Match 51: Deccan Chargers pulled off a thriller against Kings XI winning their 4th consecutive game by virtue of which they are still in contention for that all important semi final berth. Put in to bat at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharmashala, Kings XI posted 174 on a wicket which had more grass than all the pitches combined in India. Chargers two star overseas batsmen Gilchrist and Symonds didn’t do much, but once again the local talent did it for them. Suman and Rohit’s timely partnership of 66 in 39 balls got them past the line. If you had to name a batsman who can be graceful yet lethal it has to Rohit Sharma who made a brilliant 68 from 38 and ensured that Chargers didn’t choke this time (referring to the game against Rajasthan)
Match 50: Delhi Daredevils were playing at MA Chidambaran stadium in Chennai but the pitch was similar to the one in Delhi and in that sense they were playing at home away from home except for the soaring temperatures in Chennai which reached 45 tonight and with humidity it must have felt like 50. After dismissing the Super Kings for their lowest score in this season, Delhi began the chase on a disastrous note before Gambhir’s determined knock saved the team from blushes. By virtue of this win Delhi move to the 3rd position and Chennai remain at No 4. Having won 4 games on the trot at home Chennai crowd were disappointed to say the least.
Match 48: Ganguly lashing out at his team after losing to RCB a few days ago certainly didn’t do any good as Kolkata were thrashed by the Super Kings. The man who changed the face of Indian cricket a decade ago has been found wanting when it comes to ideas and with this loss his job is only going to get tougher. If the same show continues in the remaining 2 matches then you can be rest assured the KKR won’t be going into the semis for the 3rd time in IPL. It does not do any justice to the budding talent that they possess.
Match 47: The explosive West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard finally lived up to the costliest tag with a swashbuckling 45 of 13 balls which destroyed all the good work that the Delhi bowlers had put before he came on to bat. Pollard, criticized for under performing so far, silenced his detractors who questioned his valuation with this amazing innings. The Daredevils started the chase in a blitzkrieg manner but with the big guns gone, Mumbai Indians took control of the match and finally ended up winning it by 39 runs. With this win Mumbai Indians have booked their berth in the semi finals and on the other side Delhi have to win the rest of their 2 matches to enter the semis.
Match 46: Pressure brings out the best from the Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers were at the receiving end tonight. Dale Steyn rocked the chargers early but the Chargers managed to put up a decent total(151) which should have been a cake walk for the power-packed batting line-upand it was going the Challengers way but a superb penultimate over, bowled by Harmeet Singh (two for 24), helped Deccan pouch the game. This game just goes to show that you don’t have to always outclass a team in order to win a T20 match but sometimes it is those crucial little moments that really matter in the end.
Match 45 : It was a clash between two teams led by the 2 legends Sachin and Warne and in the end it was Sachin who came out trumps as his magical innings ended the Royals unbeaten record at their home ground. It has been a dream IPL for Sachin and Mumbai Indians this year. If at all there was a team which could break the fortress that the Royals had built around the Sawai Man Singh Stadium it had to be Mumbai Indians and they did it in style by beating them by 39 runs.
Rajasthan Royals Innings
Match 44 : Win the toss and bat first has been the success mantra on the Delhi pitch leaving out the game when Hayden exploded with his mongoose but it was not long ago that the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla was criticized and subsequently banned for a year. The devil in the pitch all of a sudden became alive and Delhi crumbled to hand Kings their 3rd win in a row. Who said T20 was only a batsmen’s game??
Kings XI Innings
Match 43: This year’s campaign for KKR has been a topsy-turvy one and with tonight’s loss they are in the same league as DC and CSK. They have to win their last 3 games in order to make it to the semis. KKR were in control for the first 10 overs of their batting but as Ganguly said in his post match conference they played RUBBISH cricket in the last 30 overs giving the boisterous crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium a chance to wave their red flags and celebrate in style.
Bangalore Royal Challengers Innings
Deccan Chargers might have lost 5 games on a trot leaving them to win the rest of their 5 games to make it to the semi finals. Every game is a virtual quarterfinal for them and the Chargers surely know how to do it when under pressure. After having stunned the Royal Challengers at their home ground it was time to get a win at their adopted home ground Nagpur. This time it was Chennai who didn’t look like a team which had made it to the semi finals of the previous 2 editions. They are now in the same position as the Chargers are – to win the rest of their 3 games.
The 2 teams which were going to clash tonight came into the match with very different intentions – Kings XI had no hope of making it to the semi finals and Mumbai Indians were just a win away from securing a berth in the semi final. However all that didn’t matter as Mumbai Indians didn’t have an answer to an inspired Kings XI unit who didn’t put a foot wrong in the entire match to snatch an easy victory and as a result have opened up the IPL standings. It is a pity that we had to wait so long to see Kings XI produce their best all-round performance of the tournament but on the brighter side they can spoil the party for some of the teams trying to guarantee a spot in the semi finals.