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    Chennai Super Kings win last-over thriller by 1 run

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Chennai Super Kings,IPL Delhi DareDevils

    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.


    IPL 2015: ‘We can expect big things from match-winner Yuvraj Singh’

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Delhi DareDevils

    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).

    Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood pulls out of IPL 2015

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Mumbai Indians

    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.


    Highlights, Stats: IPL 2015 Match 1: KKR Vs MI at Eden Gardens

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Kolkata Knight Riders,IPL Match Results,IPL Mumbai Indians

    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

    Holders Kolkata Knight Riders win IPL 2015 opener

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Kolkata Knight Riders,IPL Match Results,IPL Mumbai Indians

    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.


    ‘IPL is one of the biggest tournaments in the world’

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News

    New Delhi, April 8: Relishing every bit of the IPL experience in his debut season, Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s New Zealand import Kane Williamson is mighty impressed by the local talent available in the Sun TV-owned side.

    Apart from the big Indian names in Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Naman Ojha, the side also boasts of rising talent like Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma and Lokesh Rahul.

    The David Warner-led side though relies heavily on foreign muscle with the likes of Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Dale Steyn, Trent Boult and Williamson part of the SRH squad. But the Kiwi batsman insists that the international players can certainly learn a thing or two from local talent.

    “Great to meet all the guys. Obviously you see these guys in world cricket and some of whom I have played against and now to be playing with them it feels good. And also the Indian players, the local players who are outstandingly talented. So it’s great to meet them as well.

    “We all share our experiences and get the best knowledge of these conditions. Some of them haven’t played international cricket, so a lot for us to learn. We can all sit and chat about our experiences at the international arena,” Williamson told PTI in an interview.

    Having made his debut in 2010 during the Ahmedabad Test, Williamson also played a key role for Northern Knights in the Champions League T20 last year. The 24-year-old batsman is pleased to be back on Indian shores.

    “I have been fortunate to have been to India a few times to play cricket. So it’s nice to be back. The Indian public is so passionate about the sport and so that makes it a great place to play,” he said.

    Bagged by SRH in February auctions for Rupees 60 lakhs, Williamson sees the IPL opportunity as a big one in terms of his cricket career.

    ‘One of the biggest tournaments’

    “It is recognised as one of the biggest tournaments in the world. I think that the passion behind the sport in this country is like no other and that’s what brings the hype to a tournament like this. And then also I feel it is opportunity to play alongside some of the best talents. How this tournament unfolds as it progresses is what everybody speaks highly off,” he said.

    Williamson is also a handy off-spinner and the youngster has already started taking tips from Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitahran, who has been roped in as SRH bowling coach.

    “I have been working with Murali for the last couple of days. I am looking to work on it a lot during this campaign. Hope I can improve during this tournament,” he said.

    From playing against Warner in the World Cup final, to be being captained by the Australian opener in this IPL season, Williamson has high regards for his trans-tasman rival.

    “Like I said before, you play against a lot with these overseas players and it’s really nice to play with them and actually understand the person more than just the cricketer. Dave is a fantastic player and surely he will lead the team very well and I am looking forward to play under him,” he said.

    Praising the captaincy of McCullum

    But talk about captaincy and there is no guessing for his choice of leader – Brendon McCullum it is. Williamson, who led a successful Under-19 World Cup campaign for New Zealand when they lost to the Virat Kohli-led India in the 2008 final, also knows about the qualities of a good captain.

    “I think a very good captain is someone who leads the team, particularly off the field and create a culture where players are playing for one and another. I think it’s also important of having a skill set of being innovative and refreshing.

    “I first name that come to mind with all these qualities in Brendon McCullum. In IPL I don’t know many captains so I just can’t comment. But definitely there will be better ones,” he said.

    Not worried about success and failure, Williamson relishes the challenge of T20 cricket. “Look T20 cricket is exciting. It’s always nice to play different formats, like I have done in recent years. There are more areas to improve your game and T20 certainly opens up the imagination to all different skill sets,” he signed off.


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