Month: April 2012

The Plunder Games – Week 3 Recap

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 22: KXIP vs KKR

Kolkata Knight Riders 127 for 2 (Gambhir 66*) beat Kings XI Punjab 124 for 7 (Gilchrist 40*, Lee 2-26, Narine 2-24) by eight wickets 

Match in 140 characters: Kings XI struggle to 124, as Gambhir and Kallis lead KKR to an easy win

Viagra Performer of the day: It is a wonder why Gambhir hesitates to open the innings more often, considering his success at the top which usually converts to wins for his team; a typical innings ensured no hiccups in a steady chase.

Best tweet of the game: There are so many mosquitoes in the field at mohali. Probably, thats why KXIP players wanted to get ALL OUT! 😛 #ipl (by @coolfunnytshirt)

Game 23: DD vs DC

Delhi Daredevils 162 for 5 (Pietersen 103*, Steyn 2-19) beat Deccan Chargers 157 for 8 (Parthiv 45*, Nadeem 3-16) by five wickets 

Match in 140 characters: Nadeem and Morkel restrict Chargers to 157 after a good start; despite a top order wobble, KP powers DD to win, with some generous help

#TrottsFault: Deccan Chargers would have felt that they were in with a chance, as they left the Daredevils staggering at 65/4. All that changed in the space of a Duminy over, where he conceded 21 runs to hand the momentum back to DD.

Viagra Performer of the day: Kevin Pietersen is in some hot form. The Chargers did help with three dropped catches, but full credit to KP who made them pay for it with an authoritative ton that was rounded off with a brilliant six to win the game.

Best tweet of the game: Delhi Daredevils won despite Agarkar, Deccan Chargers lost despite Dale Steyn. #IPL (by @CricketSaurabh)

Game 24: CSK vs PWI

Match in 140 characters: Badri, du Plessis and Dhoni power CSK to 164; Warriors give it their best shot but are thwarted by a strong bowling and fielding effort

Charlie Sheen Winning moment: Till the end of the 19th over of CSK’s innings, it looked like the team was heading for a middling total which could be easily chased by the Warriors. Instead, MS Dhoni got a couple of big hits going which helped CSK to get 18 runs in the final over, and which ultimately proved crucial in a tight finish.

Viagra Performer of the day: For once, no one performer outshone the rest. It was a true team effort with batsmen, bowlers and fielders playing their part.

Best tweet of the game: just realized, Ganguly still doesnt have a full time wicketkeeper for his team. some things never change!#IPL5 (by @chetannarula)

Pinocchio Fact: Concerned by his expensive performance with the ball, Saurav Ganguly met the match referee at the end of the game to report Marlon Samuels for chucking. (courtesy @AltCricket)

Game 25: RCB vs KXIP

Royal Challengers Bangalore 166 for 5 (Gayle 87, de Villiers 52, Awana 4-34) beat Kings XI Punjab 163 for 6 (Hussey 41, Mahmood 33*) by five wickets

Match in 140 characters: Mahmood’s late burst propels Kings XI to 163; despite a four-fer from Awana, Gayle and de Villiers lead RCB to a risk free victory

Viagra Performer of the day: Chris Gayle is getting more dangerous with each passing match. He has added a new facet to his slam bang hitting – now, he takes his time to settle down and give the first few overs to the bowlers, before hitting out. This strategy served him and RCB well in this game as a chase which should have been more tricky, turned out to be a cake walk for them.

Game 26: CSK vs RR

Chennai Super Kings 147 for 3 (du Plessis 73) beat Rajasthan Royals 146 for 4 (Shah 52, Menaria 36) by seven wickets

Match in 140 characters: Kulasekera and Ashwin counter Shah’s strikes to keep Royals to 146, Faf leads CSK again as ice man Dhoni closes out a tight chase

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: In a game which CSK seemed to have sewn up for most part of their chase, it all came to the final ball with Dhoni needing two runs off Binny; sure enough, the skipper got the runs with a wild throw helping his cause.

Viagra Performer of the day: du Plessis is in the form of his life. He is definitely making it hard for Mike Hussey to find a place in the XI when he returns. Yet another fifty to sheperd CSK’s chase helped him to second place in the run charts.

