Saturday, March 20, 2010

IPL THREE : Rajasthan, Bangalore accelerates

Rajasthan seal maiden win :

After being down in the dumps, Shane Warne inspired his Royals to yet another fightback, as they defeated the confident Kolkata Knight Riders by 34 runs. It was the 46-run contribution by Abhishek Jhunjhunwala that enabled Rajasthan to a fighting total of 168 and the knock also won him the man of the match award.

Chasing 169 to win, Kolkata failed to get going after losing the early wicket of Manoj Tiwary. Brad Hodge and Cheteshwar Pujara added 50 runs for the second wicket but it took too long to come.

The loss of the pair only added up to the pressure, and captain Sourav Ganguly and Owais Shah couldn't accelerate Kolkata towards their target to fall short by a long margin. Rajasthan bowlers played their part too, slowing down the pace of the ball.

Earlier, Australian Adam Voges provided some late sparks to lift Rajasthan Royals to 168-7 against Kolkata Knight Riders

Voges was not out on 37 that included two sixes off the final over, bowled by Ishant Sharma to boost the total after the Royals lost too many wickets in the later stages of their innings. Abhishek Jhunjhunwala was the top-scorer with a fine 45.

Rajasthan were off to a woeful start when opener Michael Lumb was trapped in front of the stumps off the first ball of their innings from Ashok Dinda after Royals captain Shane Warne won the toss and elected to bat.

Rajasthan Royals 168 for 7 (Jhunjhunwala 45) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 134 for 5 (Hidge 36, Yusuf 2-23) by 34 runs

Player of the match AA Jhunjhunwala (Rajasthan Royals)

Kallis, Vinay Kumar star in Bangalore win

Jacques Kallis continued his unbeaten streak as he guided Royal Challengers Bangalore to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians to go top of the table at the Brabourne stadium on Saturday.

Kallis stretched his run to four matches and remained 66 not out as Bangalore wrapped up victory with five balls to spare, with Eoin Morgan giving him company on five not out. Manish Pandey had given Bangalore a terrific start to their run chase along with Kallis, which saw them to 85 without loss in the 10th over.

The cricket god clearly sat in the Royal Challengers’s dug out. Or else how does one explain Mumbai Indians losing four wickets in nine deliveries.

The mayhem was triggered by Bangalore bowlers, who bowled with remarkable discipline and penetration. After reducing the host side to a modest 151 for 9, the Bangalore batsmen tore apart the bowling attack and dished out a humiliating seven-wicket defeat with five balls to spare. With Jacques Kallis (66) leading the way, the team scored 155 for 3 in 19.1 overs — their third consecutive victory.

Their run-chase did wobble a bit towards the end when Robin Uthappa (23) and Virat Kohli (17) got out, but Kallis stood rock solid at one end and ensured the team reached the target with ease. He remained unbeaten at 66, which included 10 elegant hits to the fence. It was only in the fitness of things that he scored the winning boundary — a splendid straight drive.

Quite remarkably, he is yet to be dismissed in the tournament — it was his third half-century on the trot. It was no surprise that he walked away with the man of the match award.

Electing to bat, Sachin Tendulkar’s immense faith in his batsmen came unstuck for the first time in the tournament. Perhaps, the uncertainties of the game caught up with his men. They crumbled like cookies in front of their home crowd at Brabourne Stadium. From 36 for 1, they inexplicably slumped to 76 for 6 after 11 overs.

Mumbai lost four wickets in nine deliveries. With Sachin’s departure, who was bowled round the legs by medium-pacer Vinay Kumar, the batting lost its soul.

The medium-pacer, who had gone wicketless in the last two matches, came back brilliantly to rise to his captains expectation and took three wickets in one over to completely break the back of Mumbai’s batting. He finished with an impressive figure of 3 for 25 in his 4 overs; Steyn was equally impressive and picked up 3 for 26.

However, in a rather remarkable rear-end action, Kieron Pollard (21), R Sathish (24) and Zaheer Khan (23) propped up Mumbai’s crumbling innings and ensured it reached some respectability. Zaheer was particularly belligerent and he got those runs in just nine balls, which included three fours and a huge six. In the end, they were 151 for 9.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 155 for 3 (Kallis 66*, Pandey 40) beat Mumbai Indians 151 for 9 (Vinay 3-25, Steyn 3-26) by seven wickets

Player of the match JH Kallis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

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