A 2 day gap in something new on Well Pitched is a rarity, especially when the IPL is going on but it was a hectic weekend. I didn't miss any cricket though.
A few days ago I talked about the RACE to the Final Four and mentioned that the 4 matches between Thursday and Saturday were going to be ever so crucial.
Well, the results of those matches have turned the tables, but the RACE is still very much on.
The Daredevils' victory over the Chargers on Thursday left the table unchanged with DDD lingering in 5th place, between MI and KKR.
But it was Mumbai Indian's victory over the Knight Riders that has caused a worry in the DDD and KKR camp.
MI had the chance to level with DDD and KKR on 10 points by beating KKR on Friday. They did exactly that, but it wasn't only a victory.
It was a thumping victory!
It was a decimation of the Knight Riders who were bowled out for 67, the lowest score of the tournament.
With Jayasuriya in the form of 1996, MI chased that down in a mere 5 and half overs.
That not only put MI on equal points with DDD and KKR, it put them above the 2 teams on 4th place on the basis of Net Run Rate.
Had it been a close match, MI would have remained at 6th place but their total dominance over KKR means that now MI lie comfortably at number 4 with an advantage of having played fewer matches than DDD and KKR.
DDD's loss to Kings XI last night has further strengthened MI's position.
MI's fortunes have taken a drastic change and now they should be confidently eyeing the Final Four.
There was nothing new in the match between the 2 teams sponsored by Vijay Mallya. (How ironic is it that the team owned by Dr. Mallya is sitting at the bottom of the table, while the team he sponsors is right at the top)However, there was some new entertaining stuff in the other 3 matches over the weekend.
- Glenn McGrath and Mohammad Asif opened the DDD bowling against Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi. Who does one support in times like these?
- While McGrath snared his Aussie team mate, Afridi hit his Paki team mate for a 4 and a 6.
- RP Singh found something to be amused by when his India team mate, Gambhir hit him for consecutive sixes and a few boundaries.
- Ab De Villiers in the covers stopped a few thumping drives from Gibbs' bat. The latter let out a wry smile everytime that happened.
- 15 runs required of the last over. Sehwag had been there before. Luckily for him, Shoaib Malik was only on the field as a substitute.
- Amit Mishra bagging the 2nd hatrick of the IPL. The bowlers have definitely come into their own.
- Shoaib Akhtar's first 4 overs in the IPL looked like this: 4-0-17-5. That's before he came across Jayasuriya. Shoaib's 5th over went for 23! To be fair, Jayasuriya was also dropped of Shoaib's 1st ball.
- The IPL witnessed its 2nd rain reduced match last night. DDD faced 6 out of their 11 overs in powerplay mode, while KXI faced only 3 - fair?
- It was a battle between India's best pacers in the IPL - Sreesanth & Pathan, and India's best batsmen in the IPL - Sehwag & Gambhir. The batmen won hands down.
- KXI boasts of 2 of the leading wicket takers in the IPL, yet they both went wicketless. The 4 DDD wickets went to the unlikeliest of bowlers - Ramesh Powar and James Hopes. It never fails to surprise you does it?
- Jayawardene was going great guns to lead the chase. What did Sehwag do? Turned to Maharoof.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings & Deccan Chargers vs Mumbai Indians.
KKR can turn the tables once more tonight if they beat CSK and MI lose to the Chargers. It looks like it will be one hell of a RACE for the 4th place from hereon.
These last 10 days before the knock outs are going to be the most interesting.