Sunday, June 01, 2008

IPL semifinals cough up deserving winners

By John Cheeran
Not many were mourning the King’s XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, on Saturday night. For Yuvraj Singh’s men did nothing to raise a challenge to Chennai Super Kings in the semifinal of the Indian Premier League.

So both semifinals of the IPL have been disappointments when you are looking at them, in terms of the thrill quotient. No last over dramas, no palpitations.

It is remarkable that bowlers players such a key role in both semifinals. Three early wickets snatched by Shane Watson rattled the rhythm of Delhi Daredevils and they never threatened the near 200 winning target posted by Rajasthan Royals.

And on Saturday there was no contest as Makhya Ntini blew out the Kings XI which largely depended on Australian and Sri Lankan stars. All of them, including Shaun Marsh and Sangakara failed on the day. And their failure was accentuated by the ease with which Parthiv Patel and Suresh controlled the business of getting runs in the middle. So it was all about getting the balance between the urge to thrill the crowd and picking the right balls for the big heave. Not mere brawn is not enough, as once again Punjab learnt to their chagrin.

As they say, you win some, you lose some.

Thank you all the same Kings and Queens.

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