Uthappa powers Knight Riders into playoffs

Robin Uthappa was little more than a spectator for eight overs. Royal Challengers Bangalore displayed the intent of a side fighting for survival. Three Kolkata Knight Riders batsmen were in the hut just after the Powerplay and Uthappa was 20 off 18. He finished an unbeaten 83 off 51 to confirm his team’s place in the playoffs by extending their unbeaten run to six matches. Royal Challengers’ loss meant they were out of the tournament.

They did have the resources to threaten a target of 196. But they persisted with a misfiring Chris Gayle and endured another poor start. Yogesh Takawale, inducted in the XI to offset Gayle’s dot balls, looked scratchy early on and when he was becoming fluent, he perished. Sunil Narine’s script was near flawless against Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh – who made a brief fist of it when he swatted Umesh Yadav in a 22-run 16th over – and AB de Villiers to scupper any chance the visitors had. Read more

Simmons ton pushes Mumbai to fifth

Lendl Simmons walked in with a strike-rate of 115 this season. It would have been adequate considering Mumbai Indians’ target was a relatively unchallenging 157. But he had other responsibilities to fulfill: Mumbai’s chances at a playoff spot not only depended on wins in every match they play, they would also need to drub their oppositions. He responded with the first century of the season, lifting Mumbai to as high as fifth in the table.

Mumbai wavered from their course as the need to gain points on run-rate took a backseat to Simmons’ landmark. His own nervousness contributed to a lull in scoring and sympathetic team-mates, including the big-hitting Kieron Pollard – blocked for him. The chase was well under their control and victory could have been theirs well earlier but they waited for Simmons. Once the necessary single was taken calmly through square leg, Pollard immediately slammed the final ball of the 18th over into the crowd beyond long-on. Read more

Indian Premier League Will Keep me in Shape for 2015 World Cup, Says Jacques Kallis

Veteran South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who retired from the Test format, has set the Indian Premier League as his launch pad for his mission World Cup 2015.

“The Indian Premier League is certainly a good platform to keep me in shape and prepare for next year’s World Cup,” Kallis — the Kolkata Knight Riders star — told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional programme here on Wednesday. (Also read: KKR Opener Uthappa as good as Viru, Hussey)

At a time when most top cricketers prefer to leave the limited-overs version in order to prolong their Test career, Kallis did the opposite when he retired from the longest format post the Durban match against India in the Boxing Day Test last year. Read more

IPL 7 Preview: Kings XI Punjab Take On Mumbai Indians in Mohali, Mumbai Aim to Stay Alive

On a roll after notching up nine victories to qualify for the play-off stage, Kings XI Punjab would look to continue their winning momentum when they take on struggling Mumbai Indians in their first Indian Premier League-7 match at their home ground on Wednesday. (Also read: Each win motivates Kings XI Punjab further, says Bailey)

Punjab have been riding high on confidence after steamrolling almost every other side they have played against and one more victory on Wednesday in front of their home crowd will put themselves in the commanding position as the IPL-7 heads towards the business end. (Read: Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals, stay alive)

On Monday, Punjab defeated Delhi Daredevils, once again displaying their class, which has made them a top team this season. Their earlier best performance was the semi-final stage appearance at the inaugural season in 2008.

Unlike in the past, when Punjab looked to heavily bank on performances of a couple of players, the good thing this season has been that the side have struck the right balance.Read more

Sunrisers spice up fight for fourth

Sunrisers Hyderabad appeared to be coasting towards their target of 161 after a strong opening stand, but managed to drag the chase into the last over to win by seven wickets and upset Royal Challengers Bangalore’s plans of making the playoffs. Sunrisers needed 20 off the last two overs but Darren Sammy’s salvo took them through with two balls to spare. Despite the victory, Sunrisers still need other results to go their way, as do Royal Challengers – both have ten points with two remaining games.

A predominantly one-sided chase turned competitive at the start of the 17th over, when Sunrisers needed 35 off 24 with nine wickets in hand. David Warner, set on 59, carved a high full toss from Varun Aaron straight to cover and his exit increased the required rate as Yuvraj Singh bowled a tight 18th over, giving away just seven runs. It came down to 17 off ten and a boundary was needed. Naman Ojha then sent the ball soaring over the second tier at deep cover and Aaron had his revenge when Ojha tamely scooped the next ball to cover. Read more

IPL 7: Now we Will Have to Wait and Watch to Know Our Fate, Says Virat Kohli

A disappointed Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli today rued the fact that they will now have to adopt a “wait and watch” policy to know their chances of qualifying for the play-offs after the team slumped to its seventh defeat in IPL-7. (Match Report | Scorecard | Highlights)

RCB on Tuesday lost by seven wickets to a clinical Sunrisers Hyderabad to make life difficult for themselves in the ongoing IPL. (Kohli Rues Lack of Yorkers)

RCB now find themselves in the fifth position in the points table with two more games to follow. But a win in the next two matches will not be enough to seal their play-off berth as their fate now depends on the results of other games as well. Read more

Virat Kohli Only Indian in Fifty Most Marketable Athletes List

Indian batting star Virat Kohli has been rated second behind British Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton in the list of most marketable athletes by the UK magazine, ‘SportsPro’.

The list, driven by marketing potential over the next three years based on value for money, age, home market, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal, has Virat as the only Indian sportsperson in the June edition of the London-based magazine. (Click here for latest on Cricket)
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IPL 7: Delhi Daredevils Skipper Kevin Pietersen Fined for Slow Over Rate

Delhi Daredevils skipper Kevin Pietersen was fined for maintaining a slow over rate in their Indian Premier League 2014 match against Kings XI Punjab at Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday. Since it was his first offence of the season, he was slapped with a fine of Rs 12 lakh. (Blog: Kevin Pietersen, hardly a daredevil)

“Delhi Daredevils captain Kevin Pietersen has been fined after the team maintained a slow over rate during last evening’s IPL match against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi. Since it was his first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over-rate offences, Mr. Pietersen was fined Rs 12 lakh,” the IPL said in a statement.Read more

RCB, Daredevils seek last gasps

Match facts

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

There won’t be much to choose between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils when the two meet in Bangalore on Tuesday. But unlike a top-of-the-table clash between two formidable teams putting up their best defences against each other, this is really a contest between two sinking ships to see which one holds out for longer. Both have lost six out of their last seven matches, both have had their marquee players reduced to mere spectators, both have appeared lost in their strategies, both have taken hits at home despite playing more home games than others and barring a mathematical miracle, both are out of the league, three weeks before the final. Still, the match gives one team a chance to survive a little longer. Read more

Gary Kirsten Feels Both Batting and Bowling Failed Delhi Daredevils

After a string of poor performances by his team, Delhi Daredevils coach Gary Kirsten on Monday, said lacklustre bowling and inconsistent batting have been hurting them in the tournament.

“Our bowling has not been up to the mark and batting has been inconsistent. We need to do something good. In T20 format, we need to do a lot,” Kirsten told reporters ahead of Delhi Daredevils IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chinnaswamy stadium here on Tuesday.

Lying at the bottom of the table, Delhi have won just two of their nine games and coach Kirsten wants his team to make use the conditions well in order to improve.Read more