Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mumbai Indians & Rajasthan Royals shared points for rain

The IPL clash between the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals was abandoned without a ball being bowled as persistent rain hit Durban.

Although the covers briefly came off an hour after the scheduled start, the rain began to fall again before the umpires had completed their inspection.

This was due to be the second game of the season for both teams, with Mumbai having beaten Chennai by 19 runs in their opener, while the Royals needed to bounce back after being bowled out for 58 by Bangalore in their opener.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2009 - Live

Thoroughly outplayed in their opening matches, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab will lock horns on Tuesday hoping to haul their Indian Premier League campaign back on track.

Ravaged by injuries that have denied them the services of star players like Shaun Marsh, Brett Lee and S Sreesanth, the Yuvraj Singh-led Kings XI were handed a 10-wicket drubbing by Delhi Daredevils in their rain-truncated opening match on Sunday.

On the same night, Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders were beaten by eight wickets by last year's bottom-placed Hyderabad Deccan Chargers.

"I want this nightmare to end," said Shah Rukh after the thrashing.

Kolkata, it seemed, were yet to recover from the pre-tournament furore over captaincy, at the end of which Sourav Ganguly was replaced by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum at the helm.
McCullum couldn't have asked for a worse start to his stint but remained optimistic about the team bouncing back in the coming matches.

"It is a long tournament and we will bounce back," he insisted.

Kings XI, on the other hand, are trying to cope with the injury blows that have left them severely depleted.

Last season's highest scorer Marsh, along with tearaway pacer Lee, were out of contention even before the tournament and adding to their woes is the non-availability of all-rounder James Hopes, who is on national duty.

Sreesanth too has been left with the job of promoting the team from the sidelines as a back injury keeps him out of on-field action.

Against a balanced Delhi, Kings XI's batting struggled to hold up and bowling was such that Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir took just a little over four overs to get past a 54-run target that was set for six overs in the rain-shortened game.

The Mohali-based team's batting relies heavily on skipper Yuvraj and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, both of whom didn't contribute much in the lost match.

Yuvraj, however, remained hopeful of a turnaround.

"We are happy with the start, off course we can take some positive out of it and we have enough games coming up, so looking forward to that," he said.

IPL: Bangalore Royal Challengers v Chennai Super Kings - live!

Rampaging Bangalore Royal Challengers will look to continue their winning momentum while Chennai Super Kings, having lost the opening match, will be hoping to register their maiden points on the table when both take on each other in the fifth match of the Indian Premier League season 2 at Port Elizabeth.

With the inaugural IPL proving to be a hard nut to crack, Challengers look confident with their approach in this season after a thumping 75-run victory against the defending champions Rajasthan Royals. While, Chennai's defeat in their first match against Mumbai Indians would only pump their spirits up to come back hard at the Pietersen's gang.

With likes of Dravid, Kumble and Jesse Ryder in form, Challengers surely have a solid line-up to fire against the opposition. On the other hand, Muttiah Muralitharan and Albie Morkel's inclusion might make a difference to Kings.

There's a vast difference between records of both the teams. Bangalore finished 7th out of eight teams last year while Chennai were the runners-up and this year, they are one of the favourites for the title.

To everyone's treat, IPL's most expensive players Pietersen and Flintoff ($1.5 million each) will face each other for the first time when both the teams meet at Port Elizabeth.