Students of the Allen Standord University for Cricket Bloggers were given an assignment last night, which was to report on the 1st ODI between Australia and the West Indies from an IPL perspective.
This is what the best graded assignment looked like:
Kolkata Knight Riders team mates Ricky Ponting and Chris Gayle walked out to the middle for the toss. Gayle won the toss and sent Australia in, a decision that soon backfired.
Just before the start of play Shahrukh Khan, owner of the Knight Riders, was seen discussing with his captain, Saurav Ganguly, about how he felt captaining 2 international captains in the IPL.
Shaun Marsh, the Kings XI opener and leading run scorer of the IPL, made his much awaited debut in Australian colors.
He opened the innings with Shane Watson, who was the IPL player of the tournament and one of the backbones of the Rajasthan Royals' successful IPL campaign.
In the absence of Matthew Hayden, who is missing the Windies tour due to an injury sustained during his stint with the Chennai Super Kings, Marsh and Watson provided Australia with a cracking start posting a run a ball 75 run opening partnership.
Watson fell in the 13th over, after scoring 31 of 27 balls, as he was trapped in front to an incoming delivery by Dwayne Bravo, the Mumbai Indians allrounder who flew in at the start of this series in Mukesh Ambani's private jet.
Marsh though continued from where he left of in the IPL scoring a 97 ball 81 on debut that had Kings XI owner Preity Zinta jumping for joy in front of her 60" Plasma screen in her Mumbai residence.
Marsh later confirmed that he had recieved hugs and kisses via SMS from Ms. Zinta and when we spoke to her she mentioned that when she saw Marsh's majestic straight drive in the 1st over and exquisite cover drive in the 3rd, she knew she was in for something special.
Marsh was unlucky to miss out on a debut 100, which would have been a first for an Australian ODI debutant, as he was caught by the Knight Riders' Gayle off Darren Sammy, who hasn't yet attracted an IPL franchise.
Ricky Ponting, who had joined Marsh at the fall of Watson's wicket, continued from where he had left the Knight Riders - with single figure scores and wretched form as he dragged Taylor on to his stumps.
His deputy, Micheal Clarke, who had given the IPL a miss so that he could spend quality family time, also failed with the bat, as Sammy had him caught behind the wicket.
At 140-4 after 30 overs with the top 4 back in the pavilion, Micheal Hussey of the Chennai Super Kings, and Brad Haddin, who has replaced the Deccan Chargers' Adam Gilchrist as Australia's #1 wicket keeper, cashed in with a 5th wicket partnership of 91 at over run a ball.
Haddin holed out to long off in the 45th over after a well made 50 off 52, while Hussey soon followed in similar fashion off Gayle for 44.
SRK was later seen pleased with Gayle's bowling and pondered how different the Knight Riders IPL campaign would have been had Gayle not been injured.
The last few overs of Australia's innings saw Preity Zinta with a lot of mixed emotions.
Initially she was joyed to see Sarwan bowl a googly cum flipper that got the wicket of Cameron White, who had had a miserable time with the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
In the same over Preity's joy for Sarwan changed to a mixed bag as Brett Lee smashed his Kings XI team mate for 6.
The joy and mixed joy soon turned into a frown as Kings XI opener James Hopes failed to accelerate at the end and fell to Mumbai Indians' Dwayne Bravo dragging the ball on to his stumps.
Australia's innings ended on 273-8 setting the West Indies an imposing target.
The West Indies' innings began in disastrous fashion with Marshall, Gayle, and Sarwan back in the pavilion within the first 10 overs.
Kings XI pacer Brett Lee bowled a hostile opening spell that rewarded him with the wickets of Marshall, caught behind by Haddin, and his Kings XI team mate Sarwan, caught at 2nd slip by the Super Kings' Micheal Hussey.
Preity Zinta was seen in a confused state yet again.
The other wicket to fall was that of the Knight Riders' Gayle who was trapped in front by Nathan Bracken, whose injury made him miss the Bangalore Royal Challengers failure in the IPL.
The West Indies innings couldn't get going as they folded for 189 in under 40 overs with Bracken picking up 4-31 in 6 overs.
Mumbai Indians' Bravo top scored with 33, while some resistance was shown by Ramdin (31) and Sammy (33) before they were bowled by IPL player of the tournament Watson and Bracken respectively.
Brett Lee's 2-37 saw him get some congratulatory SMSes from Preity Zinta, while Sarwan was sent a comisseration SMS. Hopes was told to do better in the next game, and Marsh received more hugs via SMS as he got the man of the match award.
The Kings XI from Punjab dominated the 1st ODI between Australia and the West Indies, while the Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Mumbai Indians all had some representation.
Australia leads the 5-match series 1-0, with the next match on Friday at St. George's.
(Note: all comments regarding Shahrukh Khan and Preity Zinta are a figment of the author's imagination)