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Indian Premier League 2017 thread Watch

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    DD post 214-3 to beat Gujarat, who made 208-7. Pant scored 97 before Karthik snaffled him off Thampi, and the wicket-keeper also caught Nair for 12, off Sangwan. Iyer and Anderson finished unbeaten on 14 and 18 to get DD over the line with 15 balls to spare after Jadeja had Samson caught by Faulkner for 61.

    Earlier, Rabada and Cummins had claimed two wickets apiece - McCullum caught by Pant for 1, Finch by the same method for 27; Ishan caught by Iyer for 4, Karthik snaffled by Anderson for 65. Raina was run out on 77, D Smith on 9, and Anderson had Faulkner caught by Brathwaite for 1. DD made short work of chasing 209 and hit 20 sixes, thanks to Pant, who blazed his way to a 43-ball 97. His and Samson's 143 off 63 for the second wicket put the game to bed after their seamers had overturned the momentum from rapid fifties by Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik to restrict the Lions to 208 for 7 after they had put up 158 in their first 14 overs. DD dropped three chances, but it didn't matter. Raina offered a half-chance to Marlon Samuels at extra cover off Rabada, then, he top-edged a bouncer that lobbed gently to Shreyas Iyer's right at first slip and Raina gave Samuels a second catch, this one straight to him at midwicket. He couldn't hold on.

    Had he made three more runs, Pant would have become the IPL's youngest centurion. Pant contributed 45 percent of the 20 sixes Daredevils hit. With 31 sixes overall, including those from Lions, this match set the new record for IPL cricket. His SR vs Sangwan was 283, it was 260 vs Faulkner and Smith, 225 vs Soni and Jadeja, and dropped to 180 vs Raina and 160 vs Thampi. 63 of his runs came via the leg side including seven of his nine sixes, off just 19 balls. His nine sixes is the joint-most in an innings thus far.

    Pant was simply exceptional last night. His 43-ball 97, including nine sixes, had led to Tendulkar and Sehwag praising him. Sanjum himself made 61 off 31, a sterling effort, and apparently, during the course of their 143-run partnership in 63 balls for the second wicket, Samson had struck two sixes in an over and was looking to play safe. Pant, though, wanted him to keep swinging and hitting. After Nair was dismissed, he led by example, with a half-century in 27 balls and his next 44 runs came off 16 deliveries.
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    Oh dear. Bad news for Gujarat, who have lost B-Mac after suffering a left hamstring strain in the match against Delhi Daredevils on Thursday. Lions were knocked out of contention for playoffs after their seven-wicket defeat to Daredevils. McCullum's injury reduces Lions' pool of fit overseas players to four: Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner and Suri. With 319 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 147, McCullum is currently the second-highest run-getter for Lions this season, following up on the 354 runs he hit last season. The side, however, has struggled to match its performance from 2016 when they had reached the playoff stage. So far this season, they have three wins in 11 matches.

    Tomorrow, DD face MI. Earlier this campaign, DD restricted Mumbai to 142 before slipping to 24-6 and eventually falling 14 short in reply. The sides are sixth and top respectively, and Nair is likely to continue as captain, while Zaheer is still getting his fitness back. Morris was benched on Thursday but could get a look-in against Mumbai. This could be the last match he is available for this season. It is understood that he and Rabada will leave on May 7 for national duties. Elsewhere, Harbhajan and Hardik both have niggles. Mumbai will need Harbhajan in a bid to counter Delhi's big-hitting left-handers, Pant and Anderson. They could be tempted to bring in K Gowtham, the only other offspinner in their ranks.

