Monday, May 18, 2009

Rohit Sharma eager to take his IPL form into T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma, who pulled off an improbable victory for Deccan Chargers against Kolkata Knight Riders Saturday, said his good performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will boost his confidence ahead of next month's Twenty20 World Cup.

Sharma's unbeaten 32 off 13 balls saw Deccan Chargers romp home with six wickets while chasing 161 in their must-win IPL game.

"Knocks like this would obviously boost my confidence going into the T20 World Cup. There is still some time left for the World Cup. We have some time to prepare it," said Sharma who has struck two half-centuries in the tournament.

Chargers needed 21 off the last over from IPL debutant Mashrafe Mortaza and Sharma kept his composure to hit two sixes and as many fours.

Sharma said he knew that Mortaza was under pressure after being hit for a four in the first ball.

"I knew that 21 runs in one over were not going to be easy. But when he (Mortaza) bowled a no-ball and I got a four, then I knew that it's easily possible because the wicket was good the ball was coming on nicely. If you hit the boundary off the first ball, the pressure is back on the bowler. I thought I must take full advantage," he said.

"Mortaza didn't start off that well and was under pressure. We decided to have a go. We had wickets in hand so that was not a problem."

"I knew that he would bowl right in the blockhole. So there was a certain plan that I decided and it came off very well."

[the artical was orgiginally published at]

Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals - Statistical highlights

Statistical highlights of Sunday's Indian Premier League match between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals in Bloemfontein.

  • With four dismissals (2 catches and 2 stumpings), Dinesh Karthik has equalled the record for most dismissals in a match in the IPL. The first two players to achieve this feat were - Yogesh Takawale for Mumbai vs Rajasthan at Mumbai on May 7, 2008 and Morne van Wyk for Kolkata against Bangalore at Durban on April 29, 2009.
  • Munaf Patel (23 not out) has posted his best IPL score.
  • Patel's unbeaten knock of 23 off 10 balls is the highest by a No.11 batsman in the IPL, surpassing Makhaya Ntini's 11 off 12 balls for Chennai against Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur on May 4, 2008.
  • Dinesh Karthik has performed exceptionally well in the IPL 2009. His batting average of 41.33 (248) is the second best after Abrham de Villiers' 67.50 for Delhi Daredevils .
  • AB de Villiers is the second player after Matthew Hayden (546) to complete 400 runs in the IPL 2009, aggregating 405 at an average of 67.50, including one century and three fifties, in 12 matches.
  • Villiers' unbeaten 79 off 55 balls is his second best innings in the IPL - his highest being an unbeaten 105 off 54 balls against Chennai Super Kings at Durban on April 23, 2009.
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan's run-aggregate of 329 at 41.12 in 12 games is the second best after Villiers for Delhi Daredevils.
  • De Villiers has received the Man of the Match for the second time in the IPL.
  • Rajasthan Royals' 14-run defeat is the ninth out of 28 played so far in the IPL. They have won 18 apart from a "tie" - winning percentage 64.29.
  • Rajasthan Royals have won six and lost six out of 13 played. One of their games was abandoned due to rain.
  • Delhi Daredevils have registered their second victory in five games against Rajasthan Royals. Their first win over Rajasthan Royals was by nine wickets in the 2008 edition of the IPL at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi last year.
  • Delhi Daredevils is the first team to post nine wins in the IPL 2009. With a 14-run win, they have 18 points and are on top of the points table.
  • The aforesaid win is Delhi's 16th out of 25 played in the IPL - winning percentage of 61.54.
  • Graeme Smith has posted his second duck in the IPL 2009.
  • Aavishkar Salvi (2/19) has registered his best IPL performance.
  • Johan Botha (37) has recorded his best innings in the IPL.

[the articel was originally published at]

Chennai seek to cement semi-final berth

Big Picture

As the race for a place in the semi-finals intensifies, the entertainment value of the last few games has shot up drastically, with the audience treated to a series of last-over thrillers. Teams that began shakily have now emerged serious contenders while some that were resting easy at the top have been made to regret their slip-ups. But amid the unpredictability, there have been constants.

