May 3, 2013With nearly two thirds of matches in the group stage complete, the IPL league table is taking shape. Top of the pile are Chennai Super Kings, who now have completed seven wins in a row. Skipper MS Dhoni is leading from the front with important runs, a cool head and innovative field places. Four play off places are available and it is looking likely that three from Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad will join CSK. Centuries have been recorded by orange cap holder Chris Gayle (175 no), Shane Watson (101) and Suresh Raina (100 no). Mike Hussey, Rohit Sharma and David Warner have each scored four fifties. Leading wicket takers are Dwayne Bravo (19), Vinay Kumar (18), James Faulkner and Amit Mishra (both 16). New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, both largely anonymous in this year’s competition, have been given permission to leave the IPL early to join up with teammates on the tour to England.
Durham and Yorkshire have now joined Middlesex at the top of Division 1 of the English County Championship as they completed their second victories of the season. Northamptonshire are leaders in Division 2. Spring sunshine, benign pitches and the return of the heavy roller have encouraged heavy scoring and early season double hundreds have already been recorded by Chesney Hughes (270 no), Joe Root (236), Jimmy Adams (219 no) and Luke Wells (208). Leading wicket takers are Steven Crook (21), Chris Jordan and Graeme Onions (both 19). Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan seem to be making good recoveries from their elbow operations and Andy Flower will be pleased with the early season form of all members of his likely test team.
With neither side setting the world on fire, Bangladesh has defeated Zimbabwe in Harare to level the two match test series at 1-1. Three ODIs and two T20 internationals now follow.
Squads are now being announced for the forthcoming ICC Trophy in England in June. A notable omission is South Africa’s Jacques Kallis (personal reasons), but the Proteas are happy to recall JP Duminy after his horrific injury in November. For Australia, George Bailey has been appointed as the new ODI vice captain and Mitchell March returns after missing more than a year’s international cricket following disciplinary troubles.
The Scoop 03/05/13