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Semifinals of the CLT20

The CLT20 has finally reached the semifinal stages. There are many unique statistics regarding the teams that have qualified this year. For example:

1) This is the first time 2 South African sides have qualified

2) This is the first time only 1 IPL side has qualified

Still, with the threat of rain looming, this might be a flop show worse than any other. So definitely, everyone will be praying that nature decides to spare the last 4 days of CLT20 2012. Our semifinalists are the Sydney Sixers, who stormed unbeaten into the semifinal, the Titans, who have played exceptionally good cricket, except for their unsuccessful encounter with KKR, the Highveld Lions, who have put on an excellent show with both ball and bat to qualify, and the Delhi Daredevils, who’s pace battery and beefed up batting lineup have not yet failed. So far this CLT20 has been more of a bowler’s game. The highest score is 188. That says it all. And because of the constant rains, I think the pitches are supporting swing and seam better, which would explain DD’s success with the ball. So expect some cracking cricket. Here are the upcoming fixtures:


Delhi Daredevils vs Highveld Lions (Today, 8:30 PM) 

Titans vs Sydney Sixers (Tomorrow, 8:30 PM) 

THE GRAND FINALE! (28th October 2012, 8:30 PM) 

So now you know when to get the popcorn out, let me brief you on some of the key players:

Morne Morkel: He has been brilliant so far. He has led the Delhi attack strongly, but can he click when it matters most?

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Morne Morkel

Neil McKenzie: The Highveld batsmen has been in good form throughout the tournament, and if he can get going, the Lions will definitely have something to roar about.

Neil McKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Smith: Though his batting has not been extraordinary, Smith has shown maturity as he has batted according to the conditions, and he will be a deciding factor for the Sixers

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Steve Smith

Jacques Rudolph: He’s shown extreme maturity on the top of the order, and laid foundations for many of the Titans’ innings. And his performance could well be the deciding factor for the Titans.

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Jacques Rudolph

Another player who will be of importance is AB de Villiers, who recently underwent fitness tests. It’s unlikely that he will play, but if he does, then the Titans will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Well, adios then, catch you at the games! 😉

 

 

 

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CLT20 so far

So far, the Champions League has been rather rocky. With rain washing out every fourth game, and half the teams knocked out before playing 4 games, and the highest score being 188, things haven’t been as good as expected. The Sydney Sixers have been dominant so far, as the only team to win all their games so far. However, from the IPL side, things haven’t been as smooth. The Delhi Daredevils have been the Indian fans’ only source of motivation, as they have all but qualified for the semis. All the other big teams have flopped. CSK got two consolation wins, and KKR exited in style with a 99-run win against the Titans, but Mumbai have really been a flop show. Despite coming in with a beefed up side with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Mitchell Johnson, and Kieron Pollard, you would have expected them to put up a better fight. Only Dinesh Karthik was consistent with the bat, and Malinga’s fiver versus CSK was MI’s only good show with the ball. In CSK’s case, Dwayne Bravo’s injury really hurt them, and they were struggling with the out-of-form Albie Morkel and Ravindra Jadeja. For KKR, excluding their performance versus the Titans, they simply weren’t able to be threatening enough, like I said in my previous post. Delhi, have tasted success. Their ploy of playing 4 seamers has really paid off, and their new captain Mahela Jaywardene has really been impressive in his decisions. Their batting was a bit off-color against the Scorchers, but Sehwag showed maturity as he carried his side to the brink of victory. Another team I wanted to discuss about is the Titans. They had like the strongest side, but both the Morkels and Faf du Plessis, went to play for their IPL sides. And AB de Villiers was out with an injury. So they weren’t left with much. Despite that they are still almost in the semis, but if they had a full strength side, things would have been completely different. So today’s games are Delhi versus the Titans at 8:30, winner gets an assured spot in the semis, and Aukland versus the Scorchers at 4:30. For them to qualify, Aukland have to win big, and hope that either Delhi or the Titans do the same. So see you then! 😀

Sehwag played well against the Scorchers. Can he do so again?
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Azher Mahmood holds the cards for the Aces.

