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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do you follow Cricket this way : Demystifying IPL – the format and the matches thus far……

The 2011 version of Indian Premier League – IPL 4 is underway and has generated much interest. As on date only little over 30% of the matches are over – there are some facts which would have escaped your attention.    In this lengthy format stretching from April 8th to May 28th  - there are to be 74 matches.  Your arithmetic would defy you – if you are to calculate matches based on the fact that there are 10 teams and that the preliminary round is on league basis. 

If 10 teams are to play each other once, it would be 45 matches and when twice, it would be 90 matches – but how 74 now.

It actually is 70 matches preliminary + 4 in the next round.  As you would know, there are 10 teams which are into two groups of five.  Each team plays the others in the group twice and the team that is in their row also twice – with the rest of the teams in the other group, they would play once.  Here is the grouping :-
Group A
Group B

Deccan Chargers
Kolkata Knight Riders
Delhi Daredevils
Kochi  Tuskers Kerala
Kings XI Punjab
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mumbai Indians
Rajastan Royals
Pune Warriors
Chennai Super Kings

Thus, KKR would play  Kochi, RCB, RR, CSK and DC twice and play DD, KXIP, MI and Pune Warriors once.  14 matches for each team and there would a total of 70 matches in the preliminary.

Then the Next round is no “Round 6 or Round 8” or not even “the Semi finals”.  We are used to ‘knock-out stage’.  Infact Wimbledon is a classic example.  Typically it is 128 players – the 1st round is QF and it starts with 128 (64-32-16-8-4-2-1). 

Almost all tournaments including cricket World Cup have knock-out rounds.  Perhaps with the need to pick up the top 3 teams which will qualify for Champion League, this version has a skewed format. 

From the initial 70 matches, the top 4 teams would qualify to the next stage.  Here comes the difference :

1)    Qualifier 1 Vs 2 :  the Winner goes to the Finals; the loser is not knocked out but gets another chance
2)    Eliminator  :  the Q 3 and Q 4 play each other – the loser is out of the tourney and the winner gets the next match
3)    Q 2 :  the loser of Qualifier and the winner of Eliminator play to get a chance to challenge the winner of Q 1

The winner of Q1 & Q 2 play a single-match final.

To decide the top 4 – the team with the  highest number of points shall be at the top of the table and the Team with the lowest shall be at the bottom.

-  where  Teams have an equal number of points their relative positions shall be determined by the following:
ü       The  Team with the most wins in Matches in the League during the Season will be placed in the higher position;
ü        If there  are Teams with equal points and equal wins during the Season, then in such case the Team with the higher net run rate  will be placed in the higher position;
ü        If after the above, teams are equal, then the Team with the higher number of wickets taken per balls bowled in the Matches played that Season in which results were achieved will be placed in the higher position;
ü        If still equal  at the end of the regular Season then the Team position will be determined by drawing lots.

At this stage : KKR, RR, Kochi, DC & RCB have played 5 matches, whilst the rest are one short.  The Orange cap for the Most runs scored is in the hands of Sachin Tendulkar (236) followed by Paul Valthaty (201).  Among the top 15 there are 10 Indians – Sachin,  Valthaty,  Ambati Rayudu,  Gambhir, Virat, Ravindra Jadeja, Venugopala rao, Murali Vijay, Bharat Chipli and Manoj Tiwari.  Quite surprisingly in a league dominated by some Internationally reputed big  hitters – the leader is R Jadeja with 11.  Valthaty, Tiwari  & Venugopala have 7 sixers.

The purple cap for most wickets taken is worn by Lasith Malinga with 11.  Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan both of KKR follow him with 7.    Amit Mishra, Iqbal Abdulla, Siddarth Trivedi, Valthaty and Shrikant Wagh (who ?) also figure in the top 10 leading wicket takers. 

After 22 matches of the 70, KKR lead the pack with 3 wins in 5 with NRR of +0.629 followed by MI, Kochi and RR.   IPL is 4 year old and Yusuf is the second player to have 25 wickets + 1000 runs – the first being Jacuqes Kallis.   The first timer Kochi have 3 consecutive wins from their 5.  Manoj Tiwary has the dubious distinction of the most no. of dot balls in a match – 24. 

So that is IPL for you friends, hope you enjoyed it.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar. 

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