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    IPL Kolkata Knight Riders

    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 2015 Match 1: KKR opt to bowl against MI

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL Kolkata Knight Riders,IPL Mumbai Indians

    Kolkata, April 8: The 8th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 8) got under way here tonight at Eden Gardens. In the inaugural match, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and opted to bowl first.

    IPL 8 will be witness to 60 matches played over 47 days across 12 stadiums in the country. KKR are the defending champions. They beat Kings XI Punjab in the final last year to win the trophy for the second time.

    KKR’s four overseas players are Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Morne Morkel and Sunil Narine. For MI, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga and Aaron Finch are the four foreigners in the playing 11.

    Playing XIs

    Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav.

    Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Aaron Finch, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare (wicketkeeper), Keiron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, R Vinay Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Pragyan Ojha.

    Match starts at 8 PM IST

    Preview: IPL 8 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Mumbai Indians in Kolkata

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

    Kolkata, Apr 7: Keen to put the Sunil Narine controversy behind them, Kolkata Knight Riders will begin their title defence against a formidable Mumbai Indians side in the IPL cricket opener at the Eden Gardens, here tomorrow.

    IPL schedule; Tournament Guide

    The West Indies mystery spinner, who was reported for suspect action in CLT20 and went on to miss the recently-concluded World Cup, was kept waiting before getting a clean chit by the BCCI on Sunday.

    A team which has gone on to win two titles (2012 and 2014) since the acquisition of the Trinidad off-spinner in 2011 faces the biggest challenge this year as Narine’s effectiveness with a re-modelled action is yet to be seen.

    IPL 2015 Match 1

    With a slew of spinners in their armoury now including a ‘Narine-like’ KC Cariappa, a rookie from Karnataka who was bought for Rs 2.4 crore, and a couple of chinaman bowlers, KKR will look to thrive on the slow nature of Eden surface.

    But with evening showers predicted in the city, the spinners may find it hard to grip the white ball and the fielders will also have to put forth their sliding act carefully.

    On the field, both the sides match equally on paper but with little baggage of the past and some hard-hitting players in Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard and new signing Aaron Finch will give an edge to Mumbai Indians.

    In MI, KKR will have an opposition who have tasted their maiden IPL win in this very surface in 2013 when the Rohit Sharma-led side beat Chennai Super Kings.

    But their title defence went horribly wrong in 2014 when they suffered five consecutive defeats but managed to make the last four after a dramatic win over Rajasthan Royals but lost to Chennai Super Kings in the eliminator to finish fourth.

    The chief architect of the win against RR, Anderson, who smashed an unbeaten 95 from 44 balls, will once again play a crucial role along with this year’s star acquisition in Australian opener Finch.

    Add Rohit, the leader, to the chart and Mumbai Indians look a mighty batting line-up capable of terrorising any bowling side.

    Rohit is known for his inconsistency but he would look forward to start the campaign at his ‘favourite’ Eden, where he had scored an ODI world record 264 against Sri Lanka in his last outing. KKR batting is equally strong and tested with last year’s top run-getter (Orange Cap winner) Robin Uthappa (660 runs) leading the brigade.

    ‘Yusuf Pathan can win a match single-handedly’

    Uthappa also occupied the pole position in the Ranji Trophy with 912 runs from 11 matches as the explosive opener along with skipper Gautam Gambhir would look to give the perfect start before the likes of Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav take charge.

    Yusuf Pathan may not have seen the best of day’s in the recent past but given his credentials to win a match single-handedly in subcontinent conditions, the senior Baroda pro is worth a bet.

    As far as the foreign recruits are concerned, world no 1 all-rounder and Bangladeshi star Shakib Al Hasan will play a crucial role, while the likes of Johan Botha, Brad Hogg and Azhar Mahmood may come handy.

    While Lasith Malinga and R Vinay Kumar will lead the pace line-up for MI, the home side will have Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav who will look to carry forward their World Cup success.

    In spin department, experienced pro Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha can be quite effective. Off the field, Mumbai Indians’ support staff bench is one to look forward to.

    With three-time World Cup winner Ricky Ponting as coach and maestro Sachin Tendulkar as the team icon, the star-studded support team which will also have John Wright, Jonty Rhodes, Shane Bond, Kiran More, Paras Mhambrey and Rahul Sanghvi. Mumbai Indians will not be short on ideas but it will be for only one team to whip up the perfect recipe.


    Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Morne Morkel, Patrick Cummins, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Johan Botha, Azhar Mahmood, Umesh Yadav, Veer Pratap Singh, James Neesham, Brad Hogg, Aditya Garhwal, Sumit Narwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal and Sheldon Jackson.

    Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Aaron Finch, Ambati Rayudu, Abhimanyu Mithun, Aditya Tare, Parthiv Patel, Keiron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Aiden Blizzard, Akshay Wakhare, Nitish Rana, Sidhesh Lad, Hardik Pandya, Jagadeesha Suchitch, Unmukt Chand and R Vinay Kumar.

    Match starts at 8 PM IST


    IPL 2015: Know your team – Rajasthan Royals (RR)

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL Kolkata Knight Riders

    Rajasthan Royals, who won the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) title, have always been a side that punches above its weight and it will not be any different in the eighth edition that gets underway on Wednesday.

    Rajasthan boasted of some of the smallest profiles of cricketers but went on to clinch the title in 2008 under spin legend Shane Warne’s mercurial leadership.

    Since then, even though they are yet to capture their second title, they have always played the game with the fighting spirit coupled with the ability to surprise – features that are hallmark of the outfit’s mentor Rahul Dravid.

    Dravid, along with head coach Paddy Upton have made utilization of talent a key agenda and in the process they have created stars out of the blue – Ajinya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson and Pravin Tambe being the prime examples.

