Apr 182014

Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane’s 59 helped the Rajasthan Royals post victory in their first game of the season

© REUTERS / Action Images

Rajasthan Royals 135-6 (Rahane 59) beatSunrisers Hyderabad 133-6 by four wicketsIndian Premier League 2014, Abu DhabiScorecard

The Rajasthan Royals made hard work of it before beating the Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets with three balls to spare in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match in Abu Dhabi.

After the early match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab had seen both sides pass 200, this game was a much tenser affair.

And the Sunrisers were made to rue only reaching 133 for six when the Royals got over the line in the final over.

Ajinkya Rahane made 59 and Stuart Binny an unbeaten 48 for the 2008 champions.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan top scored for the Sunrisers with 38 but he was one of a number of batsmen to lose his wicket when well set.

David Warner (32) and KL Rahul (20) were similarly guilty while Aaron Finch (2), Darren Sammy (6) and Karan Sharma (7) were dismissed cheaply.

Venugopoal Rao landed some lusty blows and ended on 16 not out in 12 balls.

With the ball, Dhawal Kulkarni (2-23) and Kane Richardson (2-25) were excellent upfront while Rajat Bhatia (2-22) performed superbly later on.

Richardson also bagged three catches to cap a good all-round performance in the field.

The Sunrisers’ charge to the play-off last season was built around the strength of their bowling but on this occasion, they came off second best.

Dale Steyn (2-29) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-21) bowled some superb deliveries to ensure that the game would go down to the wire, as did Ishant Sharma, who returned one for 29.

Steyn trapped Abhishek Nayar in front for four, Sanju Samson was caught by Dhawan off Bhuvneshwar for three and Watson was caught behind by Rahul for the same score off Ishant.

That made it 31 for three and from there Rahane and Binny took the Royals close to the line. The former played a relatively circumspect knock of 59 in 53 balls, including six fours, that in the circumstances, was ideal.

He survived a blow to the helmet via Ishant to stay until the 16th over when he was caught by Finch off leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

His dismissal gave the Sunrisers a sniff, particularly as Brad Hodge (1) and Bhatia (4) also fell, but Binny, who faced 32 balls, held his nerve before James Faulkner hit the only two balls he faced for four to seal the win.

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 182014
IPL 2014: Rahane, Binny steer Royals home

After a high scoring thriller in Abu Dhabi, things settled down a bit as Rajasthan Royals registered a comfortable win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low scoring encounter. While Sunrisers could manage only 133 in their alloted 20 overs, the Royals from Rajasthan notched up the runs comfortably after a few initial hiccups.

Match Review: Indian Premier League – Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. April 18th at Sheik Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals’ captain Shane Watson won the toss and put Sunrisers Hyderabad to bat first. The decision paid rich dividends in the first over of the innings as Dhawal Kulkarni managed to get a big scalp of Aaron Finch. Captain Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner played risk free cricket and tried to consolidate but tight bowling from the Royals kept the score in check.

Rajat Bhatia provided the second breakthrough in the 12th over by dismissing the dangerous looking Shikhar Dhawan for 38 who was looking to free his arms.  Another wicket of David Warner by Bhatia in his next over put the Royals in a commanding position.

Darren Sammy tried the big hits but failed to capitalize. Venugopal Rao at the other end too was unsuccessful in lifting the run rate, all thanks to a tight bowling from Pravin Tambe in the middle overs. James Faulkner and KW Richardson applied the brakes in the Sunrisers’ innings in the death overs which resulted in a familiar sub 130 kind of total for the batting team.

Chasing a modest 134 to win, the Royals threw a surprise by sending Abhishek Nayar to open instead of captain Shane Watson. The move backfired as Dale Steyn trapped Nayar for LBW on the third ball of the first over itself. Sanju Samson too got out which was a soft dismissal and the pressure was back on Rajasthan Royals.

Major tragedy struck on the Royals in the seventh over when Watson was caught for just 3 off Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Ajinkya Rahane then tried to stabilize the innings with Stuart Binny and the duo played sensible cricket in the middle overs. Rahane kept it safe while Binny was more aggressive. Both put up a 77 run match winning partnership.

Amit Mishra managed to get Rahane out for 59 in the 16th over but the Royals then needed only 26 in the last four overs. For a brief period, it looked like there might be a twist in the tale when Mishra bowled a very tight over and got rid of Brad Hodge for 1. But all hopes were dashed as Binny kept his cool along with James Faulkner who finished the match in the last over with two consecutive boundaries.

