Hello Cricket Lovers,
We witnessed couple of closely fought matches on last 2 days as part of Indian Premier League T20 Cricket.
IPL has already got the attention it gets every year although players have to play without spectators at the ground, but, still there is no lack of enthusiasm in the players and last 2 matches are the proof for that!!!!
Let's get into the details of those 2 matches starting with Third match of the tournament between my own state team of Royal Challengers Bangalore and their neighbor team of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Match 3: Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Sunrisers Hyderabad:
Before the start of this match, SRH lead the RCB by 2 matches in head to head with scoreline reading 8 wins for SRH against 6 wins for RCB and based on that, SRH always starts as favorites whether it's in their home ground or away matches in Bangalore.
But, even on pitches Sharjah or Dubai in UAE, they still starts as favorites because of their superior foreign players in David Warner, Johnny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Mitchell Marsh.
Although SRH has a weaker middle order due to injury to their mainstay middle order batsman Kane Williamson, they still are a better team compared to RCB.
RCB, on the other hand, had used more than 5 different opening combination last season, but this year, they started off well with debutante Devdutt Padikkal and newly hired foreign player, the Australian T20 captain Aron Finch providing them solid start with a partnership of 90 for the first wicket.
Devdutt Padikkal was particularly more aggressive compared to the even more aggressive opening partner Aron Finch and such was the dominance of Devdutt Padikkal that, by the time he score his Fifty on debut from just 36 balls, Aron Finch was at the score of 27 from 23 balls and he was happy to play second fiddle to more aggressive Devdutt Padikkal
When Devdutt Padikkal got out in Eleventh over, he hand Finch had added 90 for the first wicket for RCB, their first such score in longer time.
Aron Finch as well got out in the very next delivery after Devdutt Padikkal's dismissal and that brought the most successful pair for RCB in Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers to the crease, and they didn't waste much time in accelerating the score although Virat Kohli fell to a slower delivery in quest of accelerating the score when he was on 14.
ABD continued his usual way of playing by scoring another 50+ score with 51 from 30 balls before getting out in the last over.
The final score by RCB was 163 for the loss of 5 wickets and chase for SRH was definitely on with the established pair of David Warner and Johnny Bairstow starting on good note, but David Warner had to depart in Second over itself due to runout at bowlers end when a straight hit from Bairstow was handed to stumps by bowler Umesh Yadav and that brought Manish Pandey into the crease.
We may recollect, Manish Pandey batted at Fourth or Fifth position last season, but due to absence of Kane Williamson due to injury, he had to come in at Third position and he started slow but started accelerating the score with Bairstow also being aggressive.
This pair stuck together until over 12 when Manish Pandey got out for 34 from 33 balls and Bairstow was still going strong with 43 from 33 balls.
But SRH's weak middle order got exposed with the dismissal of Manish Pandey as they lost remaining 8 wickets for just 32 runs with some spirited bowling from RCB particularly from their main spinner Yuzvendra Chahal taking 3 wickets for just 18 runs and others like Saini and Dube chipped in with couple of wickets each with economical spells.
For SRH, there was a setback early in First innings itself with their main all-rounder Mitchell Marsh getting injured while bowling his First over and couldn't contribute much with bat coming out as last player.
Overall, it was a tense but good win as SRH fell short by 10 runs chasing 164 for a win.
Here is the RCB scorecard:
Scorecard for SRH:
That was a match to be won by Sunrisers Hyderabad, but their middle order failed to capitalize on the good score set by top order and RCB made a good use of that to score 2 points and more importantly started with a win!!!
Match 4: Rajasthan Royals versus Chennai Super Kings:
Chennai Super Kings coming back from their win against defending champions Mumbai Indians, faced Rajasthan Royals in the Fourth match of the tournament yesterday.
Winning the toss, Chennai elected to field first as in first match, but soon realized they made a wrong call as Rajasthan went on to pile up runs thanks to wicket keeper batsman Sanju Samson coming in at the fall of First wicket, added 120 runs with makeshift opener and captain Steven Smith by scoring brisk 74 from 32 balls and captain himself scored 69 from 47.
Sanju Samson was particularly severe against spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla by scoring 9 sixes and a solitary 4.
Barring the contributions from Sanju Samson and Steve Smith, only other notable contribution was from number 9 Jofra Archer who scored quick 27 from 8 balls with 4 sixes and remained not out.
So,the final score for Rajasthan Royals read as 216 for 7 wickets and considering the due factor and slowness of the wicket, it was considered to be a good score batting first.
It was also notable that, RR achieved this score without 2 of their main players Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler and when they return back, it will be even more formidable team for them.
Chasing 217 from 120 balls, Chennai Super Kings needed something special from their batsmen and Murali Vijay and Shane Watson gave them good start scoring 50 in their Sixth over with Shane Watson taking on fast bowlers to hit 4 Sixes, but soon, both the openers got out in the span of 5 balls.
Faf Du Plessis once again came to the rescue of Chennai after 2 quick wickets and scored 72 from just 39 balls and there were few small contributions from all the batsmen but that wasn't enough to take them across winning line.
It was also debatable that, captain MS Dhoni held himself back until fall of Fifth wicket and by then, it was already Fourteenth over. Had he come a bit early, he could have scored few more quick runs to take them to the win they falling short by 17 runs.
Scorecard for Rajasthan Royals:
Scorecard for Chennai Super Kings:
Those were the last 2 games and both won by team batting first.
Thanks for reading these blogs from me and I hope you are enjoying these Cricket sports related blogs from me.
I would love to hear your feedback.
Wishing you all good Wednesday :)
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