Kolkata Knight Riders have had a horrendous tournament and have been out of the running for some time but now they've even squandered the opportunity to determine who makes it to the top four, throwing away hard-won advantages to concede improbable victories. On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings have been highly consistent and now have their best chance of ending any mathematical possibility of not finishing in the 'safe zone'.

Chennai are currently placed second and will confirm their qualification for the semi-finals if they beat Kolkata. If they lose though, they'll face the frustrating prospect of having to rely on the outcome of their final league game against Kings XI Punjab, and possibly net run-rate to see where they finish. Kolkata have another chance to dent some hopes, but their torrid run combined with a recent tendency to be excessively generous to their opponents at the death means Chennai will have few fears.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)

Chennai - WLWWW
Chennai's march in the competition was boosted by a run of five-successive wins, ended by Royal Challengers Bangalore in Durban. However, a win over Mumbai Indians in their previous game made up for the blip, taking them to the brink of qualification. Their opening combination has been a worry. Matthew Hayden has been prolific, but has lacked support from the other end. The first-wicket has averaged 21.7 in the last six games, as M Vijay, Parthiv Patel and S Badrinath have struggled to bat long enough. Suresh Raina is Chennai's second-highest run getter but has managed one half-century in 11 games and 48 runs in his last three. Hayden's too far ahead to catch up, but Raina ought to make a greater impact at No.3. Their bowlers have proved reliable throughout, successfully defending targets in four of their last six games, and giving Bangalore a serious scare despite their batsmen posting just 129.

Kolkata - LLLLL
Of their last seven losses, four have been decided in the final over and the last two have been the most agonizing. Kolkata showed signs of revival, with their batsmen, especially the foreign recruits, stepping up. Brad Hodge, Morne van Wyk and David Hussey have each justified their induction and even their captain, Brendon McCullum, shrugged off his poor form, carting 84 against Bangalore in Centurion. But it was their fast bowlers who let them down badly after the spinners had put them in strong positions. Ajit Agarkar and Ishant Sharma fed Ross Taylor full tosses and he punished them to snatch an unlikely win for Bangalore. Bangladeshi fans desperately waiting for Mashrafe Mortaza's appearance were in for a nightmare. Their star player was unable to prevent Deccan Chargers from knocking off 21 required for a win in the final over and earned the dubious distinction of bowling the most expensive spell in the IPL this year.

Watch out for

MS Dhoni - His leadership has been impressive, and so has his batting. Dhoni has moved himself around considerably in the middle order, and backed up his two half-centuries with some cameos, proving effective at the death. With Hayden dominating the top order, Dhoni has been the stand-out player in the middle. He's been involved in four 50-plus partnerships in the last seven games, two each with Hayden and Raina, batting out till the end of the innings to string a favourable result each time.

David Hussey - Kolkata missed him for much of the IPL, but Hussey made an immediate impact upon his return from the UAE, providing the innings a major boost with two quickfire 40-plus contributions. He helped Kolkata almost double their score after the 15th over, clattering a 17-ball 43 against Deccan, and must ideally play a greater role with his offspinners, especially when the pace attack has proved his team's undoing.


Parthiv Patel opened for Chennai against Mumbai after sitting out for five matches, but suffered a first-ball duck. He could, yet again, make way for M Vijay, though Chennai may still give him another go. Jacob Oram has made just one significant contribution with the bat this IPL, and his average of 15.50 is disappointing. In eight matches, he's only bowled two full spells, and if his team wishes to strengthen its batting, George Bailey could be drafted in.

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Parthiv Patel/M Vijay, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni, 5 S Badrinath, 6 Jacob Oram/George Bailey, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Sudeep Tyagi, 9 Shadab Jakati, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 L Balaji.

Kolkata's predominant concern in their previous couple of games has been their bowling. Agarkar has been their most expensive bowler - among those who've played five or more games - conceding 9.73-an-over, and Kolkata may look to bring in Ashok Dinda in his place. Mortaza's hammering at the hands of Rohit Sharma, much to the disappointment of those who so eagerly awaited his IPL debut, could cost him his place, and the team may want to induct Charl Langeveldt, whose inclusion in the XI is long overdue.