Best tweet of the game:  Should Ravi Shastri be locked up in the lift again?#PulseQuestion #IPL (by @triple81212)

Pinocchio Fact: At his hotel room, Gambhir was seen shaking his head while watching the CSK chase and was heard muttering something about ‘winning it in 18 overs’. (courtesy @cricketsaurabh)

Game 27: PWI vs DD

Match in 140 characters: Ryder, Ganguly and Smith blast Warriors to 192; despite Viru’s and KP’s best efforts, Ganguly and Alfonso star with ball as DD crash land

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: When Ganguly brought himself on to bowl, he was up against a rampaging Pietersen and Sehwag. With his first ball, he knocked over KP to set off on a vintage celebration. He went on to claim one more wicket to back up an impressive performance with the bat and smart changes in the field.

Best tweet of the game: Ganguly is the Kamalhasan of PWI. Has played every role today. (by @cheese_charmer)

Game 28: MI vs KXIP

Kings XI Punjab 164 for 4 (Marsh 68*, Pollard 2-14) beat Mumbai Indians 163 for 6 (Franklin 79, Awana 2-23) by six wickets 

Match in 140 characters: Frankin and DK’s efforts takes MI to 163; Munaf’s tantrum and Pollard’s strangling bowling are in vain as Marsh takes KXIP over the line

#TrottsFault: Munaf Patel might be one of the leading wicket takers in this IPL, but his antics are getting unbearable to watch now. Not satisfied with physically intimidating a batsman, he got into an argument with the umpires and escaped with a fine of 50% of his match fee for all the trouble. Additionally, he had an unforgettable day with the ball.

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: With 8 runs to defend in the final over, Harbhajan turned to Perera, who had bowled one over for 10 runs. Sure enough, the first ball he bowled to Marsh sailed over deep point to signal the beginning of the end of the contest.

Viagra Performer of the day: Shaun Marsh is quickly getting back to vintage form, as he strives to put behind memories of a poor home season behind him. His unbeaten 68 from 40 balls was one of his best knocks considering the opposition and the match situation.

Best tweet of the game: After a long time, Preity Zinta delivers a hit. #KXIP #IPL (by @coolfunnytshirt)

Pinocchio Fact: Considering their inconsistent performances of late, Mumbai Indians are planning to wheel in Lasith Malinga to bowl from a stretcher for the next few games. (courtesy @BoredCricket)

Game 29: KKR vs DC

Kolkata Knight Riders 127 for 5 (Tiwary 30*, Steyn 2-24) beat Deccan Chargers 126 for 7 (Dhawan 50, Balaji 2-22) by five wickets

Match in 140 characters: Dhawan top scores in a somnolent Chargers innings as they post 126; despite tight bowling, it is not enough as Tiwary guides KKR home

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: With both teams playing like they wanted the other team to win, it all boiled down to a dropped catch by Anand Rajan in the 18th over of KKR’s chase which sealed the Chargers’ fate.

Best tweet of the game: DC fielders can pass on few jokes to the kkr batsmen. They will get frustrated and get out. Thats the only option left now! #ipl (by @coolfunnytshirt)

Game 30: RCB vs RR

Royal Challengers Bangalore 189 for 3 (Dilshan 76*, de Villiers 59*) beat Rajasthan Royals 143 for 7 (Dravid 58, Appanna 4-19) by 46 runs

Match in 140 characters: A de Villiers blitz and a Dilshan special propel RCB to 189; Dravid sizzles briefly but Appanna is too much for the Royals

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: It is not often that a Gayle wicket turns out to be a winning moment for RCB; yet, it was the dismissal of the unwell Jamaican that brought de Villiers to the crease and set in motion the mayhem that was to follow.

Viagra Performer of the day: While it was gracious of him to share the MOM award with Appanna, it was the manic innings of de Villiers which proved to be the difference between the two sides. He came in when the team’s run rate was below 6 per over and by the time he walked off after an innings of 59 in 23 deliveries, the run rate was 9.45 per over.

