Saturday, May 31, 2008

IPL Final

In the fascinating inaugural IPL final, on one side it will be the test of character of Shane Warne's tactics and MS Dhoni's calmness while on the other there will be an intriguing tussle between Shane Watson's willow and Makhaya Nitini's ball.

A keen cricketing contest will unfold at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday. At stake are Rs 5 crore kitty, the IPL champions tag and a place in the cricketing history.

Chennai Super Kings thumped Kings XI Punjab to register a resounding nine-wicket victory in the second semi-final of the IPL to set up Sunday title clash with Rajasthan Royals.

Super Kings' achieved the scanty target of 113 with consummate ease after losing just one-wicket. Southpaws' Parthiv Patel and Suresh Raina slammed unbeaten half-centuries to guide their team into the IPL final.

Earlier on Friday, Rajasthan Royals made it to the IPL finals by drubbing Delhi Daredevils with a massive margin of 105 runs in a one-sided first IPL semi-final.

Both Shane Warne and MS Dhoni have been great team leaders. Warne has turned around a team of raw Indian cricketers and a few international players, into a match-winning combination, and Dhoni’s captaincy skills with the Indian team and his IPL team speak for themselves.

In the IPL though, Warne has stolen a march even as Dhoni has quietly slipped in. Suddenly, Chennai’s investment of Rs 6 crore in the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman seems to have been a good business strategy.

It is a different story that Team Chennai have lost twice to Team Jaipur in as many meetings but the manner in which Dhoni and Co upstaged Mohali on Saturday night proves that two of the best teams have made it to the final.

Warne was all confidence personified on the eve of the final. It didn’t matter to him which team he would be facing. ‘‘We sent out a strong message last night that we are peaking. We are saving the best for the final,’’ he remarked on Saturday afternoon. Warne’s team proved its mettle by thrashing Delhi Daredevils in the IPL semifinals as Rajasthan carried out a 105-run demolition job at the Wankhede on Friday night.

The only cause for concern in the RR is the absence of opener Graeme Smith, who has been ruled out of the final with a torn hamstring. The South African captain and Asnodkar have been amongst the most successful opening pair in the IPL. Though Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal is an able replacement, the new combo at the top could be an area that the opposition would be looking to make exploit.

The IPL Final is going to be a great climax to a fantastic IPL tournament which has captured the imagination of cricket lovers the world over.

1 comment:

bubbleonfire said...

Rajasthan are favorites to win, actually they deserve to win. They have outperformed every team during the league matches while Chennai just somehow managed to get into top four.