The face-off was between the Royal Challengers and the Deccan Chargers. The ice cool Kingfisher against the piping hot biriyani! Also at stake were... bruised egos and tons of money. In the end... the Chargers charged their way to victory. Every thing else was secondary. Two old war horses, two wily foxes... both legends in their own right, faced each other with all their might... for this big fight. In the end, Gilly's danda made the Royal Challengers... ekdum thanda!
Kumble aka Jumbo and his team did some good bowling. They restricted the Chargers to a paltry... one hundred and forty three. With his 4-wicket spell, you can tell... Skipper Kumble showed the way... even though its usually: 'Thats the way, Mahiway'... ! Not enough runs on the board... so said the 'experts'... Gilly though had other ideas.
Skipper to Skipper, Captain to Captain... Kumble got Gilly clean bowled for a duck... Quack! Quack! It was only the third ball of the match. Then Rahul Dravid dropped a catch... which finally cost the Royals the match! It was quite a dolly... by G(i)olly... !! Symonds went on to score some extra runs... actually another 28... that sealed the Royals fate. In the end, just 6 runs... made all the difference!
Symonds perished not to the 'Apple Crumble' but to the 'hand of fate'. In the ninth over Kumble produced another wrong 'un and Symonds, going in for a pull, failed to 'connect' properly. He should start using Nokia... 'Connecting people'... !!! Sooo Simple! The ball dropped on to his thighs and on the leg stump to see his bail dislodge. Rahul heaved a sigh of relief... one so loud... it could be heard all the way to Bangalore!!! For sure.
Kallis was out cheap. Taylor's heroics too went for a six. Both had crafted a few earlier wins... but fumbled at the crucial hurdle. Ojha and Gilly got rid of the marauding Roelof van der Merwe. Dangerman Virat Kohli too was stumpted by the willy Gilly. And Virat looked so silly! Lightning quick behind the stumps... is this man Gilly. No dilly and no dally! Symonds struck twice in the 15th over... to dismiss both Kohli and Taylor... to tilt the match in the Chargers' favour.
Dravid was not at his elegant best... no jest. He tried a 'cute' shot and threw away his precious wicket... !!!
Did you know... van der Merwe is actually Roelof Erasmus van der Merwe... ??? Quite a mouthful and a tongue twister at that! After one of their league matches, his teammate Praveen Kumar while speaking about the match had said: "Aur... Van... ahhh... yeh South Africa ka jo ladka hai....." Can't blame him... Right... ?!! Pronouncing a name like that... is quite a 'fight'... !
And the New Zealander Ross Taylor is LRPL Taylor. Two initials is normal, but four is positively Sri Lankan! So I dug some more and discovered he is actually Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor. Whew!!! I am out of breath... got to get some rest! Looking at his name... only Ross and Taylor does make some sense. No wonder he is universally known as... well, 'Ross Taylor'! Leaving out the tongue twisters. Thankfully, he is not south Indian... else there would have been a lot of 'fun'... !
On second thoughts... can't we call him... Mr. Potato Chips... ?!! OK. Mr. Potato Chips Taylor... ?? Aww... C'mon Yaar! There is no bar (on it)... so far...
He was born on March 8th, 1984 in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. 'Lower Hutt'... hmmm... wonder what would he been called if he was born in the 'Upper Hut' instead.. !! Any guesses... no???
The new kid on the block... Manish Pandey made hay... while the sun was shining... in the semis against the Chennai Super Kings. His 48 steered the Royals... into the IPL season 2 finals. In the last game before the semis... against the Chargers, he scored a century... and walked into history. An unbeaten hundred and fourteen... not bad for a lad of nineteen. He said... he has made the right choice in cricket than in a career in the Army... My! O My! Pepsi! Yehi hai Right choice, baby... Aha!!! Pandey reigned supreme and the Royals cruised to the semis. The Army's loss is cricket's gain! Ten on ten... !!!
