Well, well, well. What a day it turned out to be. As was the previous day, there were two matches. One was between Delhi Daredevils and Kings Eleven Punjab, and the other being between Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders. Not so good day for play, as the first match was swept by rain. It reduced to 14 overs per innings at first and then to 12 overs a side. So play was on and off due to interfering rain.
Talking about the match between DD and KXIP. Both teams were having some big names. So it was predicted to be the enthralling match. But Rain God had something different in his mind. It swept all things. KXIP (King’s Eleven Punjab) started the proceedings with great charm. Both the openers had their piece of work done very diligently. But then whoever came couldn’t compromise a lot. Sangakkara and Yuvraj seemed to be bringing the pace which they saw in the beginning. But then Sangakkara failed to keep the ball down and Mahela made a mess of Yuvraj. Otherwise we could have seen some 3-4 sixes from the in-form Yuvraj. But alas, in the very next over Mahela scooped the ball to long on and gave up. At one time, looking at KXIP’s innings everybody was expecting a total of around 130-135. But DD (Delhi Daredevils) managed to contain the KXIP to 105. That total also looked good on that particular pitch which was supporting bowling. But rain again started his play and the target came down to 54. And it was piece of cake for Virendra and Gautam. They managed to get there without loosing any wicket. DD won the match, but I don’t find any credibility to be given to DD, as they really did nothing. Hard luck for KXIP and hard luck for Preity Zinta.
The second match started after some time but came up with full overs in line. This match was between KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) and DC (Deccan Chargers). KKR didn’t seem to be in the play. Openers were not able to score. In the very second over, McCullum lost to RP Singh. RP again managed to take Chris Gayle away from the pitch with a beauty ball. DC never lost the sight on their target, kept the tight grip on the game all the time. Gibbs and Rohit Sharma showed some great commitment on the field with gripping on some great catches and stopping some certain fours. Fidel Edwards, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha bowled fantastic spells to contain KKR for only 101 all down. No batsmen from KKR looked in form and nothing looking in place. McCullum actually started in on a wrong note. Going by popular theory of “Chasing under lights is not easy, so go for batting first”. But he forgot the fact that the match actually started under the lights. So it was never gonna be the turning point. Gilchrist made some simple stumpings and Manpreet Singh, the debutant in IPL took the wicket of Saurav Ganguly. 101 was a meagre target for the likes of Gibbs and Gilchrist. They both started of well, but Gilchrist fell to enthusiasm of hitting an offside ball to on side, and gave a not so easy catch to mid-wicket. But then Rohit and Gibbs guided DC to an easy and emphatic win over KKR. This was quite easy for DC. Hope next time DC gets something really to chase for.
The day in all was good, with the yesteryear minnow DC showing some strength and eagerness and content for the play. KXIP loosing to the rain rather than Delhi Daredevils. The day showed some of the longest hit sixes in IPL history.
Prasad B. Kulkarni