Monday, May 25, 2009

IPL 2 ...Grand finale.....Men in blue once again.... DCH this time!!!!

A cracker of a match, worthy of IPL final was what the world witnessed at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. Laggards of the last year's edition Deccan Chargers Hyderabad took on Royal Challengers Bangalore, in what turned out to be a nail biting finish, with the Deccans Charging ahead & crossing the line to victory.

It all started with Anil Kumble winning the toss & electing to chase, keeping in mind his team's winning momentum in chasing over the last few matches. Taking the onus of starting the bowling attack he also got the devastating Gilchrist bowled for a nought, through his legs in only the third ball of the match, sending shivers through the DCH dug out. The Deccans were already on the backfoot & after five overs the scoreline read a miserly 23 for 2. Symonds at the crease was still struggling, when almost unbelievably Rahul Dravid, the world record holder of maximum catches, dropped a sitter at slips. That would have probably been match over for the DCH, but Symmo made good of this escape & plundered runs quite at will. However, just when Symonds looked like taking the game away, Kumble came back again & bowled him round his legs. A bizarre dismissal which surely brought a sigh of relief on Rahul's eyes and the RCB were back in business. Gibbs & Rohit Sharma did some repair work for the DCH, but the onslaught at the end did not look enough & adequate, with the scoreline reading a paltry 143 after 20 overs. Gibbs managed an unbeaten but uncharacteristic fifty, which later turned out to be the highest score of the final.
A total that was dodgy but competitive. Match on.

The Royal Challengers started their run chase with caution, keeping in mind the pressures of the final, & lost Kallis after just a couple of boundary hits. Next man in Van der Merwe had intentions of hitting from the word go & he did manage a couple of lusty blows out of the park, forcing Gilly to introduce spin. Ths proved a winning move as Pragyan Ojha removed the in form Manish Pandey, caught behind in his first delivery. Merwe lived & died dangerously & the Bangalore outfit was at 69 for 3 for 10 overs at the time of strategic break. Ross Taylor & Rahul needed to stitch a partnership ahead, but Rahul was having a torrid final. The dropped catch during fielding seemed to have affected his batting as well, & he got out bowled to rookie pacer Harmeet Singh, trying to scoop the ball, a la Misbah style. Pressure does get the better of your game, expecially if its a final, & the Bangalore team was clealy hit by that. Ross Taylor, was going well at this stage & just needed to hold his wicket, instead, he holed out in the deep & Virat got out to a splendid stumping by Gilly next ball & the Chargers were back in business. Boucher & Praveen Kumar gave away their wickets, succumbing to pressure & it was now left to Robin Uthappa to become a hero. He started well with a huge six, and the target was just 15 runs off the last over. But Robin could not match the guile of RP Singh who was cool with his bowling & the Royal Challengers Bangalore fell short by 6 runs.

Mathew Hayden ended up the owner of the orange cap for being the highest run getter, while RP Singh took home the purple cap for being the leading wicket taker. Rohit Sharma was the best under 23 player of the tournament, while his Skipper Adam Gilchrist deservingly took the Player of the Tournament trophy for his outstanding captaincy, brilliant wicketkeeping & scintillating batting, right through. He is also probably one of the most polite & humble Aussie cricketers, who has always let his game speak for his capabilities, rather than sledging. Hats off to a Champion in all forms of the game. A true legend in his rights.
Anil Kumble was the man of the match for the finals with figures of 4 for 16 off 4 overs. He proved what a champion cricketer he has been over the years. The fair play trophy was taken by the Kings XI Punjab.
There were some exceptional talents who emerged in this tournament. Manish Pandey is certainly a future prospect with his amazing & fearless batting. Jakati, Ojha etc have been brilliant in spin, while Tyagi, Kamram Khan, etc have been superb pace bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja, W Saha, A Nayyar, T Suman, Virat Kohli, all proved to be good national prospects.

A deserving win in the end for the Deccan Chargers Hyderabad. The men in blue have etched their name on the IPL trophy for 2009. Last year it was Rajasthan Royals in blue, & this year it has been DCH in a new blue outfit to emerge champions........ Is blue the colour for IPL?????.... Maybe Mumbai Indians or Delhi Dare Devils next time or maybe even KKR if they decide to change to some other shade of blue????...The debate & chatterboxes can continue, till the next edition comes to play.