Chennai Super Kings 173 for 3 (Gaikwad 75, du Plessis 56, Rashid 3-36) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 171 for 3 (Pandey 61, Williamson 26*, Ngidi 2-35) by seven wickets
Four contrasting half-centuries told the story of the Chennai Super Kings’ seven-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad, with the victors climbing back to the top of the IPL 2021 points table. The vanquished, meanwhile, remained in last place.
David Warner chose to bat in the tournament’s first game in Delhi, saying he did so “because we haven’t done it yet”, in an effort to change the Sunrisers’ fortunes. However, a middling effort with the bat gave the team only a par total of 171 for 3. Warner himself scored a laboured half-century while the returning Manish Pandey made 61 off 46, but both left the strong feeling that some runs had been left out in the middle.
That was proven true when Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his resurgence with an incandescent 75 off 44 – not hitting a six but hitting 12 fours – while Faf du Plessis contributed a robust 56 off 38. Both the Super Kings’ openers strike rates were far superior to those of the Sunrisers’ half-centurions, and their stand set the game up for the Super Kings. Despite a Rashid Khan induced late wobble, the three-time IPL champions motored home in 18.3 overs.
Warner struggles, Pandey dawdles
Warner did score a fifty, but it was the slowest of his T20 career – he got there off his 50th ball. He also crossed 10,000 T20 runs, only the fourth man to do so, but both of these landmarks came in an innings he might not look back on too fondly. Warner didn’t lack intent, but his timing was all awry. And when he did get some meaty shots away, they found the fielders as often as the gaps. Warner’s frustration was visible through his innings, with self-recriminatory screams and angry swishes of the bat when he had failed to send the ball where he wanted to. He tried to go deep, tried to go straight, tried to go across the line, but that he ended up with 57 off 55 speaks of how little of what he tried worked.
At the other end, the returning Pandey was more fluent but, until the last tenth of his innings, Pandey didn’t exhibit any sense of urgency, even with Warner noticeably struggling. Pandey was happy to nudge and tickle the ball around with the occasional boundary attempt. He was a lot more stable at the crease than Warner, but given Warner’s inability to force the pace, there was a case for Pandey to be more adventurous. The duo added 106 runs for the second wicket, but took 13.5 overs to do so. Only three century partnerships in the IPL have been slower, and only one since 2017.
Williamson finishes in style
It fell to Kane Williamson to show there were no demons in the pitch or the bowling. Williamson stroked his way to 26* off 10 balls, somehow managing to score runs all around the park even though he was there for such a brief while. He had walked in at 128 for 2 in 17.1 overs, with ESPNcricinfo’s Forecaster tool predicting a final tally of 156 at that point. It was Williamson’s fireworks that pushed the total beyond 170, aided by a good finish from Kedar Jadhav against his old team – the duo put on 37 off the last 13 balls.
Gaikwad, du Plessis at it once again
The Sunrisers’ top-order struggles were made more stark by the Super Kings’ openers’ ease. While Williamson had provided a brief sparkle, Gaikwad and du Plessis had an extended feast on a placid surface. They batted 13 overs,five balls fewer than the Pandey-Warner association, but their partnership was worth 129 runs to the latter’s 106.
The Sunrisers bowlers weren’t able to get any significant movement in the air or off the deck, and both Gaikwad and du Plessis got their drives flowing freely. The two complemented each other perfectly too: while Gaikwad took on the spin of J Suchith and Rashid Khan, du Plessis punished the pace trio of Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed and Siddarth Kaul.
Gaikwad taking the attack to Khan was perhaps the most crucial byplay of the chase. Khan’s four overs were always going to be the most crucial in the Sunrisers’ defence, but Gaikwad neutralised that threat by taking full toll any time Khan erred. Three times in his second and third overs Khan dragged the ball short, and each time Gaikwad found the boundary.
Not that Khan bowled badly. On the contrary, he had his usual array of legbreaks, sliders and googlies operating despite some dew. And he showed just how potent he could be by first fizzing a legbreak past Gaikwad’s forward-defensive push to knock back off stump, then getting Moeen Ali out on the slog with a wrong ‘un, and immediately after pinning du Plessis in front with another googly. While he had ended up conceding 36 – Ali too followed the Gaikwad template in taking the attack to Khan – he still took three crucial wickets.
