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Champions League to start today

Posted by on Sep 13, 2014 in News | 0 comments

It’s that time of the year again when we all, rather than supporting our country, would be supporting our favourite franchises as the Champions League T20 is going to kick start this Saturday. The qualifying round will take place first with 4 teams going head-to-head against one another in that for making the main draw. Lahore Lions (Pakistan), Northern Districts (New Zealand), Southern Express (Sri Lanka) and Mumbai Indians (India) are those 4 teams who will be there tussling in the qualifiers from 13th to 17th of September. The International Cricket Stadium in Raipur, Chattisgarh will host all the qualifiers.

In multi team tournaments, the no. of points matter a lot because on the basis of that only, the teams move forward and Champions League T20 is no different. The teams which finish first and second in the CLT20 points table in the qualifying round will qualify for the main draw. They will join 8 other teams which have directly qualified to the main draw because of their better performances in their respective domestic T20 competitions.

The teams which finish at the last two positions in the Champions League Points Table in the qualifying round will be knocked out and go back home . For each win, the teams will be given 4 points, while, in case of loss, there will be no points awarded. If the match gets abandoned due to rain or any other reason, both the teams participating will be given 2 points each.

There might be a scenario where the points of 3 teams in the qualifying round are same. If that happens, the last column in the Champions League t20 points table i.e. the net run rate column will determine which 2 teams go through. The teams having higher NRR will enter the main round and will compete with the teams in their group thereafter for a semi final spot.

In the main draw also, the criteria for awarding points will be the same i.e. 4 points for win, zero for defeat and 2 for no result. In the main draw, there will be separate Champions League team standing for the two groups. The two top sides from each group will be in the semi final and the winners of the two semis will play against each other in the final.



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Dhoni, the finisher, failed for the first time

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Rarely do you see the mighty MS Dhoni remaining not out and India losing the game, but, that unthinkable took place in the India Vs England one off T20. The captain cool, the best finisher in the game, one of the all-time great limited-over players lost it for his nation. Yes, believe your eyes. It’s right. With 17 needed in the last over, Dhoni thought he had it in his control and it indeed was if you consider the heroics that he has done time and time again, but, sports equalizes things they say and it was proved yesterday. The game of cricket came up with a low for Dhoni which ended up neutralizing many of his highs.

Dhoni showed extraordinary self confidence in that last over. He knew it was just about three hits. Three muscular hits and it was job done for India. The ungainly looking Ranchi guy got the first one away, deep into the stands, over square leg for six. He got another one away on the 4th ball. A mistimed horizontal bat, straight pull over mid off for four getting the deficit down to five, the glory was just one shot away and Dhoni had two balls for getting that one shot right. He was clear in his mind that it’s him who had to get it done. He was never ready for a single and let the debutant at the other end face the heat. And that’s why he is Dhoni. He lives by the sword, he dies by it. He turned the single down on the 5th ball, leaving everybody perplexed.

That was the man behaving like a true leader there. He was not thinking about the criticism that he might have to face in case he failed to put that last ball into the stands. That was the last thing in his mind. He was just thinking about an Indian victory. He knew he was the best man to hit Chris Woakes out of the park at that point in time. Woakes ran in, pitched it short, slower in pace, Dhoni heaved, didn’t connect properly, it went to square leg, the fielder fielded it and the job remained undone for India.

Yes, Dhoni couldn’t complete it. For a nanosecond, everyone would have got angry at him. Why did he not go for the single? Rayudu could have hit that last ball for boundary, but, could he really? He was on 3 off 5 balls. He had played two dot balls in the penultimate over. Dhoni’s decision not to give him the strike was based on that. The Indian captain might have failed, but, he behaved like a leader who was ready to become the punching bag at the end of the battle. People would continue making assumptions about it, but, they all would know deep down that if anybody could have done it, it was Dhoni.

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Rohit not to play in Champions League

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Mumbai Indians will have to do without their captain Rohit Sharma in the upcoming Champions League T20 Schedule tournament. Because of the finger and the shoulder injury, the right handed batsman will not play in the tournament. He has been recommended to rest for at least one more month by the doctors of the National Cricket Association. He might go on to miss a couple of ODI matches as well against the visiting West Indies side in October.

Mumbai Indians have neither named Rohit’s replacement nor the new captain so far. It’s believed that they will do it tomorrow. The overseas players Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard make strong claim for that top post having captained their sides to glory in the domestic T20 tournaments in their countries respectively. However, the off spinner Harbhajan Singh is also there in the line. The Indians have already won the Champions League title once under his leadership.