    DD need to win at least three of their next four games to stay in contention for a playoffs spot. They play three of those games at home, including this, which will be their third consecutive one at home. MI are top and two clear of KKR with a game in hand. Brathwate has hit a boundary every 2.4 balls in the slog overs, but his strike rate against spinners in all T20 cricket is only 103.01. Given the spin weakness, Daredevils might settle for Anderson as the finisher with Samuels expected to play an anchor role. Morris has struck at 206.9 in the same overs - the highest of any batsman with 100+ runs - and taken 7 wickets at 7.76 at the death, the most successful of DD's bowlers. Bumrah is constantly improving: he took four wickets at an economy of 8.80 in the first five matches. In the next five, he has taken eight wickets at economy of 7.25. He has dismissed Pant twice in the six balls he has bowled to him, and conceded only three runs. He has also dismissed Nair twice in four balls, while conceding only two. Mishra has conceded 75 off 81 balls against Sharma, and has dismissed him on five occasions.

    In the other match, Pune take on Sunrisers. The visitors are third, and the hosts fourth. Pune registered a win in the reverse fixture, thanks to Dhoni's masterclass. For Sunrisers, Nehra could be fit - finally - and should replace either Mohammed Siraj or Siddarth Kaul in their pace attack. They also picked Deepak Hooda ahead of Bipul Sharma in their last match but Hooda did not bat, and Sunrisers ended up hampered by the lack of a genuine sixth-bowling option. With that in mind - and the fact that wicketkeeper-batsman Ojha has not batted in their last five matches - they may recall Bipul to give themselves an additional spin option.

    A win for either team will obviously enhance their chances. B Kumar has claimed the scalp of Rahane six times in the IPL - no other bowler has dismissed him more than three times - while only conceding 64 off 67 balls. Rahane has struggled against Sharma as well, scoring only 12 off 23 balls against the left-arm spinner. B Kumar hasn't bowled to Rahane's opening partner Tripathi, but Bipul has, conceding 9 off 11 balls. Expect Sunrisers to open the bowling with Bhuvneshwar and Bipul. B Kumar made a sensational start to the season, taking 15 wickets in his first five matches at 7.20 while conceding only 5.40 per over. Since then, he has taken six wickets in five games at an average of 26.16 while conceding 7.85.

    Sunrisers are the only team in the tournament to have not lost a home game yet. Pune have won their last three away games, and have beaten the other two teams in the top four - MI and KKR - away from home. The Sunrisers attack is losing its bite: in the period coinciding with their first five games, Sunrisers had the second-best average (20.30) and economy rate (8.08) of all the teams. In their next five games, their average (30.55) is second from bottom while only Gujarat and DD have an economy rate poorer than Sunrisers' 8.93. The other key figure in the match could be Rashid. His economy rate in his last five matches (6.40) is better than it was in his first five (7.25), but where he took nine wickets in his first five games, he has only taken three in his next five. Henriques has been especially poor in Sunrisers' last five matches, bowling 12.1 overs while conceding 11.67 per over. In his first four games, Stokes conceded 11.25 an over in the last five overs - in his next seven matches, that economy rate has dropped to 5.60. Sunrisers have only lost 41 wickets in ten matches, and have the best batting average (43.58) and scoring rate (9.14) of all teams this season. Their top five have averaged 45.97 - the best among all the teams - and scored at a strike rate of 146.00, second only to Kolkata Knight Riders, who have scored at 147.71.
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    Kings XI Punjab successfully and rather alarmingly successfully defended a total of 138/7 at BENGALURU!!! (spoiler: Bengaluru (aka Banglore) is a pitch notorious for scores north of 185 - 190)

    Axar Patel top scored for punjab with 38 off 17 (not out) and had some minor help from Shaun Marsh (20 off 17), Manan Vohra (25 off 28) and WP Saha (21 off 25). Both of Punjab's star batsmen, Amla and Maxwell went cheaply (Amla 1 off 3; Maxwell 6 off 11). Choudhary and Chahal were the pick of the RCB bowlers with figures of 2/17 and 2/21 respectively (both bowled 4 overs).

    In response, RCB's opener Mandeep Singh scored 46 off 40 but the rest of the team collapsed: Gayle went for 0 off2; Kohli 6 off 6, ABdV 10 off 6, Jadhav 6 off 3, Watson 3 off 6, Negi 21 off 23, Aravind 4 off 8, Badree 8 off 9 and Choudhary 4 off 6.

