Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Plunder Games – Final Week Recap

1st Qualifier: KKR vs DD

Kolkata Knight Riders 162 for 4 (Yusuf 40*) beat Delhi Daredevils 144 for 8 (Jayawardene 40, Kallis 2-24, Narine 2-24) by 18 runs
Match in 140 characters: Pathan and Shukla blitz in last four overs to power KKR to a stiff 162; poor shot selection, umpiring blunder and bizarre tactics cost DD
#TrottsFault: In a tournament which has seen captains struggling over when to send their best hitters to the middle, one more ridiculous instance can be added. When Jayawardene got out, the required run rate was well above 10 an over and the situation required a barnstorming knock like the one Yusuf Pathan played earlier in the game; instead Sehwag sent Negi, known more for his bowling ahead of Taylor. Rao and Negi pottered around as the innings stagnated, and when Ross Taylor finally came out to bat, he had to face Narine with 3 overs left and a RRR touching 14. It was eerily similar to the IPL-3 final, where Tendulkar kept Pollard for too late, costing Mumbai Indians the title.
Charlie Sheen Winning moment: If there was one batsman who could make light weight of the target of 163, it was Sehwag. So when Balaji had him nicking behind in the 3rd over, KKR had put one foot in the final already.
Viagra Performer of the day: Yusuf Pathan has been getting a lot of grief over his non-performance in this year’s IPL, but the KKR management stuck to their guns believing that he would come good eventually. He repaid that ironclad faith with the type of innings, he has built his reputation on. At the end of 16 overs, it looked like KKR would be happy with a total of 140; instead, they got an additional 20 runs which proved to be the difference in the end.
Best tweet of the game: Viru claims he never looks at the pitch before a game. Looking at the bowlers he picked today, I am starting to believe him now. #getlostpls (by @fakeiplplayer)
Eliminator: CSK vs MI
Chennai Super Kings 187 for 5 (Dhoni 51, Hussey 49) v Mumbai Indians 149 for 9 (Smith 38, Bravo 2-10, Morkel 2-31)
Match in 140 characters: Despite early hiccups, Badri and Mussey stabilize as Dhoni and Bravo provide explosive finish to innings…MI fall short by 38 runs
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: Ironically, it was the fall of Jadeja at the start of the 15th over which turned out to be the exact situation CSK would have wanted to be in. With Dhoni and Bravo at the crease, and Morkel to come, CSK had the license to go after the bowling. MSD and Bravo did it in style as they exploded to add 73 runs in 29 balls to post a total that was beyond even MI’s powerful line-up.

Viagra Performer of the day: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Dhoni revels in situations like these; the treatment he meted out to the first ball he faced was a sign of things to come. All his trademark shots were there, including the helicopter shot only he can perfect. He faced 20 balls, hit 6 fours and 2 sixes at a strike rate of 255 for a blistering 51 that effectively put the total beyond the reach of the Mumbai Indians.
Best tweet of the day: N.Srinivasan to Mukesh Ambani “Hey man. Put chutney ” (by@Sarcasan)
2nd Qualifier: CSK vs DD
Chennai Super Kings 222 for 5 (Vijay 113) beat Delhi Daredevils 136 (Jayawardene 55, Ashwin 3-23) by 86 runs
Match in 140 characters: Murali Vijay’s blistering ton leads a CSK battering of DD as absence of Morkel and strange tactics by Sehwag consign them to defeat
#TrottsFault: For the second game running, Sehwag ensured that team selection and on-field tactics would be the point of contention. Apart from dropping the leading wicket taker Morkel for the sake of team balance, he gave Sunny Gupta, a little known off spinner playing his first IPL game, the responsibility of bowling the first over. The first ball disappeared to the boundary and it never got better after that. Not satisfied, Sehwag decided to come one down while batting, giving DD less chance of a momentum grabbing start which they desperately needed to chase 223.
Viagra Performer of the day: There is something about a big game which brings out the best in Murali Vijay. After looking woefully out of form for most of the tournament, Murali Vijay struck a blistering ton which began with a boundary off the first ball of the innings, and ended when he was run out off the last ball of the innings. In between, he had scored 113 from 58 deliveries at a strike rate of 194.82 containing 15 boundaries and 4 sixes. Going into the final against KKR, CSK will be hoping that he replicates his performance one more time.
Best tweet of the game: Sehwag wants the whole world to go bald, tearing out their hair in frustration trying to make some sense of his cricketing decisions. (by @_fakeiplplayer)
Final: KKR vs CSK
Kolkata Knight Riders 192 for 5 (Bisla 89, Kallis 69) beat Chennai Super Kings 190 for 3 (Raina 73, Hussey 54, Vijay 42) by five wickets
Match in 140 characters: Raina’s commanding knock leads CSK to an intimidating 190; in response Bisla and Kallis show KKR the path to glory as new champs are crowned
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: In the end, it all boiled down to a Hilfenhaus no-ball in the penultimate over. With 16 needed off 7, Shakib seemingly holed out to Vijay before realizing that the umpires had called no-ball for height. The batsmen had managed to run two, even, in the midst of all the confusion. With 13 needed off 7, Shakib calmly scooped the re-bowled delivery to the fence, narrowing down the equation to a manageable 9 off 6 balls. From there-on, CSK needed a miracle, which never came.
Viagra Performer of the day: While injury to Irfan Pathan could have ultimately caused the Daredevils’ exit in the play-off, injury to Balaji proved to be a blessing in disguise for KKR. While they lost the services of one of their best bowlers, they gained Bisla, whose unexpected blistering knock waylaid all of CSK’s best laid plans. An ebullient 89 from 48 deliveries squashed any hopes of a three-peat for CSK and brought KKR much deserved IPL glory.
Best tweet of the day: Imagine. We were *this* far away from getting to see N. Srinivasan do a cartwheel. (by @rameshsrivats)
Rising star: Mandeep Singh (432 runs at a SR of 126.31)
Player of the season: Sunil Narine (24 wickets at an ER of 5.47)
Orange Cap: Chris Gayle (733 runs at a SR of 160.74)
Purple Cap: Morne Morkel (25 wickets at 7.19)
Fairplay Award: Rajasthan Royals

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