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KKR crash out of CLT20

After a rainwashed game against the Perth Scorchers, the IPL champions KKR crashed out of the CLT20 for 2012. After losing their first two game to the Delhi Daredevils and the Aukland Aces respectively, the Knights needed a win to stay in contention. Unfortunately nature played a cruel trick and KKR were denied their two points. Sensing rain, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to bowl first. KKR did a very good job to pin down the Scorchers; Nobody gave away much, including Yusuf Pathan, who ran through 4 overs and finished with 0-29. The Scorchers’ resistance came in the form of Simon Katich, who struck a good 32-ball 43. He was assisted by an uncomfortable-looking Shaun Marsh, who struggled for his 40-ball innings of 38. Early on Brett Lee had induced pressure as he snapped up Herschelle Gibbs in the very first over, leaving the Scorchers at 3-1. Then Marsh and Katich put on 70 runs before Kallis trapped Marsh in front. Katich remained unbeaten, and was joined by Mitchell Marsh who played 10 balls for his 5, before the rain interrupted, leaving the Scorchers at 91-2, in 14 overs. A very sad end to KKR’s campaign. The differences between KKR’s IPL show and their CLT20 show was that their batting was decent, lead by Gautam Gambhir from the front, and bowling was exceptionally good. So even if they could get to about 130, they could defend it. Now, their bowling has not been as threatening, and despite their batting lineup, which boasts of big names such as Brendon McCullum, Gambhir, and Jacques Kallis, they have been woefully out of form. And Yusuf Pathan’s batting form has dipped, and at the price of his place in India’s T20I squad. And unless they get some form, KKR won’t be going anywhere. So that’s all for tonight, see you next time 🙂  cricket @ iplgeek

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Cricket so far

Sorry about the lateness of this article…haven’t had much time to blog lately. So anyway, let me give you a brief preview of what’s happened in the world of cricket so far. The Sri Lankans failed yet again to win a final as the West Indies ‘gangnam styled’ home and took the cup with them. In the CLT20, the Delhi Daredevils are currently the only unbeaten IPL team in the competition, as they beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by a massive 52 runs, and Chennai and Mumbai suffered defeats in the hands of the Sydney Sixers and the Highveld Lions respectively. Also, the Naushua Titans, a new team in CLT20 history, beat the Perth Scorchers by a comprehensive 6 wickets in the opener. Another piece of news is that after several long days of debate and court trials, BCCI has terminated the Deccan Chargers franchise, and has opened bids for a new franchise. And this will definitely have an impact on the next IPL auctions, which should take place sometime in February or March. So now I’m going to conclude with some upcoming cricket. So until next time, adios. 😉

Aukland Aces vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Today, 8:00 PM IST) 

Sydney Sixers vs Yorkshire (Tomorrow, 4:00 PM IST) 

Chennai Super Kings vs Highveld Lions (Tomorrow, 8:00 PM IST) 

The West Indies ‘Gangnam Styled’ home

Unmukt Chand’s 27-ball 40 took DD to a competitive total

Moises Henriques’ fiesty 23-ball 49 helped The Sixers overcome CSK

Neil McKenzie’s 41-ball 64 carried the Highveld Lions home safely against MI

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West Indies vs Sri Lanka- It all ends here

In about an hour and 50 minutes, the final of the ICC World Cup T20 will begin. The last game of the league. All the efforts, all the sixers, all the wickets, it all boils down to this one game. The Sri Lankans, not surprisingly, have done well on their home track, and qualified for the finals. The fact that the West Indies qualified, however, is rather interesting. You see, the West Indies didn’t win either of their league matches, and qualified for the super 8s by the grace of net run rate. Then they brought out two wins in the Super 8s, beating England and New Zealand. And they qualified for the semis, this time by the fact that Sri Lanka had won all 3 of their games. And in the semifinals, they brought out their best performance this season. The West Indies were rated as one of thethe strongest sides this tournament, and that, I think, is because of their all-round balance. Pollard, Russell, Gayle, Sammy, Bravo and Samuels. All big and mean, all all-rounders. And that’s a combination many team owners would kill to have. And with a bowling back-up containing Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine, who would stand a chance? Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have also got a good balance, but are dependent on their top 3 for the bulk-scoring. So far, that hasn’t really hurt them, as Lanka has won 5 of the 6 games they played, losing that one rain-soaked encounter to South Africa. Also, Mahela Jaywardene has shown class as both a leader, and an opener. He has been scoring the big runs, which allows Tillakaratne Dilshan’s inconsistency to go unnoticed. Also, the bowling unit, lead by Nuwan Kulasekara, has hit the deck hard, and won the Islanders many close games. So now here are some clashes to watch:

Chris Gayle vs Ajantha Mendis: Mendis gave Sri Lanka a whoop-de-doo start to their season with a six-for haul, but was a bit off-color until the Pakistan game. He took 2/27 in his 4 overs. Gayle, on the other hand, has had a very successful tournament and is just 31 runs away from overtaking Shane Watson as leading run-scorer. And he will definitely want to go for it and give his team a good start. If Mendis can get in his variations, however, Gayle might just have a bit of a problem playing him.

Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Ravi Rampaul: Whether it’s for Sri Lanka, or RCB, Dilshan likes to get a good, quick start. Ravi Rampaul, on the other hand, likes to take early wickets, and shake the other side. Though he looked out of touch vs Pakistan, Dilshan can be living hell if not dealt with early on. So if he tries to go after Rampaul early on, it will be very interesting to see who prevails.

