- IPL review
Kumar Sangakkara’s Deccan Chargers and Mahela Jayawardena’s Kochi Tuskers both seem set to be eliminated from the top-four play offs in the ongoing IPL tournament.
Both teams were seen in action on Thursday and while Sangakkara’s Deccan Chargers wilted under a savage assault from Virender Sehwag, Mahela’s Tuskers notched another good win against Kolkota but it still seems a little too late for the Tuskers to make the play-offs.
Sehwag appears to save his best for those teams which are led by Sri Lankans. Last week he produced a masterclass of batsmanship with a classy 80 against the Tuskers and snatch a victory for his team when all seemed lost and on Thursday he performed a reprise against Sangakkara’s team notching up his first IPL century in the process.
After having watched his bowlers take wickets off no-balls and his fielders drop sitters, the Delhi Daredevils captain took his frustration out on the Deccan Chargers with a blistering century.
The assault bettered his innings against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, and stunned Deccan into offering him two chances. Unmindful of the complete lack of support from his team-mates, Sehwag cashed in and drowned Deccan in a flood of boundaries that took the bite out of a challenging total. He blazed away to 119 off just 56 balls with 13 fours and 6 sixes. Such was Sehwag’s dominance that the next highest score was James Hopes’ 17.
Delhi’s bowlers had been profligate in letting Deccan surge to 175, and their top order, barring Sehwag, let the pressure get to them. Aaron Finch, Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao combusted against seam as Sehwag watched bemused from his end. From 25 for 3 in the sixth over, only Sehwag could have taken Delhi home, and he did it in some style, moving from 8 off 13 balls to 119 off 56, pushing Deccan to the brink of elimination.
In the other game on Thursday a disciplined performance in the field and an explosive 35 off 19 balls from Brad Hodge helped Kochi Tuskers overcome Kolkata Knight Riders in the last match at the Nehru Stadium this IPL season.
Hodge’s last over blitz, in which he took 21 runs off countryman Brett Lee, proved to be the difference between the two sides, as Kochi defended 156 by 17 runs. In the chase, RP Singh and Sreesanth failed to get the same kind of movement that Brett Lee extracted early in the Kochi innings. Earlier skipper Mahela Jayawardena had held the innings together with a typically classy 54 which was the backbone of the Kochi Tuskers total.
Jacques Kallis and Eoin Morgan didn’t have to take many risks early on as there were many poor deliveries that were smacked to the boundary. In the first three overs, the bulk of the short and wide ones came from RP Singh.
R Vinay Kumar and Prasanth Parameswaran pulled back the chase before it raged out of control with a selection of back of a length deliveries that proved difficult to get away. Although they kept the boundaries down, they didn’t trouble the batsmen much and failed to get a breakthrough until after the halfway stage, when Kolkata were well set. Kallis was the senior partner and easily outscored Morgan in that phase. Seven times in the first ten overs Kallis stole the strike at the end of the over.
Just as Kallis looked as though he had grown roots, Raiphi Gomez rattled Kolkata with a double strike in his second over. He bowled Kallis with a legcutter and had Gautam Gambhir caught in the covers off consecutive balls, which left Morgan to assume the senior role. Manoj Tiwary could not last long, and Yusuf Pathan was expected to counterattack, but he and Morgan were frustrated by Gomez’s variations and Parameswaran’s accurate fuller deliveries.
When Morgan was dismissed in the penultimate over the cause was as good as over and the Tuskers had registered another good win.