IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings pacer Mark Wood cuts short his stint to return to Durham

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Wood will return to Durham ahead of the Pakistan Test series.

Pacer Mark Wood has cut short his IPL stint with Chennai Super Kings to return to England and prepare for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan.

Wood will join up with Durham as he seeks to play himself into contention for England’s squad which will take on Pakistan in the two-Test series.

The fast bowler took to Instagram late on Tuesday to confirm the news of his departure from India.

“The decision has been made for me to return home to England to prepare for the English summer,” Wood wrote in his post.

“Having worked so hard to get back into the Test team, and because I’m not currently in the CSK side, I am coming home to play for Durham to hopefully put my name in the hat for Test match selection.

“To the CSK management, players, and supporters, thanks so much for the support and welcoming me into this family club. It was a very proud moment for me to be presented my cap by MS Dhoni.

“Although things didn’t quite go to plan this year, I hope to be able to wear it again. I’ll be watching you from home and cheering you on.”

The 28-year-old was bought by the franchise for his base price in the IPL auction. However, things didn’t go according to plan for Wood in what was his maiden IPL experience.

The England quick was given his debut in the tournament opener between the Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. He had an expensive spell where he conceded 49 runs without picking up any wickets.

That would be the last IPL action for Wood, who has not been picked again in the playing XI since then. The arrival of his England compatriot David Willey and then Lungi Ngidi meant that chances were going to be few and far in between. Hence, a decision to return to county cricket might be a move beneficial to all parties.

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IPL 2018: Ish Sodhi leads the way after Jos Buttler's heroics to help Rajasthan Royals stun Kings XI Punjab

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Ish Sodhi didn't concede a single boundary on Tuesday. Image: BCCI.

Rajasthan Royals kept their IPL playoffs hopes alive as they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Rajasthan posted 158/8, which looked a gettable total. Opener Jos Buttler was the batting mainstay as he hit 82 from 58 balls, scoring more than half the team’s runs.

In reply, Kings XI never got going with only KL Rahul (95 not out) putting up a fight. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (1-14 from four overs) and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (2-12 from three) gave nothing away as Ajinkya Rahane’s team restricted the visitors to 143/7.

BUTTLER SERVES UP A TREAT

Rajasthan opener Jos Buttler can be devastating when he gets going. On Tuesday, it was the turn of Kings XI Punjab bowlers to face the music as the Englishman dispatched nine boundaries and one six during his 58-ball 82. The next highest score was 22, which meant Buttler scored more than half the team’s 158.

It was another poor day in the office with the bat for Ben Stokes, putting even more pressure on Buttler to deliver. That has been the case this season and Buttler has been up to the task, scoring 320 runs in 10 matches.

Buttler's 82 accounted for more than half the team's runs. Image: BCCI.

Buttler’s 82 accounted for more than half the team’s runs. Image: BCCI.

ANDREW AND MUJEEB ‘TYE’ ROYALS DOWN

Wickets are the best way to keep the opposition quiet and seamer Andrew Tye and Afghan spinner Mujeeb Rahman did just that. Mujeeb accounted for the dangerous Sanju Samson (22) and then had Buttler stumped in the 17th over.

Tye (4-34) took all four wickets through his knuckle ball/slower ball variation. Three wickets in the final over meant Rajasthan finished at least 10 runs short.

ASHWIN EXPERIMENT FAILS

After off-spinner Gowtham got opener Chris Gayle stumped down the leg side, Kings XI captain Ravi Ashwin promoted himself up to No3. The off-spinner has four Test hundreds but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is suited for T20 top-order batting.

Ashwin went for an expansive drive in the second ball to be comprehensively bowled by Gowtham. Not everyone can be Sunil Narine.

RAHUL FIGHTS A LONE BATTLE

Opener KL Rahul is pretty much carrying Kings XI’s batting on his shoulders. Gayle has been in good nick this IPL but on Tuesday, departed after charging at spinner Gowtham and losing his balance to be stumped.

Rahul then shifted down a gear as he concentrated on holding the innings together. Not a single Punjab top-order batsman managed to reach double figures as Kings XI’s innings too turned out to be a one-man show like Rajasthan’s.

Rahul opened his shoulders towards the end, but with 46 needed from the last 10 balls, the contest was pretty much over.

SODHI AND GOWTHAM SPIN THEIR MAGIC

Not only was Kiwi leg-spinner Sodhi a late addition to the IPL, Tuesday was only his second match of the tournament. On a Jaipur wicket that offered help even to finger spinners, Sodhi was unplayable.

The leg-spinner got sharp turn and proved impossible to negotiate. His bowling figures of 1-14 look even more impressive when you consider the fact that he did not conceded a single boundary, even with Rahul batting with control. The wicket of Akshdeep Nath was just reward for a tremendous bowling effort from Sodhi.

Gowtham was equally impressive, even beating the inside edge of Rahul on the drive. The two spinners combined for figures of 3-26 from seven overs to put the match beyond Kings XI.

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RR v KXIP Live: Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs

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Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan Royals kept their IPL hopes alive after the beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in Jaipur on Tuesday.

In their previous clash, Kings XI sailed past Royals by six wickets with KL Rahul hitting an unbeaten 84 chasing 153.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan Royals batted first and posted 158-8 with Jos Buttler top-scoring with 82.

That total proved beyond Kings XI as they managed 143-7. Opener KL Rahul fought valiantly, scoring 95 not out but it wasn’t enough.

For Rajasthan, Kiwi leg spinner Ish Sodhi finished with spectacular figures of 1-14 from his four overs.

Catch all the live action from Tuesday’s match here.

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