IPL 2018: Can DD Take a Leaf Out of Gayle-Rahu…

Opening partnerships are key to success in every form of cricket, be it Tests, ODIs or T20s. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that teams that have had consistently good partnerships at top of the order, are generally more successful.

In this edition of IPL, Kings XI Punjab have been going great guns and are currently second in the points table, which is courtesy the in-form openers. On the other hand, table laggards Delhi Daredevils have had the worst possible starts in the tournament.

While KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have scored 58, 96 and 116 together, Delhi has tried three different opening combinations — Jason Roy/Gambhir, Munro/Gambhir and Maxwell/Munro which have been unsuccessful.

They just have one 50-run opening stand in 5 matches. Their opening batsmen have failed to reach the 20-run mark in the rest of the innings.

For Punjab the partnership between KL Rahul and Chris Gayle of 116 vs KKR is the highest opening stand this season. Come the match on Monday, DD would like to get rid of their opening woes, and register a win.

As far as the match is concerned, bruised and battered after a string of defeats, Delhi find themselves in an ‘oh-so-familiar’ situation as they seek home comfort against a Chris Gayle-inspired Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, here on Monday.

Without an iota of doubt, the Daredevils have been the least impressive of all teams in the past few seasons of the cash-rich extravaganza, only managing to finish at the bottom half of the pecking order.

In the last two seasons, the Daredevils ended their campaign at sixth position, were a place down in 2015 and finished last the year before, in 2014.

Rishabh Pant Needs Support From Gambhir & Co t…

New Delhi: Pundits felt Rishabh Pant’s knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday was one of the best they had seen from the wicket-keeper batsman, but Delhi Daredevils once again ended on the losing side as AB de Villiers ensured that RCB romped home. And with the loss, DD are now sitting at the bottom of the points table with two points after 5 games with just one win.

And the main reason behind this is the lack of support for Pant from the other Daredevils batsmen. While the team started well with skipper Gautam Gambhir hitting 55 in the first game against Kings XI Punjab, there have been few noteworthy performances from the batters in the team. In fact, Shreyas Iyer’s score of 52 in the last game was also another one-off show as he has otherwise managed to score just 94 runs in all.

Pant is Delhi’s top run getter this season by a substantial margin. His aggregate of 223 runs in 5 innings is 32 runs more than the aggregate score of the next two leading run getters for DD. Jason Roy and Shreyas Iyer have aggregated 97 runs and 94 runs respectively. Pant has hit 37 boundaries, the most by any DD player this season, which is still 3 more than the cumulative boundaries of Roy, Iyer and Gambhir. He also has the best strike rate among DD batsmen. Pant has a strike rate of 176.98 which is marginally better than Maxwell’s strike rate of 176.08 and Morris’ (176.92).

In fact, after Pant’s 48-ball 85 against RCB, Mandeep Singh said he saw shadows of Yuvraj Singh in the batsman.

“Rishabh is amazing. When we were growing up, we used to talk about Yuvraj Singh. Yuvi paa used to hit those big sixes more than anyone else. I think, in this generation, Rishabh is one name, who can smack sixes like him (Yuvraj) at will. He has immense ability,” Mandeep said.

IPL 2018, Live Streaming DD vs KXIP, When and …

New Delhi: Bruised and battered after a string of defeats, Delhi Daredevils find themselves in an ‘oh-so-familiar’ situation as they seek home comfort against a Chris Gayle-inspired Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, here on Monday.

The live telecast of the IPL 2018 match between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab will start at 8 PM on April 23th (Monday). Today’s IPL live match can be seen on the Star Sports network and IPL online free live streaming will be available on hotstar.com and Jio app. You can also follow our live blog for ball-by-ball updates and analysis on cricketnext.com.

Without an iota of doubt, the Daredevils have been the least impressive of all teams in the past few seasons of the cash-rich extravaganza, only managing to finish at the bottom half of the pecking order.

In the last two seasons, the Daredevils ended their campaign at sixth position, were a place down in 2015 and finished last the year before, in 2014.

The story has been similar in the ongoing edition as they struggle with fours reverses from five outings to occupy the last place.

They were done in by the versatile AB de Villiers’ smashing knock last night and up next at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Daredevils will be up against the destructive Gayle, who has made a statement with two fifties and century, scoring those runs in his trademark style.

Thanks to Gayle’s belligerence, Kings XI Punjab are firmly placed at the top of the order with four victories and a solitary defeat.

Given the form they have shown in the previous encounters, Kings XI Punjab will fancy their chances to continue the momentum against an embattled Delhi Daredevils outfit. Royal Challengers Bangalore chasing down a target of 175 with two overs to spare, is more of a reflection of Deredevils’ poor team selection rather than helplessness.