Mahela Jaywardene vs Sunil Narine: Despite a poor start, Narine has definitely made his mark on this tournament. His ability to bowl the death overs economically, as well as taking crucial wickets at crucial moments, has won the Windies more than one game . On the other hand, Mahela has been pivotal upfront, and he’s also a beautiful player of spin. So who will win? Narine’s variations, or Mahela’s nerve? We’ll find out soon….

It all ends here. May the best team win 🙂

All the best!

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Gaylestorm cleans up Australia

Cricket is a cruel sport. Just how cruel was first exhibited when India, despite winning 4 of their 5 games, failed to qualify for the semis. Another example was just exhibited yesterday, when Chris Gayle’s brutal assault knocked over the Australians by a massive 74 runs. And for the Ozzies, who had been unbeaten until their 5th game against Pakistan, had come into the semifinals riding on the back of the in-form Shane Watson. Still, in the crunch game, it’s the team effort that counts. And that’s what the Windies cooked up today. Along with Gayle’s ballistic 41-ball 75, Marlon Samuels (26 in 20) and Dwayne Bravo (37 in 31) kept the Ozzies under the thumb. The real carnage came in the form of a 65-run stand between Gayle and Kieron Pollard. This stand came in 4.1 overs, and was the final push that the Windies needed. First Mitchell Starc was blasted for 17, but the worst was reserved for Xavier Doherty, who was blasted for 25 in that last over, 18 of which came from  gigantic and consecutive sixes from Pollard. Pollard eventually perished in the last ball of the innings, but the damage had been done. 205-4. This was the final total. To chase this the Ozzies needed something special from their openers. Unfortunately, the Windies had done their homework, and Samuel Badree knocked over both Watson and David Warner. Micheal Hussey, who had been the Ozzies’ go-to man, failed for the first time as he was caught and bowled of Samuels for just 18. No resistance came from the Victs Cameron White, David Hussey and Matthew Wade. It was George Bailey, who played a brilliant 63, in just 29 balls. This included a 68-run stand between Bailey and Pat Cummins. After Bailey’s fall in the 14th over, it was all over. The tail was nullified Ravi Rampaul and Sunil Narine, and Australia were bowled out for 131, in 16.4 overs. There was also a big controversy on twitter, after a certain tweet made by David Warner. However, he has apologized, so all’s well ends well (except for the Ozzie’s bid for the cup). So, lot’s of sad endings huh! So here’s another one. Goodbye Australia, better luck next time! And now, let’s brace ourselves for the grand finale of the ICC World Cup 2012, which is tomorrow at 7:00. Adios! Catch you then!Gayle does a Gangnam style!

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Lankans storm into semifinal

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Sad ending….:(

Yesterday the Lankans put up a clinical performance to successfully route Pakistan by 16 runs in the first semifinal, to enter yet another World Cup final. After posting a total of 139, built up on Mahela Jaywardene’s 38-ball 42 and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s  43-ball 35, spinner Rangana Herath stole figures of 4-0-25-3, to pin down Pakistan to 123. This would have been heartbreak for Mohammed Hafeez and his men, who had barely qualified ahead of India by net run rate. On a pitch which would slow down, Mahela won the toss and elected to bat. Despite the fact that Dilshan was struggling against Sohail Tanvir, Jaywardene kept cool and played on. The duo put on 63 runs before Shahid Afridi took out Jaywardene. Still, Dilshan put on 21 runs with Kumar Sangakkara (18 of 10), and And another 33 with Jeevan Mendis (15 of 18) before he was trapped lbw by a superb yorker from Umar Gul. Still, some cameos from Angelo Matthews (10 of 6) and Thisara Perera (11 of 7) took Sri Lanka to 139. Saeed Ajmal had a bad day, yielding 1/33 in his 4. On the other hand, Sohail Tanvir (3-0-11-0) did well with the new ball. Pakistan were not very well paced with the bat, and Sri Lanka, spearheaded by their pacers Matthews, (who took out Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal), Kulasekara and Malinga, the spinners went for the kill. Ajantha Mendis removed Imran Nazir, and Rangana Herath removed a well-set Hafeez (45 of 40), who had been keeping Pakistan in the game. And then Herath knocked over Shahid Afridi (0 of 1) and Shoaib  Malik (6 of 7). Then Mendis took out Sohail Tanvir (8 of 13). Despite Umar Akmal’s u 22-ball 29*, Pakistan still; landed 16 runs short. So a sad farewell to a great side, who had been so positive and brilliant throughout the tournament. Mahela Jaywardene was named Man Of The Match. So see you for the second semifinal, Australia vs West Indies. Good night!

