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KXIP revive their playoff hopes with 25-run win over DC
By IPL desk
Mumbai 09 May 2012
Kings XI Punjab beat the Deccan Chargers by 25 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here. In doing so, the Mohali franchise has thrown its hat into the ring for the already intense race to the playoffs.
The depleted DC were playing without their lead bowler, Dale Steyn, who was replaced by Juan Theron. Invited to bat first by Kumar Sangakkara, the David Hussey-led KXIP built a 55-run partnership for the first wicket, before Shikhar Dhawan castled Shaun Marsh for 22. Nitin Saini who replaced him at the crease, followed him back after adding just two runs to the total. The wicketkeeper-batsman was trapped lbw by Ashish Reddy.
Hussey, who then joined Mandeep Singh in the middle, slammed Amit Mishra’s first delivery over long-off for a six. But the KXIP skipper did not last long and was sent packing by Veer Pratap Singh a while later. After hitting the bowler for a boundary off the first ball of the over, Hussey (16 off 16 balls) was caught at long-off by Daniel Harris off the last delivery.
Although wickets were falling at regular intervals at the other end, Mandeep Singh kept ravaging the Chargers bowlers. But the KXIP opener, who has looked in good nick this season, was finally sent back for 75 (48 balls; 8x4, 3x6) thanks to a slower one from Ashish Reddy.
The big-hitting David Miller came out to the middle and joined the experienced Azhar Mahmood in the 16th over. However, Mahmood was run-out in the very next over. Sangakkara employed the services of seven bowlers, but still missed the depth and experience of the injured Steyn. By collecting 32-runs off the last three overs, Miller (28 off 18 balls) and Siddharth Chitnis (6) helped set a 171-run target.
Praveen Kumar then got the visitor’s an early breakthrough with the key wicket of Shikhar Dhawan (8) in the second over. A while later, Parvinder Awana followed up with the wicket of Parthiv Patel (17 off 13 balls), who had hit him for a four and a six earlier in the over.
When Cameron White came out to join Daniel Harris, the KXIP bowlers did not let the pair settle down. Hussey brought himself on and dealt a double blow by claiming the duo. Harris (30 off 29 balls) was the first to depart as he was caught by Awana. Later, White’s (8) attempted big-hit misfired and he was caught at deep midwicket by Marsh. Back into the attack, Praveen Kumar then followed up with the wicket of Sangakkara (4) to leave the home team reeling at 74 for five. Wicketkeeper Nitin Saini took a brilliant catch to dismiss the DC captain.
It was an uphill task from that point forward for the Chargers. In an attempt to rescue the innings, Akshath Reddy (24 off 13 balls) and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala built a 43-run partnership, before the former fell to a quick stumping by Saini off the bowling of Piyush Chawla. A direct hit from Marsh to run out Jhunjhunwala (19 off 20 balls), in the next over, put KXIP firmly in the driver’s seat. Ashish Reddy (8) was the next to depart, caught by Marsh at square-leg off Awana. In the end, DC could only manage 145 for eight in their 20 overs.
RR register convincing seven-wicket away win over PWI
By IPL desk
Mumbai 08 May 2012
The Rajasthan Royals went to Pune with 10 points from 11 games, placed sixth on the points table. With a seven-wicket win over the Pune Warriors India, they have now replaced the Chennai Super Kings at the fourth position with 12 points due to their superior run-rate. RR’s charge was led by two Australians – Shaun Tait (three for 13) and Shane Watson (90* off 51 balls). After Tait restricted the hosts to 125, Watson ensured they reach the target with 22 balls to spare.
Watson made the already modest target of 126 look ridiculously easy with his power hitting. The Aussie all-rounder was especially severe on left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, carting him for fours and sixes straight down the ground. Against the pacers, he pulled, cut and glanced. In all, Watson hit 10 fours and four sixes. He reached his half-century in 27 balls and continued in the same vein to see his team through. Coming in to bat at the fall of Ajinkya Rahane (0), Watson soon lost Rahul Dravid (14 off 16 balls) before putting up a 56-run stand with Ashok Menaria (18 off 21 balls).
Watson could’ve easily walked back with a score of 17, courtesy of a super-juggler named Steve Smith. The batsman thwacked one over long-on where Smith ran to hold a one-handed catch. While on the edge of the boundary, the fielder threw the ball in the air as his feet went on the other side of the rope. He jumped back in, juggled the ball and finally caught it. However, the most extraordinary fielding effort of the tournament went in vain as the umpire signalled a six. A few balls earlier, Smith had taken a brilliant diving catch at point to dismiss Rahane. However, RR had the last laugh as they cruised home to a seven-wicket win in just 16.2 overs.
Earlier, Sourav Ganguly’s decision to bat first and open the innings with himself and Michael Clarke backfired as the Royals maintained a stranglehold on the PWI innings right from the word go. Batsmen struggled to put bat on ball and the home team had only 35 runs on board after the powerplay. They had also lost their skipper, Ganguly (14 off 18 balls), who was bounced out by Shaun Tait. By the time they reached the fifty-run mark, they were two down, with Stuart Binny getting rid of Clarke (16 off 18 balls).
With the Warriors in a shambles, in walked Anustup Majumdar, who was playing his first IPL game. The Bengal lad appeared to be batting on a different track than his senior colleagues, when he struck Ankeet Chavan for two consecutive sixes and followed up with a boundary off Johan Botha. However, the party didn’t last too long for the hosts, as Botha castled him with a perfect yorker. Majumdar top-scored for PWI with 30 off 20 balls; the second-highest scorer for them was Steve Smith (18 off 22 balls).
Shaun Tait was the pick of the Royals’ bowlers; he picked up the wickets of Ganguly, Robin Uthappa (13) and Mithun Manhas (11) for just 13 runs in his four overs. He received fine support from Botha (4-0-25-1) and Stuart Binny (3-0-12-1).