Chennai reached their eighth IPL final in 10 editions after cruising to a 6-wicket win against Delhi in the Qualifier 2, at Visakhapatnam. Asked to bat, Delhi struggled to reach 147/9 as Rishabh Pant (38 in 25 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (27 in 24) were the only ones to go past 20.
Dwayne Bravo (4-0-19-2) was the pick of the Chennai bowlers. He found excellent support from Ravindra Jadeja (3-0-23-2), Deepak Chahar (4-0-28-2), Harbhajan Singh (4-0-31-2), and Imran Tahir (4-0-28-1).
Faf du Plessis (50 in 39) and Shane Watson (50 in 32) then as good as sealed the match with an 81-run opening stand in 62 balls. Whatever chance Delhi had was squandered in the 12th over, when Keemo Paul went for 6, 4, 1, 1, 6, wide, 6, Watson taking everything but the second single.
Chennai won with an over to spare even as Trent Boult had 4-0-20-1, Amit Mishra 4-0-21-1, and Ishant Sharma 4-0-24-1.
Afghanistan win series
Afghanistan won the ODI series against Scotland 1-0 with a 2-run win – by DLS Method – at Edinburgh, after the first match was washed out.
Scotland’s 325/7 was largely due to Calum Macleod (100 in 89 balls) and Kyle Coetzer (79) and some late slogging. The wickets were shared by Gulbadin Naib (3/72) on captaincy debut, Hamid Hassan (2/55), and Aftab Alam (2/66).
The Afghanistan chase was shepherded by Rahmat Shah (113 in 115), who added 93 with Mohammad Shahzad (55 in 67) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (59* in 60). Afghanistan were 269/3 in 44.5 overs when play had to be called off. They needed 57 in 31 balls, but were 2 ahead as per DLS calculations.
Smith, Maxwell, Cummins shine for Australia
Steven Smith guided the Australians to a 16-run win (by DLS) method against the New Zealanders in a practice match at the Allan Border Field, Brisbane.
The tourists put up 286/9 thanks to Will Young (111 in 108) and George Worker (59 in 72). Pat Cummins took 4/32. Then Steven Smith (91* in 108) and Glenn Maxwell (70 in 48) added 104 to lift the hosts from 137/4.
They were 248/5 in 44 overs, 16 ahead of the par score, when the match was called off.
Somerset, Lancashire in top four
Somerset and Lancashire won their respective Playoffs matches in the Royal London One-Day Cup. They will be hosted by Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and Hampshire at Southampton respectively, on May 12.
Tom Banton’s 103-ball 112, supported by seven double-digit scores, took Somerset to 337/8 at New Road. Wayne Parnell took 3/50 and Pat Brown 3/80.
Worcestershire never got a partnership going in response: none of their batsmen reached 35 as they were bowled out for 190. Azhar Ali, of all people, led the rout with 5/34, while Lewis Gregory got 2/35.
Lancashire posted 304/4 at Lord’s, thanks to Keaton Jennings (96 in 111 balls), Steven Croft (68 in 86), and Dane Vilas (70* in 67). Tom Helm took 2/51.
Middlesex were then quickly reduced to 24/5 by Saqib Mahmood (4/38). James Harris (117 in 108) and John Simpson (74 in 74) fought hard, adding 197 in 182 balls, but once they fell, the hosts were bowled out for 284.
Broad backs Archer for Ashes
Stuart Broad expects Jofra Archer to play a key role in the upcoming Ashes. ESPNCricinfo quoted Broad: “I can’t see a way that Jofra doesn’t play some sort of role in that Ashes series. He has the rhythm, the style, the pace. He generates pace with ease, which is always exciting as a fast bowler. He has everything you would want in a fast bowler to succeed at the top level.
Broad added: “I’ve seen him run in all day when things don’t quite go his way, which is a good sign. I hope he’s in front of The Oval pavilion lifting the Ashes urn come September because he’s a very exciting cricketer.”
Broad had famously asked Archer (not the other way round) for guidance about his run-up in 2018.