    In total, RCB were bowled out for 119 after 19 overs. Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel both got 3 wicket hauls (3/22 and 3/11 respectively) with M Sharma getting 2/24 and Maxwell getting 2/15.

    Tomorrow, like Mackay says is a double header: 1st is Pune vs Hyderabad . Pune will be looking to get back to winning their remaining matches to have a chance at playoffs. Hyderabad have been inconsistent the last few matches but will be back in deccan (hyderabad) in which warne, kumar and rashid have all performed extremely well this year.

    the 2nd match is Delhi vs MI at Delhi. Delhi are on a high after have a few great match wins and their bowling line-up is considered 1 of the best in IPL this year. Their main issue however has been an inconsistent batting line-up and the worst fielding side of the tournament.

    In contrast, MI have 1 of the best fielding line-ups of the tournament (arguably best or comparable with SRH and KKR) but their bowlinn g and batting have been inconsistent. Rohit Sharma in particular has been inconsistent despite socring well last match. Additionally, both teams are playing in Delhi, which is a pitch which suits spinners well and MI havent got the services of Bhaji to help lead their spin line-up.

    As it currently stands, MI will still be leading the tournament irregardless of results tomorrow but KKR have a chance of catching on sunday IF mumbai loses in Delhi
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    Big win for KXIP - but expected. They posted 138-7, to beat RCB, who were bundled out for 119 in reply.

    Choudhary and Chahal claimed two wickets apiece, removing Amla via a Jadhav catch for 1 and Sharma by the same fielder for 6, while the latter had Vohra and Maxwell caught by ABDV and Badree for 25 and 6 respectively. Patel finished not out on 38, after Negi caught Guptill off Aaravind for 9, Mandeep claimed Marsh off Negi for 20, and Watson clean bowled Saha for 21. Axal and Sandeep then claimed three apiece in RCB's innings: the latter claimed Gayle, Kohli and ABDV for 0, 6 and 10. Kohli was clean bowled, while the former and latter fell to Guptill and Saha catches. Patel had Watson and Negi caught behind for 3 and 21, before clean bowling Badree for 8, while Patel caught Jadhav, and Guptill caught Choudhary, both off M Sharma, who finished with 2-24. Axar claimed 3-11, Sandeep 3-22, and Maxwell chipped in with two to end with 2-15, removing Aravind leg before for 4, and Mandeep clean bowled for 46.

    It was a straightforward chase, albeit on a dull and slow pitch, but Christ: RCB are woeful. KXIP's seamers were accurate, the spinners were economical and the fielding wasn't unreliable. Axar has added incredible clean-hitting ability to his repertoire this season: before this game, he had hammered 112 runs off 59 balls in the end overs this season at a strike rate of 189.6. He ended with 38 off just 17 balls, today, including taking Shane Watson for 18 in the last over.

    Full credit to Sandeep, too. Last time vs RCB, he bowled 14 dot balls in his three-over opening spell. When he returned to bowl the 19th, AB de Villiers smoked him for 16 runs off three balls. But he recovered well today, against two heavyweight batsmen in Kohli and Gayle.
    He removed the pair of them with full deliveries swinging the same way. Sandeep became the first bowler to remove Kohli, Gayle and ABDV in the same innings, 16 of his balls were pitched on good length, going for just 10 runs and producing three key wickets. No runs were scored in front of the wicket or on the off-side off his bowling. Sandeep has not dismissed any other batsman as many times he dismissed Virat Kohli in the IPL - five times. And he has taken nine wickets in the Powerplay this season, the most by a bowler. He also has the second-best economy rate in the Powerplay (min 100 balls bowled). He bowled 15 dot balls tonight in his four-over spell.
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    Just saying but harbhajan has been declared fit for selection.
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    Before the season got underway, I felt Pune would struggle. And they hardly set the world alight during the early matches, did they? After four games, they had suffered three thumping defeats - six wickets, 97 runs, and seven wickets, against Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions. And, at this stage, I didn't think KXIP, DD or Gujarat would make the play-offs. They slumped to the bottom of the table but they have recovered remarkably, in truth. Six wins in seven games has taken them to right up to No. 3 - and they have their attack to thank.