Best tweet of the day: Justin Bieber’s Indian cousin opening the bowling for RCB. (by @AltCricket)

Game 31: DD vs PWI

Delhi Daredevils 148 for 2 (Sehwag 87*) beat Pune Warriors 146 for 2 (Pandey 80*) by eight wickets 
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Match in 140 characters: Pandey and Utthappa resist some tight Daredevil bowling to take Warriors to 146; Sehwag’s blistering knock makes light of target as DD win

Viagra Performer of the day: It is not often that Sehwag strings together two consecutive scores above 50, and it shows that he is slowly getting back into vintage form. 147 was always going to be comfortable chase, but the way he was going, it would not have mattered if the Warriors had scored 200 either.

Best tweet of the game: Dada running long on ! hair is going long off lol #ipl (by @YUVSTRONG12)

Game 32: KKR vs DC

Match abandoned

Tweet of the week:

Looks like this season KXIP will meet the same fate as most of Preity Zinta’s films do (by @_fakeiplplayer)

The Plunder Games – Week 2 Recap

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 12: MI vs RR

Mumbai Indians 197 for 6 (Pollard 64, Rayudu 47*) beat Rajasthan Royals 170 (Shah 76, Rahane 40, Munaf 4-28)

Match in 140 characters: Frenetic hitting from Pollard and Rayadu take MI to 197, Rahane and Shah threaten a tight contest, but night belongs to the big Trinidadian

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: Owais Shah was threatening to overshadow Pollard’s knock with a blistering innings of his own, when a beleaguered Bhajji threw the ball to his go-to bowler, and he didn’t disappoint. Off the first ball, he knocked back Shah’s stumps and that was basically the end of the Royals’ resistance.

Viagra Performer of the day: 33 balls, 6 fours, 4 sixes, all added up to a typical Pollard-ian innings. If that wasn’t enough, he returned to scalp 4 batsmen and take 1 catch.

Best tweet of the game: Once a Shah, Owais Shah. #IPL (by @coolfunnytshirt)

Pinocchio Fact: Pollard’s workout consists entirely of lifting  Junior Ambani everyday (courtesy @_fakeiplplayer)

Game 13: RCB vs CSK

Chennai Super Kings 208 for 5 (Du Plessis 71, Dhoni 41, Murali 3-21) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore205 for 8 (Gayle 68, Kohli 57, Bollinger 3-24) by five wickets

Match in 140 characters: Gayle, Agarwal and Kohli take RCB to 205, du Plessis sets platform, Dhoni maintains tempo, Morkel smokes Kohli to take CSK to thrilling win.

#TrottsFault: The obvious choice might be Virat Kohli; but he is a part-timer, and against Morkel’s clean hitting he had no chance. On the other hand, Vinay Kumar bowled like a novice in the final over dishing out full tosses and no balls, which CSK made full use of.

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: The game might have been decided off the final ball, but it truly turned on its head in the previous over when Morkel blitzed 28 runs off Kohli.

Viagra Performer of the day: Till this game, Morne was the Morkel grabbing all the attention in this IPL. In the space of 6 balls, Albie changed all that with an adrenaline-packed innings, which swung the game CSK’s way.

Best tweet of the game: It seems Raina has a special place in his heart for long on to mid wicket region.Doesn’t matter if he is batting or bowling. (by @holdingwilley)

Pinocchio Fact: Dan Christian was seen offering bowling tips to Vinay Kumar on the day before the RCB-CSK game.

Game 14: PWI vs KXIP

Kings XI Punjab 116 for 3 (Marsh 64*, Chawla 24*) beat Pune Warriors 115 (Manhas 31, Mascarenhas 5-25) by seven wickets

Match in 140 characters: Pune Warriors stumble and stutter to 115, thanks to a Macarhenas 5-fer; led by Marsh, Kings XI ease to victory

Viagra Performer of the day: Shaun Marsh may have had a horror Aussie summer, but in IPL colors, he still continues to torment the bowlers. His unbeaten 64 extinguished any hopes that the Pune Warriors might have had.

Best tweet of the game: #AltPulseQuestion Who has the most pinchable cheeks – Piyush Chawwwwla or Preity Zinta? #IPL (by @AltCricket)

Game 15: KKR vs RR

Kolkata Knight Riders 137 for 5 (Kallis 31, Bisla 29) beat Rajasthan Royals 131 for 5 (Shah 31, Dravid 28, Shakib 3-17) by five wickets

Match in 140 characters: On a tricky pitch, Royals scrape to 131 as Shakib keeps them in check; KKR chase it down without much of trouble..

