How many of us would have thought that a team that ended high in the points table with 10 victories in its kitty to crash out so badly in the tournament? How many of us would have thought the team that beat the Deccan Chargers on both occasions to lose out to the same Deccan Chargers so badly in the semi finals of the tournament? How many of us would have thought the return of Virender Sehwag back to form would be of no use to his team? How many of us thought the number 1 team to lose so badly to the number 4 team in the tournament? But, these were witnessed by the helpless fans out there in Centurion.
The total of 153 was neither a bad one nor a good one for that matter. And defending the same by the Delhi team or chasing the same by the Deccan Chargers would not have raised many eyebrows. But, the moment the first over of the Deccan Chargers' batting ended, the result was well in front of us. The first over went for 22 runs with Adam Gilchrist striking 5 boundaries. And how does it matter if the other opener Gibbs gets out for a second ball duck as long as there was Gilly to solve the matter? The only disappointment that Gilchrist gave was that he couldn't score a hundred. Perhaps, that I think would have been the fastest of the IPL so far-including the earlier season in 2008.
After the Delhi team's loss in the first semi finals of the Indian Premier League, I was reminded of the South African disappointing exit of the 1996 & 1999 world cup. In 1996, the Proteas won all of their 5 league matches only to lose against the West Indies in the quarter finals. There too, it was a victory of team 4 versus team 1, with the South Africa on number 1 (Group B) and West Indies being number 4 (of Group A). In 1999, the South Africans won all the matches if not for their loss against Australia in the super sixes, only to lose the semis to the Aussies by zero runs.
This was the third encounter between the Delhi team and the Hyderabad team, and after every match, the match has been found closing in on the Deccan Chargers. The first match between these 2 teams was washed off by the Delhi team, the second match though being won by the Delhi team yet again, the Chargers gave the Delhi team a tough fight and lost out only in the end after being in the match for so long. And this time in the third encounter, the Delhi team was nowhere in the picture. It was a clean sweep by the Deccan Chargers and Adam Gilchrist in particular.
So, after the first semis, the IPL which consisted of entire India has now dropped to only South India, with the East, West and the North crashing out. Now the fight is between the three South Indian states in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.