To start with, they lost to Kings XI Punjab in their away game, were then subjected to a humiliating defeat by Kolkata Knight Riders, emerged second best against Rajasthan Royals under the Duckworth/Lewis method and faced another reverse at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Delhi Daredevils’ only victory has come against Mumbai Indians when English opener Jason Roy and the dynamic Rishabh Pant fired. In fact, wicketkeeper Pant has been their best batsman this season with 223 runs from five games.

Returning to his home city franchise, skipper Gautam Gambhir would look to get his scoring touch back, after a hugely successful stint at Kolkata Knight Riders. So is the case with the big-hitting Australian Glenn Maxwell, while Shreyas Iyer, who scored a brisk half century against RCB, would look to continue in same vein.

Delhi’s bowling has been an issue with Mohammed Shami off colour. Trent Boult had decent figures in all the matches but likes of Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami have flattered to deceive. The logic of playing Vijay Shankar is still not clear as the team management is not able to send him up the order for lack of power in his shots. Even more baffling is the fact that he has not been called upon to bowl in four of the five games.

The task is certainly going to be difficult when up against Gayle and Co, with the Jamaican forming a deadly opening combination with K L Rahul. India discard Yuvraj Singh would hope to get some runs under his bat, too, even as KL Rahul is asserting himself as a potent opener in shortest format with two brisk half centuries.

And how can once discount the presence of Aaron Finch, who has the ability to destroy any bowling attack on his day. All-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, along with Mohit Sharma, lend depth to the line-up, while the likes of Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye and Mujeeb ur Rahman shoulder the bowling responsibility.

It Won’t be Easy to Score Big Runs in Knockout…

Chennai Super Kings registered a narrow four-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad, as the former move to top of the points table in IPL. Chennai managed to defend their lowest total this season (182), courtesy some tight bowling by pacer Deepak Chahar who returned with figures of 3/15 in his four overs.

Bowling, till now in the current edition of the tournament has been difficult. But Chennai skipper MS Dhoni feels that as the tournament progresses, big runs will be hard to come by.

“Wickets have gone better. If you compare it to the first few editions of the IPL, these wickets are very good batting surfaces. You also need to give credit to the batsmen as they’re getting stronger. They’re making plans as to which bowler bowls what. As we get into the knockout stages, we’ll see the bowlers coming up with new plans and it won’t be easy for the batsmen to score the kind of runs they’re scoring so far,” he said in the post-match interaction.

In the match, SRH had staged a dramatic comeback. After being 71/4 at one stage, they managed to take the game till the last ball, where six runs were needed.

“I won’t say what we were talking about (discussion with Bravo before the last ball). I wanted him to change his plan. At times even the best – Bravo – need a bit of advice. That’s what they’re paid for,” said Dhoni.

Dhoni went on to praise Deepak Chahar and other bowlers, who held their nerve in the tense situation. “What’s important is to give them – the younger bowlers – as many games as possible. Deepak swings the ball and lends balance with his batting down the order. Shardul (Thakur) had a few bad games. Last international series wasn’t good for him. But he has the right attitude and also the variations.”

Talking about Ambati Rayudu, he said, “Rayudu was fantastic. One thing was where to make him play. Had to make space for him because I’ve always rated him highly. I’ve seen him bat up the order, he looks confident. Whenever he hits the big shots, he maintains the shape. He’s somebody who can bat at different numbers. But I prefer him opening the batting,” stated Dhoni.

IPL 2018: Dhoni the Reason CSK Win Close Match…

It was yet another win for in-form Chennai Super Kings as they went past Sunrisers Hyderabad, in Hyderabad on Sunday. MS Dhoni’s boys were brilliant with both bat and ball to post a 4-run win over SRH. The star of the match for CSK was pacer Deepak Chahar as he returned with figures of 3/15 in four overs, and took his team to a win. Now Chennai sit on top of the points table, while second on the list is Punjab.

Deepak has credited skipper MS Dhoni for being the difference in close matches. He said, “We take pride from these close finishes and feel better. Well, the reason why we keep winning such matches is we have MS Dhoni as captain. His advice during the huddles when Kane (Williamson) and Yusuf (Pathan) were batting well was just not to bowl to their strengths; to stick to a good line and length. And, importantly staying cool.”

Chasing a target of 183, at one stage SRH were looking very strong. Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan got together to stich 79 runs together. But things went downhill for Hyderabad, after their departure.

Talking about his own match-winning performance, Chahar said, “You can see from the attitude of the entire team on the field that we are like one family,” he further said before going on to add, “I enjoyed bowling on this wicket which had bounce and swing and, obviously, I am pleased with my performance.

