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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pressure of semis proving deadly for top teams as MI lost to KXIP

Pressure of qualifying for semis is playing too much on the minds of teams that they are suddenly looking vulnerable. Look at last 3 matches of 3 top teams DD. RCB & MI. These top 3 teams who were sure for semis lost their matches to the 3 teams which are at bottom on points table. In the process of getting into semis as quickly as possible teams are trying too hard and forgot the basics of the game. DD lost to KKR from the comfortable position, RCB lost to DC despite putting winning score on the board and yesterday MI lost to KXIP convincingly. Sachin won the toss and elected to the bat but they started in same fashion as they started in last match and lost Shikhar Dhawan very early.The way Sachin batted yesterday he looked tired and was not upto 100% of his fitness. Ambati Rayudu promoted to the No.3 position and for a while this decision looked good when Sachin and Rayudu gave some momentum to the MI innings especially the way Rayudu played but moment Rayudu got out MI hopes looked very vulnerable as first Tendulkar got out for 29 and then wicket fell at regular intervals for MI. JP Duminy who replaced Dwayne Bravo in the match gave useful contribution and allowed MI innings to reach the respectable total. Kieron Pollard was once again disappointing and I feel MI has wasted money in hiring Pollard because he is the most expensive player of IPL and his performance don’t justify  his price. KXIP kept their basics right in this match and bowled wicket to wicket as maximum MI batters were clean bowled. Piyush Chawla, Irfan Pathan and Love Abhlish were star performers for the KXIP in bowling. When you get the team out of 154 run then it is a cake walk for batting side to win the match and that’s what happened with KXIP as they won the match by six wickets and Sangakkara declared man of the match for his brilliant half-century. Yuvraj failed once again that is disappointing from the Indian team’s perspective. Now race for semis is suddenly looks like cat and mice game as anyone can make it except KXIP but they can spoil anybody’s party.

Today 2 crucial encounter are in offering in IPL and whoever wins it will get inch closer to semis. KKR v/s RCB and DC v/s CSK. First encounter will be between DC and CSK DC now looks better team as their batting is looking far better because Symonds is among the runs, Suman played excellent knock in last match and Gilchrist playing sensibly. Bowling also has been bolstered with the inclusion of Ryan Harris. CSK is also in good form and M.Vijay is the reason because last matches which CSK won, M.Vijay was the main contributor and instilled the confidence in the team. Inclusion of Hussey and Bollinger has strengthen CSK considerably. So both teams can beat each other but CSK is having slight edge.

KKR will take on RCB later in the evening.This is the contest which everyone wants to see because on last occasion when both these teams played each other, KKR defeated RCB convincingly but from that defeat to till date RCB has come long way in this tournament and they are strong contenders for semis because of their strong batting line-up and balanced bowling. KKR on the other side are upbeat with their last victory over DD but I believe KKR will lose today because they are winning one match and losing next match so there is no consistency and I am sure today RCB will beat them.

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