Have you been too busy studying for your exams to take note of what has been going on in the IPL? Or have you been too engrossed in searching for a job to know who has hit the most ‘DLF Maximums’ over the past week? Maybe all your time is being taken up by stalking your ex-boyfriend; or you could just be some closeted IPL fan who likes to keep up appearances by publicly denouncing the ‘pajama cricket’ but want to know how your favorite IPL team is doing?
Never fear. For the attention-deficit IPL fan in you, I present to you ‘The Plunder Games’ – a weekly recap of all the IPL action. Here, you can catch up with all the past week’s action in just 10 minutes.
Game 44: Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Kings XI Punjab 163 for 6 (Nitin Saini 50, David Hussey 45, Mandeep Singh 43) bt Royal Challengers Bangalore 158 for 5 (Chris Gayle 71, Virat Kohli 45; Mahmood 3-20) by four wickets
Match in 140 characters: Praveen Kumar and Mahmood restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 158 despite another Gayle 50; freak run outs threaten to derail easy chase, but Piyush Chawla takes KXIP home
Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: KXIP should never have had to sweat in the closing stages of the game, after the impressive performance of their seamers and their top order batsmen; but there they were, inducing themselves into a state of panic after some tight bowling by RCB in the final overs. With two runs needed off two deliveries, it needed the much-maligned Chawla to deliver the winning moment with a thumping hit over long on.
Viagra Performer of the day: Azhar Mahmood continued his impressive performance in the IPL, bagging the man of the match award for his efforts; but he reaped the rewards of Praveen’s highly-skilled opening spell where he conceded only eight runs off his stipulated overs, which was bowled to the likes of Gayle and Kohli.
Best tweet of the day: At the end of the day, Ravi Shastri is the real winner because the match has gone down to the wire! #ipl (by@coolfunnytshirt)
Game 45: Pune Warriors India vs Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians 120 for 9 (Sachin Tendulkar 34, Bhuvneshwar 2-9, Ashish Nehra 2-19) bt Pune Warriors 119 for 6 (Mithun Manhas 42 not out; Harbhajan Singh 2-18, Lasith Malinga 2-25) by one run.
Match in 140 characters: Mumbai Indians huff and puff to 120 as the Pune Warriors keep them on a tight leash; in response Harbhajan Singhi and Company pay them back, as Pune fall short by one run.
#TrottsFault: Long time Sourav Ganguly fans won’t like to hear it, but the former India captain has nothing left to offer on the field. He is still one of the better leaders in the IPL, but its time he thought of mentoring the side, a la Shaun Pollock or Stephen Fleming. His stagnant knock never got the Warriors anywhere, and only made the chase more difficult. It is time for one of the country’s greats to leave gracefully.
Viagra Performer of the day: Whisper it, but it looks like Harbhajan might just be returning to his best as a bowler. For the second game running, he bowled with control and picked crucial wickets to keep the Mumbai Indians in the driver’s seat throughout the Warriors’ innings.
Best tweet of the day: Mumbai Indians slowing down as they are about to reach yet another three-figure mark. *Mandatory alert* (by@KnightsDen)
Game 46: Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers
Chennai Super Kings 160 for 6 (Faf du Plessis 42) bt Deccan Chargers 150 for 5 (Cameron White 77) by 10 runs.
Match in 140 characters: CSK get off to a bright start, only to stumble in second half to 160; White and Dhawan lead spirited response, but all-round CSK seal a win.
Charlie Sheen winning moment: When Kumar Sangakarra joined White at the crease, the game was wide open, with the Chargers slightly ahead. So, when Suresh Raina took a blinder of a catch to get rid of the Chargers skipper, it was advantage CSK as White and co could not build any sort of winning momentum after that.
Viagra performer of the day: Cameron White continued his good form with the bat, as his defiant 77 was all that kept the Chargers in the game. He almost never made it past his first ball, when he was dropped by Morkel off his own bowling but he didn’t quite make CSK pay for that.
