Week 1 of the IPL - The hits, the misses, the heroes, the villains and more

Rohit Sharma slammed a last-ball six to guide Mumbai Indians to a famous win over Deccan Chargers © PTI

Have you been too busy studying for your exams to take note of what has been going on in the Indian Premier League (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 1Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians


Mumbai Indians 115 for 2 (Richard Levi 50) bt Chennai Super Kings 112 (Kieron Pollard 2-15, Lasith Malinga 2-16, Pragyan Ojha 2-17) by eight wickets.


Match in 140 characters: Murali Vijay stutters, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is run out, Ojha fires, CSK stumble to 112…Levi strikes, Tendulkar retires hurt, Sharma gets his box checked, MI win.


#TrottsFault: Apart from getting IPL debutant Faf du Plessis run out, Vijay’s nervy batting forced the rest of the batsmen to search for hidden demons in the pitch.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: In his first appearance for the Bombay Desis (aka Mumbai Indians), Ojha struck to remove danger man and IPL God Suresh Raina. CSK never really recovered after that.


Viagra performer of the day: It is rare to see players justifying their hype in their first game itself. Yet, that was what Levi did. He removed any notions of a contest with some brutal strikes, and he will get more dangerous as the tournament progresses.


Pinocchio interesting fact: The strategic time-out is actually a 2 minute silence for Lalit Modi.


Best tweet of the game: How to lose a loyal fan following.


Tip 1: Replace whistle podu with some hands up nonsense.


Tip 2: Invest gazillions on R Jaddu. ( by @knittins ) 


Game 2: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils


Delhi Daredevils 100 for 2 (Irfan Pathan 42*, Aaron Finch 30) bt Kolkata Knight Riders 97 for 9 (Laxmi Ratan Shukla 26; Morne Morkel 3-18) by eight wickets.


Match in 140 characters: Rain delays, match reduced to 12 overs a side, Morkel and Umesh Yadav strike, DD to chase 98, Virender Sehwag and Finch start well, Irfan Pathan finishes in style.


#TrottsFault: Marchant de Lange did not have his national team-mate Levi’s dream IPL debut… instead, at the most crucial stage of the match, he bowled plenty of hit-me deliveries to Irfan Pathan, who duly obliged.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: In the space of two deliveries, Morkel ensured that KKR would struggle to an inadequate total by dismissing the dangerous Kallis and ‘blink-and-you-will-miss-him’ Tiwary, who might just be the unluckiest Indian cricket player right now.


Pinocchio interesting fact: Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag agreed to a 12 over game, as they are both fans of finishing games early.


Best tweet of the game: Delhi Daredevil’s strategy worked. Dress Ajit Agarkar up as Marchant de Lange. (by @greatbong). 


Game 3: Mumbai Indians vs Pune Warriors India


Pune Warriors India 129 for nine (Steve Smith 39; Laisth Malinga 2-16) bt Mumbai Indians 100 for 9 (Ashok Dinda 4-17) by 29 runs.


Match in 140 characters: Malinga, Harbahajan Singh and Munaf Patel restrict Pune to 129 even as Smith steadies the Warriors. Murali Kartik, Dinda wreak havoc on Mumbai’s top order. Ganguly smiles.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: Defending a measly target of 130 against some of the best hitters is always going to be a tough ask; but the Mumbai Indians’ chase never got off to a start, thanks to a double-strike by Dinda in the second over where he dismissed Amabti Rayadu and Rohit Sharma. In the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, the chase got more difficult and ultimately proved beyond them.


Viagra performer of the day: Murali Kartik struck twice and Dinda four times; but if it wasn’t for ‘Piggy’ Smith’s important knock of 39 which pushed the Warriors to a defendable total, it wouldn’t have mattered. In the process, he made Ganguly a very happy skipper.


Pinocchio Interesting Fact: Harbhajan Singh announced before the game, that the Mumbai Indians wanted to win it for Tendulkar’s injured finger.


Best tweet of the game: Ha ha cricket, look at @kartikmurali go at BossDK! Must be because he’s added an “H” to their good name. #ipl5 (by @boredcricket).


Game 4: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab


Rajasthan Royals 191 for 4 (Ajinkya Rahane 98) bt Kings XI Punjab 160 for 9 (Mandeep 34; Kevon Cooper 4-26) by 31 runs 


Match in 140 characters: Rahul Dravid plays a familiar supporting role, this time to young Rahane who dazzles with 98, RR cruise to 191, Kings XI have no answer to Cooper.


#TrottsFault: At one point, Rahane was toying with Praveen Kumar so badly, that it looked like the Indian seamer was going to grab a stump any moment and violate the batsman. For a person who shone brightly on the ill-fated tour of England last year, it has been a steep decline since, and his performance in this game effectively let the Royals run away with the game.