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Malinga fiver sinks England

Yesterday night a ferocious 5-wicket haul from Lasith Malinga knocked England out of the Super 8s, and assured Sri Lanka a berth in the semifinals. After posting a decent total of 169-6, the Sri Lankans were troubled by Luke Wright, who was opening in the absence of keeper Craig Kieswetter. However, Malinga removed Wright, took out Johnny Bairstow, and smashed into the pads of Alex Hales to leave England at 18-3 in 3 overs. Then Samit Patel and Eoin Morgan began to revive the innings, before spinner Akila Dananjaya removed Morgan, which triggered a collapse, in which Malinga and Ajantha Mendis took out Ravi Bopara (1) Jos Butler (8) and Stuart Broad (1). Then came a furious counterstrike from Patel and Greame Swann, which took England within range of the total. However, Malinga broke through Patel (67 of 48) to get his fifth wicket to end with 5-32 in his 4, and that was it. A little while later Swann (34 in 20) was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara, leaving Steve Finn and Jade Dernbach to scratch a few singles to end the English innings at 150-9, 19 runs too short. The only bowler whom they could go after was Ajantha Mendis, and they docked him for 40 in his 4. To get to 169, Sri Lanka were guided by Mahela Jaywardene, who continued his great form for his 38-ball 42. He was well assisted by Tillakaratne Dilshan (16 of 12) and Kumar Sangakkara (13 of 12) before he was removed by Greame Swann. Then some thick resistance from the middle order came in the form of Angelo Matthews, who made useful partnerships with Jeevan Mendis (18 of 13) and Lahiru Thirimanne before Thisara Perera (26 of 16) wrapped up the innings with flurry. Once again Jade Dernbach was expensive, going for 42 in his 4. So a sad end to the defending champions’ reign, but better luck next time! Do join us for Australia vs Pakistan at 3:30 PM in Sri Lankan time today. Until then, adios!

cricket @ iplgeek

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West Indies take home game on Super Over

Today the West Indies took home a thriller as they beat New Zealand in the Super Over. After being bowled out for 139, Sunil Narine brought out magic in his last 2 overs, giving 6 runs and taking 2 wickets. And that was what gave the Windies the momentum to keep going. For the Kiwis, Ross Taylor starred, with a superb 40-ball 62. Despite that gem of an innings Doug Bracewell failed to take the second run in the last ball of the innings, and was run out. In the super over, New Zealand, powered by Ross Taylor’s 5-ball 14, made it to a very competitive total of 17. After that, the Kiwis would have expected some magic from Tim Southee, but instead was walloped for a huge six by Chris Gayle, and to add to the injury, it was an overstep no-ball. So with 7 on the board without a legal delivery bowled yet, Gayle and Marlon Samuels tapped around 1s and 2s, before hitting a huge six in the fifth ball to end the game. So in the end, despite the tremendous effort by Ross Taylor, who scored 76 in the 45 balls he faced in the entire innings. Sunil Narine was named Man Of The Match for his efforts figures of 4-0-20-3. So New Zealand will be packing their bags, while the West Indies will be awaiting the result of England vs Sri Lanka. So adios, see you later! 🙂

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Super 8s so far

So now the Super 8s have come quiet a long way. Every team has played a game, all with entertaining results. For example Tillakaratne Dilshan’s assault on New Zealand, Shane Watson’s third Man of the Match award, and Umar Gul’s furious counterattack that left South Africa without answers. So a lot of teams will be happy with their performances, while others have some serious work to do. For example, India used 8 different bowlers against Australia, but could pick up only 1 wicket. And in South Africa’s case, I think they bowled too short to Umar Gul, and will definitely have to look at. However, two teams looking really good are Australia and Sri Lanka. While saying that the Lankans have the home advantage, you’ve got to give them credit. They’ve really been brilliant, with both bat and ball. For example Dilshan and Mahela Jaywardene are enjoying great form. With the ball Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis have been brilliant. For Australia, it’s been Shane Watson throughout. Be it bowling or batting, this man has made a difference. And if his form doesn’t propel Australia to the Cup, nothing will. So now we reach the stats: So now only Sri Lanka have got an almost-assured spot in the semis, while Pakistan, Australia, and West Indies are looking good as well. Still, knowing MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers, I wouldn’t put it past them to sneak through. New Zealand have been all but eliminated, but should be able to pull a few late fireworks before they exit. So now to end this let me provide you with the results so far and the upcoming games:

Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 6 runs (super over)
West Indies beat England by 15 runs

Pakistan beat South Africa by 2 wickets

Australia beat India by 9 wickets

England beat New Zealand by 6 wickets

Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 9 wickets

UPCOMING:

Today:

South Africa vs Australia

India vs Pakistan

Tomorrow:

New Zealand vs West Indies

Sri Lanka vs England

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