Monday, May 3, 2010

Following the success of the previous Indian Premier League in South Africa, this year’s edition promised to be a superb affair as the IPL returned home to India. The tournament commenced on 12th March at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai with the opening match between the regining champions, the Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders. Prior to the match there was an enthralling opening ceremony featuring stars such as Deepika Padukone performing. The passion was flying from the very first ball of IPL 2010 as Chaminda Vaas of the Chargers got a wicket of the same ball. But, the Knight Riders went onto win the match after the Chargers’ batting collapse.

That thrilling night set the ball rolling for what was promising to be a fantastic month of cricketing action. The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians started to dominate the tournament from the get go but, the Royal Challenger fell off the wagon a bit towards the end creeping into the semi finals. The Mumbai Indians went onto top the league table and make it to the semis as well. The out and out strugglers of the tournament were the Kings XI Punjab managing only 4 wins out of 14 matches and finishing at the bottom of the table.

Towards the end things got really tight with 6 teams fighting for the final 3 semi final spots as Mumbai had already assured their top place finish. In the end, the Indians were joined by the Chennai Superkings, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the Deccan Chargers, who made it to the semis winning 5 out of their remaining 5 games.

The first semi-final was between 2 of the tournament’s best teams, form wise. Mumbai got through to the finals with a comfortable 35 run victory over the Royal Challengers, making them the favourites to win the tournament. In the second semi final, after staging such a miraculous comeback to make it to the semi finals, the Deccan Chargers were no match for the Chennai Superkings as they defended their total of 143 quite comfortably, in the end winning the contest by 38 runs.

Before the finals, there was match between the losers of the 2 semi finalists, playing for the final Champions League spot. In that game, the Chargers were bowled out for a measly 82 bringing their season to a crashing halt. Bangalore won the game comfortably by 9 wickets.

In the final, Chennai batted first and set a score of 168 in their allotted 20 overs thanks to a superb 57 from Suresh Raina. Mumbai Indians had a tough task ahead of them as they had to chase down 168, which is never easy in a T20 game, even more so in a final. Mumbai did not get off to a great start after losing Dhawan for 1 run. But, Sachin Tendulkar stepped up to the plate and made a brilliant 48, and along with Abhishek Nayar posted a partnership of 66 until Nayar fell. Following that wicket, Mumbai had a collapse of sorts losing their next 4 wickets for just 47 runs. Kieron Pollard made a quick fire 27 but, that too wasn’t enough for a daunting total.

Chennai won the match and the DLF IPL 2010 beating the Mumbai Indians by 22 runs. Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged Man of the Series for his consistent performances over the course of the tournament. 3 different years sprouted 3 different winners. With 2 new teams being added to the roster, the next edition of the IPL will be more fiercely contested than before.

By Jeraz Pastakia