Best tweet of the day: Albie Morkel is that habitual movie latecomer, who has arrived two hours early for the matinee show today to make amends. (by @knittins)
Game 47: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Pune Warriors India
Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for 5 (Gautam Gambhir 56; Angelo Mathews 2-17) bt Pune Warriors 143 for 8 (Marchant de lange 3-34, Sunil Narine 1-13) by seven runs
Match in 140 characters: Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum get off to a flyer before the Warriors fight back to restrict KKR to 150. PWI fall short by seven runs
#TrottsFault: Once upon a time, Yusuf Pathan was the most feared Indian batsman in IPL. Now, he is barely a shadow of that figure, as it looks like he is desperately trying to get himself dropped from the remaining games. Another listless batting performance was followed by poor bowling which almost got PWI back in the game. KKR’s successful run is keeping the detractors at bay for now, but he has to get his act together before he becomes another forgotten man of Indian cricket.
Viagra performer of the day: No batsman has been able to decode Sunil Narine till now, as his impressive run continues. This time, he kept bamboozling one of the past masters of spin, Ganguly to effectively seal the game in KKR’s favor. As the World T20 championship looms on friendly pitches, international coaches will have to get cracking if they are to stop this man from tying their batsmen in knots.
Game 48: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab
Rajasthan Royals 177 for 6 (Rahul Dravid 46, Ryan Harris 4-34) bt Kings XI Punjab 134 for 8 (Shaun Tait 2-18, Johan Botha 2-21, Shane Watson 2-22) by 43 runs
Match in 140 characters: Dravid’s class, Ashok Menaria’s slogs, Brad Hodge’s swings and Watson’s all round show lead the Royals to a convincing win over the Kings XI.
Viagra performer of the day: Shane Watson was always the big marquee player for the Royals, but a combination of enforced absence due to national duties and the brilliance of the Dravid-Rahane combination, had kept him from the IPL spotlight all season; Against the Kings XI, he reminded everyone of his utility, as his domineering performance with the bat and miserly spell with the ball sealed an easy win for Dravid’s men.
Best tweet of the game: Preity Zinta just thought Kapil Dev hit a boundary… #cricket #ipl (by @InnoBystander)
Game 49: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians 174 for 8 (Sachin Tendulkar 74, Rohit Sharma 60, Dwayne Smith 24 not out) bt Chennai Super Kings 173 for 8 (Murali Vijay 41, Dwayne Bravo 40; Lasith Malinga 3-25) by two wickets.
Match in 140 characters: It’s the game of the season, as Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma light up the game; but the star is Dwayne Smith who steals the game from CSK.
Charlie Sheen winning moment: While it was Dwayne Smith who hogged all the glory in the end, one should not forget two brilliant last overs from RP Singh and Malinga which yielded just 13 runs. In the final context of the game, that ensured a target which the Mumbai Indians just about managed to chase.
Viagra performer of the day: While Tendulkar rolled back the years and Rohit continued to dazzle with his IPL form, it was Dwayne Smith who was playing his first game this season, who displayed a tremendous calm, that even Dhoni would be proud of , to swat a 6 and two 4s off the final three deliveries to seal a last ball heist, which is becoming something of an Mumbai Indians trademark.
Best tweet of the day: ”Ravi Can Run Ash Win” his parents named him. But he is proving them all wrong. #IPLpun (by @mohank)
Game 50: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Deccan Chargers
Royal Challengers Bangalore 185 for 5 (Tillkakaratne Dilshan 71, AB de Villiers 47 not out ) bt Deccan Chargers 181 for 2 (Shikar Dhawan 73 not out, Dan Harris 47, Cameron White 45) by five wickets.
Match in 140 characters: Dhawan and White take Deccan to a tough total; Dilshan leads the chase with a rapid 50, but it is de Villiers’ mental hitting which seals the deal.
