bowlers had more say than batsman. Previously, the same day we saw Unadkat getting a hattrick and in the later game it was a combined bowling effort by the men in blue as they become the first team to qualify for the playoffs.

Mumbai played like a champion and score card will tell you the same thing. Last time we saw something like this, was the sad plight of the RCB team but even they went down performing good in the first innings. For Delhi, it looked like they were no where in the game. For the record, this is the biggest margin for defeat for any team in IPL history.

With this loss, DD is virtually out of the race. Luck and magical turnaround may give them an outward chance but even chance of those chance looks_X4D1339 minimal.

Mumbai had once again flying start. Lendell Simoms (66) came back to the side after much wait and what a game he had. Along with partiv, he set up the start beautifully( 79 in 8.3 overs). One went off, another came in and the man from carribean, Kieron Pollard(63 off 35) shows why he is called a destructive player. End over cameo from the younger pandaya brother saw Mumbai scaling a gaint 212. Pat Cummins was very expensive as he went for 59.

212 was always going to be tough unless you have a start which Mumbai had while chasing 200. Nevertheless, things went in the reverse gear as Samson was out on the first delivery itself. Nair tried some hands but once he was out, it was a sure defeat. What mattered was the margin and almost no support from the middle and lower order saw DD facing a brutal defeat. Bhajji ( 3/21) and Karn Sharma (3/11) spun Mumbai to victory.

Mumbai is looking like the side you don’t want to reckon with. 9 out of 11, Mumbai has gathered the momentum and is a serious contender for the title . For DD, the path ahead is not easy. Well, what lie in the stores, only time will tell.

MI- 212/3(20)
DD- 66/10(13.4)

Pic courtesy: iplt20.com

Not so Royal Season for RCB

Call it a series of tough luck or lost confidence, but something is terribly wrong with RCB this season. Last night wasn’t just another defeat, but a defeat that consolidates the fact that Bangalore needs a severe over hauling, not only in terms of players but also in term of luck.

Big names, worthy talents, and key players, RCB has the host of them. But it looks like a team who has forgotten winning. And I personally feel sad about the dilapidated captain who, finds himself so lost in worries and concerns, in the time of distress. Nevertheless, everyone has their bad time. So do the world’s deadliest top three.

A win for KXIP means things are getting bad or rather dicey for other teams (except RCB and GL) for the race to semi final. The situation is so tight that even the Mumbai team, who had just lost two till now cannot assure it’s seat in the play-offs. Beauty of the game indeed.

Coming to the matcPB1D7099h, good effort by RCB for keeping things tight with the ball. Somewhere I feel, RCB hasn’t been able to strike chords with Chinnaswamy this year. Could be one of the many reasons of their sad plight. Nevertheless, good outing for the Bangalore Bowlers especially Chahal and Aniket. Chahal, despite his team’s performance, has been the talk. When all the Bowlerskept things tight and economical, Watson went for 43. This much run with bat might have helped the cause for RCB. Axar Patel (38) is slowly earning the title of good all-rounder.

The concise the description is of RCB’s batting, the better it is. 71/4 and things didn’t look that bad, but thanks to the heroic of Patel and Sandeep, RCB just did what they have been doing, Choke themselves out. And eventually, an easy looking target was way beyond reach.

Well, KXIP has kept its hope for the playoffs alive. For RCB, just a game before they end their campaign, and they would like to save that last spot. Double header today.

KXIP – 138/7(20)
RCB- 119/10(20)

Pic courtesy: iplt20.com

Indeed the INDIAN Premier League !

Yet again; another flourishing display of Indian Batting brilliance. Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Sanju Samson and last but not the least Rishabh Pant. All the buzz about Pant that had been there finally came into a stand as everyone saw the Brilliance that he is. With the display of character he started the tournament, continued and is still prevalent. The quest and intent to score can be seen from his reaction post dismissal. His reluctness to leave the play, and Raina’s gesture says a lot about the character they exhibit.