Scorecard: Rajasthan Royals – 135/6 (Rahane – 59, Binny – 48*; Steyn 2/29, Mishra 2/26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad – 133/6 (Dhawan 38, Warner 32; Bhatia 2/22, Kulkarni 2/23)

Player of the Day: Ajinkya Rahane (RR)

Disappointment of the Day: Darren Sammy (SRH)

Umpires: BE Bowden (New Zealand) and RK Illingworth (England)

Apr 162014
Cashed-up IPL Aussies put to the test

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AUSTRALIA will be heavily represented when the Indian Premier League starts today. We look at Australia’s richest XI at this tournament and assess their prospects.


Rajasthan Royals ($2.2 million)

Shane Watson is an in-demand T20 player.

Shane Watson is an in-demand T20 player. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Watson may have his detractors, but he remains one of the hottest properties on the Twenty20 circuit. The Royals retained him in 2014 (meaning he was not available at auction) and have installed him as captain. He will lead a side brimming with Australian talent, including fellow all-rounder James Faulkner.

The highlight: Watson was instrumental in leading the Royals to the inaugural IPL title in 2008. He was named player of the tournament after scoring 472 runs at 47.20 and claiming 17 wickets at 22.52 (both fourth over all). He won the same award last season — the only player to have claimed the trophy twice.

The stats: Watson has played 55 games in the IPL. He has scored 1785 runs at 39.67 with a strike-rate of 145.6. He has taken 48 wickets at 26.40 with an economy rate of 7.19.

The quote: “We’ve got, in my thoughts, the strongest squad we’ve ever had for the Rajasthan Royals. We’ve got really high quality options and back-up for every position in our team which we haven’t exactly had every year in the past.”


Rajasthan Royals ($1.7 million)

James Faulkner is hoping he can repeat his successful performance in the IPL last year.

James Faulkner is hoping he can repeat his successful performance in the IPL last year. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Playing with his third franchise in four years after earlier stints with the Kings XI Punjab and the now defunct Pune Warriors. Like Watson, he was retained by the Royals after a stellar 2013 season with reports in India suggesting his wage this year has hit an astonishing $1.7 million.

The highlight: Faulkner was the IPL’s second highest wicket-taker in 2013 with 28, trailing only Dwayne Bravo’s 32. He boasted a superior average (15.25) and economy rate to Bravo (6.75) and claimed two of the three five-wicket hauls recorded during the tournament. His figures of 5-16 and 5-20 — both against the Sunrisers — were the best individual spells of any bowler in the IPL last year.

The stats: Faulkner has played 19 matches in the IPL. He has taken 32 wickets at 15.88 with an economy rate of 6.99. He has scored 71 runs at 11.83 with a strike rate of 101.43.

The quote: “(The Royals) have … explained how each wicket is going to be. They have taught me some of those key aspects and facts of Twenty20 cricket in India. The pitches are obviously a bit slower than back home, so I have been working on different variations.”


Kings XI Punjab ($1.1 million)

Mitchell Johnson won the 2014 Allan Border Medal.

Mitchell Johnson won the 2014 Allan Border Medal. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Johnson freely admits that Twenty20 is not his favoured format and the Australian paceman cost himself millions by declining to nominate for previous IPL auctions to focus on Test cricket. That changed last year and his efforts caught the attention of IPL recruiters.

The highlight: Johnson won the IPL at his first attempt last year with the Mumbai Indians. He was the franchise’s equal leading wicket taker with 24 alongside veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh. His performances were rewarded with a massive payday at the 2014 auction.

The stats: Johnson has played 17 matches in the IPL. He has taken 24 wickets at 19.12 with an economy rate of 7.17.

The quote: “One of the. things I got out of it was to come across different cultures in the side. So, you can get a bit of an understanding as to how other teams and other players go about it. And all in all, the IPL is just unbelievable. It’s a bit of a circus, the crowds are massive and get right behind it … And it’s just so full on.”


Kings XI Punjab ($1.06 million)

Glenn Maxwell will earn quite a paycheck for his IPL appearance.

Glenn Maxwell will earn quite a paycheck for his IPL appearance. Source: AFP

The backstory: Maxwell has netted more than $1 million at the last two IPL auctions. He was snapped up by the Mumbai Indians amid great fanfare in 2013, but ended up warming the bench for the majority of the tournament and played just three games. Popular Indian website Rediff labelled him a “million dollar waste”.

The highlight: Maxwell was used sparingly during Mumbai’s charge to the IPL-Champions League double last year.

The stats: Maxwell has played five matches in the IPL. He has scored 42 runs at 14.00 with a strike rate of 110.53. He has taken one wicket at 45.00 with an economy rate of 9.00.

