Sweet and sour…

The day, 14th September 2009 was a sweet and sour day for me. Sweet for India winning the Compaq Cup against Sri Lanka. And sour for Roger Federer losing to Del Potro in US Open 2009.


India earlier in the day (in Sri Lanka) scored a throbbing 319 runs and stamped their name on Compaq Cup 2009. But then Sri Lanka showed some extravagant cricket and tried to come back in the game but failed to do so in the end. Sachin Tendulkar once again showed his class by scoring 138 of 133 balls and once again proved why he is called Master Blaster. Almost 20 years in cricket and the same, exactly the same enthusiasm he showed on his first international cricket match. Harbhajan Singh broke the important partnerships in the game and earned himself a stylish man of the game award. Sachin got himself getting the Man of Series for 14th time and man of the match for 59th time, mind you all this is also a World Record. Seeing India win again was very delightful.


But on the other hand, after some time there was men’s final of US Open 2009. It was very bad to see Roger Federer loosing after being so much close to winning it yet again. It was “So close yet so far” game for Federer. Federer could have won the match in fourth set itself but Del Potro showed some real class and outperformed the World No. 1. But I am happy for Federer for one thing that he did not fall easily as Rafael Nadal. Nadal was beaten in straight sets 2-6, 2-6, 2-6 to Juan Martin Del Potro in the semi-final match. Federer showed his class in the match. Though the man, Del Potro was trying to out-perform Federer every single time, Federer showed why he is World No. 1. But then luck was not with him, or rather Del Potro’s hard work outweighed Federer’s luck. But if one gives 100% to whatever he does then loosing or winning doesn’t matter much. When I was watching the game between Nadal and Del Potro I was a bit scared. I was thinking whether Federer will be able to contain this man, as a power player like Nadal was not able to. But Federer showed that Potro is not unbeatable.


Congrats to Indian Cricket team, Juan Martin Del Potro for winning their respective matches and hard luck for Federer. You tried everything Federer, but the day was not yours. All the best to Federer and I am sure you will be able to beat Del Potro in your next meeting and will take your revenge of defeat here on Flushing Meadows.

First day rocked by supposedly minnows…

Halloa…..what an amazing day of IPL 2.0. Rocking performances by two supposedly minnow teams. Bangalore Challengers and Mumbai Indians were the minnows in the first season of IPL. They were the bottom two teams and Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were the top two teams. But time and again we have seen that in the game of cricket there is no certainty and no thing like minnow teams. We have seen even Holland upsetting the bigwigs. Probabilities don’t work at the game of cricket.


Talking about Mumbai Indians first. Mumbai Indians were in firm grip of the game right from the moment when they took wicket of Parthiv Patel in the very first over. But Hayden and Freddie seemed to take the game away. Thanks to bhajji and Jayasuriya for their wonderful bowling efforts and the fielders for their amazing fielding efforts. Remember the catch Raje took in the deep which dismissed Raina. That was wonderful. Taking the catch in the very yard of boundary line and maintaining the distance from it. That was wonderful. Also the catch Sachin took at the slips. With bowling line up having Lasith Malinga, Dwayne Bravo and Zaheer Khan. Sachin also showed the spark in batting which came directly from the New Zealand soil. He came for opening and stayed there till the proceedings end. With Abhishek also chipped in and came handy as he scored 32 of just 14 balls. So it was in all great team play by Mumbai Indians. Chennai Super Kings were also not bad. They were also equally good, not that they were not. But the day was not theirs. But this was victory of Sachin over Dhoni, clearly. Both had some issues in their team line up, as talked by the experts, but Sachin was more successful than Dhoni. In all, it was a day of Mumbai Indians.


Now coming to the second match of the day. Bangalore Challengers started the proceedings with great shiver. They lost the two top batsmen in a zippy. Dimitri was wonderful in balling. But Bangalore Challengers gathered courage and showed some resistance to the Rajasthan Royals, who were the top team in first season. Rahul Dravid once again showed his CLASS. What a wonderful innings he played out there. Poise and class were the highlights of his batting. Once he got past his fifty he stroked some sixes and fours. With his efforts and others also coming handy they reached to some commendable score, which they could have thought of defending. Shane Warne once again showed his class in bowling. He with his historical turns and twists in bowling, he got two wickets without letting runs flow. 134 was not that hard target to achieve, but with great efforts in bowling and fielding they bagged the victory. Anil Kumble again showing his class in bowling got 5 wickets and didn’t allow the bottom line players to play. Rajasthan Royals who were in top previous season have registered lowest score in IPL, which is 58/10.


All in all, the day was amazing for the start of IPL 2.0, with some shocks and some great efforts. Kudos to IPL, that we are enjoying such a great game. But had this been in India, we could have enjoyed it better than this. Anyways, it was great starting day.



Prasad B. Kulkarni