Indian Premier League season five has already been termed as the most open and competitive season in the tournament’s five year history. Experts have said that the current season has been the most exciting season of them all and the level of competition have gone up several notches.
Two more weeks of this exciting contest is left and the viewers have already witnessed some exciting matches. There are five teams who are competing for two places in the playoffs and that have infused a new life in the tournament. There have been a number of matches that have gone in the last overs, and teams have pulled up amazing wins in the last ball. The tournament lacks only one thing and that is a super over and going by the way the tournament is progressing, it may not be that far away.
There have been a number of matches which have gone down to the wire, let’s have a look at some of the closest finishes in the season so far…
Match 49--Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: It is a match that will haunt the defending champions CSK for a long time. Chennai team batted first and was off to a flier. Vijay, Raina and Bravo made healthy contribution to the total and a late blast from skipper Dhoni took Chennai to a score of 173 runs. Mumbai Indians then came out to bat and lost an early wicket. But, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma got together and were involved in a 126 runs partnership. Both the players played some terrific shots and put Mumbai in the driving seat. Things were looking easy for them but a middle-order collapse jolted their plans. They lost seven wickets for 25 runs and messed up the situation for them. Ben Hilfenhaus was bowling the last over and Mumbai needed 14 runs of three balls, on strike was Dwayne Smith who was playing his first match. What happened on those three deliveries is a story in itself; Smith hit the first one out of the f\ground and hit two straight boundaries to pull off a miraculous run-chase.
Match 21—Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors: Pune Warriors are struggling at number eighth position in the points table and will be ruing the fact that they lost this match against RCB. Pune Warriors batted first and dominated RCB bowling attack right from the word go. Uthappa and Ryder were involved in a great partnership as they scored 60 in the first six overs. Warriors had a strong finish and set up a stiff total of 182 runs. RCB in their chase lost Dilshan early but Chris Gayle held his ground and played an amazing innings. He hit five consecutive sixes of Rahul Sharma and took RCB close to the target. Nehra got Gayle out with a fabulous Yorker and made things that more difficult for the team from Bangalore. RCB needed 21 runs in the last over with Nehra bowling. AB de Villiers played some amazing shots to get the total into striking distance. RCB needed three runs off the final delivery and on strike was Sourabh Tiwary. Tiwary hit the ball powerfully down the ground and won RCB a fabulous match.
Match 13—Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB have been involved in a number of close games and this is the game which will still be giving nightmares to RCB players. RCB batted first and posted a total of over 200. Their openers played brilliantly and a terrific innings from Dangerous Chris Gayle took the score to 205. Chennai started the innings cautiously and lost Vijay early in their innings. But, the other opener Faf du Plessis played really well and set up a solid foundation for CSK. Chennai needed to score above 10 runs per over right from the start and that pressure resulted in them losing some wickets as the require run-rate kept on increasing. Chennai needed 43 runs of the last two overs and Daniel Vettori decided to bowl Virat Kohli in the penultimate over. Kohli bowled to Albie Morkel and gave away 28 runs in the over to bring CSK back in the game. Chennai needed 15 runs of the last over and Vinay Kumar bowled terribly. He bowled some bad deliveries and Dwayne Bravo hit him for a six and a four. With two runs required of the last delivery Ravindra Jadeja edged a bowl past the wicket-keeper to win Chennai a fantastic match.
Match 39—Delhi Daredevils vs Rajasthan Royals: It was one of the most bizarre matches of the tournament. Royals controlled 38 overs of the match and lost the game in the final two overs. Royals who are struggling to make a place in the playoffs have already admit that this result have been costly for them. In the match Delhi batted first and scored 152 runs, their captain Virender Sehwag played a responsible innings of 63. Rajasthan started the run-chase beautifully as both their openers played some god shots and buil up an opening partnership of 99 runs. After the fall of Dravid’s wicket Rahane and Hodge were involved in a 42 runs partnership, and things looked easy for them. Royals required 15 runs of the last two overs and they had nine wickets in hand, it all went wrong for them from there on. Morne Morkel conceded only three runs in the penultimate over and took the wicket of Hodge. Royals needed 12 runs off the last over and two runs of the last delivery. Rahane missed an out-swinger from Umesh Yadav and wicket-keeper Naman Ojha ran out Owais Shah to stop the match going into the super over and Delhi won by one run.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News