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Rajasthan Royals meet Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur in the sequel to their last-ball thriller
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 30 April 2012
Revenge will be foremost in the minds of Rajasthan Royals players when they face off against the Delhi Daredevils in Match 43 of DLF IPL 2012.
Rahul Dravid’s team dominated their away fixture against the Delhi Daredevils for close to 38 overs, but lost the contest at the fag end of their run-chase. That one-run defeat has meant they are still locked up in a mid-table contest, while the Delhi Daredevils remain perched on top of the points table with seven wins from nine outings.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid and Owais Shah have contributed close to 70 percent of the runs scored by their team – suffice to say, they hold the key to their team’s success. Rahane especially has been in sparkling form; the Mumbai lad plays orthodox cricket, but still has scored runs every time he has walked out to bat. Dravid has played the perfect second fiddle at the top of the innings, while Shah has played “impact” cameos to finish off innings.
Despite all the riches in the Delhi Daredevils batting line-up, Virender Sehwag continues to be the central figure in it. The DD skipper has been in pristine form this season and has scored half-centuries in his last four innings.
Keep an eye on Kevin Pietersen too; the Englishman has scored one of two centuries in the competition so far, and he will be keen to leave an impression on the IPL before joining the England team for their home series against the West Indies.
The last time the Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals met – on April 29 at the Feroz Shah Kotla – a solitary run separated them. On that occasion, the Royals finished at 151 for three in their chase of 153.
There isn’t too much that separates the two teams when it comes to their previous encounters; both teams have won their respective home games and the overall head-to-head is slightly swayed in favour of the Delhi Daredevils (5-4) at the moment.
Delhi Daredevils’ David Warner is the only player to score hundreds in consecutive Twenty20 matches. He accomplished the feat in the 2011 CLT20.
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid have been involved in five 50-run partnerships – the most by any pair in IPL 2012.
The Rajasthan Royals head over to Mohali for their next fixture; Rahul Dravid’s team is scheduled to take on Kings XI Punjab on May 5. The Delhi Daredevils will be out of action for five days after this match. They will be seen in action next, when they host the Kolkata Knight Riders on May 7.
Pune Warriors India pacer says team will benefit from Australian captain’s presence
By IPL Staff
Cuttack 30 April 2012
Michael Clarke has finally arrived at DLF IPL 2012. Clarke was out practicing for the Pune Warriors India at their net session ahead of their match against the Deccan Chargers on May 1. This is Clarke’s first taste of the IPL. Ashish Nehra, the leading pacer of the Pune franchise, believes that the Australian’s presence will add great value to the side.
Nehra addressed the press at the end of the practice session. Excerpts from his interaction:
On the game against Deccan Chargers after two consecutive losses:
Obviously, we will look to win. T20 is that kind of a format [where] two wins and two losses doesn’t make that big a difference because there are 16 games [to be played]. It’s not like we have only two or three games left. I mean, obviously, it makes a difference, but we have seven more games to go. We are not down and out or have won only two games. We are in contention. Apart from Delhi [Daredevils], the table is wide open. Everyone has eight or nine points. So, there is a long way to go. Hopefully, we will play well tomorrow and win.
On the playing XI for the game:
It would be better if you ask Sourav Ganguly that question [Laughs]. I have no idea. On Michael Clarke joining the team:
Obviously, someone like Michael Clarke, who has so much experience and is captaining Australia, adds much value to the team. He can bowl his left-arm spinners as well. Hopefully, the kind of player he is, he is going to deliver, and that will help Pune Warriors [India].
On the Cuttack wicket:
Last time when I played here, it was about a year and a half ago, before the World Cup against Sri Lanka. That time it was a good batting wicket. This time, I have no idea. Only once the game starts, will we be able to make it [the wicket] out. On Jesse Ryder not being present at the practice session:
He is not well. He has got a really bad case of flu and is back in Pune.
On whether the foreign players are performing better in the IPL:
I don’t think so. If you look, every team has only four foreign players [they can play]. All the Indian players, whether they are batsmen or bowlers, are performing. And this has been the case not from today, but for the last five years. Obviously, the foreign players who come, the franchises only look to play the best of them. All of them are very good international players. But even the Indian domestic players have performed well.
On expecting a tough fight from the Chargers:
Yes, T20 is that kind of format [where every match is tough]. I know Deccan have lost four or five games, but when we played against Deccan in Pune, we lost. So, you can’t say that Deccan is not playing well. Even when Deccan lost two or three games, they were very close, last-over finishes. In this format, all the teams are equal; every team is dangerous.
On his own form in the tournament:
I missed the first game. I had a stiff hamstring. Since then, I am very confident with my bowling. I am bowling well. This is that kind of format, where sometimes, even if you are bowling well, there are only four overs. And where I bowl, two overs in the powerplay and then [two overs] after the 17th over, stats will not show, but I am quite happy with my performance. When I want to bowl at 140 kmph, I am able to do that. When I want to bowl slow, according to the wicket, I am able to do that as well.