    After four games, Rising Pune had taken only 19 wickets, averaging 38.15 runs per wicket, and 9.41 runs per over. But, since then, they have taken 50 wickets in seven matches - the most by any team - while the average has dropped to 21.26, and the economy rate to 7.70. No other team has conceded less than eight per over. In the Powerplays, the economy rate has come down from 10 an over to 7.40, thanks to Unadkat (12 overs, 84 runs, ER 7), Washington (10 overs, 69 runs, ER 6.9) and Stokes (6 overs, 32 runs, ER 5.33).

    In the first four games, Rising Pune leaked 13 runs per over in the death overs, the worst among all teams. In just four overs at the death, Dinda leaked 68, including the most expensive IPL over EVER, while Tahir went for 50 in four. Stokes started the tournament poorly, going for 45 in four overs at the death, but has recovered to claim three MOTM awards in four games, while Zampa went for 29 in two. Unadkat has taken nine in the death overs at an average of 10.22 and an economy rate of 8.49. And Christian and Stokes have been outstanding, conceding less than 7.2 runs per over. Unadkat is the second-highest wicket-taker in the death overs, next only to B Kumar who has 14.

    On the other hand, Sunrisers' bowlers have struggled. In the first five games, they took 39 wickets at an economy rate of 8.08, but in their next five games (excluding the washout vs RCB), they have managed only 29 at an economy rate of nearly 9 an over. Warner and the addition of Williamson to their XI has given them strength in the batting department but their bowling is faltering. B Kumar and Rashid remain huge threats, but are teams now sussing them out? In the first five games, the two bowlers collectively took 24 wickets at an average of 10.54, but in the last five they have managed only nine wickets collectively. Rashid has taken three in his last five games after taking six in the first five, while B Kumar's tally has dropped from 15 to six.
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    (Original post by ssharma123)
    Just saying but harbhajan has been declared fit for selection.
    cool, should be interesting then
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    The biggest asset Sandeep boasts is not his pace. After all, he doesn't threaten in the same way some quicks do, by using their speed. Instead, he relies on accuracy and the ability to move the ball both ways. RCB are really, really struggling - and it raises questions about whether there should be some sort of cut-off point in the IPL, where teams with nothing to play for don't have to perform. Not sure how it would work, but RCB are clearly struggling, devoid of confidence and momentum, and it can be doing their international stars no favours ahead of the CT.

    The average Powerplay score, before this game, was 39.4 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in first innings' this season. RCB started well and would have been hopeful when seeing the fact that KXIP had laboured to 35 and lost their openers - Amla and Guptill - in the Powerplay. But RCB didn't allow themselves the chance to take advantage and capitalise.
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    Poor Delhi. As a RCB supporter, I know the feel all too well. :lol:
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    (Original post by LotusBlue)
    Poor Delhi. As a RCB supporter, I know the feel all too well. :lol:
    I was wondering when they'd bring lendl Simmons back. They just stopped using him even though he was great. As for Delhi, I'm pretty sure they have just been locked out of this tournament. Qualifying with 14 points takes a good net run rate and they now have a terrible one.
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    So, just to clarify (for those who don't know) Mumbai won against Delhi by 146 runs (the highest ever margin of victory in the IPL).

    Lendl Simmons is in the squad in place of Butler (due to Butler's England duties) and Bhaji in for Krunal Pandya.