Mumbai Indians, because they had finished 4th in the IPL, will have to play the qualifiers to make the main draw. They will play against the Lahore Lions first up in a night game at the International Cricket Stadium in Raipur on Saturday.

Mumbai Indians are the defending champions of the Champions League. They had won the tournament last year beating the Rahul Dravid led Rajasthan Royals in the final. By doing so, they had become the second team ever to have won both the Indian Premier League as well as the Champions League in the same season. Before them, it’s the Chennai Super Kings who had done it in the 2010 season. This time around, the Kolkata Knight Riders can do so. They appear to be the strongest side if all the three departments of the game are taken into account. They are a fantastic bowling as well as batting group.

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England avoided the whitewash

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

England achieved a consoling win yesterday against India in Yorkshire and avoided the clean sweep which was appearing inevitable. For a quarter of the day though, it was the repetition of the same script with England batting first, losing early wickets and moving towards a moderate total, but, this time around, there was a twist in the tale as the lower order English players clicked with Joe Root getting a century and Jos Buttler a half century and for the first time in the series, the visitors scored quick runs in the death to post India a challenging total on a pitch which was doing a little bit for the spin bowlers.

With runs on the board, England’s senior most bowler James Anderson bowled with much more fire and got two wickets early on which forced the Indian players, who are free stroke makers, to curb their instincts a little bit and dig in deep. The required run rate kept rising in the meantime and in the last 10 overs, it got almost out of control for India. However, Ravindra Jadeja showed at the end that that it was just a few runs too many for England and had India bowled slightly better in the death, it would have been 4-0 for the visitors.

However, a 3-1 result is not bad for India. After the horror of a test series, if somebody had told them that they were going to win the One Dayers 3-1, they would have definitely taken it.

Suresh Raina was named player of the series for his contributions with bat, ball and also on the field. He was a live wire for India in the whole series. Now, there is just one more game to be played on the tour which is the one off T20.

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South Africa to face Australia in the tri-series final

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Faf Du Plessis’ century got South Africa through to the final of the Zimbabwe tri-series 2014 yesterday. On a typical Harare pitch which was weary and helping the spinners, the hosts had put pressure on the Proteas again bowling first, but, Du Plessis who has certainly hit the purple patch ahead of the ICC World Cup 2015 rescued the men in green with another class innings. It was a slower hundred though as compared to his previous two in the tournament as he took more than 130 balls to get to the landmark, but, in the context of the game, it was like gold dust. South Africa posted 271 and that was easily above par on that dust bowl.

The Zimbabweans should be given full marks for trying though. When they started their chase, their intention was to take as many runs as possible off the new ball as they were aware that scoring would be very difficult against the softer ball. In the mandatory power play, the hosts’ run rate was quite high, but, they had lost a couple of wickets which was the problem. They still did not go into their shell and kept playing their shots especially Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe’s test captain.

Zimbabwe reaching the final was out of the question because in order to do so, they had to hunt down the total in 20 odd overs which was not possible. But, they were well in it for a win until Taylor was batting. The wicketkeeper batsman, however, perished off Duminy in the 46th over as the ninth wicket and that was all over for Zimbabwe.

Duminy, who is a part time spinner, dismissed three Zimbabwe batsmen. The other Proteas bowlers got one wicket each except the skipper AB De Villiers who went wicket less. The final of the tournament will be played between Australia and South Africa on Saturday.

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Opening with Sehwag is quite easy: Pujara

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in IPL 2014 |

The young Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is willing to open the innings with the great Virender Sehwag in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.

Both Pujara and Sehwag were bought by the Kings XI Punjab franchise in the players’ auction for IPL 7 in Bangalore a couple of months ago.

Pujara had been a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last 3 years. Since the presence of many superstars in that team, he didn’t get too many chances to play there, but, at Kings XI Punjab, he is supposed to be in the playing XI.

Since Pujara is a top order batsman, there is a good chance that if he plays, he will open and the Saurashtra right hander is looking forward to it.

On asked about the possibility of opening with Sehwag, Pujara said, “If that happens, it will make my job that much easier because Viru Paa is somebody who scores runs at a great strike rate and that takes the pressure off the batsman playing at the other end. So, it would be great to open with him.”

Pujara bats at one down position in test matches, while, he is not a regular in the One Day International and T20 sides of India.

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