May 21, 2008

Rajasthan Royals in semi-finals

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Rajasthan Royals stormed into the semi-finals after another emphatic win over Kolkata Knight Riders. Shane Warne can be proud as his team remains the most consistent team of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They have lost just two games, once outplayed by the batting power of Delhi Daredevils and once by the bowling power of Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals have played together as an excellent team. When the tournament started, I did not give them any chance. They did not have a real star player in my opinion. But, players like Graeme Smith, Asnodkar, Yusuf Pathan and Mohammad Kaif stood up to the challenge. Shane Watson was outstanding so far, as an all rounder. The bowling department was excellent with contributions from Sohail Tanvir, Munaf Patel and the captain Shane Warne.

Kolkata Knight Riders have been up and down the wave in the IPL league so far. By losing yesterday, they are almost at the brink of elimination here. But, theoretically they still have a chance. For them to qualify from here, they would expect Rajasthan Royals to win their three remaining games. Kolkata have to beat the Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab. They would also expect the results of other matches to be in their favour. A tough ask, but not impossible. Let us give some hope to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians meet Yuvraj Singh's Kings XI Punjab today, another important clash that would go a long way in deciding the semi-finalists. The Mumbai Indians are on a roll here, winning six consecutive games after a disastrous start to the tournament when they lost the first four games. They would love to continue their winning streak. Can you doubt them after their convincing wins recently? Kings XI Punjab has been one of the consistent teams in the tournament and they would prefer to win today, which would most likely seal a semi-final berth for them. So, we have an interesting game at hand. Look out for big hits from the two left handers in view, Sanath Jayasuriya and Yuvraj Singh.


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