    Simmons, in his 1st IPL match this year, continued his form when opening for Mumbai and scored big (66 runs off 43). Parthiv scored 25, Rohit went cheap (again) for 10 but pollard and hardik helped Mumbai post a total of 212 with scores of 63 off 35 not out and 29 off 14 not out respectively.
    In particular, Pat Cummins bowled awfully going for 0-59. Zaheer was most economical (0-29) and Rabada, Mishra and Anderson got 1 wicket a piece (1-33, 1-37 and 1-29 (off 2 overs) respectively).

    In response, DD's batting got ripped apart by MIs bowling and scored 66 all out after 13.4 overs. Sanju went for a golden duck (out on 1st ball), Pant went for a duck off 3 balls and the Delhi batters didn't get into double figures save for Karun (21 off 15), Corey Anderson (10 off 8) and Pat Cummins (10 off 10).

    Mumbais bowlers were all economical or took wickets with Karn Sharma scored 3-11 (3.3 overs), Bhaji 3-22 (4 overs), McClenighan 1-18 (2 overs), Malinga 2-5 (2 overs), Bumrah 1-6 (1 over) and Hardik Pandya 0-2 (1 over).

    Mumbai are the 1st team to qualify for the tournament this year and still have a game in hand over Pune (2nd place) and SRH.


    Tomorrow is KKR vs Banglore in Bengaluru (likely to be a KKR victory unless RCB pull something out too little too late) and KXIP vs Gujarat in Mohali (likely victory for the home side but don't count Gujarat out).
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    Awesome performance from both Sandeep and Axar yesterday. They claimed three wickets each to guide their side Punjab to a comfortable 19-run win against a struggling Bangalore unit. Patel - who had starred earlier with the bat, scoring 38 off 17, restricted RCB to just 119 in pursuit of a 139-run target. Sharma tore their powerful top order apart, dismissing Gayle, Kohli and ABDV. Bangalore had required just over six runs an over from the onset but an impressive display from Punjab's seamers made their task difficult, as they struggled at 3 for 37 in the first five overs. Patel accounted for the middle order by dismissing S Watson, Negi and Badree. Mandeep Singh was the only Bangalore batsman who scored anything of note, notching a 40-ball 46. But following his departure in the 12th over, the hosts buckled to just 119 in their 20 overs. Patel finished with figures of 3 for 11, while Sharma claimed figures of 3 for 22.

    In his first season for KXIP, Patel got 17 wickets in as many matches. He was named the Emerging Player of the league. Since 2014, he has continued to grow - and now he may very well be the best allrounder in the IPL. He can bowl with the new ball, at the death, and in the middle overs, as well as act as a finisher and pinch hitter with the bat. Last night was a near perfect performance, all round, from him. Remember, this is a surface where Maxwell, Gayle, Kohli, S Watson, Amla, Guptill, ABDV have ended up with a strike-rate of 100 or less. But Axar smashed 38 off 17 balls at a strike-rate of 223.52 - his best in T20 cricket when he has faced at least 10 balls. He rescued KXIP from 78 for 5 in the 14th over to 138 for 7, of which 19 came in the last over of the innings. He then shut the doors on the chase with three wickets, including two in the 18th over.

    He struck in his second over, the 11th of the chase, to get RCB five down for 71. This was the fifth time the left-arm spinner had dismissed Watson in five innings. He then exploited the two-paced nature of the pitch expertly: he got a delivery to stop on Negi, who played prematurely and duly offered a dolly for the field. Then, Axal produced an arm ball which knocked over Badree’s stumps.
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    Today, Rising Pune Supergiant made 148 for 8 to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad, who posted 136-9, by 12 runs.

    Kaul claimed 4-29, removing Smith for 34, caught by Bipul, Dhoni and Christian caught by Ojha and Rashid for 31 and 4 respectively, and Thakur by Warner for 0. Bipul had Rahane caught by Yuvraj for 22, Tripathi was ran out for 1, Stokes clean bowled by Rashid for 39, and Tiwary ran out. In replay, Unadakt claimed 5-30, and Stokes chipped in with three. The latter had Warner caught by Thakur for 40, clean bowled Dhawan for 19 and had Williamson caught by Dhoni for 4. The latter had Yuvraj caught by Tripathi for 47, Ojha and Sharma by Stokes for 9 and 8, B Kumar by Tiwary and Rashid caught and bowled. Henriques was sent back by Tahir for 4.