Batting first, Delhi plucked the two destructive openers, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith in the second over itself. At such a situation two experienced Indian Batsmen with proven abilities in the International level started to drive their team out of the pickle. Although you should think Delhi should have got Raina in the second over itself if Shreyas Iyer wouldn’t have missed on the sitter of a chance.  After keeping it slow for 2 overs or so, the duo took the charge, the captain leading from the front took the attack to the bowlers not letting the Delhi side to take advantage of their weak position. Raina with some clean hits brought up the team hundred in just the 11th over. Karthik came late into the party but he too hit some clean shots of the under-par Delhi Spin attack. Their partnership of 133 runs in just 72 balls was very crucial for Gujrat and their first century stand this season. Some tremendous fielding although did manage the Delhi team to pull a lot back to settle for a 209 target. That catch from Corey Anderson definitely qualifies as an entrant to the catch of the tournament.

As the first innings of the game saw 2 experienced Indian batsmen, the chase saw 2 young Indian batsmen of 19(Pant) and 22(Samson) in a 143 run partnership off just 63 balls coming at a strike rate of over 200. Indeed, age is just a number. The duo smacked the ball out of the park with a whooping 16 sixes between them. Initially, Samson had been the consistent backbone of the Delhi team, Rishabh Pant wasn’t being able to convert the starts; but boy, did he hit some of them today. Some of the shots that he played was just sheer brilliance. Be it the lofted cover “drive”, be it the flicks, or be it the sheer power to clear the mid-wicket boundary against the slower balls of Faulkner. Samson’s 61 of 31 and Pant’s 97 of 43 enabled Delhi to pull off a record chase in the IPL.

This also meant that Gujrat is now effectively out of the competition with only 3 wins from 11 matches. Their 3rd loss on the trot confirmed their weary season to end being knocked out of the group league.

Delhi now has got back some momentum finally with 2 wins on the trot after the 5 consecutive defeats that took them to the bottom of the table.

The table now looks quite interesting, with KKR, RPSG, SRH all 3 might feeling a little concerned with their positions. Things might just heat up in coming matches.

GL- 208/7(20)

DD- 213/3(17.3)

Pic Credits- iplt20.com

Contributed by Aditya Pandit.

 

 

 

 

 

An Ingenious win

We see a line-up of overseas player from a team like Royal Challengers Bangalore and generate a kind of feeling that the foreign players in the IPL actually win us the game. Well, today isn’t a day to have that thought in mind.

Both teams had decent performances from foreign players contributing to their teams effort; but what made the difference was the impeccable performance of two domestic players.

The match saw a blistering start by the Pune bowlers with Unadkat getting a wicket in the first over (maiden over) of the game, dismissing the all-important and unpredictable top level wildcard that Kolkata has: Sunil Nairine. Pune bowlers ripped off the backbone of KKR inside the first six overs. Gambhir’s wicket was just a huge blow for the side. Manish Pandey, Colin de Grandhomme and Suryakumar Yadav all got some handy knocks in thirties as Unadkat completed his 4 over spell with a figure of 4-1-28-2; although all the first 3 overs of him had been brilliant, he got bashed in his last over for 21 runs. A good feat against the quality batting.

What Unadkat started windia-win-eng_2012reu_ith the ball, Rahul Triparthi did with the bat. A quality performance by yet another young and domestic IPL player. His knock of 93*of 52 balls was brilliant written all over it. His initial thrashing of the in-form Nathan Coulter-Nile followed by the calm innings in the middle overs saw Pune through to the finishing line while wickets had kept falling of the other end. Chris Woakes bowled brilliantly in his 4 over spell giving just 18 runs and fetching 3 crucial wickets but the match was always at the feet of the Pune team. Rahul Triparthi winning a well-deserved man of the match award in the end.

KKR now having lost 2 matches in a row for the first time this IPL and will now definitely look to consolidate his side back up again. With Chris Lynn on the verge of a comeback, their return to form seems more likely than not.

Pune on the other hand now has a very decent winning combination. Winning 5 of the last 6 matches they would be desperate to keep the momentum going for the coming games.

KKR – 155/8
RPSG – 158/6

Pic courtesy: iplt20.com

Article Contributor- Aditya Pandit