Ahmedabad Rockets v Mumbai Champs, ICL, Ahmedabad

Teams keen to pick first points

Cricinfo staff

October 17, 2008

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Match facts

Oct 17, 2008
Start time 7.30pm (1400 GMT)


Damien Martyn has looked comfortable in the Twenty20 format, top scoring with 52 of 38 balls in the last game against Chennai © ICL
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Big Picture

It's early days in the tournament but both teams will be looking to register their first points as the ICL party moves to Ahmedabad. While Ahmedabad looks for the home advantage having lost their two opening matches against the Delhi Giants and Chennai Superstars, Mumbai may have the slight edge after narrowly missing out against the Chandigarh Lions in their only match by two wickets.

Clearly, chasing targets has proved to be the Achilles heel for Ahmedabad, who boast the likes of Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Damien Martyn, Ryan Campbell and Murray Goodwin. While Sodhi's fireworks towards the end did narrow the margin of defeat against Delhi, Martyn ran out of partners during his 38-ball 52 in the chase against Chennai. The bowling department remains a concern with the Indian players yet to contribute significantly. More will be expected of Rakesh Patel, Sunil Kalia and Sridharan Sriram in the next game as they look to back Jason Gillespie and Heath Streak.

Mumbai captain Nathan Astle has been disappointing with the bat, but he came close to puling it off for Mumbai in their first game with the ball (4 for 19). Together with Taufeeq Umar at the top, he will look to provide a flying start as Mumbai try to shrug off the disappointment of the first season. Michael Kasprowicz took 3 for 14 against Chandigarh, and Mumbai would hope for a good performance from both him and new-ball partner Johan van der Wath.

Players to watch

Damien Martyn: A relaxed, classical batsman, more in the Test mould, he has looked at ease in the fastest format of the game. The Ahmedabad captain is also an elastic fieldsman but is perhaps more famous for his brutal reverse-sweeps.

Heath Streak: A complete package. A fast bowler with tremendous stamina and strength, he was the first Zimbabwean to reach 100 Test wickets. An extremely capable batsman, the Ahmedabad talisman is also a magnificent outfielder with a howitzer-like throw.

Nathan Astle: Who can forget the fastest double-century against England in Christchurch (222 of 168 balls)? Clearly the pressure of captaining Mumbai after taking over from Brian Lara is a myth as is evident from the 229 runs he has scored in the 13 ICL Twenty20 matches so far.

Kiran Powar: The left -and batsman was clearly the star for Mumbai in the last match with a gritty knock of 45 which helped post a competitive total. With his first performance displaying tremendous maturity, a lot of responsibility rests on Powar's shoulders this season.

Quotes

"There is no 'one' stiffest challenge. Challenges in this tournament will come from all quarters."
Ahmedabad Rockets coach John Emburey on the threat from the other teams in the competition
.

"We tried to perform our best last year but unfortunately things did not work for us. This time we are concentrating on fitness. Last time we had an issue - we were not able to click as a team."
Mumbai Champs batsman Raviraj Patil on last season's disappointment

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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