    Unadkat, 25, has turned out for three franchises - RCB, DD and KKR - and over the last two years he has played only two matches, one each for Daredevils and Knight Riders respectively. But now he has also played a key role in Rising Pune winning seven of their last eight games. With 17 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.71, Unadkat is Rising Pune's second-highest wicket-taker behind Imran Tahir (18) having played four fewer games. Sunrisers needed 13 off the final over, but Unadkat claimed a three-wicket maiden over. Stokes became only the third player, after Ravindra Jadeja and JP Duminy, to score more than 30 runs, and take three wickets and two catches in an IPL match. Stokes targeted Bipul Sharma, smashing 27 runs off 11 balls at a strike-rate of 245.45. He is now the only player to score 200+ runs and taken 10+ wickets in a season since 2016.

    In the other match, MI posted 212-3 - Simmons caught by Samuels off Anderson for 66, Mishra having Patel stumped for 25, and Mishra snaffling Sharma off Rabada for 10, leaving Hardik and Pollard unbeaten on 29 and 65 respectively - before bundling DD out for 66. Karn claimed three: Rabada and Samuels caught by Rohit, Zaheer by Rana, and Harbhajan bagged a treble too: Nair caught by Rohit, Cummins by Patel and Shami by Pollard. Malinga claimed Iyer and Anderson, via Harbhajan and Karn catches, while McCleneghan had Samson caught by Simmons first ball, and Bumrah had Pant caught for a three-ball duck by the same fielder.

    In the end, a team that had recorded the second-highest chase in IPL history two nights ago was defeated by a margin so huge - 146 runs - it became a tournament record. Daredevils were five down in the chase before the Powerplay was done, and bowled out for their lowest IPL total. McCleneghan had removed Sanju Samson three times in nine balls before today. After the first ball of the chase, the head-to-head was adjusted to four wickets in 10 balls. Bumrah had removed Pant twice in six balls. He was brought in for the fourth over and got the batsman out for a duck. Harbhajan had knocked Karun Nair over three times in 19 balls. Today, he accounted for him again.

    Pollard, sent it at No. 3, hammered legspin for 26 off 11 Mishra balls, at a SR of 230+. He smashed 45 runs off 15 wide balls, 38/63 runs came in the V in front of the wicket, including each of his four sixes, and he had batted at No. 3 only two times in 106 IPL innings prior to Saturday. His previous highest score at this position was 20. Pollard is now just 18 runs short of Nitish Rana's tally of 312 runs, the most for Mumbai this season. He has never topped the run charts for the franchise across seven previous seasons.
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    DD
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    Today, RCB (eighth) vs KKR (third). In a record-breaking performance, Kolkata Knight Riders bowled out Royal Challengers Bangalore for 49 - the IPL's lowest total - earlier this season. Lynn could be available for the away side, with Uthappa set to be touch and go after missing the last match. Coulter-Nile, RCB's nemesis last time, suffered a blow on his helmet grille and could be in doubt, while Royal Challengers are out of contention for a top-four finish and S Watson has been in and out of their XI, so it will not be of any surprise if Travis Head comes in.

    A win against Royal Challengers will all but seal Knight Riders' place in the playoffs - and help them shake off any nagging doubts that might have crept in after two losses in a row. They might consider legspinner Piyush Chawla, who has had considerable success against de Villiers (dismissed four times, conceding only 43 off 44 balls) and Kohli (dismissed three times, 95 off 71 balls). If Chawla plays, though, captain Gautam Gambhir will look to hold him back until Chris Gayle is dismissed. The West Indies batsman has hit Chawla for 103 runs off 57 balls.