Viagra Performer of the day: Shakib al Hasan had a good start to his IPL, with a match winning 3/17 which kept the Royals down to a chaseable target.

Best tweet of the game: Funny that GG is the captain of KKR but the team is playing with MSDs tactics. Take it till the end. (by @siddyness)

Game 16: CSK vs PWI

Pune Warriors 156 for 3 (Ryder 73*, Smith 44*) beat Chennai Super Kings 155 for 5 (Jadeja 44, du Plessis 43) by seven wickets

Match in 140 characters: Despite du Plessis’ and Jaddu’s knocks, CSK don’t get enough, Ryder bats through innings and Smith explodes to chase down 156

#TrottsFault: Its not often that captain cool MS Dhoni costs his team the game; A painstaking 26 with no big hits in the end stalled CSK’s progress and some of his tactics including holding back Jadeja while the Warriors were batting and giving Yo Mahesh the final over backfired spectacularly.

Charlie Sheen Winning moment: du Plessis’ stumping off Rahul Sharma’s bowling killed CSK’s momentum early in the game and despite some lusty hitting by Jadeja, they fell short by atleast 25 runs.

Viagra Performer of the day: Steve Smith has been the biggest success story for the Pune Warriors. In the field, he is incredibly quick with a safe pair of hands. With the bat, he has applied the finishing touches well. His dismantling of Kulasekara in the penultimate over tilted a game which was heading for a tight finish, in favor of the Warriors.

Best tweet of the game: Faf Du Plessis will wear an Orange Cap, yellow jersey and Trousers + Red boots when CSK take the field, Will look like a Tamil Hero. #IPL (by @forwardshortleg)

Pinocchio Fact: The reason why Dinda Jumps So high before bowling is because he was born in a leap year (courtesy @joydas)

Game 17: KKR vs KXIP

Kings XI Punjab 134 for 9 (Mandeep Singh 38, Narine 5-19 ) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 132 for 7 (Das 35, Chawla 3-18) by 2 runs 

Match in 140 characters: Narine mesmerizes as Kings XI are kept down to 134, despite a good start, KKR stumble as Chawla and Harmeet shock Kolkata

Charlie Sheen Winning moment: Despite Chawla’s heroics earlier, the game was going to be won or lost by little known Harmeet Singh, when he was thrown the ball for the final over. KKR needed 9 runs to win the game but could only manage 6, as Kings XI stole an unlikely win.

Viagra Performer of the day: Sunil Narine is one of the better spinners in international cricket these days, and in this game he showed why he is highly rated. In 4 overs of masterful bowling, he kept the batsmen guessing as he returned with figures of 5/19. Though his team lost the game, Narine was easily the best performer among the two sides.

Game 18: RR vs RCB

Rajasthan Royals 195 for 2 (Rahane 103*, Shah 60) beat 136 Royal Challengers Bangalore (Agarwal 34, Trivedi 4 for 25) by 59 runs

Match in 140 characters: Rahane sizzles and Owais smashes as RCB run for cover, Trivedi leads a disciplined Royals effort in the field as they surge to top of table

#TrottsFault: If it was Kohli who had a horror game with the ball last time, it was S Aravind’s turn in this game. Not too long ago, he featured in the national team, but after the ruthless punishment at the hands of Rahane, it is hard to see him coming back after this effort.

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: While it was Rahane and Shah who set a massive target, it was Pankaj Singh’s two wickets in the 5th over (Agarwal and Gayle) which sealed the game in favor of the Royals.

Viagra Performer of the day: IPL 5 could well be the tournament which opens the door for Rahane to enter into the Indian T20 side. For long, he has been considered a batsman for the longest form of the game, and only recently did he make his foray into ODIs. After a scintillating 98 last week, his century against RCB was one full of power and grace which showcased his full repertoire. Greater things await the new maestro from Mumbai.

