Sunday, 9 October 2011

Clash of two IPL teams in final

Two IPL sides will battle for the Champions League T20 title for the first time when Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians tilt lances at each other on an M.A. Chidambaram Stadium track that has shown minimal allegiance to the shortest format.

Batting heavyweight Challengers will start on the back foot, having spent the entire league phase feasting on a belter at the relatively smaller M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, while Mumbai will look to turn into success its greater acquaintance with the two-paced conditions at Chepauk.

Challengers started the tournament with two losses and needed to win its last couple of league games to make it to the knock-out stage.

The team accomplished this in style — defending a score in excess of 200and following it up with a dramatic chase of 214 that was decided by K.B. Arun Karthik's last-ball six.

Daniel Vettori's men turned in another scorching performance in the semifinal when they gunned down New South Wales' 203, thanks to Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, making it the third successive over-200 score for the team.

Challengers' run glut has been realised chiefly through the top three — Chris Gayle (252 runs at an average of 50, SR: 190), Virat Kohli (221 runs at 55, SR: 158), and T. Dilshan (119 at 30, SR: 128).

But unless the track for the final is the one which was used for the Chennai Super Kings-NSW game (the site of David Warner's riot act), Challengers' rampaging frontline is likely to meet with stiffer resistance for scoring, especially when pitted against the likes of Mumbai's Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh.


RCB's bowling line, plying its wares on a batting-friendly home wicket, has done nothing special yet and the standout performance has been Dilshan's 4-0-10-1 in the semifinal against NSW that produced 407runs in 38.3 overs.

Vettori (five wickets, ER: 6.9) has been his usual tight self, but the team's titular lead bowler, left-arm paceman Dirk Nannes, has picked a solitary wicket in five games, while leaking runs in excess of ten per over.

Mumbai's performances have been anything but batting-centric. The Harbhajan Singh-led team began with two victories in matches in which it had been given up for dead, the first success facilitated by Malinga's unlikely cameo, and the second by Trinidad & Tobago's frustrating tendency to choke. A wash-out against Cape Cobras was followed by a loss to NSW, but T&T's defeat of the South African outfit saw Mumbai become the first team — albeit the most unconvincing — into the semifinals.

How much of an advantage Mumbai's relative familiarity with the conditions remains to be seen.

Although nobody has had a defining outing, none of Mumbai's bowlers has been taken to the cleaners, and in Harbhajan and Malinga it possesses two match-winners on a track that favours scoring so long as the ball is new.


Mumbai's batting has been patchy. Kieron Pollard and Aiden Blizzard have scored the only two half-centuries for the team, and left-hander James Franklin has been cautiously sedate. The reinstated Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder R. Sathish had a bit of a hit in the semifinal against Somerset.

Maybe, as skipper Harbhajan remarked the other day, it's time for Mumbai's young Indian players to stand up and be counted.

Either way, the trophy will remain in India.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Try These to Give your Immunity a Boost

A healthy immune system is an aggressive age fighter that helps keep us feeling good, looking good and bustling with energy. If the immune system functions properly, we can put our health-related worries to rest. But as we age, our immune system, like an ageing cricketer, loses some of its vigour.
This amazingly complex defensive unit gradually deteriorates and its ability to tackle invading organisms fades out.
The immune system comprises millions of cells having many specialised roles. The immune system reaches its optimum level just about the time you touch puberty. While some declines in immunity may be a natural part of the process of ageing, experts says that adopting a few lifestyle changes can keep your immunity on your guard for a longer period of time.
Let's take a look at some ways and means to boost the body's natural defences:
Bust that Stress: Stress has been found to stifle the immune system. Emerging evidence also supports the theory. Scientists have propounded that steroids are produced by the adrenal glands during times of stress and they are eventually released and affect the activities of immune system cells. To get rid of that stress try exploring interesting options like playing with kids or pets, watching a comedy movie, reading an enjoyable book, travelling etc.
Eating the Right Stuff: The kind of diet we subscribe to directly affects the immunity. Specific nutrients play categorical roles in pushing the immunity up and down. It's very important to pump up your iron as it is a vital nutrient to enable the immune system to nab intruders. Mineral nutrients like magnesium, zinc and selenium are of paramount importance for upping the immunity levels. Among the vitamins, Vitamin A, B6, C, D and E are your immunity's best friends.
Stay Fit: To keep your immune system at its best, try sweating out a bit (if not a lot). Walking, jogging, swimming or cycling for 20 minutes a day can help you strengthen the vigilance of the immune system to a good extent.

Kick the Butt: Tobacco smoke is composed of formaldehyde, a chemical that makes us susceptible to respiratory ailments. Giving up smoking is strongly advised if you have a weak immunity.

Sleep Tight: While several parts of the body take rest during sleep, the immune system still remains active. So it has less competition for the nutrients needed to strengthen the disease-fighting mechanism. Six to eight hours of sleep is what we definitely need to better the immune system.