Viagra performer of the day: While Cooper made a debut to remember, the win was nicely set up by Rahane, whose classy 98 was a treat for sore eyes. None of his shots were hit in anger, and yet he serenely accelerated to his highest T20 score and helped set a challenging target for the Kings XI.


Pinocchio interesting fact: Rahane gave credit to Tendulkar’s batting tips for his performance; which explains his getting out in the 90s.


Best tweet of the game: Gotta love the Royals. They took Brad Hogg out of the commentary box (by@MadFastBowler).


Game 5: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils


Royal Challengers Bangalore 157 for 8 (AB de Villiers 64*; Doug Bracewell 3-32) bt Delhi Daredevils 137 for 7 (Muttiah Muralitharani 3-25) by 20 runs.


Match in 140 characters: No chris Gayle show due to injury, but de Villiers ensures a challenging total… Sehwag fails, Murali mesmerises and the game goes RCB’s way.


#TrottsFault: Amazing how fortunes can fluctuate in the space of a game. Fresh from spearheading DD’s win in the last game with the bat, Irfan Pathan was the most expensive bowler in the next, conceding 47 runs of his allocated overs.


Viagra performer of the day: In the absence of Gayle and the rare failure of Kohli, the onus was on de Villiers to lead RCB’s innings and he didn’t disappoint. His unbeaten 64, eventually proved to be very decisive.


Best tweet of the game: Some teams pick India hopefuls. Daredevils pick India’s hopeless.#ipl5 (by @BoredCricket) 


Game 6: Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers


Chennai Super Kings 193 for 6 (Ravindra Jadeja 48, Dwayne Bravo 43*) bt Deccan Chargers 119 (Jadeja 5-16) by 74 runs.


Match in 140 characters: du Plessis starts things off, Jadeja maintains the tempo, Bravo explodes in style… after that, with ball it was a Jadeja show all the way.


#TrottsFault: Only one contender. While one ex-CSK bowler had a great day with the ball in the first game, another one was mercilessly slaughtered in the second. Manpreet Gony, who is also an ex-India pacer, was taken to the cleaners by Bravo, which ensured the target would be beyond the Chargers’ meager resources.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: It was a leading edge which went for six runs in the 19th over, which aggravated the hitter Bravo for some reason. From next ball, it was carnage as he struck four more sixes to bring to total 40 runs scored off the last two overs.


Viagra performer of the day: While Bravo provided the finishing touches with the bat, Jadeja had earlier stabilised CSK’s innings after a brief mid-innings stutter. Then with the ball, he rolled over the Chargers with a five-wicket haul and justified his price tag in the process.


Pinocchio interesting fact: Actor and loyal Chargers fan Siddharth has decided to make a new movie based on DC’s performance – Cricketil Sodhappuvadhu Eppadi (How to screw up in cricket)


Best tweet of the game: Boss you just SHADAB ok! #JakatiTellsWhite (by @tracerbullet007)


Game 7: Rajasthan vs Kolkata Knight Riders


Rajasthan Royals 164 for 5 (Brad Hodge 44, Menaria 40; Brett Lee 2-29) bt Kolkata Knight Riders 143 (Manoj Tiwary 59; Kevon Cooper 3-28) by 22 runs.


Match in 140 characters: Ashok Menaria, Hodge and Owais Shah power RR to 164, KKR never take off after losing Jacques Kallis and Gambhir early, Tiwary reminds everyone he’s still around


Charlie Sheen winning Moment: One of the lesser known pace bowlers in the IPL, Amit Singh derailed KKR’s chase when he dismissed Kallis and Gambhir off successive deliveries.


Pinocchio Interesting Fact: When it was his turn to bat, out of habit, Tiwary carried the drinks to the pitch instead of his bat. 


Game 8: Pune Warriors India vs Kings XI Punjab


Pune Warriors 166 for 6 (Marlon Samuels 46, Robin Uthappa 40; Harmeet Singh 3-24) bt Kings XI Punjab 144 for 8 (Bipul Sharma 35*, Rahul Sharma 2-34) by 22 runs.


Match in 140 characters: Samuels, Utthappa, Smith and Manish Pandey shine to lift PWI to 166, Kings XI have no answer to an inspired all round performance in the field.


#TrottsFault:  Bipul Sharma with figures of 0 for 40 off 2.4 overs. No contest.


Viagra performer of the day: Marlon Samuels did everything that was asked of him. With the bat, he set the platform for the bottom half of the middle order to explode; with the ball, he was miserly and never let the Kings XI take any easy runs off him. 