IPL 2018: Gowtham’s Knock Was Unbelievable, Sa…

Mumbai Indians were on the receiving end of another nail-biter and this time it was newbie Krishnappa Gowtham whose unbeaten cameo of 33 runs off just 11 balls helped the Rajasthan Royals register a thrilling three-wicket win over the visitors at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.

At one point it looked like it was all over for Rajasthan, as at one point 38 runs were needed off 14 balls, but Gowtham made it possible.

Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane was mighty impressed with the Karnataka lad’s effort. After the match Rahane said, “I still can’t believe what happened. I just want to give credit to my bowlers for the way they came back after 14 overs because it looked like they’d get to 180-190. But in the end, KG’s knock was unbelievable. In the time-out, the plan was to take it deep. We knew we had hitters like Jos, Ben, Klassen, and Jofra who could hit the ball a long way. We knew that we were always just two big shots away.”

He further added, “Rahul batted really well at the top of the order last year, and that is the combination we wanted to go in with. It looks like we’ll still continue with that. We are happy to see Jofra back, his spell and the way Jaydev and Dhawal bowled in the middle overs was the key. Jofra can bowl at 140+ and his pace and accuracy was amazing. He’s always thinking about wickets and when you do that your mindset is always positive which is the way to go about.”

After the blistering innings, Gowtham expressed satisfaction after taking his team home. He said, “I’m on top of the world. I had a decent first-class year. The captain asked me to believe and that’s what I did. It worked. You just need a good hit with 6 needed off 3 balls. That’s what I was thinking when I denied the single.”

Bangladesh Arrests Woman Cricketer Nazreen Kha…

Chittagong: One of Bangladesh’s top female cricketers could be jailed for life after being caught with 14,000 methamphetamine pills, police said on Sunday.

Nazreen Khan Mukta, who plays first-grade cricket in the Dhaka Premier League, was returning from a match in the southeastern city of Cox’s Bazar when police stopped and searched the team bus at Chittagong.

“During our search, we caught her with 14,000 yaba pills she had kept in packets,” local police chief Pronob Chowdhury told AFP, using the local name for tablets of methamphetamine mixed with caffeine.

Chowdhury said the Ansar VDP star would be charged with drug trafficking, an offence that can carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Cox’s Bazar borders Myanmar’s conflict-plagued Rakhine state, where authorities say methamphetamine labs produce tens of millions of yaba pills that are shipped to Bangladesh.

Officials this month said drug traffickers had been more active since August when nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar began pouring into Bangladesh.

Gangs have been using the Rohingya refugees as mules and hiding drugs in fishing boats used for ferrying the persecuted Muslims to safety.

Authorities said last month that nine million yaba pills were seized in less than three months as the refugee influx reached its peak. Nearly two million were discovered in a single haul.

Dhaka has been planning to introduce the death penalty for yaba trafficking to try to curb the drug’s popularity and use.

Bangladesh in 2017 seized more than 40 million pills, double the previous year’s haul.

IPL 2018: Gowtham, Archer Star as Rajasthan Do…

Mumbai Indians were on the receiving end of another nail-biter and this time it was newbie Krishnappa Gowtham whose unbeaten cameo of 33 runs off just 11 balls helped the Rajasthan Royals register a thrilling three-wicket win over the visitors at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.

Scorecard

Chasing 168 to win, Rajasthan were cruising along at one stage and it looked they would coast home when Sanju Samson (52) and Ben Stokes (40) were batting.

Royals were cruising along at 110/2, when Mumbai’s star bowling pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman wrecked havoc, picking up 4 wickets between them and conceding only 15 runs.

The fall of wickets put Mumbai on top but Gowtham and Jofra Archer kept their calm to pull things back, smashing Mustafizur and Bumrah for 15 & 18 runs respectively off the 18th and 19th over.

That left Hardik Pandya with just 10 runs to defend. He dismissed Archer off the first ball but then Gowtham hit the next one for a boundary and smashed another into the crowd much to the delight of Rajasthan fans.

Earlier, IPL debutant Jofra Archer showed exactly what Rajasthan had been missing all this while as he bowled superbly towards the death, ending with figures of 3/22 in his 4 overs to restrict Mumbai to 167.

Evin Lewis was dismissed for a golden duck but then Suryakumar Yadav – who has been showing good form – got together with Ishan Kishan to put up a 130-run partnership.

Both players scored fantastic half-centuries, scoring 72 & 58 respectively as it seemed Mumbai would score somewhere around 200.

