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Dhoni, Rayudu raze down 206 in blaze of sixes



Chennai Super Kings 207 for 5 (Rayudu 82, MS Dhoni 70*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 205 for 8 (De Villiers 68, De Kock 53, Bravo 2-33) by five wickets

Chennai Super Kings picked up their fifth victory through thunderous performances from two heroes – Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni – in an explosive performance where they made nearly half the target of 206 with the 17 balls that flew over the ropes at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

On an evening where Super Kings were good with the ball, they still found themselves chasing 200 plus. The perfect switch after they slipped to 74 for 4 in nine overs, the win eventually completed with two balls to spare.

The sub-plot, once more, was that Royal Challengers didn’t have the bowling to defend the runs their batsmen scored. They had seven bowling options on the night and their two best bowlers – Yuzvendra Chahal and Umesh Yadav – bowled out their overs for a combined 3 for 49. The two other spinners were given a combined four overs, the better bowler of their two allrounders – Colin de Grandhomme – didn’t have a bowl, and, yet again, a glaring lack of a death-overs plan resulted in an embarrassing collapse.

The top does it again for RCB

By the time Super Kings had got into the third over after electing to bowl, Virat Kohli had figured out his method against the opening bowlers – short strides against Deepak Chahar’s swing, a few steps down and at Shardul Thakur – and had begun exchanging notes with Quinton de Kock who was aggressively gesturing how Thakur’s knuckle ball was coming out.

Both teams had gone with three spinners on a damp evening, a move that seemed mysterious when de Kock stepped out and launched Harbhajan Singh over long-on from outside off.

Thakur managed to pull it back momentarily with a quite remarkable feat – a wicket maiden off a T20 over faced by Kohli and de Villiers – but the bleeding wouldn’t stop. De Kock and de Villiers, together, put up 103 for the second wicket from there in under nine overs, starting with a 16-run punishment off three balls that took Harbhajan out for the rest of the innings.

When the ball lost its shine, there did appear to be grip from the surface. But the South African duo weren’t averse to using their feet to move laterally in the crease or down the pitch to open up the field. With their abilities to clear the ground in tow, that proved vital, because the spinners were forced into bowling faster than they should have been.

Mighty fall

The next breakthrough, the wicket of de Kock, also came in a maiden over. It might even have been a double-wicket maiden had Super Kings reviewed an lbw decision where Bravo got Corey Anderson on the back leg off a full toss. It didn’t do too much damage though – the very next over, Imran Tahir produced two. De Villiers and Anderson, off consecutive deliveries.

Suddenly, it was a nightmare pitch. Super Kings could’ve had Mandeep Singh the following ball but just like the batsman, Dhoni failed to anticipate a spitting turner from Ravindra Jadeja and couldn’t get his hand on a stumping opportunity. What followed was a six over midwicket and a reverse-swept four to get Mandeep going. A missed opportunity and Royal Challengers looked like they would capitalise.

But another collapse came. Royal Challengers lost seven wickets in the last five overs and played out two maiden overs in the innings. They didn’t have the bowling to afford such mishaps.

More to follow…

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Recent Match Report – Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians 51st Match 2020



Mumbai Indians 111 for 1 (Kishan 72*, Nortje 1-25) beat Delhi Capitals 110 for 9 (Iyer 25, Pant 21, Bumrah 3-17, Boult 3-21) by nine wickets

The Mumbai Indians finally broke their Dubai hoodoo, and how!

First, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult combined to take 6 for 38 in eight overs to strangle Delhi Capitals to 110 for 9. Then Ishan Kishan struck an unbeaten 72 off 47, taking the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje apart on his way, to take his side home with nine wickets and 36 balls to spare.

The win has ensured the Mumbai a top-two finish in the league stage. On the other hand, the Capitals have now lost four games on the trot, and while they can still finish second on the points table, their net run rate, for now, has slipped below the Kings XI Punjab’s.

Boult removes Dhawan, Shaw early

How fickle form can be in T20s was evident once again on Saturday. After scoring back-to-back hundreds, Shikhar Dhawan has now two ducks in the two outings since then. He was out for a golden duck against Sunrisers Hyderabad, and here he lasted two balls as he failed to keep down a cut against Boult and Suryakumar Yadav took a low catch at point. It was referred to third umpire and there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field soft signal of out.

Shaw, who replaced Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI, didn’t last long either as Boult cut short his stay in his next over. Backing away to a short-of-length delivery, Shaw went for a pull only to slice it high to the wicketkeeper’s left.

From the other end, spinners Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav hit the hard lengths to keep things quiet as the Capitals finished the powerplay on 22 for 2, the second-lowest powerplay total in IPL 2020.

Chahar, Bumrah dent Capitals’ recovery

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant tried to stage a recovery but the runs were not coming freely. After the third over, the Capitals hit only one boundary – a six by Iyer off Jayant – till the tenth. They limped to 49 for 2 at the halfway mark of their innings, but the silver lining was the eight wickets in hand.

Rahul Chahar and Bumrah though shattered any hopes of a revival. Chahar lured forward Iyer with a flighted legbreak before beating him with the turn; Quinton de Kock effected the stumping with Iyer’s foot centimetres off the ground.

After that Bumrah breathed fire. He sent back both Marcus Stoinis – a thick outside edge to de Kock – and Pant – lbw from around the wicket – in the same over to leave the Capitals 62 for 5 in the 12th over. Harshal Patel though was unlucky to become Bumrah’s third victim. He was deemed lbw by umpire Paul Reiffel but replays showed the ball hit him high on the back thigh and would have gone over the stumps. The wicket though took Bumrah’s tally for the season to 23, helping him draw level with the purple-cap holder Rabada.

Nathan Coulter-Nile then dismissed Shimron Hetmyer to reduce the Capitals to 78 for 7 before R Ashwin and Rabada dragged the score past 100.

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Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in desperate shootout for playoff spot



Both teams will still need other results to go their way, but they themselves need to win first

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Recent Match Report – Western Australia vs Tasmania 5th Match 2020



Tasmania 5 for 273 (McDermott 83*, Wade 83) trail Western Australia 302 by 29 runs

Captain Matthew Wade and Ben McDermott produced a classy century stand to help Tasmania close in a first innings lead against Western Australia.

Wade made 83 in his first match of the season after being rested from the opening two Shield rounds to spend time with his family following Australia’s tour of England, and with the heavy forthcoming international schedule in mind.

McDermott finished the day 83 not out to continue his excellent early season form. It was his third half-century in four innings this season and he will be hoping to reach his second first-class century on the third day.

Tasmania battled through the first hour without loss until Cameron Green‘s first spell of bowling in a match in 12 months made a mark. Charlie Wakim edged Green’s first ball through a vacant third slip then the extra pace and bounce of Green removed Jordan Silk, who was left inspecting the blow on his right thumb as he trudged off after ballooning a simple catch to gully.

Green bowled just eight overs for the day in two spells of three and five overs, as was forecast pre-game, but was impressive nonetheless taking 1 for 15.

Wakim also fell to a short ball from Aaron Hardie five overs later leaving Tasmania vulnerable. But Wade walked out at No. 3 and looked every bit the Test incumbent that he is. His footwork was sharp and his intent to rotate the strike was a feature.

After combining with McDermott for a 135-run stand Wade had a brain-fade charging Ashton Agar only to miss a wild swipe and be stumped by a wide margin.

Hardie and Lance Morris delivered late blows for WA removing Jake Doran and Tim Paine but McDermott was resolute, guiding Tasmania to stumps just 30 runs shy of the first innings lead.

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