Pinocchio interesting fact: After instructing the Kings XI cook not to prepare oily items to prevent cases of ‘butter-fingered’ fielders, Preity Zinta has instructed the team bus driver to drive to destinations with the players running behind, so as to improve their ‘chasing’ skills.


Game 9: Deccan Chargers vs Mumbai Indians


Mumbai Indians 142 for 5 (Rohit 73*; Dale Steyn 3-12) bt Deccan Chargers 138 for 9 (Shikhar Dhawan 41, Dan Christian 39; Munaf Patel 4-20) by five wickets.


Match in 140 characters: DC score 138 but not before Munaf and Harbhajan create a scene. Steyn gives a masterclass but Christian does not and Sharma steals a win.


#TrottsFault: When you watch a world class bowler steaming in at the other end and causing all sorts of trouble for the batsmen, you are supposed to be inspired. Instead, Dan Christian decided to bowl the exact opposite of Steyn’s performance. The result was two full tosses in the final over which Rohit Sharma made full use of.


Charlie Sheen einning moment: The first nail-biter of the tournament was not decided till the final ball of the match. Needing three runs to win, Christian bowled a full toss to Rohit Sharma which was duly dispatched over long on. And just like that, the  Chargers lost a game which they were in control of, for the most period.


Viagra performer of the day: Munaf Patel gave a disciplined performance with the ball, and an undisciplined one with the mouth. Rohit Sharma played the sort of innings, which makes long time Indian cricket fans pull their hair in frustration; but there was one player who was simply superior to everyone else. Dale Steyn bowled four overs, conceding only 12 runs – against one of the most powerful batting line ups in the IPL. To put it simply, he bowled ‘like a boss’.


Pinocchio interesting fact: After the game, the Deccan Chargers decided to punish Dan Christian by making him pad up in the nets to face an angry Steyn with the ball – without any protective gear!


Best tweet of the game: With Munaf Patel in disgrace, the PA system plays “Munni Badnaam Hui“. Nice. (by @greatbong)


Game 10: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders


Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 8 (Gambhir 64; Vinay Kumar 2-18) bt Royal Challengers Bangalore 123 for 9 (Vinay Kumar 25; Balaji 4-18) by 42 runs.


Match in 140 characters: Aggressive start by Gambhir, Kallis and Mavinder Bisla propel KKR to 165; Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers flop as Balaji and Lee derail the Royal Challengers


#TrottsFault: Harshal Patel was signed up by RCB based on a devastating bowling performance against Karnataka a few months ago. In this game though, he was taken apart by KKR’s top order and with the likes of Abhimanya Mithun and Sreenath Aravind in the squad, he might have to return to bench-warming duties.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: Despite the presence of Gayle and Kohli, de Villiers remains as the in-form batsman for RCB and so, his wicket was always going to be very crucial for KKR. So, when Balaji bowled a peach of a delivery to send him back, the Knight Riders were cock-a-hoop, justifiably.


Best tweet of the game: Via [GaneshAthreyaa] @pitchinv: Kohli is as good as both the KKR openers. Because if you merge Gauti and Kallis you get Gaalis (by @pitchinv).


Pinocchio interesting fact: When play was held up at the start due to faulty electrical firing, commentators received frantic tests from a certain Shastri saying, “The atmosphere is absolutely electrifying” (courtesy @knittins)


Game 11: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils


Delhi Daredevils 111 for 2 (Kevin Pietersen 43*, Sehwag 33) bt Chennai Super Kings 110 for 8 (Morne Morkel 2-19) by eight wickets.


Match in 140 characters: Brilliant Daredevils fielding and panicked Super Kings running restrict CSK to 110, Sehwag’s blast and Pietersen’s zing seals the deal for DD.


#TrottsFault: Whoever is responsible for CSK’s running between wickets.


Charlie Sheen winning moment: In a match where the Super Kings played like Run Out Kings, Raina’s dismissal turned out to be the most important one, as he was the only one who looked comfortable in CSK’s troubled innings.


Viagra performer of the day: In a match which was marked by high quality fielding by the Daredevils, the pick was van der Merwe; he was literally everywhere, throwing himself around, saving numerous boundaries and to cap it all, bowled a fine spell, conceding only 15 runs off his allocated overs.


Best tweet of the game: Today CSK are like the tambrahm guy on Twitter. Just can’t score (by @diogeneb)


Pinocchio interesting fact: The half hour delay in the game was due the Delhi Police, who were ensuring that it is safe to play after 8,00 pm.


Top tweet of the week:


The tournament is wide open. Someone please donate a lungi to cover it up. (by @ABvan). 

(The writings of Benjamin Prabhu (Benny, aka tracer007) are products of a fanatical cricketing mind for over a decade and a half. 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 US, 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)