Monday, October 22, 2012

Champions League T20 - DD and KKR wins....


Cricket fans have been watching CL T20 happening at South Africa in more or less convenient timing to Indian viewers. There were 4 Indian teams, IPL teams to be precise in the fray – Koklatta Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Dare Devils and Mumbai Indians – and their performance is not exactly cheerful for their supporters.  Harsha Bhogle, asked what would you need to bring IPL team to form and answered ‘make them play against another IPL team’ !

If you are to ask what CL T20 is – it is the tournament presently underway at South Africa – ‘Champions League Twenty20’ an annual international Twenty20 cricket competition played between the top domestic teams from major cricketing nations. The competition was launched in 2008 with the first edition held in October 2009. The tournament is held between September and October for a period of two to three weeks in either India or South Africa. It has a total prize pool of US$6 million, with the winning team receiving $2.5 million, the highest for a club cricket tournament in history.  Being a high stakes tournament, it tries to have quality in all aspects employing best of technology and best of Umpires …….

Of the many is Asad Rauf, from Pakistan - a member of the Emirates ICC Elite Umpire Panel.

Though not following the tournament fully, saw the match where Delhi Daredevils beat Perth Scorchers…….. at some point of time, the DD coach Eric Simmons was animatedly trying to score a point with the 4th Umpire – remember Eric  from South Africa was India’s bowling coach for some time. Eric provides bench support and shares a great rapport with skipper Virender Sehwag and Team Mentor TA Sekar.

DD were chasing and much happened when it seemed to an easy ride for them at the last quarter stage.  They had lost only 4 wickets and had to score around 46.  It was 14.6 and Coulter-Nile to Sehwag who was close to his 50.  Remember in Australia, in the Tri-series in our last tour, there were more than couple of occasions, when Sehwag’s upper cut landed at 3rd man – in to the hands of Kula [Kulasekhara] to be precise.

Sehwag continues to live and die by the sword – the shot that fetches him runs also causes his downfall and many teams plot it that way too… so when the going seemed easy for DD with Sehwag on the hunt – little known Coulter-Nile to Sehwag – the ‘upar cut’ – ball sailing straight into the hands of 3rd man for sure – but the man there  Rimmington  manages to misjudge an ddrop the simple catch and pushes it over the line for a six !

The equation is simple now – 30 off 28 balls with 6 wickets – there can be only one winner – but the game has its own intricacies and turns which makes it ever interesting !!!  The dropper Nathan Rimmington comes on to bowl and off his first delivery - 15.1 had Irfan Pathan softly lobbing  a dolly to midwicket.  Naman Ojha in – off the 5th delivery, a very ordinary one, Sehwag slashes outside off – ball carves into the hands of sweeper cover……. Now a rot suddenly a tougher target and only 4 wickets hand. Naman Ojha suffered for a brief while.

17.2 – Ojha fishes outside off, has a nick, event the sound heard – a faint nick though – all go on appeal.  Sunil Gavaskar says, watch the batsman – you can see Ojha turning back to see the catch being completed – that is another indication that he has edged.  Umpire Asad Rauf rules him not out.  Next delivery Ojha tries another poor shot without moving his foot.  Of the next one, he follows, caught behind and given out.  

A thick edge but the batsman stayed put.  For there was the check for legality of the delivery.  Eric Simmons on the dug out is jumping showing his team mates how it was a no-ball – not the front foot rule – but that of the back foot – the back foot touched the side line – that is a no-ball and a freehit should have been awarded. But Asad Rauf ruled him out – making amends for the earlier lapse – two wrongs do not make one right !! 

In the end, there were unlikely heroes in Ajit Agarkar and Pawan Negi seeing them through.  In the next match KKR’s with their solitary win threw Titans out of contention.  It was an altogether KKR today setting a target of 189. Van Jaarsveld  took a risk and put  Knight Riders in, which backfired. Manvinder Bisla and then McCullum went on leather hunt. Gambhir scored runs and the only lull was when  Jacques Kallis, Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan fell trying to hit sixes, within four runs of each other, to make it 133 for 5 in the 16th over.  Then strode in Debabrata Das who wielded willow like a rapier hitting sixers at will. Das and Manoj Tiwary added 55 off the last 27 balls to take Knight Riders to the highest total of the tournament.

Today, the points position stands as under :
Group A
Teams
Mat
Won
Lost
N/R
Pts
Net RR
Delhi Daredevils
3
2
0
1
10
1.44
Titans
3
2
1
0
8
-0.017
Kolkata Knight Riders
4
1
2
1
6
0.488
Auckland
3
1
1
1
6
-1.035
Perth Scorchers
3
0
2
1
2
-1.116
Group B
Teams
Mat
Won
Lost
N/R
Pts
Net RR
Sydney Sixers
3
3
0
0
12
2.131
Lions
4
3
1
0
12
0.14
Chennai Super Kings
3
1
2
0
4
-0.222
Mumbai Indians
3
0
2
1
2
-0.424
Yorkshire
3
0
2
1
2
-2.562

Going the playing conditions, in the event of teams finishing on equal points at the conclusion of the group stage, the right to play in the semi finals will be determined in the following order of priority:
•        The team with the most number of wins;
•        If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate;
•        If still equal, by drawing lots.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
22nd Oct 2012.

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