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Gayle-powered Royal Challengers beat Pune Warriors India by 35 runs
By IPL desk
Mumbai 12 May 2012
In a rain-delayed match, theRoyal Challengers Bangalorebeat the Pune Warriors India by 35 runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here to stay in the hunt for a berth in the final four. Taking on a depleted PWI side, RCB set them a 174-run target, which proved to be too much for the hosts.
After PWI’s 22-year-old stand-in skipper, Steven Simth, opted to bowl first, debutant pacer Krishnakant Upadhyay – who took Ashish Nehra’s place in the playing XI – opened the bowling with Alfonso Thomas – who came in for Wayne Parnell. Although only three runs came off the first over, Chris Gayle cut loose in the third over and clobbered Upadhyay for sixes over extra-over and long-on. During his whirlwind 31-ball 57-run knock the Orange Cap holder cleared the fence six times and hit three fours. Gayle’s (57 off 31 balls) knock ended when he found Manish Pandey upon attempting to send Angelo Mathews over the ropes. At the end of the 80-run opening stand, Challengers’ captain, Virat Kohli, came to the crease, but returned after adding only nine runs. He was caught at short extra-cover by Smith off Rahul Sharma, who came into the side for Murali Kartik.
However, Tillakaratne Dilshan anchored the innings as he so often has. His 53-run innings ended in an unfortunate run-out at the non-striker’s end with Alfonso Thomas flicking the bails off in his follow-through after Saurabh Tiwary hit the ball back to the bowler. That brought out AB de Villers with just 16 deliveries left in the innings. With Tiwary remaining unbeaten on 36 and de Villiers on nine, RCB reached 173 in their 20 overs.
During PWI’s run-chase, Zaheer Khan struck in the first over, trapping Mohnish Mishra lbw. A ball later, the left-arm pacer uprooted Pandey’s off-stump. With two wickets gone with just four runs on the board, Robin Uthappa came out to join Michael Clarke in the middle. Couple of overs later the hosts suffered another big blow as the Australian skipper attempted to send Vinay Kumar over long-on only to be caught by Tiwary near the ropes. Uthappa and Anustup Majumdar then built a 50-run partnership, but a while later, veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had the former stumped for 38. And with the wicketkeeper batsman back in the hut, the hosts were four down for just 72; with 102 runs still to get, it was a difficult ask for them.
KP Appanna then followed up with the wicket of Mathews (4), and with half the side back in the dugout, Smith came to the crease. The home team kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were unable to build partnerships. Majumdar was the next to depart; a forward diving catch by Zaheer Khan off Harshal Patel in the short extra-cover region ended his valiant 31-run knock. In the next over, Muralitharan rattled Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s woodwork off his last delivery to finish with two scalps for 16 runs.
With the match virtually in their bag, Vinay Kumar yorked Thomas and then castled Rahul Sharma for a duck. With nine gone, Smith and Upadhyay ensured that the Warriors weren’t bowled out and remained unbeaten on 24 on 11 respectively. But due to this loss, PWI are now out of playoff contention.
Scorecard Man-of-the-Match: Chris Gayle for his blistering knock of 57 (3x4; 6x6) off 31 deliveries
Hilfenhaus helps CSK register four-wicket win against RR in Jaipur
By IPL desk
Mumbai 11 May 2012
The Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings were in a close battle on the points table as they went into their match against each other at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The visitors, who have made a habit of playing out last-over thrillers, produced yet an exciting performance to scratch home with four wickets in hand. With this win, CSK keep their playoff hopes alive with 13 points in as many matches.
The victory was scripted by Albie Morkel and Srikkanth Anirudha, who put up 43 runs in 12 balls to snatch the win with 11 deliveries to spare. Both the men finished with 18 unbeaten runs off six balls. For RR, Pankaj Singhand Shane Watson went for 17 runs each in the 17th and 18th overs respectively.
The hosts, however, showed tremendous fight while attempting to defend 126. Watson drew first blood in the opening over itself to castle Murali Vijay (0) with a peach of a delivery that left the batsman completely clueless; he conceded just a run in that over.
When Suresh Raina walked out to bat, Dravid had two slips in place with Pankaj Singh bowling. In the next over, which was bowled by Shaun Tait, he added a man at forward short leg in a show of aggression. The move almost paid off when an edge off Michael Hussey’s bat fell just short of first slip. Tait missed his fellow Australian’s stumps by a whisker on one occasion and caught him in the crease on the other. Despite bowling three wides, Tait gave away only five runs in that over.
Raina looked in good touch, playing three wonderfully timed cover drives early in his innings. However, a fine catch by Ajinkya Rahane at extra cover ended his knock at 23. Dwayne Bravo’s (10) wicket soon followed and so did Hussey’s (19). Suddenly, CSK were in trouble at 61 for four in the 13th over.
The Royals had got a sniff of blood and they went for the kill. Their bowlers maintained the stranglehold, denying MS Dhoni (10) and Ravindra Jadeja (16) easy boundaries. The pressure kept building and CSK lost both batsmen in successive overs. However, Morkel and Anirudha saw the visitors home in 18.1 overs.
Earlier, the overcast conditions in Jaipur led to Dhoni electing to bowl first. The heavens opened up again, making it difficult for the batsmen to cope with constant intermittent breaks along with the testing conditions. Ben Hilfenhaus made the most of it by getting rid of Rahul Dravid (4) and Shane Watson (5) cheaply. Dravid holed out playing across the line and Watson fell to a brilliant catch by R Ashwin at third-man. After four overs of seam bowling in helpful conditions, Hlifenhaus had figures of two for eight against his name. Yo Mahesh then scalped Ajinkya Rahane (17) to leave RR in tatters at 42 for three, when weather interrupted again in the ninth over.
After resumption, RR lost Stuart Binny, who made 27 off 18 balls. Brad Hodge (38) rallied on, before Ashwin trapped him lbw. At the end of their 20 overs, RR ended with a score of 126 for six. Yo Mahesh played a perfect support role to Hilfenhaus, picking up two wickets for 21 runs in his four overs.