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Saturday, Sep 18th

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The Mumbai Indians beat the Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs in an entertaining contest at the Wankhede Stadium that guarantees them a place in the qualifier, relegating the losing side in all likelihood to the eliminator barring a dramatic final group game for either them or the Chennai Super Kings. The match itself had some major momentum swings, with Rajasthan delighted with their efforts with the ball, but having a poor start before launching a terrific come back only to fall short in the end.

Two well balanced sides with an equal number of points collided against each other at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday evening with one being the formidable Mumbai Indians and the other the sensational Rajasthan Royals. Despite both teams having already confirmed a spot among the top four, it was important for each of them to win to ensure that they went into the Qualifier instead of the Eliminator round in the playoffs.

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The Sunrisers Hyderabad continued to defy logic by registering their 5th win of the season to go top of the Indian Premier League points table. A batting collapse by the Kings XI Punjab, which saw them lose 6 wickets for 27 runs towards the fag end of their innings cost them dearly as the visitors posted a well under par 123-9 in their 20 overs. The Sunrisers Hyderabad knocked over the runs with 7 balls to spare thanks to a patient 46 from 19 year old Hanuman Vihari and some belligerent hitting towards the end of the innings by Thisara Perera (23 from 11 balls).

The visiting Kings XI Punjab side won the toss and opted to make first use of the Hyderabad track. Mandeep Singh continued his poor run at the start of the innings making 10 before a top edge off an Ishant Sharma delivery was well caught by young Quinton de Kock.

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The Pune Warriors committed the ultimate sin, throwing away a game that was in the bag for nearly 37 overs, losing 6 wickets for 7 runs in an incredible 13 ball period that cost them the game. While Pune's calamitous collapse will no doubt get the lion share of the attention, 29-year old Haryana skipper Amit Mishra's role in winning the game for the Sunrisers Hyderabad should not be forgotten as the leg spinner first smashed 30 from 24 balls to guide his team from 44-6 to an apparently competitive 119-8, before taking 4 wickets in one over, including a hat-trick to win his side a game they had no business being in.

The Pune Warriors won the toss and elected to field, a decision which appeared a masterstroke as Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled some gorgeous seam up deliveries to knock over a Kumar Sangakkara-less (benched) top order as he took 3-18 from his 4 overs forcing the Sunrisers on the backfoot.

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Mumbai Indians improved their record against the Pune Warriors on the back of yet another spirited display of batting that saw them pick up their third win from the four games they have played thus far in IPL 2013. The Pune batsmen struggled to build partnerships as Mitchell Johnson's spell was good enough to hand out Pune a rankling 41 run defeat.

Mumbai skipper Ricky Ponting won the flip of the coin and elected to bat on a good sporting wicket. The opening duo of Ponting and Tendulkar made a promising start to the Mumbai innings putting up a brisk 54 run first wicket stand from 7 overs before Yuvraj got the much needed breathrough sending back Ponting (14) with his first ball of the evening. Tendulkar followed his captain in the next over after a strokeful innings of 44.

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A lot can change in a year. Rewind to 2012, and the Delhi Daredevils were the team to beat in the early stages of the IPL, blowing teams to bits with their spectacular top order batting and four pronged pace attack, they looked like they had the goods to go all the way. Return to the present, and Delhi simply can't win a game.

The Daredevils played host to a Sunrisers Hyderabad side, who 12 months ago were exactly where Delhi are today, competing for the wooden spoon. Delhi's luck though refused to change today as they succumbed to their fourth straight defeat of the tournament, despite the return of charismatic opener Virender Sehwag.

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India fast bowler Ishant Sharma has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the third day’s play in the fourth and final Test against Australia in Delhi on Sunday. Sharma admitted to the charge and accepted the sanction imposed by ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle without the need to convene a disciplinary hearing.

Through his admission, Sharma was found to have breached Level 1 Article 2.1.6 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel (the “Code”), which relates to pointing or gesturing towards the pavilion by a bowler or a fielder upon the dismissal of a batsman during an International Match.

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