Monday, April 20, 2009

Deccan Chargers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Brendon McCullum, newly appointed skipper of KKR won the toss against Adam Gilchrist, skipper for the Deccan Chargers Hyd, & decided to bat…..debatable choice in such overcast conditions, where ball was certain to trouble the bat. Interestingly again, The Deccan Chargers Hyd have also changed their dress to a faded blue this time. Remember, in the opening match of 1st edition of IPL, Brendon had set the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on fire with a scintillating century.

Today too Brendon himself came out with Chris Gayle to open for KKR, a pair who could tear any attack to pieces on their day. But DCH started very well with the West Indian Fidel Edwards steaming into the pitch with five dot deliveries to Gayle in the first over. RP Singh on the other end got Brendon out first ball, bringing in the Prince of Kolkata Saurav Ganguly to the centre stage. With the pitch assisting the bowlers, both Gayle & Ganguly looked circumspect. Gayle attacked with a boundary & a huge six but perished, to RP holing out in the deep. Both openers had failed. Ganguly, looking too tight from the beginning was completely out of sorts, & he too perished soon poking to a wide delivery from rookie Harmeet Singh, & KKR were in dumps with score reading a dismal 21 for 3 after the first 6 overs. Brad Hodge & Akash Chopra, next in, but they kept struggling to put bat to the ball, & Akash, never a T20 player, got stumped. Next in Laxmi Ratan Shukla also got out trying to step up the tempo. Pragyan Ojha was making life difficult with some very intelligent spin bowling. Brad Hodge got out to a laborious 31 of 34 deliveries, & Henriques left immediately after, both gone to superb catches by Gibbs & Rohit Sharma. Ajit Agarkar, Ishant Sharma & Ashok Dinda left one after the other, with Murali Kartick left alone stranded at the other end. DCH had fielded brilliantly & KKR finally all out for a paltry 101.

DCH as expected started in whirlwind fashion with Gilly &Gibbs, before Gilly holed out with the total at 24. In came VVS Laxman, looking in good nick & started with a pull for six, &then a sweetly timed cover boundary, but got run out soon after. Rohit Sharma next to the crease, survived a close call off the first ball from Ganguly, as Karthik failed to hold on to a difficult chance. He however, cut loose on Agarkar, who gave away 17 runs, to make things just so easy for the DCH. Karthik was disappointing with the ball, & nowhere near how Pragyan bowled for the DCH. KKR unit looked ragged on field, raking up the feeling that all was not well in the dressing room…..and truly so, Shahrukh Khan probably had lost the plot by relying on coach Buchanan & his theories, thereby leaving the team spirit in disarray. An Aussie had once again managed to create rift in an Indian camp.
Hershelle Gibbs finally ended agony for KKR by smashing the winning run with a boundary. Huge win by 8 wickets for DCH & a wonderful start to this edition of IPL.

For KKR, the think tank would really have to get back to the drawing board & put the house in order before it is too late. A team which has explosive batters & adequate bowlers, but needs a matured Captain to lead from the front. Hope this loss is just an early blip & we see them put up a better performance as the tournament progresses.

Man of the Match was RP Singh for DCH for his 4 for 22.