The speed and dominance of the opening partnership, however, meant that Khan’s quota of overs were finished by the 15th over. His wickets meant the Super Kings’ canter to victory slowed down, but it couldn’t be stopped.
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Recent Match Report – Sussx 2nd XI vs Surr 2nd XI 2021
England fast bowler bowls 11 overs without luck, as he tests his elbow after injury issues
Jofra Archer produced a cautious but increasingly rhythmic day’s work on his return to bowling after his recent injury issues, as Surrey’s reserves resisted his advances on a rain-affected second day of their 2nd XI County Championship clash with Sussex at Hove.
By the close, Surrey had eased along to 215 for 3 in reply to Sussex’s 487, with Ryan Patel’s unbeaten 94 providing the backbone of their innings. Patel added 115 for the third wicket with Laurie Evans, who made 46, and a further unbeaten stand of 53 with Nico Reifer (32), and has a chance to press on to his hundred on day three after being dropped at slip in the penultimate over.
As for Archer, he returned figures of 0 for 32 in 11 overs, spread across two spells of six and five overs respectively, as he shelved any quest for pyrotechnics and set about road-testing his troublesome right elbow, with the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s now just under a month away.
His introduction came in a 25-minute burst with the new ball before lunch, after Surrey’s spinner Dan Moriarty had picked off Sussex’s last three wickets for the hard-earned figures of 4 for 122 in 38.3 overs.
The home side’s mainstay was the 19-year-old Oliver Carter, who was last man out for a fine 160 – the first score of note of his professional career, and one which showcased an unflappable temperament and an excellent straight-lined technique, as he added a further 50 runs to his overnight 110.
When his turn finally came, Archer might have picked up a wicket straightaway, as Surrey’s 19-year-old opener Ben Geddes – perhaps a little daunted by the reputation steaming in towards him – flinched his first ball airily off the pads and into a gap on the leg side. But he was more confidently forward for the remainder of an exploratory over, before picking off a brace of boundaries as Archer twice overpitched to ease along to 9 not out at the break.
It was left to Will Sheffield, Sussex’s young left-arm seamer, to upstage his senior partner in the wickets column, although he won’t be encouraging too many of his friends and family to seek out his efforts on the ECB live stream. His first ball after lunch was a pie to end all pies – a hip-high full toss, swinging invitingly down the leg side, but Geddes – with his guard down – could only look on in horror as he clipped the offering straight into the pocket of square leg.
Sheffield’s second was an improvement but hardly a jaffa – an inviting outswinging half-volley that Will Jacks cuffed on the up to short cover. At which point Archer, commandeering a plumb position at first slip in his “Sharks” woolly hat, must have assumed it was not to be his day.
Sure enough, Archer’s fortunes in his eighth over – the second of his new spell, after a 90-minute rain delay – rather summed things up. His first delivery, short and sitting up outside off, was clattered through mid-on by Patel to bring up the fifty stand. Two balls later, with Patel on 42, third slip couldn’t cling on to his right as Archer jammed the splice with one of his sharpest deliveries of the day.
And before the over was out, he’d given away five penalty runs too, as the keeper allowed himself to be nutmegged by a length ball outside off, which then rolled into short leg’s helmet, perched behind him.
And that was broadly the end of that as far as Archer’s day was concerned. Joe Pocklington entered the attack with his left-arm spin, as did Luke Benkenstein – son of Durham’s Championship-winning captain Dale – whom Reifer launched over deep midwicket shortly before Patel’s late let-off. There will be stiffer tests ahead for Archer, but at least he’s back on the park.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket
IPL 2021 – Suspected corruptors identified on two separate days during IPL 2021 at Delhi’s Kotla
Two people were arrested with fake accreditations; on a different day, one man came in the garb of a cleaner
Potential corruptors were spotted at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on different days of the IPL 2021 season, including during the May 2 match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) chief Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala told PTI. Two people with fake IPL accreditations were arrested by the Delhi Police on the day of that Royals-Sunrisers match.