Viagra Performer of the day: If there were any doubts as to de Villiers’ legendary status before this game, his manic knock of 47 from 17 balls would have put those to rest. Many batsmen can score the same amount of runs or more, in the same number of deliveries; but in the context of the game, to hit such audacious shots off one of the finest bowlers in the game at such a critical stage requires an exorbitant amount of confidence in one’s own skills – and de Villiers possesses that in abundance.
Best tweet of the game: Just want to congratulate @ABdeVilliers17 on that master battin display! I’d also like to say our friendship is now hanging by a thread bud! Haha (by @DaleSteyn62)
Game 51: Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders 154 for 4 (McCullum 56, Gambhir 36) bt Delhi Daredevils 153 for 9 (Irfan Pathan 36; Jacques Kallis 2-20) by six wickets
Match in 140 characters: Kallis and Narine restrict DD to 153; KKR top order ensure easy win despite late hiccups.
#TrottsFault: In the absence of Kevin Pietersen and early dismissal of Sehwag, much was expected from Jayawardene and Ross Taylor. While Jayawardene has been in decent form, the Kiwi skipper hasn’t really got going this IPL. A tortuous innings of 16 runs from 27 deliveries meant that DD had to struggle to post a competitive total, which was comfortably chased down by KKR.
Charlie Sheen winning moment: Virender Sehwag came into this game on the back of five consecutive half centuries. Once again, he started like a freight train, racing to 23 off nine deliveries, before Kallis struck to take him out. The Daredevils never got going after that.
Best tweet of the game: So I hear Mahela didn’t walk when he edged the ball? Tell me something else that’s new. #IPL (by @Floral_Mint)
Game 52: Pune Warriors India vs Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals 126 for 3 (Shane Watson 90 not out) bt Pune Warriors 125 for 6 (Majumdar 30; Shaun Tait 3-13) by seven wickets
Match in 140 characters: Pune’s listless batting form continues as Tait helps restrict them to 125. In response, a merciless Watson takes the Royals to an easy win.
#TrottsFault: Who else, but the man who refuses to go away gracefully. Ganguly promoted himself to the opening slot but could only gather an unconvincing 14, which robbed the Warriors of any momentum.
Viagra performer of the day: Shane Watson completed another terrific day at the office, as his scathing unbeaten 90 demolished any hopes the Warriors may have had of winning the game.
Best tweet of the game: “Ashish Nehra has a big heart!” FOUR. “Ashish Nehra will keep trying.” SIX. (by @sidin)
Game 53: Deccan Chargers vs Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab 170 for 5 (Mandeep Singh 75) bt Deccan Chargers 145 for 8 (David Hussey 2-2, Praveen Kumar 2-15, Parwinder Awana 2-27) by 25 runs
Match in 140 characters: Mandeep’s impressive run continues as Punjab post a challenging 170. A middle order implosion by the Chargers ensure a no contest.
Charlie Sheen winning moment: When David Hussey brought himself on to bowl, the game was in the balance. In the space of four deliveries, he ensured the game was virtually over when he took the scalps of the well set Harris and the dangerous White.
Viagra performer of the day: Mandeep Singh has been one of the breakout Indian players this IPL. His punishing knock of 75 ensured that the Chargers would have to chase a tricky target. More performances like these would not hurt him one bit as the selectors are on the lookout for fresh talent.
Best tweet of the week: How do you put an elephant inside a fridge? Open Fridge. Get Ramesh Powar out. Put elephant in fridge. (by@thecricketcouch)
(The writings of Benny, aka tracer007, are the products of the mind of a cricket fanatic who has been following the game for the last 15 years. After a brief stint in school cricket in the 90s, he decided that chasing a red ball around a field in white flannels as a substitute fielder was not really getting him anywhere. He subsequently entered medical school, where he spent half the time learning how not to kill a patient and the rest of the time, sharing his opinions about the state of international cricket to people who had no idea of what he was talking about. Since graduation, he is living in the U.S., where he chanced upon the world of cricket blogging; and in an instant, an idea to start a cricket blog shot through his brain ‘like a tracer bullet’ and (likeatracerbullet) was born)