The quote: “There was a big chunk that arrived in my account one day. My manager called me and said, ‘I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but Mumbai’s paid you 65 per cent.’ I said: “Yeah, that did cross my mind when I tried to get 20 bucks out at the ATM the other day. I’m still a bit shocked it all happened so quickly.”


Sunrisers Hyderabad ($978,000)

A sweet striker of the ball, Warner should continue his excellent form.

A sweet striker of the ball, Warner should continue his excellent form. Source: Getty Images

The backstory: Warner is entering his sixth season in the IPL, having played the previous five with the Delhi Daredevils. Warner ascended to the role of vice-captain with the Daredevils, but was part of the clean out after an unsuccessful 2013 campaign. He will be joined by compatriot Aaron Finch at Hyderabad this season.

The highlight: Warner smashed an unbeaten 107 from 69 deliveries against the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010. He followed that with 109* from just 55 deliveries against Deccan charges two years later. Only Chris Gayle has scored more IPL centuries than Warner.

The stats: Warner has played 55 matches in the IPL. He has scored 1435 runs at 28.70 with a strike rate of 133.12.

The quote: “I am looking forward to playing for the Sunrisers. The team looks very good and there are a number of match winners in the side — Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra. But most importantly I will be opening the batting with Shikhar Dhawan. They had a clear strategy going in to the auction and the team reflects that.”


Mumbai Indians ($889,000)

Mike Hussey was a huge success playing for the Sydney Thunder.

Mike Hussey was a huge success playing for the Sydney Thunder. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Hussey is entering his seventh IPL campaign and his first with Mumbai. He had been an integral member of the most successful franchise in IPL history — the Chennai Super Kings — helping them to back-to-back titles in 2010-2011 and three more finals.

The highlight: Hussey was the leading run-scorer in the IPL last year with 733 runs at 52.35, eclipsing the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Koli, Suresh Raina and Shane Watson. He was the second player ever to score an IPL century after New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum. Hussey smashed an unbeaten 116 from 54 balls against Kings XI Punjab in 2008.

The stats: Hussey has played 46 matches in the IPL. He has scored 1691 runs at 44.50 with a strike rate of 124.34.

The quote: “I am really looking forward to spending time with (Sachin Tendulkar) and talking about life and cricket. He will probably be sick of me by the end of the IPL. It will be different but I am excited by the challenge of joining a team that I have admired and respected over the six years.”


Royal Challengers Bangalore ($889,000)

Mitchell Starc could set himself up for a fine IPL future should he do well in his debut

Mitchell Starc could set himself up for a fine IPL future should he do well in his debut season. Source: AFP

The backstory: Starc will make his IPL debut this season. He made international headlines in 2013 when he withdrew from the auction — costing himself up to $1 million — to focus on the Ashes series.

The highlight: Starc picked up close to $1 million at the 2014 auction. Ranked No. 2 on Cricket Australia’s central contract list last season, Starc has fallen back in Australia’s pace pecking order after a summer blighted by injuries. But Royal Challengers Bangalore feel he is poised for big things, and rewarded him with one of the biggest contracts for an overseas paceman in 2014.

The stats: On debut.

The quote: “In the past I have turned it down but with no cricket scheduled for Australia until September, this is a perfect chance”.


Delhi Daredevils ($755,000)

Coulter-Nile was shocked he was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for so much money.

Coulter-Nile was shocked he was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for so much money. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Mumbai engaged in a bidding war with Rajasthan and ended up shelling out $500,000 for the then little-known Australian all-rounder in 2013. He played only one match, but his subsequent form in Australia prompted Delhi to splash the cash this time around.

The highlight: Coulter-Nile’s only IPL scalp was a big one. He bowled Adam Gilchrist — a legend of the IPL who was named player of the tournament in 2009 — in Dhamasala last year. H can expect much more game time with the Daredevils this season.

The stats: Coulter-Nile has played one match in the IPL. He has taken one wicket at 29.00.

The quote: “I went away to get some money to pay for dinner (in 2013), came back and all the boys were at the table and someone had the auction up on their phone. I came over and looked down and I remember thinking, ‘What? This must be a joke’, because it was up to $US250,000 at that stage and I was in shock, I just couldn’t talk.”


Sunrisers Hyderabad ($710,000)

Aaron Finch is known for a high strike rate.

Aaron Finch is known for a high strike rate. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Finch is entering his sixth season in the IPL, having represented the Delhi Daredevils and now defunct Pune Warriors before being required by the Sunrisers this year. He paid alongside Warner with the Daredevils and will link with him again in Hyderabad.