Game 19: DD vs MI

Delhi Daredevils 93 for 3 (Sehwag 32) beat Mumbai Indians 92 (Harbhajan 33, Umesh 2-10, Nadeem 2-16) by seven wickets

Match in 140 characters: Nadeem leads a strong Daredevils performance in the field despite Bhajji heroics with the bat as Sehwag and Mahela lead a controlled chase

#TrottsFault: The entire MI top order, including Rohit Sharma who apart from running out Rayadu, kept playing high risk shots when the situation warranted some rebuilding.

Viagra Performer of the day: For a team which does not have any high profile spinners, Shahbaz Nadeem is perhaps as big a boon as any of the fancy top order batsmen. He strangled MI right at the top of the game, and induced them into playing rash shots to get away.

Best tweet of the game: MI: Duniya hila denge, DD: Mahela denge, Taylor: Sila denge, RCB: Pila denge (by @crownish)

Game 20: RR vs DC

Rajasthan Royals 197 for 5 (Hodge 48*, Mishra 3-32) beat Deccan Chargers 196 for 2 (Duminy 58*, Dhawan 52) by five wickets 

Match in 140 characters: Duminy leads a strong Deccan ‘Charge’ as Royals are left with a target of 197, Dravid, Rahane and Hodge’s fireworks ensure thrilling win

#TrottsFault: Steyn had a rare off day, as Dravid and Hodge tucked into him at crucial times, even as he returned expensive figures of 0/44 in 3.4 overs.

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: The Royals’ chase was so well planned that they didn’t really look like they were in trouble at any stage. Little known wicket keeper Yagnik duly dispatched Steyn for two boundaries in the final over to seal the win.

Viagra Performer of the day: Brad Hodge who scored an unbeaten 48 at a strike rate of 228.57. In a high scoring match featuring plenty of slam bang innings, his knock stood out.

Game 21: RCB vs PWI

Royal Challengers Bangalore 186 for 4 (Gayle 81, Tiwary 36*, de Villiers 33*) beat Pune Warriors 182 for 6 (Uthappa 69, Ryder 34, Samuels 34) by six wickets

Match in 140 characters: Utthappa, Ryder and Samuels power the Warriors to 182, Gayle leads a spirited assault while de Villiers and Tiwary steal an unlikely win

#TrottsFault: While it is tough to choose between Rahul Sharma and Ashish Nehra, the winner is the lanky Delhi seamer. He is the more experienced performer who has been in this situation numerous times before. With RCB needing 24 runs in the final over, one would have backed Nehra to defend it more times than not. Unfortunately, those days are gone long by.

Charlie Sheen Winning Moment: Gayle whacked 5 sixes in a Rahul Sharma over to pull back the chase for RCB and de Villiers played a manic yet creative innings to haul them to the precipice of an improbable win; but in the end, it was left to the much maligned Tiwary, who defied the script and pummeled the last ball to the boundary in the final over, triggering wild celebrations in Bangalore.

Viagra Performer of the day: AB de Villiers’ knock of 33 in 14 deliveries might not seem out of place in T20s; but the figures don’t tell the story of an innings which contained innovative strokes under tremendous pressure and which ultimately helped RCB over the line.

Best tweet of the game: Uthappa says Danny Morrison is too loud. Tell us something we don’t know, lad. #IPL (by @headless_sky)

Pinocchio Fact: Chris Gayle has been signed up as the new ambassador for iPhone 4S – since their punchline suits him every time he goes to bat. “This changes everything. Again.”  (courtesy @CluelessVictory)

Tweet of the week:

DD must be seeing their past in MI’s present. #ipl (by @boredcricket)

Valid thoughts…Hope the people concerned are taking note…

No Sacred cows !

Over the last 12 months, Ravichandran Ashwin has bowled 589 overs for his national team and 79 overs for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He has played in 38 matches for India and 22 matches for CSK. In all, he has been on the field for 80 days. Add to this, the travel involved – In just this period, Ashwin has travelled to five of the nine other test playing nations and 17 different cities in India. I hope he’s signed up for every frequent flyer program out there.

