Sunday 15 May 2011 

Virtuoso Hodge Performance Hands Kochi Win

Virtuoso Hodge Performance Hands Kochi Win
Virtuoso Hodge Performance Hands Kochi Win
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Kochi Tuskers Kerala 98-2 (Hodge 33no) beat
Rajasthan Royals 97 (Hodge 4-13) by 8 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Indore

Brad Hodge took four wickets and then scored an unbeaten 33 to guide the Kochi Tuskers Kerala to an eight-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals were dismissed for just 97 in 18.3 overs and the Kerala side raced to their target in just 7.2 overs with Brendon McCullum chipping in with 29 in just 12 balls - an innings that included four sixes.

 

The win means that they still have a mathematical chance of getting into the play-offs, albeit a slim one for it means that other teams will have to do them a lot of favours.

The loss also marked a woeful run of form for Rajasthan towards the business end of the tournament, as it was their third straight loss in a row. The writing was on the wall very early in their innings. For having been put into bat, they were bowled out for just 97 runs. Only four batsmen managed to reach double figures and that one of them was Shaun Tait just goes to show the extent of their problems. Ashok Menaria was the top scorer with 30 runs as he fought a lone battle, while Shane Watson and Faiz Fazal made 20 and 16 runs respectively.

Menaria tried to hold the innings together after they had been reduced to 68 for 5 in the 10th over and took 28 balls to score his runs. He hit three boundaries and one six, before he was ninth out in the 16th over. Brad Hodge took 4 for 13 in his four overs, while S Sreesanth and P Parammeswaran took two wickets each and restricted Rajasthan to a total below 100.

The task in front of Kochi was hardly difficult and it was just a matter of when and not if they would win. But they set about their task in whirlwind fashion, winning in just 7.2 overs, perhaps wanting to have an early night for themselves. Brendon McCullum set the stage alight with some explosive batting at the top, making 29 runs off only 12 balls. He hit just the one four but four big sixes. They were 45 f0r 2 in the 4th over, but Parthiv Patel and Brad Hodge made sure there wouldn’t be many hiccups. Both finished unbeaten on 21 and 33 runs respectively, the Aussie having enjoyed his run thoroughly on the night.

Only skipper Mahela Jayawardene was out cheaply, for six runs, but he wouldn’t mind too much as his team gave him a winning farewell.
Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011