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    Chennai, April 9: Hosts Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Delhi Daredevils (DD) by one run in a thrilling last-ball finish in Match 2 of Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Thursday.

    Chasing a 151-run target after sending the home team into bat, the Daredevils fell short by just a run, managing to reach 149/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

    Albie Morkel’s unbeaten half century (73 not out off 55) went in vain for DD. With 6 runs required off the final ball from Dwayne Bravo, Morkel managed to hit a boundary, thus falling short by 1 run. DD needed 19 runs from the final 6 balls of the match.

    Veteran left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra was the star for CSK, taking three wickets for 25 runs in 4 overs. He won the Man-of-the-match award.

    Yuvraj Singh, who was a bought for a record Rs 16 crores at this year’s players auction, failed. The left-hander was out for just 9 runs.

    Earlier, CSK posted 150/7 in their 20 overs. Skipper MS Dhoni’s (30) and his Indian teammate Ravichandran Ashwin (12 not out) guided the team to the modest total after the home team struggled to force the pace throughout their innings.

    CSK’s hope for a strong start got an early jolt when New Zealand’s World Cup hero Brendon McCullum (4) was dismissed in the second over.

    Newly-married India batsman Suresh Raina (4) also didn’t last long.

    Some tight bowling by Daredevils kept the Chennai batsman on a tight leash. CSK’s desperation to break the shackles got the better of them and after reaching their 100 in the 13th over, they lost wickets at regular intervals.

    South African Faf du Plessis’ (32) dismissal triggered the downslide. His untimely dismissal, coupled with opener Dwayne Smith’s (34) in the ninth over, meant that CSK’s batting momentum was broken.

    Daredevils opted to bowl after winning the toss. Daredevils went in with South Africans trio of skipper Jean Paul Duminy, Albie Morkel and Imran Tahir and Austrlian Nathan Coulter-Nile as the four overseas players.


    Pune, April 9: Rajasthan Royals would look to adapt quickly to their new ‘home ground’ when they lock horns with last season’s runner-up Kings XI Punjab in their campaign opener in the Indian Premier League here tomorrow.

    The Royals, who have three 2015 World Cup winners in Shane Watson, Steven Smith and Jame Faulkner, would look to Chris Morris, their costliest buy at Rs 1.4 crore, for a positive start.

    Morris was bought for his all-round skills and will be expected to partner Faulkner in that department. With the ball, Morris produced a record performance for Lions in the Ram Slam T20 last year.

    But a big challenge for Royals would be adapting to a new home after their actual home ground of Jaipur was taken off the roster owing to the dispute in the Rajasthan Cricket Association.

    With captain Watson and Stuart Binny playing all-round roles as well, chief coach Paddy Upton feels Morris’ inclusion gives Royals a lot of options.

    They have also brought in two leg-spinners in Dinesh Salunkhe and Pardeep Sahu, and could play decisive roles for the team in this format.

    Smith, meanwhile, comes in to the IPL on the back of an awe-inspiring performance in the year gone by. He has scored 2096 runs in 31 international matches across all formats at a brilliant average of 69.86, which includes eight hundreds.

    During this period, he captained Australia’s Test side and was their leading run-scorer (402 at an average of 67, including an unbeaten fifty in the final) in a winning World Cup campaign.

    Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey, who did not get to spend much time in the middle last season, aggregated 257 runs at a strike rate of 135.26.

    But it was Glenn Maxwell – 552 runs at a strike rate of 187.75 – who was the team’s trump card in the previous IPL. In the company of South African dasher David Miller and the Indian trio of Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha, Maxwell could well be the key to the team’s fortunes this season as well.

    ‘We have a well balanced team’

    That intimidating batting order has been further beefed up by the addition of Murali Vijay. The bowling department also looks solid with Australian tearaway Mitchell Johnson leading the pacers pack.

    “Last year was a good season for us and we would want to carry on the winning spree this season as well,” coach Sanjay Bangar said on the sidelines of KXIP’s pre-season camp here.

    “We have a well balanced team and the entire coaching staff is positive about the team’s performance. As a part of this camp, we will focus towards working on the strengths and improvement areas of the players and look forward to a great tournament.”


    Kings XI Punjab: Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, George Bailey (captain), Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vora, Mitchell Johnson, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Shivam Sharma, Thisara Perera, Virender Sehwag, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar

    Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.

    Match starts at 8 PM IST


    Chennai, April 9: Delhi Daredevils‘ (DD) new captain JP Duminy is banking on IPL’s most expensive player Yuvraj Singh to single-handedly win matches for them this year.

    Yuvraj was bought by DD at this year’s auction for a record price of Rs 16 crores. DD finished at the bottom of the table in IPL 7 and with a new-look squad this time they are hoping for vast improvement.

    One of the key players for DD will be Yuvraj. Though he is not part of the Indian team now, Duminy is confident that the left-hander will deliver in IPL 2015, which started yesterday.

    “It doesn’t matter if he (Yuvraj) hasn’t been part of the Indian team for a long time. He is a match-winner and I have no doubt that in this IPL he will win games on his own,” Duminy was quoted as saying by about Yuvraj.

    “We have seen that year after year where he has put in big performances and I know he takes a lot of pride in his performance. I have no doubt we can expect some big things from him for DD this time,” the South African added.

    DD open their campaign today against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Yuvraj will make his DD debut. Last year, he was with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

    Melbourne, April 9: Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League after a hectic summer of cricket and a busy national schedule ahead.

    The World Cup-winning pacer was retained by the Mumbai franchise at USD 100,000 contract for the 2015 season after being bought in 2014, but Hazlewood decided to give this edition a miss.

