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’Keep Murali at bay’: Mumbai Indians allrounder Kieron Pollard, whose unbeaten 122-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu helped steal a thrilling victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, said their strategy was to score as many runs as possible and keep Royal Challengers offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan at bay. “We knew we had to chase it down; Rayudu and myself decided that if we can bat a couple of overs and see out Murali, as he is one of the most dangerous bowlers, we could do it. It was such a good batting wicket and the Bangalore ground is small,” Pollard said, after their final-over win.
Didn’t grab opportunities – Lehmann: Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehmann has said his team failed to execute their plans properly in the IPL. With just two wins from 11 games (and one no-result) Charges are at the bottom of the points table. “We did not excel at the right time and did not grab opportunities,” Lehmann said. “We need to get the basics right. In a high pressure tournament like IPL, you need to execute plans in a lot better way.” However, he said, there was no lack of work ethics on part of the players and he was “happy with their commitment.”
Hilfenhaus ‘sparks’ Super Kings: With two consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards, Australia fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus has played a key role in getting Chennai Super Kings’ faltering IPL campaign back on track. Super Kings are currently fourth on the points table and still in with a chance of making it to the playoffs. Hilfenhaus has picked up nine wickets in the five games he has played so far with an economy rate of 6.63. His performance earned praise from his captain MS Dhoni who said “Hilfenhaus has brought some spark that was missing.” In an interview with the Hindu, Hilfenhaus said his goal was to “zero in on the right areas” irrespective of the format.
Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Akhila Ranganna
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Assistant editor (Audio) Having a father who played in the Ranji Trophy against the likes of the legendary Pankaj Roy, cricket was in Akhila's blood. When a bachelor's degree in Literature was augmented by a master's in Mass Communication, she should have known that a career in journalism beckoned. But it took a joyless stint in public relations to push her to ESPN Star Sports, where she worked with the Sportscenter team and covered countless preparatory camps at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. As a happy coincidence this ran concurrently with a hobby stint as a radio jockey for a station playing old Hindi film music. She then joined ESPNcricinfo's audio team, where she has worked since October 2006.