The highlight: Finch had limited game time in his first four IPL seasons but broke through for 14 appearances last year. He belted four half centuries during that span, including a personal-best 67 from 45 balls against Chennai and a man of the match-winning 64 against Rajasthan. He was Pune’s highest run scorer last year.

The stats: Finch has played 23 matches in the IPL. He has scored 579 runs at 25.17 with a strike rate of 127.53.

The quote: “Sehwag told us that the important thing about playing in the subcontinent is that at times you can try and capitalise on the new ball when the field is in. The ball is at its best for batting and that’s when you get the opportunity to get ahead in the game.”


Rajasthan Royals ($710,000)

Steve Smith was a star player for the Sydney Sixers in the KFC Big Bash.

Steve Smith was a star player for the Sydney Sixers in the KFC Big Bash. Source: News Limited

The backstory: Smith had to wait longer than most to experience active duty in the IPL. He was picked up by Bangalore in 2010 as a replacement for Jesse Ryder but was never called off the bench. The now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala spent $250, 000 at the 2011 auction but he missed the tournament due to ankle surgery. He enjoyed two productive seasons with the now defunct Pune Warriors in 2012 and 2013.

The highlight: Smith was named man of the match in his debut IPL match against Mumbai Indians last year. He hit 39 from 32 balls to guide Pune to victory on a low-scoring affair in Mumbai. He can expect much more game time his year under the captaincy of Shane Watson, having impressed as skipper of the Sydney Sixers in the BBL.

The stats: Smith has played 22 matches in the IPL. He has scored 521 runs at 40.08 with a strike rate of 130.58.

The quote: “I’m happy with the results I’ve had recently and just being able to win games for Australia at the moment is my aim. You never know what’s going to happen down the track. That extra bit of responsibility and captaining this (NSW) group here is amazing.”


Kings XI Punjab ($577,000)

George Bailey will have his T20 skills tested in the IPL.

George Bailey will have his T20 skills tested in the IPL. Source: Getty Images

The backstory: Bailey has had limited exposure to the IPL, having played just four games for the Chennai Super Kings in 2009 and 2010. That will change this season when he leads Kings XI Punjab.

The highlight: Bailey has divided opinion across India since being named Kings XI’s captain for 2014. A limited IPL record and a relatively modest auction price did not dissuade Punjab management from installing Australia’s national Twenty20 captain to the top job with the franchise. He will have a. Large Australian contingent to call upon this season.

The stats: Bailey has played four matches in the IPL. He has scored 63 runs at 21.00 with a strike rate of 96.92.

The quote: “(Sehwag) is going to be a leader in the team anyway with his experience and talent. I’m sure he will pass that to the youngsters and motivate them. I am equally excited to play with Virender as much as everybody. I also love the attitude of the people in Punjab, it will be great to get back here for the second-leg.”

Apr 162014
Bhuvneshwar ready to swing it with Steyn

HYDERABAD: Not many get a chance to rub shoulders with two of the greatest exponents of fast bowling but Bhuvneshwar Kumar is going to do just that. After spending time with legendary South African Alan Donald during his stint with the Pune Warriors In…

Apr 152014
Watson upbeat about Royals's chances

MUMBAI: Having been part of Rajasthan Royals’ campaign in all six previous editions, including the triumphant one in the inaugural year 2008, star Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels the Jaipur franchise has its strongest-ever team in the Indian P…

Feb 132014
Karan, Rishi strike big at IPL 7 auction

BANGALORE: Little-known Railways all-rounder Karan Sharma hit the jackpot at the IPL players’ auction, becoming the costliest buy among the uncapped players by fetching a startling Rs 3.75 crore deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Rishi Dhawan also fe…

Feb 132014
Big bids for R Dhawan and Karn Sharma
Karn Sharma exults after Sunrisers' win, Trinidad & Tobago v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Group B, Champions League 2013, Mohali, September 24, 2013

Karn Sharma was the most expensive buy of the morning session and will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad again © BCCI

Related Links

Players/Officials: Karn Sharma | Rishi Dhawan
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

Railways legspinner Karn Sharma was and Himachal Pradesh allrounder Rishi Dhawan became the two most expensive uncapped players on the second day of the IPL player auction. Karn, who played for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season, was bought back by his previous employer for a startling Rs 3.75 crores (US $625,000) while Dhawan was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crores ($500,000). It’s been few months for Karn as this payday comes on the back of his being named the under-25 Indian player of the year for 2012-13.