    The team has struggled in the second, third, fourth and fifth editions of the tournament. But in 2013, Dravid inspired the team to a play-off berth that enabled them to play in the 2013 champions League T20 where they ended up being the runners-up.

    In the last edition, they finished fifth place and this time they must be hungry to improve upon that.

    However, off-field issues have often marred them. IPL’s murkiest scandal – the alleged spot fixing by three Rajasthan players -Ankit Chavan, S.Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila shamed them.

    It followed with the team’s co-owner Raj Kundra being found guilty of betting on IPL matches when the Supreme Court announced its landmark judgment in January.

    Moreover, due to the ongoing legal tangle between now axed Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president Lalit Modi and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the team will not be able to enjoy its home advantage of playing at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium (SMS) in Jaipur.

    They have one of the best records of winning maximum number of home matches but now they won’t have that adavantage.

    Last year, they played their home matches at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. This year along with Ahmedabad, the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai will host some of their home matches, denuding the “home” advantage to a greater extent.

    Going by the players in the team, Rajasthan possess a weaker collection of Indian players than other franchises. Ace Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will captain the side and will have his compatriot Steven smith as his deputy.

    No IPL side had as many representatives in Australia’s World Cup-winning squad as Rajasthan – skipper Watson, Smith and James Faulkner and they will be crucial for the Royals.

    Ajinkya Rahane, Kerala’s wicketkeeper-batsman protege Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Watson and Smith are expected to score much of the runs. A strong core of Indian all-rounders like Stuart Binny, Rajat Bhatia and Abhishek Nayar will provide stability to the squad.

    In this year’s auction, they bagged South African medium pacers Chris Morris and Rusty Theron for Rs.1.4 crore and Rs.30 lakh respectively.

    Apart from the duo, New Zealand’s World Cupper Tim Southee, Australian Ben Cutting and Dhawal Kulkarni are other pace bowling options.

    These five pacers along with Watson, Faulkner and Binny make Rajasthan a strong bowling line-up. Last year’s find – leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, 40, will be the leading spinner.

    Going by the arsenal they possess and a shrewd and thinking management behind them, Rajasthan must be hungry to emulate 2008 heroics.

    The squad

    Indian Players: Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik (wicketkeeper), Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu, Stuart Binny, Vikramjeet Malik.

    Foreign signings: Shane Watson (captain), Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Steven Smith, Tim Southee, Chris Morris, Juan Theron.

    Team Schedule

    Home matches in Ahmedabad: vs Mumbai Indians (April 14), Chennai Super Kings (April 19), Kings XI Punjab (April 21), Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 24), Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 13), Chennai Super Kings (May 16).

    Mumbai: vs Delhi Daredevils (May 3), Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 7), Kolkata Knight Riders (May 16).

    Away matches: vs Kings XI Punjab (April 10), Delhi Daredevils (April 12), Chennai Sunrisers Hyderabad (April 16), Kolkata Knight Riders (April 26), Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 29), Mumbai Indians (May 1), Chennai Super Kings (May 10).

    IPL Record: 2008-champions; 2009-6th; 2010-7th; 2011-6th; 2012-7th; 2013-play-offs; 2014-5th.


    Kolkata Knight Riders will do well even in my absence, says Shakib Al Hasan

    Category: IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Kolkata Knight Riders

    Kolkata, Apr 5: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will miss bulk of the IPL-8 edition due to a home series against Pakistan but expressed confidence that Kolkata Knight Riders have enough depth in their side to do well in the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league.

    “I don’t think my absence will be a problem. Our bench strength is very strong. We have got depth in our side. It’s such a long tournament, anyone can get injured anytime but we have our back-up ready. All in all, we are a balanced side,” Shakib told reporters, here today.

    The left-arm spinner will play first two matches and return home for a full series against Pakistan beginning with three ODIs in mid-April.

    Shakib Al Hasan

    “I will also possibly play the last two league matches. Of course, my target would be to contribute like last season.”

    Terming their team’s bowling attack as ‘spin-oriented’ which exploits the conditions at Eden Gardens, Shakib said their target would be to win all the home matches so that it becomes easier to qualify for the play offs.

    “We get a bit of help for spinners in our home ground. So if you win all your home matches, it becomes easier to qualify. If we start well, obviously it becomes easier towards the last stage. But (our two leading pacers) Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav have done very well in the World Cup. They will also play a vital role.”

    Besides him and Sunil Narine, who got a clean chit from BCCI being cleared of suspect action, the KKR have the likes of chinaman bowler Brad Hogg, off-spinner Johan Botha and the unknown Indian entity KC Cariappa and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.

    “It’s a healthy competition (among the spinners). It’s good for the team that everybody does their best to deliver on the field.” Shakib further said rookie spinner Cariappa is a bit like Sunil Narine.

    “He is a young talent. He will learn a lot by being with the team. Hopefully, he will do well when he gets his chance,” said world’s No 1 all-rounder in ICC rankings.

    ‘No match is easy against any team in T20′

    Recalling their poor performance in the Dubai leg, he said: “Last season, we had to bounce back really hard and we did that. It’s a good sign but in hindsight it won’t be as tough if we start well.”

    Two heavyweights, Mumbai Indians (April 8) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 11), are in line for Kolkata Knight Riders at home and Shakib said the need of the hour was to be consistent and not do anything experimental.

    “No match is easy against any team in Twenty20. We have been consistently doing well for last three-four seasons. Our target is to hold the consistency. I don’t think it would be a good to try something new.”

    He further said the defending champions tag would not be an added pressure.

    “If we think about all these things (being defending champions) then it creates pressure. All the matches are equally important and get you two points each.”


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