In another incident – on a different match day, at the same venue – one man “in the garb of a cleaner” fled after ACU officials had caught him having a telephone conversation. He is currently being traced by Delhi police after the ACU managed to retrieved two mobile phones from him.
It was suspected that he could have been engaging in ‘pitch-siding’, which is the act of relaying information from the ground to a remote location to beat the delay in the TV feed. It can be used to get an advantage while betting on passages in play before the live computerised odds shift.
“One of my ACU officers caught a person and handed over the details to Delhi Police. While that particular offender managed to flee leaving behind his two mobile phones, ACU lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police,” Hussein told PTI on Wednesday.
“We are thankful to Delhi Police that in a separate incident they caught two other persons from the Kotla on ACU tip-off.
“So on two separate days, these people managed to get access to Kotla. The one who fled came in the garb of a cleaner. However, we have all his details as he was employed for the tournament. His Aadhar Card details have been handed over to Delhi Police,” Hussein said. “I am confident that he will be nabbed in a day or two. He is a small fry working for a couple of hundred or some thousand bucks may be.”
The man who fled came under suspicion when he was spotted on the phone, by himself, in a secluded area.
“He was standing (inside Feroz Shah Kotla premises) in a secluded area all by himself and so one of our officers approached and asked him: ‘What are you doing here?’ He said: “Main apne girlfriend se baat kar raha hoon” [I am talking to my girlfriend].
“My officer then asked him to dial the number he was talking to and then asked him to hand over the phones. Just when he was going through the contents of his phone, the guy fled from the spot,” Hussein said, without divulging which match-day this incident took place on.
“It was one of the evening matches in Delhi. He was wearing an ID card. Also what raised suspicion was he had two mobiles,” he said.
“The information he may be supplying could be to someone more influential among bookmakers, and so we needed to inform the Delhi Police. Delhi Police has responded positively and thus next instance two people were arrested.”
Hussain also confirmed that the ACU didn’t receive any complaint of corrupt approaches being made to players or support staff involved in IPL during the 29 games that were held before the tournament was postponed.
“Obviously with bio-bubble and no crowd around, it certainly becomes a bit easier to manage as there is no physical proximity of questionable characters. When there is a crowd, it becomes difficult to check anyone and everyone,” Hussein said.
He also said that during the Mumbai leg, the hotel in which the Sunrisers team was staying had three people with questionable records, and whose names were in the ACU database. However, they couldn’t come in contact with any of the players.
“The moment we had information, we got in touch with Mumbai Police. The Police Commissioner of Mumbai took immediate cognisance and the Mumbai Police got hold of those three,” he added.
Kathryn Bryce to lead Scotland women in T20I series against Ireland women
This will be the first international action for both sides since the Covid-19 pandemic
Scotland women will face neighbors Ireland women in a four-match T20I series, in what will be their first international action for both sides since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The series will run from May 23 to May 27, with Stormont set to stage all four games. The last time Scotland and Ireland were in action was at the T20 World Cup qualifier in 2019, with both teams missing out the main event.
This will be Scotland’s first assignment under new coach Mark Coles, who had replaced Steve Knox.
Cricket Scotland and Cricket Ireland have been working together to get this series underway for a while. More recently, their attempt to hold the series in Spain earlier this March didn’t come to pass because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
“I want to thank Cricket Ireland High Performance Director Richard Holdsworth and all of his team for the effort that they have put into making this series possible,” Gus Mackay, the Cricket Scotland CEO, said in a media release. “Our women’s side have a crucial year ahead of them and being able to play competitive international cricket in preparation for that is absolutely essential. I’m grateful to everyone involved for making this happen and looking forward to seeing both teams out on the pitch in Belfast.”
Scotland’s 14-member squad will be led by Kathryn Bryce, with her younger sister Sarah appointed vice-captain. The Bryce sisters had displayed strong form in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in 2020. Sarah was the second-highest scorer in the tournament while Kathryn was the second-highest wicket-taker.
Squad: Kathryn Bryce (captain), Sarah Bryce (vice-captain), Becky Glen, Lorna Jack, Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Ikra Farooq, Abtaha Maqsood, Samantha Haggo Katie Mcgill, Priyanaz Chatterji, Ailsa Lister, Katherine Fraser, Ellen Watson, Megan McColl.
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