Even in this day of cricket all the time, cricket everywhere, this is a phenomenal workload. Among international cricketers only Virat Kohli comes close to having endured the same level of travel and stress. But Kohli’s primary job is to bat (as evident from this over on 4/12/12 against Chennai). The stress on the body, while significant is not as…

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The Plunder Games – Week 1 Recap

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 1: CSK vs MI

Mumbai Indians 115 for 2 (Levi 50) beat Chennai Super Kings 112 (Pollard 2-15, Malinga 2-16, Ojha 2-17) by eight wickets 

Match in 140 characters: Vijay stutters, 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 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: KKR vs DD

Delhi Daredevils 100 for 2 (Irfan 42*, Finch 30) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 97 for 9 (Shukla 26, M Morkel 3-18) by eight wickets

Match in 140 characters: Rain delays, match reduced to 12 overs a side, Morkel and Yadav strike, DD to chase 98, Sehwag and Finch start well, Irfan 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 gave 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: 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 Agarkar up as Marchant de Lange. (by @greatbong)

Game 3: MI vs PWI

Pune Warriors India 129 for 9 (Smith 39, Malinga 2-16) beat Mumbai Indians 100 for 9 (Dinda 4-17) by 29 runs

Match in 140 characters: Malinga, Bhajji and Munaf keep Pune to 129 even as Smith steadies the Warriors, Kartik, Dinda wreak havoc on MI’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 Indians’ chase never got off to a start thanks to a double-strike by Dinda in the second over where he dismissed Rayadu and Rohit. In the absence of Sachin, the chase got more difficult and ultimately proved beyond them.

Viagra performer of the day: 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 Sachin’s injured finger.

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

Game 4: RR vs KXIP

Rajasthan Royals 191 for 4 (Rahane 98) beat Kings XI Punjab 160 for 9 (Mandeep 34, Cooper 4-26) by 31 runs

Match in 140 characters: 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 so badly, that it looked like PK was going to grab a stump at 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 today’s performance 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 Hogg out of the comm box (by @MadFastBowler)

Game 5: RCB vs DD

Royal Challengers Bangalore 157 for 8 (de Villiers 64*, Bracewell 3-32) beat Delhi Daredevils 137 for 7 (Murali 3-25) by 20 runs

Match in 140 characters: No Gayle show due to injury but de Villiers ensures a challenging total..Sehwag fails, Murali mesmerizes 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: CSK vs DC

Chennai Super Kings 193 for 6 (Jadeja 48, Bravo 43*) beat 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. 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, Jaddu boy had earlier stabilized 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: RR vs KKR

Rajasthan Royals 164 for 5 (Hodge 44, Menaria 40, Lee 2-29) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 143 (Tiwary 59, Cooper 3-28) by 22 runs

Match in 140 characters: Menaria, Hodge and Shah power RR to 164, KKR never take off after losing Kallis and Gambhir early, Tiwary reminds evryone 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: PWI vs KXIP

Pune Warriors 166 for 6 (Samuels 46, Uthappa 40, Harmeet 3-24) beat Kings XI Punjab 144 for 8 (Bipul 35*, Rahul 2-34) by 22 runs

Match in 140 characters: Samuels, Utthappa, Smith and 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 0/40 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: DC vs MI

Mumbai Indians 142 for 5 (Rohit 73*, Steyn 3-12) beat Deccan Chargers 138 for 9 (Dhawan 41, Christian 39, Munaf 4-20) by five wickets

Match in 140 characters: DC score 138 but not before Munaf and Bhajji 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 Winning moment: The first nail-biter of the tournament was not decided till the final ball of the match. Needing 3 runs to win, Christian bowled a full toss to 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 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 4 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: RCB vs KKR

Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 8 (Gambhir 64, R Vinay Kumar 2-18) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore123 for 9 (Vinay Kumar 25, Balaji 4-18) by 42 runs 

Match in 140 characters: Aggressive start by Gauti, Kallis and Bisla propel KKR to 165; Gayle, Kohli and ABd flop as Bala-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 Mithun and 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. Cos 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: CSK vsDD

Delhi Daredevils 111 for 2 (Pietersen 43*, Sehwag 33) beat Chennai Super Kings 110 for 8 (M 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 KP’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 pm.


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

Deep Backward Point

Ducking Beamers* wonders how to become a fan of an IPL team– the teams changed drastically year-over-year, there are only weak city-based ties and some teams are just plain bad:

This is my major problem with the IPL: why should I support one franchise over another?

