Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan moves up

Sachin sets up win for Mumbai :

A batting masterclass from Sachin Tendulkar saw Mumbai Indians rise to the top of the IPL standings with a five-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings at the Brabourne Stadium.

Tendulkar's 72 was the cornerstone of Mumbai's stiff target of 181 which the hosts overhauled with an over to spare. The master batsman continued with his rich vein of form that saw him post his highest score in T20 cricket as well.

Earlier, half-centuries from Suresh Raina and S Badrinath powered Chennai Super Kings to a healthy 180-2. Raina hammered an unbeaten 83 off 52 balls while Badrinath was 55 not out as the pair added an unbroken 142 runs for the third wicket, the highest third wicket partnership in the IPL, after Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar won the toss and asked them to bat.

Booster for delhi :

The struggling Delhi Daredevils surprised table toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore to register a much-needed 17-run victory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. Chasing a steep 184, Bangalore made 166-9 in their 20 overs.

Delhi, who were lingering at the seventh position before the game, rose to the fourth rank with this emphatic win. Bangalore got off to a brisk start but lost their way in the second stage of their innings. Jacques Kallis (27) and Manish Pandey (39) started well with a 71-run stand but the visitors fought back with regular wickets to win convincingly in the end

Three run outs dented the Bangalore chase as the middle order crumbled under pressure. Virat Kohli (38 not out) tried to keep up the fight but ran out of partners in the end. Robin Uthappa (15), Rahul Dravid (one), Eoin Morgan (17) and Mark Boucher (two) failed as the Banglaore chase ran out of steam.

Earlier, a sensational start by David Warner (33), a steady knock by AB de Villiers (45) and some lusty hitting by Kedar Jadhav (50 not out) took the Delhi Daredevils to 183-4.

Rajasthan Royals gained confidence :

Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab made for perfect rivals in a close game until the visitors ran away with the crucial moments to seal a 31-run victory at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Thursday.

Rajasthan Royals won their previous game against Kolkata Knight Riders, but despite a healthy margin of win it lacked the general buzz of T20 cricket. Tonight was different and Rajasthan, for the first time in this tournament, showed signs of what took them to the title two years ago: team work.

Rajasthan Royals backed up a strong batting performance from Adam Voges and Faiz Fazal with a disciplined bowling effort that choked Kings XI Punjab after their top order had delivered a promising start. The 31-run win meant Rajasthan climbed on the points table.

The players Rajasthan banked on in previous games finally came good, with Michael Lumb finally coming good. The South Africa-born Englishman made a good start to his innings and ended Rajasthan's woes of losing wickets early. As a result, they didn't lose too many wickets and made good use of the start provided by the top order batsmen.

Adam Voges may have been man of the match, but not mentioning Faiz Fazal's knock would be unfair. The left-hander played an impressive support role and there was no reason for him to hit fifth gear when Voges was providing the necessary impetus. Every batsman got a start and Rajasthan's total was one which their bowlers could defend.

Despite a blazing start, the visitors held their nerve and eked out wickets up front. Tait has been expensive but returned with wickets. Warne was taken up for special treatment from the young Manvinder Bisla but returned the favour with his wicket. It was, however, Siddharth Trivedi's spell that began Punjab's slide with Yuvraj's wicket. Trivedi has impressed in both Rajasthan's victories with clever change of pace.

Punjab, on the other hand, must claw back immediately before it's too late for them. They have lost four of their five games - the fifth a fortunate Super Over contest - and they need to re-arrange their batting order soon. Sangakkara did well to open the innings and it bore immediate results, but the arrival of Shaun Marsh may well make them think of drafting him in for Ravi Bopara. He has sure played his part but Marsh would provide much needed solidity.

Mahela Jayawardene is batting far too low in the order to make an impact. He looked good for his cameo, but he would serve his team better if he bats in the top three. But their conundrum is heightened by the success of young Manvinder Bisla, who has been a revelation for his team, and Yuvraj Singh's lean patch.

Rajasthan, on the flip-side scored a hard-fought victory over Punjab and their next clash against Deccan Chargers will prove just how much they have improved to fire against the top teams in the league.

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