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It was the last 2 matches at Durban and the spectators couldn’t have asked for more. They were witness to 2 low scoring thrillers.In the past one week we have seen so many games go down to the wire and today was no different. I would like to say that KKR made it difficult for themselves. Kolkata had to chase only 102 in their 20 overs if they had to spoil the Royals chances to enter the semifinals. They got off to a bad start with both Ganguly and Mccullum getting out of consecutive balls leaving KKR struggling at 9/2 in 7 balls. Hodge and Yashapal got the score moving but at snails pace. Finally the pressure got to Yashpal who had played 5 dots and got out playing a shot of the 6th. Botha struck of his first ball when Hodge played the ball and started running not realizing that it had not gone far and the wicketkeeper was smart enough to quickly get the bails off.2 overs later Hussey got out playing a big shot to Botha. At the end of 10 overs the score was 38/5 which meant they needed 64 of the last 10 and only 5 wickets left. Strategic break has always been the downfall of the batting team .Shaik was runout in the 12th over. They were struggling at 45/6. It was left to Shukhla and Agarkar if KKR had any hope of winning this one. Shukhla was calm and composed taking the singles and hitting the odd one to the boundary. He took the calculated risks when it mattered. Agarkar gave able support to him and they got them home with 3 balls to spare.
It was a virtual quarterfinal for the Rajasthan Royals as they could book their place in the semis if they won this one. Mccullum won the toss and decided to field first. The Royals dropped Smith for some strange reason and brought in the T20 specialist Henderson. Mccullum decided to start with spin and it backfired. Naman Ojha smashed 3 sixes of Hodge which included one drop catch by Hussey. 22 runs came of the first over but that was the only over that the Royals had control over the match because what followed reminded me of their first batting performance this IPL. Langeveldt finally got his chance and he made it count big time. He struck with his first ball when he dug in short and Quiney could only manage to get it to the wicketkeeper. Then there was the first of the many runouts that were to follow. Misunderstanding between Asnodkar and Nama Ojha and brilliant piece of work from Dinda of his own bowling saw Asnodkar take the long walk back to the dugout. Ojha was the next man out and once again it was Langeveldt. Botha played some shots before he was bowled by Agarkar trying to come down the wicket and hit the ball out of the ground. They reached 61/5 at the end of 10 overs. Pathan and Jadeja were still there and Royals had hopes on them to get them to a respectable score. But once again some silly running cost Pathan his wicket and the very next over Henderson was runout .Jadeja was the culprit both the times. That brought Shane Warne to the wicket and he played sensibly but KKR were chipping away with wickets at the right time. In the end they could only manage 101/9 with only 22 runs coming of the last 5 overs. All the Bowlers were economical except for Hodge’s one over which went for 22. ClickHere for the Scorecard.
Man of the Match: Lakshmi Ratan Shukhla
The second Match was between Chennai SuperKings and Kings 11 Punjab. This time it was the Kings 11 who were desperate for a win. Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. They made 3 changes .Albie Morkel was out and Tushara was in. Goni came in for Tyagi and Ashwin for Jakati.They got off to a decent start with 40 on the board in just 5 overs. But some brilliant piece of fielding from Yuvraj caught Bailey short of his ground. Patel was bowled by powar 2 overs late.Then came the over which turned the match .. Sreesanth dug in short and Badrinath perished. Dhoni got a brilliant yorker and off he went walking back to the dug out but Sreesanth was running as if he had just scored a Goal in the EPL. They ended their 10 overs with 70/4.Kings 11 were all over the SuperKings who could only manage 46 in the next 10. Kings11 needed 117 to win the match and go into the Semis.
King11 got off to a bad start when Sohal edged one on the legside to the wicketkeeper. Katich and Pomersbach got the score moving but just when it was looking good for the Kings 11 Muralitharan, the spin wizard bowled Katich around his legs. They got only 42 runs in the 10 overs and 8 wickets were still intact. After Strategic break Mayhem Struck the Kings 11 innings as SuperKings off spinners were brilliant giving away only 38 runs in their 12 overs and taking 5 crucial wickets. Murali lead from the front as he took 2 wickets for nothing (8 runs). SuperKings won by 24 runs and remain 2nd in the points table. It was their first win in Durban out of the 4 games that they have played here and it was no surprise when it started raining after the game :D..Kings 11 are out of the IPL unless either of the Chargers or Royal Challengers loose badly tomorrow and Kings 11 scrape through to the semis on the basis of runrate. ClickHere for the scorecard
Man of the Match: Muralitharan
Today’s Matches: Mumbai Indians Vs Delhi DareDevils, Deccan Chargers Vs Bangalore Royal Challengers