We are half way through the first leg of the 7th edition of the Indian Premier League held for the first time in the UAE. The IPL has lived up to people’s expectations with a mixture of one sided matches and nail- biting finishes. It is also important to mention that the IPL has been welcomed with open arms by the people of the UAE as we have seen full houses for almost all the matches and stadiums with excellent infrastructure and very good facilities for the players. This is a very good start and like many others, even I am hoping that the relations of Indian cricket and the UAE. As you all know, my fellow writer, Prashanti has already started with the analysis of the matches in this year’s IPL. Thus, I would be starting with the analysis of match 5 …..
Match 5- Mumbai Indians .Vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Both the teams had contrasting starts to their IPL7 campaign before facing each other in the encounter. The RCB had proven that they could win even without Chris Gayle, which did their confidence a lot of good while the MI batting had faltered against KKR. In this game too, it was MI batting that let them down as they were restricted to a mere 115/9 by some disciplined bowling by the RCB. One thought it was game on when RCB were at 17/3, but some sensible batting by AB De Villers and Parthiv Patel took them home.
Match 6- Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Delhi Daredevils
After a shaky start, KKR were in a strong position as they posted 166/5. They strengthened their hold on the match as they reduced the Daredevils to 60/3, but, Captain Dinesh Karthik and JP Duminy kept their cool as DD clinched the match with three balls to spare.
Match 7- Rajasthan Royals Vs Kings XI Punjab
It was the Maxwell and Miller show again as the Kings XI chased down Rajasthan’s 191/5. Young Sanju Samson impressed everyone again with a very aggressive 50 and along with Captain Shane Watson helped RR to reach 191/5. With the KXIP losing two early wickets, it was Maxwell’s 89 combining with Miller’s unbelievable 51 off just 19 that helped KXIP to register their 2nd consecutive win. Pujara batted through the innings.
Match 8- Chennai Super Kings Vs Delhi Daredevils
Looking to get their first win of the tournament, CSK put on a very strong 177/6 batting first on a difficult track on the back of a good half century from Suresh Raina. The Delhi Daredevil’s batting collapsed to just 84 as CSK got their reward for some consistent bowling and some excellent fielding.
Match 9- Kings XI Punjab Vs Sunrises Hyderabad
With a victory in this match, the KXIP had silenced their critics as they showed that they could make a big score even when batting first as they made 193/6 on the back of yet another astonishing innings from Glen Maxwell as he made 95 from 43 and even their bowlers stepped up by bowling the opposition out. SRH paid the price of dropping Maxwell and also for some indifferent captaincy.
Match 10- Rajasthan Royals Vs Chennai Super Kings
This was yet another close finish as CSK held their nerve to win by 7 runs. Batting first on a tough wicket, CSK put up a fighting total of 140/6 before bowling the opposition out at 133. Ravindra Jadeja impressed everyone with a very good overall performance taking 4 wickets and also scoring vital 36 runs for his side. Dwayne Smith looked fluent as ever with 50 off just 28 balls.
Match 11- Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Usually, it is the bowling or batting that wins a team a match. But in this case, it was the fielding that won KKR the match. The match was in RCB’s grip until the last over as they required only 9 runs for victory with big hitters AB De Villers and Albie Morkle at the crease. 6 runs were required off the last 3 balls when De Villers lofted one intending the ball to go out of the park. But, it was the catch of the tournament from Chris Lynn to get rid of AB De Villers and eventually, KKR won the match by 2 runs.
Match 12- Sunrises Hyderabad Vs Delhi Daredevils
It was the comeback match of the dangerous Kevin Pieterson as the DD hoped for their 2nd win. But, it was not to be. Batting first, the SRH put up a formidable 184/1. Finally, the explosive top three of Shikar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner performed to their potential with Finch scoring an excellent 88. Quinton De Kock and Murli Vijay put up a very fast 99 run stand for the first wicket. But, SRH made a comeback in the middle overs. Duminy tried his level best to reach the target with 20 runs from just 7 balls, but in the end, DD fell 5 runs short.
Match 13- Chennai Super Kings Vs Mumbai Indians
We have seen in the past years that these two teams have had some kind of rivalry going. This match was also of significance because it marked 100 IPL games for both Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. Batting first, the once famed MI batting line up failed again barring Captain Rohit Sharma who hit 50, as MI could only manage 141 runs. Chennai’s Mohit Sharma took 4 wickets before Brendon MuCullum ensured a comfortable victory for the CSK with his 71 not out.
This is a really long tournament and thus I am expecting to see many more thrilling matches….