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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.


    Preview: IPL 2015 Match 3: Rajasthan Royals Vs Kings XI Punjab in Pune

    Category: IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Kings XI Punjab,IPL Rajasthan Royals

    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


    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.


    ‘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.


    IPL 8: 8 Indian cricketers in elite club

    Category: Cricket News,IPL,IPL 2015 News,IPL Highlights

    Bengaluru, April 8: It is the 8th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 8) this year and 8 Indians are part of an elite club in this cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.

    Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman Suresh Raina heads this list with 115 caps. The left-hander is the most capped IPL player.

    Raina and 7 other Indians are part of the 100 plus match club. Only 8 cricketers have so far played 100 or more IPL games.

    Of the 8 players, 4 are captains in this edition. MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir are the skippers who feature in this 100 plus club.

    IPL 8 starts today with defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) facing Mumbai Indians (MI) at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

    Most matches in IPL (100 plus)

    115 – Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)

    112 – MS Dhoni (CSK)

    112 – Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

    107 – Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

    107 – Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)

    106 – Dinesh Karthik (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

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