RR vs Lions Preview
Royals who are yet to lose a match this year have made Sawai Man Singh stadium a fortress of sorts. In spite of controversies the team had witnessed, the team improved immensely under the Leadership of a man who stands for Integrity. With the comfort and flair with which the team had beaten Mumbai Indians, one would agree that the Royals have the edge over LIONS in terms of Momentum. The Lions having practised in the nets hard would be thoroughly disappointed to have a lost their first match to rain gods
Royals have put an all-round display against MI to win the confidence of their fans. Their batsman especially Sanju Samson and Ajinkya Rahane have shown great maturity to counter the experience attack of MI. Shane Watson who announced his return to form in the last phase of the ASHES looked comfortable in the Sub-Continent pitches. Stuart Binny was impressive with his all-round performance. Much is expected from Dravid at the start of the Innings and the fans know that he would chip in during the course of the series. The bowling department was as good as the batting. James Faulkner lead the pack and was effective as ever and Vikramjeet Malik was the surprise element. Both the bowlers are well supported by the ever impressive Kevin Cooper, the gritty Brad Hodge and the upcoming Ashok Maneria. The only thing they lack is a quality spinner which might haunt them later in the knock out matches when they will have to play outside their Home.
Lions on the other hand are totally untested package. All we know is that they are the runners up of the last year event have lost to the Sydney Sixers. The batting consists of with Alviro Pieterson the test opener of South Africa, Gulam Bodi a player who warmed up benches in the Delhi Daredevils camp for this year’s IPL and the experienced Neil Mckenzie. Their Wicket Keeper Quinton De Kock is a familiar face with his stint in IPL for SRH. The other known faces include Imran Tahir the leg spinner. It is interesting to know that the Lions played IPL team killer in last year’s edition by beating all 3 teams that is CSK, MI and DD in the 2012 edition. They have lost their pace spear head Chris Morris to the CSK for this year
Prediction: RR to win their 2nd match.
A Celebration of LARA and a BLAST from Parera
Lara has retired for quite some time. When a legend retires fans tend to miss him for some time before adapting to be a fan of a new star. But Lara fans need not look for another star. They need not look beyond Caribbean and T&T. He comes to bat at No.3 for T&T.
His high bat lift, the body language and the way he comes down the pitch to smash a spinner just reminds the way the legend used to play. Instead fans calling him little bravo, he should be called Little Lara for his resemblance with the LEGEND. Some of the shots he played yesterday were no different when he sent the SRH fielders to fetch the ball many a times. His 66 of 44 yesterday was nothing legendry but makes one ponder why the heck is he not a success in the test team. By his own confession he says that he does not enjoy playing slog and slam cricket. He enjoys playing authentic and proper cricketing shots to score his runs even in T20s. His technique reminds us of the Legend, then why can he not achieve the greatness the Legend achieved? I think Lara should sit down and talk to him and make him realise that TESTS are the place where LEGENDS are born. But let’s leave the TEST argument aside for a moment and enjoy the LENGEND living in his disciple’s soul, to the fullest
Darren Bravo who was dismissed for a duck against Brisbane heat played a terrific innings yesterday to take T&T to a respectable total; he might have thrown his wicket at the wrong time though. Another 10 runs more would have made the match even more interesting and who knows it would have taken T&T’s consecutive wins to 8. The innings was well supported by other batsman Evin Lewis, Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin and Stewart with little cameos. Bravo picked Ishant and Amit Mishra and attacked them observantly. Ishant Sharma’s ineffectiveness against left handers was clearly evident during the course of the game. T&T lost Bravo at a score of 110 and were left with another 5 overs to score. They did well by scoring another 50 runs and had they not lost wickets in the final over. Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera were the pick of the bowlers.
Chasing 160 against a team that had the likes of Narine and Rampaul was never going to be easy task for SRH. Parthiv and Dhawan played well and got runs at a brisk pace until Narine was brought into the attack. Parthiv was the first to go, Dhawan later hanged on for a while with duminy before holding up to a slower delivery from Navin Stewart. Duminy, after a brief resilience fell for a direct hit from Rampaul when he was found napping while taking a single.
Perera entered the scene with Hanuma Vihari a very defensive player at one end 91 required of 59 balls. He did not waste any time and scored most of his runs in boundaries. He along with the help of Sammy (15) and Karan Sharma (13 of 5 balls) finished the innings. Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers as he showed once again why he is such a priced possession. His bowling figures of 4 for 9 from his 4 over spell, with no boundaries scored and 16 dot balls just shows the kind of pressure he can apply on the batsman. Perera’s 50 that came from 29 balls was the fastest by any Sunrisers player. He scored 4 sixes and 4 fours in the length of his innings and remained not out. He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-round display.