Sunday, 9 October 2011

Malinga for Gayle

Since the beginning of the 4th edition of the IPL, two names that have made rounds were Lasith Malinga for his devastating bowling and Chris Gayle for his mind blowing batting. Lasith Malinga was the highest wicket taker in the tournament and Chris Gayle the highest run-getter. And, much to anybody's surprise, those two players are responsible for their teams to qualifying in the finals of the champions league T20 tournament. In yesterday's second semi-finals between Mumbai Indians and Somerset, Lasith Malinga scalped four wickets to see his team make it to the finals of the tournament needless to be said.

In the game, if Bangalore was a batsman's paradise, then the pitch at Chennai was exactly opposite to that when batsmen found it hard to score despite there being several wickets in hand. Most of the time, both the teams had scored equal scores at the end of a particular over. Moreover, the losers of the game - Somerset had been ahead of the Mumbai Indians until the 17th over if their over comparison is made. But, it was Malinga who completely devastated the Somerset batsmen. The batsmen from Somerset team could not get enough runs towards the end of the innings.

The Mumbai Indians read the pitch well and did most of their scoring towards the end of their innings and not going for the kill right from the beginning. However, looking at the batting of Mumbai Indians, they scored 51 runs in their powerplay compared to 35 from Somerset and were always lagging behind when it came to their scores tally. This clearly shows that the Somerset tried to relax a lot during their batting with wickets in hand during most of the time. In the end, they fell 10 runs short of the total what Mumbai Indians put up.

It was Rajagopal's quickfire 25 off 12 balls which proved costly for Somerset. That was the advantage that the team batting first always has in hand when the last few overs happen to be slog overs where the batsmen go in for the kill which the team batting does not have. However, in the batting of Somerset, if not for Kieswetter and Hildreth no other batsmen could do anything with the remaining batsmen getting little opportunity to show their skills. One thing for which Harbhajan Singh needs to be applauded is for having Malinga bowl the last two overs which were crucial which saw 5 wickets from Somerset falling.

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