May 28, 2013After what seems like an eternity (in fact seven weeks), the Indian Premier League has finally come to an end. In Sunday’s final, Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs in Kolkata. A typically aggressive 60 not out from Kieron Pollard saw Mumbai to respectability on 148. CSK could only reach 125 in response, despite a defiant innings of 63 from 45 balls by their captain, MS Dhoni. In a week in which they were drawn into the IPL spot-fixing scandal, losing in the final for the second year running compounded CSK’s misery.
With celebrations going on around him, Mumbai’s captain, Sachin Tendulkar, who did not play in the final, announced his retirement from the IPL, citing his age (40) as the main reason. He revealed it had not been a sudden decision. Full of emotion, he told reporters that he had waited six long years for Mumbai to emerge triumphant in the IPL and that now was the time to go.
Despite the loss of more than a day’s play to rain, England have wrapped up a 2-0 test series win against New Zealand with a convincing 247 run victory at Headingley. Graeme Swann, with 10 wickets in the game, was declared man of the match. Joe Root and Alastair Cook, who both recorded centuries, backed him up with impressive performances.
Despite lacking consistency in the batting, England have improved with bat and ball since the winter series in New Zealand, while the Kiwi batsmen were repeatedly exposed in the unfamiliar conditions. The players of the series were Joe Root (243 runs at an average of 60.75) and Tim Southee (12 wickets at an average of 19.58). England are now free to concentrate on the forthcoming Ashes series, which starts at Trent Bridge on 10 July.
In the County Championship, just 10 points separate the top four sides – Sussex, Middlesex, Durham and Yorkshire. Expect the ding-dong battles to continue right the way through the long season and don’t discount Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire.
Attention now turns to the 50-over Champions Trophy, which runs from 6 – 23 June. South Africa and England may start as favourites but with unsettled weather about the competition seems wide open.
The Scoop 28/05/13