    Narine is having his poorest IPL with the ball. He has averaged 39.71 runs for every wicket and has a strike-rate of less than a wicket per game. His economy of 8.53 in the Powerplay - where he has taken only one wicket - is the worst among all spinners this season (minimum five overs bowled). KKR’s batting is heavily dependent on their top four. Their middle and lower order have scored at an average of 14.52 and a strike-rate of 115.97, the second-poorest among all teams - behind RCB. Overall, Knight Riders have the second-worst scoring-rate at the death, and hit a boundary only every 6.1 balls. Kohli has smacked 137 runs off 73 balls against Umesh Yadav. In 2017, Chris Gayle has averaged 9.00 per match at the Chinnaswamy after four games. Shane Watson averages 13.66 while de Villiers averages 15.75. Each of them has scored at below a run a ball, too. Virat Kohli (106) and Kedar Jadhav (133) are the only two Royal Challengers batsmen to score more than a hundred runs this season at home.

    In the other match, KXIP take on Gujarat. Stoinis is out of the IPL with a shoulder injury, Amla and David Miller could leave the IPL after Sunday's game, but Gujarat have injury troubles themselves: McCullum has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a hamstring strain and they are already depleted by injuries to Dwayne Bravo and Andrew Tye and the departure of Jason Roy to England duty. This leaves Lions with only four overseas players to choose from: Dwayne Smith, Aaron Finch, James Faulkner and Chirag Suri. Lions have also lost one of their Indian players for the rest of the season - the fast bowler Nathu Singh is out with back spasms.

    Kings XI have 10 points with four games left to play. Winning three out of four should be enough to ensure qualification, though that might be a difficult task - their last three opponents are the top three teams on the table - Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant. Lions are already out.

    Sandeep Sharma has an excellent record against Lions' overseas batsmen: Aaron Finch has scored only 35 off 32 balls against him (no dismissals), while Dwayne Smith has been out twice to him while scoring 14 off 13. Lions' Indian batsmen, on the other hand, have done well against Sandeep, with Suresh Raina scoring 65 off 31 balls against him (no dismissals) and Dinesh Karthik 28 off 16 (one dismissal). Axar Patel has picked up ten or more wickets every season since his debut in 2014, and his 56 IPL wickets is the second-most by any spinner in that period, behind Yuzvendra Chahal's 69. Axar has come into his own in the middle overs (7th to 15th) this season, conceding 7.25 per over while picking up nine wickets, the joint second-most this season alongside Chahal, with only Imran Tahir (13) taking more. Basil Thampi has bowled the most yorkers (20) among all bowlers this season, with Chris Morris (15), Jasprit Bumrah (14) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (14) behind him.
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    I'm supporting RCB today only because I feel sorry for them.
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    Pune’s biggest weakness this season has been their bowling. As the season has progressed, however, their overseas stars have stood up. The Indian bowlers, such as Unadkat and Thakur, aren't too far behind either. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they combined to deliver a crucial win in the closing stages of the regular season. Defending 148, Stokes sparked Sunrisers' slide by taking out their form batsmen, Dhawan, Warner and Williamson. With 32 runs required off 18 balls, Unadkat picked up two wickets, Yuvraj Singh and Naman Ojha, in the 18th over. Then, with 12 to defend off the final over, Unadkat did what no other bowler has been able to do. He claimed a hat-trick, the 17th of the IPL, and didn't concede a run.

    In the other match, after struggling for fluency in the first three overs, in which 18 runs were scored, Parthiv and Simmons found their fluency and MI were cruising at 60 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay. The latter raced away to another fifty-plus score for Mumbai, his 11th in 23 innings. He has also shared 10 fifty-plus opening stands in just 23 IPL games. Zaheer has put Delhi's record-breaking defeat down to "just one of those days”. In their previous match, Daredevils, at the same venue, had chased 209 vs Gujarat with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare. Pant had wracked up 97 off 43 in that game, while opener Sanju hit 61 off 31. Against Mumbai, though, both batsmen were out for ducks as Daredevils slumped to 35 for 5 in the Powerplay.