But then Rohit Sharma was run out for 0 and Archer removed the Pandya brothers. Pollard’s poor form with the bat didn’t help either as he scored 21 off 20 balls. Archer was well supported by Dhawal Kulkarni who ended with figures of 2/32.

Archer was also named man-of-the-match for his sensational effort.

The win kept Rajasthan in touching distance of the top 4 spots as now they have 3 wins and 3 losses from 6 games.

Champions Mumbai meanwhile compounded their misery as they still have only 1 win to their name in 5 games. They will next face Hyderabad on Tuesday, while Rajasthan will enjoy a six-day rest before their next game.

ICC to Discuss Entry of More Associate Teams i…

Kolkata: The International Cricket Council (ICC) will discus at its board meeting here about how to address the issue of accommodating more associate teams in future World Cups, an official said on Sunday.

The restructuring of the World Cup has drawn a lot of flak after the ICC decided to cut the number of teams from 14 to 10 in 2015, meaning there were only two places up for grabs at the Qualifiers, which was earlier in the year taken by the West Indies and Afghanistan.

Recently, Grant Bradburn, current head coach of the Scotland national team, pleaded with the ICC to help facilitate continuous development of the associate nations after the World Cup Qualifiers presented a good picture of these teams’ abilities to compete at a high level.

“There will be discussions on how to go about it. The ICC needs more associate teams in future World Cups and this meeting should provide a headway,” an ICC official told IANS on the sidelines of the ICC women’s committee meeting on Sunday.

The issue will be discussed in the ICC board meeting on April 25 and 26.

Meanwhile at the women’s committee meeting, India captain Mithali Raj was asked whether she had ever been approached by bookies for match fixing, to which the right-hander who led India to the final of the World Cup last year, said no. Mithali attended the meeting as a special invitee.

“She was here for a small part during the meeting. She was asked whether she has encountered any instances of match fixing. She said she hasn’t till date,” the official said.

Asked about England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) outgoing chairman Giles Clarke expressing his interest in the chairman’s post held by former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, the official said it is likely that the latter would continue at the helm of affairs.

Manohar is unlikely to contest an election and will complete his full term of two years only if he is a unanimous choice.

“Manohar is keen to continue, only time will tell but I don’t think Giles will take over,” he said.

It was also learnt that Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has checked for the meeting in the wake of the ball tampering row which resulted in Australia captain Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft being banned for their role in the unsavoury incident which took place in the Cape Town Test against South Africa.

Women’s Cricket No Longer Ignored, Opportunity…

Kolkata: Indian captain Mithali Raj on Sunday opened the second annual ICC Women’s Cricket Forum, reflecting on how far the game had come in the last 12 months and urging the sport to continue to build on the momentum.

Speaking in Kolkata on the opening day of a week of ICC meetings, Raj painted a picture of the significant changes the women’s game had undergone in the last decade – from her not even knowing there was an Indian women’s team when she first started playing, to not being able to walk down the street unrecognised.

In front of an audience comprising ICC Member CEOs, Head of Women’s Cricket and other leaders of the game, Mithali said she hoped this was a turning point: “This is the beginning of good times for women’s cricket, what happened in the World Cup and the way people now see women’s cricket as a viable sport.

"There is no longer any ignorance about the women’s game, cricket talk is not limited to the men’s game or amongst men’s fans. The reach is now there, so the common man can see women’s cricket and we are breaking viewership records and it is important we continue that interest.”

“We are now starting to see stand-alone women’s event and we have the ICC World T20 later this year and this is good. Double-headers were important at first but no matter how good the women’s cricket, it was always overshadowed by the men. At a stand-alone tournament you ‘own the stage’ and it’s another opportunity to promote the game on a larger platform.”

Holly Colvin, ICC Women’s Cricket Manager added: “At the inaugural ICC Women’s Forum last year, the seed to broadcast every match of the Women’s World Cup was sown. The group here can influence and change the women’s cricket landscape for the better.

"The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup was a resounding success but we cannot rest on our laurels. This year’s forum is about how we maintain the momentum and continue to grow the women’s game.”

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director of Ogilvy South Asia introduced the concept of building the brand of women’s cricket to the forum, saying: “Now is the time to celebrate these women, we have to popularise the game and the players. One way of doing this is to give women’s cricket a sense of purpose that touches the hearts of people and gives the game a brand identity.

"Women’s empowerment is a global issue and if we can celebrate women’s empowerment through cricket we can make an impact. Every government wants to promote this, but can cricket lead it? We need to tell strong stories that become the surround sound to the cricket and turn these players into stars.”

Day two of the forum will continue on Monday with the focus on sharing best practices and growing the number of women and girls in cricket.