    The Rohit Sharma-led side lost the IPL opener to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday.

    “Josh’s workload has changed significantly since he first began attending the IPL,” Cricket Australia (CA) General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard was quoted as saying by today.

    “The IPL is the players’ leave period and in Josh’s case it was deemed that not playing was the best use of that time in the lead-up to a busy winter. This was agreed to with the IPL following discussions at the end of the Test series.”

    Australia begin their two-match West Indies tour in May end and play their one and only tour match starting May 27, three days before the IPL final.

    The West Indies series is immediately followed by the five-Test Ashes, starting in Cardiff on July 8. The 24-year-old left-arm pacer made his presence felt on debut with a five-wicket haul against India during the second Test in Brisbane in December last year.

    He finished the summer as an opening bowler in Australia’s victorious World Cup campaign edging past speedster Pat Cummins.


    Kolkata, April 8: Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) launched their IPL 8 campaign with a 7-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians (MI) here tonight at Eden Gardens.


    Captain Rohit Sharma‘s unbeaten 98 powered MI to 168/3 in 20 overs. In reply, home team skipper Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav starred with the bat as KKR chased down the target in 18.3 overs.

    Here are highlights and important statistics from the 1st match of IPL 2015

    Points – KKR – 2; MI – 0

    This was KKR’s 10th victory in a row

    Top scorer of the match – Rohit Sharma (MI) 98 not out off 65 balls with 12 fours and 4 sixes

    Most wickets – 2 for Morne Morkel of KKR

    Most sixes – 5 by Suryakumar Yadav of KKR

    Man-of-the-match – Morkel (4-1-18-2)

    Total sixes in the match – 18 (MI 7, KKR 11)

    Total fours – 29 (MI 18, KKR 11)

    Most economical bowler – Morkel (4.50 economy rate)

    Most expensive bowler – Jasprit Bumrah (12.66) 3-0-38-1

    Ducks – 1 – Ambati Rayudu (MI)

    Best partnership – Rohit and Corey Anderson – 131 runs (unfinished) for the 4th wicket in 14.4 overs

    Best over – 21 runs for MI in the 15th over bowled by Umesh Yadav to Anderson and Rohit

    Total score of captains – 155 (Rohit 98*, Gautam Gambhir 57). This is the third highest total (both skippers) in a IPL game

    Powerplay scores – MI – 37/3 in 6 overs; KKR 38/1 in 6

    Fastest fifty – Gambhir – 50 off 39

    Paceman R Vinay Kumar broke Gambhir’s bat in the second over of the innings

    Kolkata, April 8: Kolkata Knight Riders launched their title defence on a perfect note as skipper Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav drove them to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the IPL 8 opener here today.

    Chasing 169 for a win, Gambhir’s 43-ball 57 (7×4, 1×6) led the KKR charge, while Suryakumar’s unbeaten 46 off 20 deliveries helped them canter to their target in 18.3 overs.


    But it was the 85-run second wicket partnership between Gambhir and No.3 Manish Pandey (40) that set up the chase. There was some respite after the visitors dismissed the duo but ironically they found their nemesis in a familiar Mumbaikar Suryakumar, who led Mumbai in Ranji Trophy this season.

    The talented youngster, who came in at 121/3 with 48 required from 34 balls, hit some sensational shots that included a four and 5 sixes. Yusuf Pathan was also unbeaten on 14. Corey Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah and Harbhajan Singh picked up a wicket each.

    Earlier, continuing his dream run at Eden Gardens, Rohit Sharma smashed an unbeaten 98 to power Mumbai Indians to 168/3.

    Put in, the visitors lost two wickets in three balls and looked shaky 37/3 after a fiery spell from Morne Morkel (2/18) but Sharma, who had struck an ODI world record 264 here in November last year, was again in his element.

    Sharma dissected the field with elegance and picked Indian speedster Umesh Yadav as his bunny en route to his 22nd IPL half-century.

    Sharma’s 98 not out came from 65 balls studded with 12 boundaries and four sixes and was ably supported by New Zealand allrounder Corey Anderson, who remained unbeaten on 55 from 41 balls (4×4, 3×6) in a 131-run undefeated partnership.

    After all the hoopla surrounding his action, Knight Riders trump card spinner Sunil Narine did not look in his usual self and returned wicketless with 28 runs from his four overs.

    The West Indian looked under pressure and the umpire was seen talking to him during his second spell. Narine began with a widish full toss and the Mumbai skipper was quick to punish it for an easy boundary.

    Sharma had earlier made his intention clear hitting Yadav for three boundaries in the third over. The star Indian opener was at his explosive best when he smashed three fours and one six as Yadav leaked 21 runs in the 15th over.

    Gambhir plays a shot en route to his 57

    Gambhir plays a shot en route to his 57

    It gave the much needed impetus to MI run-rate that went under six after the three quick wickets and some clever captaincy by Gambhir.

    While Yadav was expensive, Morkel was the pick of the lot and Gambhir made the South African speedster run through his quota of four overs from the High Court end.

    Morkel dismissed Mumbai Indians star recruit Aaron Finch (5) cheaply when the Australian World Cup winning opener top-edged one to deep square leg and gave a second breakthrough in Ambati Rayudu (0) in his penultimate over.

    In between, Gambhir cleverly brought in Shakib Al Hasan who foxed Aditya Tare (7) with his flight as the Mumbai wicketkeeper stepped out but only to mistime it to long off.

    But he was severely let down by his fielders. Andre Russell dropped Corey Anderson on 23, a regulation catch at mid-on, while part-time wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa not only missed an outside edge of Sharma but missed a stumping when the Mumbai Indians skipper was on 70.


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