Even 'Mr. finisher'... Mark Boucher... failed to butcher the bowlers... and fell for a paltry 5 runs. The new 'bakra' Harmeet Singh claimed his wicket... and his ticket (to fame) ably assisted by Gibbs... who took the catch. That kind of won the match! A lot rested on the 'extra padded shoulders' of Uthappa. Dappa! Dappa! Buddy! Lose some weight and get back in shape. Quick! He scored a six... hopes soared, and the crowd roared. We all thought... 'now he's gonna hit'... instead, he developed cold feet... !!! He wasted too many balls and looked very sleepy... wonder why the Royals did not play Shreevats Goswami... !!! Poor chap... he got 'bangalored' in bangalore... !
Pragyan Ojha, Andrew Symonds and Harmeet Singh struck vital blows... to put the brakes on Bangalore. Herschelle Gibbs hit an unbeaten 53 to give the Chargers a 'challenging' total... due to which they could continue the 'battle'. R. P. Singh with 23 wickets wore the 'Purple Cap' while the Aussie run machine... Matthew Hayden with 572 runs claimed the 'Orange Cap'. Kumble with 22 wickets... missed the bus aka the 'Purple Cap'... by a whisker... but became the 'Man of the match' for his 4/18 in the finals... nevertheless. There... thats some consolation. Adam Gilchrist was the 'Man of the series'. No worries! Pragyan Ojha weaved his magic, but with his 'limited' vocabulary... left everyone feeling quite 'sick'. The finals also saw newcomer Harmeet sing(h)ing his way to 2 crucial wickets and taking a spectacular catch... end of the match.
Last year's runners up lost in the semi finals... the Chennai Super Kings were Kings no more. Dhoni must be in mourning and feeling very sore. He lost the fight between the 'red and golden yellows' and the... well... the 'yellows'! Poor fellows... no halos. The last two teams in season one... made it to the finals in this one! Kumble is 38 and has the height, while Gilly is 37... which kinda makes it even. But, the younger of the two won. Suits Gilly fine... he has played like a young gun... !!! And had a lot of fun!
Much of the early focus was on the Bollywood stars: Shah Rukh, Shilpa and a Preity with the Zinta who should model for the Fanta! All co-owners of IPL franchises... mixed the 'reel' with the 'real'. But none of their teams did particularly well. Khan's 'Kolkata Knight Riders' finished an embarrassing last and thereby bit the dust. They won only three out of 14 matches and this got the King Khan's goat... and he returned to India... to Vote. The Khan returned to India early in the campaign... unable to bear the pain. No risk, no gain! Umm... exercising one's 'franchise' was more important and doesn't go in vain. Zinta's 'Kings XI Punjab' were squeezed out of the semifinals on run rate. Yuvraj turned pedestrian... and his blade fell silent. He must 'train' all the same. Else no money and no fame. Perhaps even no dame or a fair maiden. While Shetty's 'Rajasthan Royals' - the defending champions - were sixth. From first to sixth... they were truly trounced. Inspite of the "Shut Up and Bounce". In the end, the cricketers claimed centre stage... despite their 'age'. Too Old... ?? Nope. New is Silver.... Old is Gold... !!!
By the way, the 'Match referee' was a certain Javagal Srinath... a contemporary of both Kumble and Gilchrist. What a twist!!! The current coach of the Chargers... the former Australian batsman Darren Lehmann proved to be no layman... !
Ray Jennings has not lost his 'ray' of hope and is not ready to mope. The King of Good Times'... cup... err mug 'of happiness' must be runneth over... What??
Note: Manish Pandey's 114* was not only the 1st century by an Indian in the IPL, it was also the 2nd century by an Indian in all Twenty20 cricket. Rohit Sharma's is the other one. What's more is that it is the highest score by an Indian in all forms of Twenty20 cricket.
Some info gathered courtesy: Wikipedia. IPL stands for the Indian Premier League.
Cartoons courtesy: http://ipladda.blogspot.com/
A hilarious take on the IPL season 2... all in good humour, though. I assure you :)