Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Match of Fluctuations

Rajasthan Royals 165/6 (20/20 ov); Mumbai Indians 169/6 (19.5/20 ov)
Mumbai Indians won by 4 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)

Rahul Dravid's last IPL match was also a match of fluctuating fortunes. The captain himself did well, being the highest scorer for his side, while ending up on the losing side. In their last match, he had flopped and his team had won. A phenomenon often adopted by the script writers and the actors, as indicated in my earlier book 'Inside the Boundary Line.'

Taking average of 7 runs per over for the bookies to offer the session score, the scoring pattern got so controlled that the score at the end of the first 10 over session was such that it was less than or equal to the offered session at any point during the session. Something improbable for natural cricket as already seen. Before Watson got out, RR appeared to be competing well. But they started losing wickets at short intervals after Watson was out, to be a precarious 108/6 in 15.3 overs. But then they were helped by some wayward bowling from MI, led by their ace bowler Malinga once more, and were able to post more than  competitive 165/6 in 20 overs. 

In the process, the 10-20 over session got manipulated the other way through heavy scoring in last 3 overs. Taking an average of 10 runs per over for bookies to offer the session, except for one or two balls, at any point the offered score was less than the end score. If cricket were natural, such a thing happening has a probability of one in trillions.

The odds indicated bookies' belief that chasing would not be much difficult for MI, and MI didn't disappoint them. However from a very comfortable winning position at 125/1 in 14 overs, they wobbled badly to be 141/5 in 17.3 overs. Having lost Pollard, they required 23 runs from last 2 overs, and were still favourites (with odds of 1.7 in their favour) to win and did win rather comfortably, though with only a ball to spare.    

No comments: