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Monday, May 19, 2014

David Hussey is no Joginder Sharma ... who will bowl the last over ?

You have seen the Advt on ‘need for being different’ …. The T20 WC glory is not new to Dhoni –  he won the inaugural one at SA in 2007…………. the finals was against the other traditional rival – Pak ……..the  first twist of the match came even before a ball was bowled.  Virender Sehwag's name was missing – down with a groin strain in the earlier match; his replacement was the debutant Yusuf Pathan, and he opened !   Drawing close,  Misbah kept us on tenterhooks – who will bowl the last over was the Q – experts perhaps wanted the performing spinner Harbhajan, there were options – but Dhoni chose rookie Joginder Sharma, surprising many  - a huge six in the last over, which started with Pakistan needing 13, seemed to swing the match decisively in their favour. Then, with only one wicket in hand and fine leg in the circle, Misbah went for that scoop which, not for the first time, ended in tears for the batsman. The ball unerringly found Sreesanth.

Now suddenly 2 days break for IPL – in view of the election results, where Narendra Modi swept and Jayalalithaa exceeded imaginations in Tamilnadu, making DMK and many others draw a blank. The daze from following India's national election results on multiple news channels with their psychedelic graphics and over-the-top news anchors is yet to lift.

Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, along with Royal Challengers Bangalore  are fighting a close battle for the fourth playoff spot. This IPL is different as it had 2 halves – the first leg at UAE encouraged bowlers especially many spinners too… now the balance is heavily tilted towards big hitters.  AB de Villiers was not so great in UAE but now is on a song especially that flourish against countryman Steyn.  In the UAE, the average run rate in 20 matches was 7.55; there were two totals of more than 200, but both of them came in the same game - the third of the tournament, between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. However, in 40 innings, there were only 12 totals of 160 or more – now the story is different.  Yuvraj Singh has finally found form, but still RCB is struggling perhaps because Kohli is not making. Chennai Super Kings have been the most consistent side over the two legs so far, with an identical 4-1 record.

In the match Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers – 2 are at different mindsets … CSK is all through – RCB is struggling to make it.   CSK generally plays without much changes – now came in David Hussey from the commentary box.  CSK scratched around setting a target of 139 though they lost only 4 wickets.  Raina made a good 62…. Muralitharan and Starc  opened the attack for RCB.  The conditions were favourable to spinners – Gayle struggled as Ashwin bowled so well conceding nothing in his first 3. 

In the last over 10 were required, with Yuvaraj on strike .. who will bowl the last over ? …. Badree had 1 (3-0-15-0); Mohit Sharma who has bowled well throughout the tournament had 2; Ishwar Pandey had all the 4  ….. Dhoni took the unusual choice of David Hussey who had gone for runs earlier in his 2 overs … and eventually lsot the match !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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