Australian and NSW SpeedBlitz Blues batsman, Michael Clarke
With the Australian Test tour of the West Indies now complete, many of the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues and Australian Internationals have headed to the IPL - 2012. All-rounder Shane Watson has rejoined the Rajasthan Royals, while Michael Clarke debuted for Pune Warriors, with both having immediate success.
For the Rajasthan Royals, Shane Watson strengthened a top-order batting line-up that included Rahul Dravid, Owais Shah, Brad Hodge and IPL 2012 leading run scorer, Ajinkya Rahane. After scoring 8, in a total of 6-141, Watson claimed the crucial wicket of Kevin Pietersen for 36, and finished with 1-29 off four overs. It wasn’t enough, however, as Delhi reached the total in the 16th over.
Continuing his strong form from the 2011/12 summer, Australian Test and One-Day captain, Michael Clarke played in the IPL for the first time with immediate impact. Debuting for Pune Warriors, Clarke made 41 off 31 balls opening the batting before being run out. Fellow NSW SpeedBlitz Blues all-rounder Steve Smith continued his strong performances in the IPL, with 47 off 27 for Pune. Despite solid performances with the bat, Pune went down to the Deccan Chargers after reaching 5/173 from their 20 overs, chasing 187 for victory.
NSW SpeedBlitz Blues and Sydney Sixers quick Brett Lee put in another strong performance for Kolkata Knight Riders in their 5 wicket victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings. Chennai set Kolkata 140 for victory after Brett Lee dismissed Faf du Plessis early on for 3. Brett also ran out Michael Hussey for 18. Kolkata, led by opener Guatam Gambhir (63), went on to chase down 140, with 2 balls to spare.
In other NSW SpeedBlitz Blues player movements, left arm quick and Australian Test bowler Mitchell Starc has joined English County side Yorkshire for the Australian domestic off-season. Starc will depart Australia on Friday 4 May 2012 looking to debut for the county in their clash with Gloucestershire starting on May 9.