    Meanwhile, Gambhir, who last played an ODI for India in January 2013, has been in fine form for but says scoring runs for KKR with the Champions Trophy in mind would be "selfish", he said, and emphasised that good T20 form should not warrant ODI selection given the differences in the two formats. Gambhir is the second-highest run-maker in the IPL, with 411 in 11 matches at 51.37 and four half-centuries. His strike rate of 134.75 is his best since 2012, when it was 143.55 and helped KKR to their first IPL title. In the four IPLs in between, his strike rate did not touch 122. The demands of ODI cricket are very different to those of T20, Gambhir pointed out. He last played for India in ODIs in the home series against England in January 2013.

    The Indian team for the Champions Trophy will be picked tomorrow, and the selectors will have to work out the opening combination. With Rahul injured, Rahane, Rohit and Dhawan are at the top of the queue. But Rohit has not played for India since getting injured during last year's NZ series, and Dhawan and Rahane have endured patchy form. Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel and Sanju Samson could be some of the names up for discussion should the selectors look outside those three. Gambhir's domestic one-day form may count against him. He scored 166 in five games at 33.20 in this season's Vijay Hazare Trophy for his state team Delhi.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Pune’s biggest weakness this season has been their bowling. As the season has progressed, however, their overseas stars have stood up. The Indian bowlers, such as Unadkat and Thakur, aren't too far behind either. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they combined to deliver a crucial win in the closing stages of the regular season. Defending 148, Stokes sparked Sunrisers' slide by taking out their form batsmen, Dhawan, Warner and Williamson. With 32 runs required off 18 balls, Unadkat picked up two wickets, Yuvraj Singh and Naman Ojha, in the 18th over. Then, with 12 to defend off the final over, Unadkat did what no other bowler has been able to do. He claimed a hat-trick, the 17th of the IPL, and didn't concede a run.

    In the other match, after struggling for fluency in the first three overs, in which 18 runs were scored, Parthiv and Simmons found their fluency and MI were cruising at 60 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay. The latter raced away to another fifty-plus score for Mumbai, his 11th in 23 innings. He has also shared 10 fifty-plus opening stands in just 23 IPL games. Zaheer has put Delhi's record-breaking defeat down to "just one of those days”. In their previous match, Daredevils, at the same venue, had chased 209 vs Gujarat with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare. Pant had wracked up 97 off 43 in that game, while opener Sanju hit 61 off 31. Against Mumbai, though, both batsmen were out for ducks as Daredevils slumped to 35 for 5 in the Powerplay.

    Meanwhile, Gambhir, who last played an ODI for India in January 2013, has been in fine form for but says scoring runs for KKR with the Champions Trophy in mind would be "selfish", he said, and emphasised that good T20 form should not warrant ODI selection given the differences in the two formats. Gambhir is the second-highest run-maker in the IPL, with 411 in 11 matches at 51.37 and four half-centuries. His strike rate of 134.75 is his best since 2012, when it was 143.55 and helped KKR to their first IPL title. In the four IPLs in between, his strike rate did not touch 122. The demands of ODI cricket are very different to those of T20, Gambhir pointed out. He last played for India in ODIs in the home series against England in January 2013.

    The Indian team for the Champions Trophy will be picked tomorrow, and the selectors will have to work out the opening combination. With Rahul injured, Rahane, Rohit and Dhawan are at the top of the queue. But Rohit has not played for India since getting injured during last year's NZ series, and Dhawan and Rahane have endured patchy form. Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel and Sanju Samson could be some of the names up for discussion should the selectors look outside those three. Gambhir's domestic one-day form may count against him. He scored 166 in five games at 33.20 in this season's Vijay Hazare Trophy for his state team Delhi.
    I just hope that Rohit can actually find some form for the Champions trophy. He was not very good in the world cup and this is his chance to show that he deserves to be in the team.
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    Um..um... I change my mind. I support KKR for this game.
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    Sunil Narine: fastest IPL 50
 
 
 
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