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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rains makes no play on first qualifier - was a no ball enough to prevent MI .. ??

Is IPL heavily loaded for batsmen ........ some may not agree and in that top 10 is Sunil Narine, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Sandeep Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Varun Aaron, Pravin Tambe, Karan Sharma and Akshar Patel....... some of whom may not be identified by many !! ~ but the fearsome Dale Steyn has been floored repeatedly by DeVilliers, Dhoni and Yusuf.........

This IPL has so many twists and turns ............ Rajsthan Royals were sitting pretty at third position in the table with one win needed from three games to qualify for playoffs. But then, disaster in the form of experiments struck, against MI in Motera, for some unfathomable reasons, they made four changes, Ajinkya Rahane, Pravin Tambe, Steven Smith and Ben Cutting were replaced by Unmukt Chand, Ankit Sharma, Brad Hodge and the skipper himself Shane Watson. RR hadn't even qualified for the playoffs,  and why  on earth  was that move...

MI were almost out of the tourney... in the last match – 14.3 Faulkner to Ambati Rayudu trying to steal a single was run out – 30 (10b 5x4 1x6) SR: 300.00 ~ yet he was so distraught. Needing to scale the 190-run target set by RR in just 14.3 overs, MI managed to tie the score in the stipulated time. With the two sides net run-rates deadlocked, MI needed a boundary off the final ball, but what they got instead was a six to top off an improbable passage to the post-season.  Earlier  Yusuf Pathan (72 off 22 balls)  took Kolkata Knight Riders to the top-two by upstaging CSK’s net run-rate. Needing to scale the 161-run target set by Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Knight Riders got home in just 14.2 overs with five wickets in hand. Yusuf recorded the fastest fifty in IPL history in front of a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens.   

Getting back,  MI had not only did they have to win the match, but also needed to plan their chase  which everyone stated to be 14.3 overs.  So when scores were tied at 189 after 14.3 overs, RR players were elated thinking they have qualified. Not to be ....  for  the net run-rate depends upon the final score and not the winning target. So for a total of 190, the cut-off figure of 14.3 was valid. But Mumbai Indians had a chance to score more than 190 (winning hit being a four or six after scores being levelled). In such a situation, Mumbai Indians had a cushion of playing a few extra balls and still remaining ahead of Rajasthan Royals on net run-rate. In fact Aditya Tare could have played two dot balls and then hit a four and Mumbai Indians would have still beaten Rajasthan Royals on net run-rate (television gave wrong information that Mumbai Indians needed to hit a four or a six at 14.4 overs to qualify). Were Rajasthan Royals aware of this possibility is anyone’s guess.  Some stated that all that RR had to do was to bowl a wide or no ball........... again incorrect – that would given MI the win – but the ball would not have counted being an illegitimate ball !!!

Que Sera Sera – it is CSK Vs MI – while 1st match was to be KKR Vs KXIP today........... but it rained ... there is one reserve day.... According to playing conditions of the present IPL - a reserve day is available for three of the four playoff matches, as follows:
a. Qualifier 1 – reserve day: Wednesday 28 May at Eden Gardens, Kolkata starting at 4pm.
b. Eliminator – reserve day: Thursday 29 May at CCI, Mumbai starting at 8pm
c. Qualifier 2 – no reserve day
d. Final – reserve day: Monday 2 June at M. Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru starting at 8pm
An additional 120 minutes of extra time is available on each reserve day.

Punjab had looked unstoppable especially when at UAE – but KKR have found their feet in home turf.  Since the IPL moved back to India, Glenn Maxwell's form has tailed off.  An interesting trivia from Steve is Muttiah Muralitharan at 42 is not the oldest player in IPL 7 – it still is Pravin Tambe, the legspinner  who turns 43 this year.  Tambe had never played a first-class match when called up by Rajasthan in 2013, although he did play a couple for Mumbai after that. Earlier this month Tambe took a hat-trick against Kolkata Knight Riders - an unusual one in that the first victim, Manish Pandey, was stumped off a wide - so the hat-trick actually came from two legal deliveries.

Following the heavy rain in Kolkata over the last two days, the umpires made an early inspection of the ground at the Eden Gardens at 5:15pm and determined, after consultation with the curator, that there was no possibility of the ground being fit for play today. As a result therefore, the 2014 Pepsi IPL Qualifier 1 playoff match between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders has been postponed to tomorrow, Wednesday 28 May and is scheduled to start at 4:00 pm.  It is stated that ticketholders who purchased tickets for the original match day will be able to enter the stadium on Wednesday on presentation of their original ticket (with the bar code intact) at the turnstiles. Refunds will only be made to ticket purchasers if the match is cancelled without a ball being bowled – on either of the original day or the reserve day as per the terms and conditions which are stipulated on the tickets.

If it is not possible to complete the Qualifier 1 match tomorrow, Kings XI Punjab, having finished top of the league, will advance through to the Pepsi IPL Final in Bengaluru on Sunday 1 June 2014. Kolkata Knight Riders will play in the Qualifier 2 match on Friday 30 May 2014.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th May 2014.

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