In my opinion, it’s easy to pick a team. Here are my steps:

  • STEP #1: Never root against Sachin Tendulkar.
  • STEP #2: Make a list of all the players you love to watch. It doesn’t matter why you love to watch them. Maybe they swear a lot. Maybe they are good-looking. Maybe they slapped a player you hate. Maybe they actually play decent cricket. It does not matter. This is the IPL; the Filmfare Awards of cricket. It’s your license to be absurd.
  • STEP #3: Remove all the bowlers from your list. IPL is a batsman’s game. Nobody likes watching the bowlers. Nobody.
  • STEP…

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It was 2007. We were at Trent Bridge. The veteran cricket photographer Patrick Eagar was covering his 300th Test. He was kind enough to spare a few minutes for a chat, a wide-ranging discussion on cricket photography. At the end of the interview I asked him to name a cricketer who was tough to shoot. He considered the question for a few seconds. Here’s his response:

“I find Tendulkar quite difficult to photograph. That’s probably because I’ve seen more of Lara in the one-day situation than Tendulkar. You have to admire some of the inventiveness in some of Lara’s shots. I’ve seen Tendulkar in a slightly more passive mould. I find it very difficult to take a picture of Tendulkar that has people saying, ‘What a good batsman!’ I don’t know why; need to work it out.’

I thought of Eagar’s statement yesterday when Mahesh (@cornerd) pointed me to a…

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A Game of Thrones in Mumbai

The Mumbai Indians’ quest for IPL glory has led to the latest development in their camp: Sachin Tendulkar taking a ‘break’ from captaincy and Harbhajan Singh taking over the reins.

First of, there won’t be too many arguments in favor of Sachin continuing as skipper. Throughout his career, the Mumbai maestro has never mastered the art of captaincy, be it for India or the Mumbai Indians. Highlights of his captaincy includes more mis-steps than master-strokes; for instance, keeping Pollard for too late during the final of IPL-3. There is no doubt that he is a good mentor for the younger players in the squad and a good sounding board for fellow veterans; but captaining a team is something he is better off without. In that sense, relinquishing the captaincy makes sense, though I don’t understand the term ‘taking a break’. Does that mean, he will want the reins back, when he feels sufficiently rejuvenated and motivated? In that case, this move doesn’t make sense.

In contrast, Harbhajan Singh seems to be the natural successor to Tendulkar. While he may have been discarded from the Indian team for the past few months, there is no doubt that when he dons the role of captain, he brings a certain element of flair and luck to the team. In the time he has been away from the national side, he has led Mumbai Indians to a Champions League title, India Green to a shared Challenger Trophy and Punjab to the final of the domestic T20 trophy. He has put in decent performances in these games, showing that captaincy doesn’t affect his natural game (for better or worse!). He reminds me of Saurav Ganguly, a fighter who liked to lead by example and was unafraid to be expressive on the field. Perhaps, the Mumbai Indians need that extra jolt of passion from their skipper to cross the final hurdle and win the IPL for the first time.

Singh is lucky that he has a bevy of talented performers in the side, both international and domestic. While he may receive a lot of support from Tendulkar, it will be ultimately up to him to make the decisions at crunch time and keep the team unified in pursuit of a single goal. This could be the latest challenge for a person known to have a volatile temperament and it will be interesting to track his progress.

Which brings us back to the matter of Tendulkar taking a ‘break’ from captaincy; if Singh fails, does it mean Tendulkar will be back in command next time? If Harbhajan leads the team to the title, will Tendulkar accept that his days of captaincy are over? Or will Mukesh bhai and Nita bhabi have the final word in this game of thrones?

Ducking Beamers: A Cricket Blog

Sorry for the lack of posting; was away on vacation with the family. During the trip, I had an interesting conversation with my father about the IPL and the value of cricket. Our question was: How do you begin to attach a dollar figure to an obsession like cricket? It’s one thing to say, as many (annoyingly) do, that cricket is a religion in India. But is it also a lucrative one? If it is an obsession, are people making rational, properly modeled decisions, or ones based purely on sentiment and personal attachment?

At its heart, this question stems from a dispute between disciplines: economists like to think that buyers and sellers meet in a marketplace and are motivated purely by precise definitions of their own utility and prices (which are themselves decided by supply and demand). Sociologists and social psychologists, on the other hand, argue that societal norms have…

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