The second day of the auction saw most franchises contest fiercely for the lesser-known Indian domestic players to build their squads after they had bought the core of the team on Monday. Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav (Delhi Daredevils, Rs 2 crores), South Africa and Cape Cobras fast bowler Beuran Hendricks ( Kings XI Punjab, Rs 1.8 crores) Delhi allrounder Rajat Bhatia (Royals, 1.7 crores), Karnataka opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (Daredevils, 1.6 crores), UP and India fast bowler Ishwar Pandey (Chennai Super Kings, 1.5 cores), Punjab batsman Gurkeerat Singh (Kings XI, 1.3 crores), Gujarat fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians, 1.2 crores), Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni (Royals, 1.1 crores) and Karnataka opener KL Rahul (1 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad) were the biggest earners in the morning.

This is was the first time uncapped players were brought into the auction – a move welcomed by all franchises who said it provided a level-playing field for everyone in the wake of the controversies in the past seasons when teams would lure players with under-the-table deals and offers.

Karn was the last name to come out of the first set of uncapped spinners. Last year he had picked 11 wickets at an economy rate of 6.60 and had listed his base price Rs 30 lakh. Super Kings and Daredevils were the first in queue but the latter opted out once the bid reached Rs 70 lakh. Super Kings followed suit after Kings XI entered the bidding at Rs 75 lakhs. Sunrisers then joined the bidding and raised it to 1 crore which was doubled in less than a minute as both franchises refused to budge. Despite having assembled a good squad, Kings XI did not have any spinners in their line-up and were desperate.

Sunrisers wanted Karn back at any cost as they raised the bid to 3 crores. Kings XI made that 3.5 crores, which ended up as their last offering. A visibly satisfied Sunrises table heaved a sigh as they had Sharma for Rs 3.75 cores.

It was the second-most eventuful bid of the morning after Dhawan’s. He nearly went unsold as the auctioneer received no bids before a late entry by Sunrisers. Mumbai took the bid to Rs 40 lakh before they quit. Daredevils jumped in but quit at Rs 70 lakh. It was now time for Kings XI’s entry. The bidding crossed the crore-mark before Sunrisers decided to quit.

If Kings XI appeared happy and convinced they had Dhawan, the most successful bowler this Ranji season with 49 wickets, they were in for a surprise as Rahul Dravid, Royals’ coach, raised the paddle when the bid was at Rs 1.2 cores. As it crossed the 2-crore mark , both teams started to negotiate before deciding to raise the bid. Finally Dravid signaled Royals were out once Kings XI had raised the bid to 3 crores.

There were two overseas players also sold this morning. Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate, was bought back by his former IPL employer Kolkata Knight Riders for the base price of Rs 1 crore and West Indies fast bowler Kevon Cooper went back to the Royals for a base price of Rs 30 lakh.

Insiders had indicated that the right-to-match card option available to them would be utilised to buy back the Indian domestic players and it proved true: Dardevils flashed the card twice to get Jadhav and Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, Kings XI co-owner Preity Zinta raised the card to retain Mandeep while Royals got their X-man of the last year, the 41-year-old legspinner Praveen Tambe for his base price of Rs 10 lakhs and Royal Challengers exercised their card to retain Haryana seamer Harshal Patel.

Sep 302013
CLT20: Rain Denies Heat, Sunrisers
Monday 30 September 2013 

by John Pennington

Rain at the cricket

Even the super soppers were unable to clear the standing water in Ahmedabad

REUTERS / Action Images

Brisbane Heat v Sunrisers Hyderabad – no result
Champions League Twenty20 Group A, Ahmedabad

The second Champions League Twenty20 match of the day was abandoned before Sunrisers Hyderabad or Brisbane Heat could bowl a ball in Ahmedabad.

It was both sides’ final match and the washout confirms that neither will progress to the semi-finals.

Brisbane Heat had already been eliminated following three straight defeats but Sunrisers Hyderabad’s already slim hopes were washed away by the bad weather.

The rain that brought the opening match of the day between Trinidad & Tobago and Titans to a premature end had left the ground sodden with puddles, and the volume of standing water prevented any chance of further play.

Chennai Super Kings have already booked their place in the semi-finals later this week and will be joined by either Trinidad & Tobago or the Titans.

They play Trinidad & Tobago, for whom anything other than a heavy defeat will see them also go through.

Group B standings: Chennai Super Kings 12 points (qualified for semi-finals), Trinidad & Tobago, Titans 8 points, Sunrisers Hyderabad 6 points (eliminated), Brisbane Heat 2 points (eliminated)

© Cricket World 2013

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