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Sourav Ganguly, 3 Brad Hodge, 4 David Hussey, 5 Wriddhiman Saha, 6 Yashpal Singh, 7 Charl Langeveldt/Mashrafe Mortaza, 8 Murali Kartik, 9 Ajit Agarkar/Ashok Dinda, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Shoaib Shaikh.

Stats and Trivia

  • Chennai have averaged 37.2 per wicket in the Powerplay, scoring at 8.45 runs per over. Kolkata haven't done as well, averaging 23.61 per wicket and scoring at 6.43 an over
  • Balaji is the only bowler from the two teams in the list of the top ten wicket-takers in the competition, with 13 from 10 games at 18.92
  • Hayden has struck 21 sixes in the competition, the second-highest in the IPL this year, after Adam Gilchrist. He's followed by Raina with 17

Head-to-head record

The previous game between the two teams was washed out in Cape Town. Chennai emerged victors in both contests last year, with Hayden and Dhoni combining to complete a nine-wicket win in the first. In the second, Makhaya Ntini took 4 for 21, including a hat-trick, and the Chennai openers did well enough before rain intervened to win the match by the D/L method.

[the article was originally published at]

Four bookies caught betting on IPL matches

With the IPL-II on in South Africa the crime branch of district police nabbed four bookies from Aashiana on Friday for betting on the
tournament matches. Police recovered from them cash over Rs 50,000 along with 11 cellphones, television sets and diaries having records of the bets made by them and their clients.

Those arrested identified themselves as Vikas Gupta of Sector M in Aashiana along with Ashish Kumar, Mahesh Kumar and Sandeep Srivastava. Police said that Vikas owns a canteen in model wine shop while Ashish and Mahesh worked for Vikas by maintaining records of the bets made and Sandeep is a generator mechanic.

All of them were caught from Vikas's house in Aashiana. During the interrogation, they told police that they were engaged in the betting business and were betting on the tournament as well as the sensex.

SP crime, Nidhi Sonkar said the gang worked for its kingpins in New Delhi and Mumbai and those nabbed made around Rs 20,000 a month. The gang used code words to communicate and the word for betting used by them was KL (khai lagai).

They said that they noted down the amount that was at stake in the betting and if a person won the bet he was given nearly nine times of the amount that was on stake while the money lost by others involved in the betting was taken by those arrested.

They were running the betting racket from the past few months. Investigations were on with regards to the others who might be involved with them in the crime.

[the article was originally published at]

Friday, May 15, 2009

Katrina Kaif joins fans in cheering Royal Challengers

MUMBAI: As the Royal Challengers team battles it out in South Africa, the team got a boost from actress Katrina Kaif, the team’s brand ambassador, at an event organised for the Royal Challengers fans in Mumbai.

Kaif, who is an aficionada of the Red Battalion, joined the fans of the team in Mumbai to cheer the Royal Challengers before its match against the Chennai Super Kings. Katrina applauded the team’s efforts so far and sent her best wishes to the players for all their future matches.

She said, “It has been a great pleasure for me to be a part of Royal Challengers. The team has been performing well this season and I wish them all the best for the rest of the tournament. I would like to thank our fans and enthusiasts for their immense support and undeterred faith in the team and players. I will continue to cheer the Royal Challengers for every match they play.”

Kaif also gave away merchandise, hampers and prizes to the ten lucky fans who won an online and on-ground contest to join her at this event.

United Spirits president, MD VK Rekhi said, “We have a huge fan base here in Mumbai who have supported the Royal Challengers throughout the IPL season. We wanted to offer them an exceptional level of engagement and experience on behalf of the brand. The live match screening with Katrina is to engage the fans and institute a personal communication between them and their favourite team.

"Through this initiative, we also look to invoke more support for the team aligning with Katrina Kaif."

She will be cheering for the Royal Challengers across the country with Mumbai following the screenings in the hometown Bangalore and then Hyderabad.

[the article was originally published at]