Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hodge hogs the Limelight

Sunrisers Hyderabad 132/7 (20/20 ov); Rajasthan Royals 135/6 (19.2/20 ov)
Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)

RR were the pre-match favourites with odds of about 1.82 in their favour. SRH got the advantage of winning the toss and choosing to bat first. Having struck a big match winning opening partnership of 89 in their last match, they lost their first 2 wickets for 3 in 2.3 overs  (deceiving the punters thereby). When Sangakara came on mic to tell White and Dhawan needed to bat a little longer, White got out for SRH to be 55/3 in 11 overs. 

SRH recovered somewhat to post 132 in 20 overs, about average score for them this season. Dhawan, the brisk scorer even in test match against Australian bowling attack, scores just 33 off 39 balls before getting out. Sammy started scoring really well towards the end, but then got himself run out to decelerate the scoring. He ran himself out attempting a second after having gone deep in the crease on the non-striker's end on the first run. Even a school boy won't have done so.

To offer first session score, it is safe to assume an average of 7 runs per over, something like that (or with very marginal variation to that) being generally adopted by the bookies. In no circumstances it is ever less than 6 runs per over. The scoring in the first session of SRH batting so proceeded that the session score of 48 at the end of 10 overs was such that it was equal to or less than the score on offer at any point during the session, an improbability for natural cricket as we have seen.

The scoring in last 3 overs (18th to 20th) so progressed that the ultimate score of 132 was (must have been) the score x offered by the bookies during most part after 17.2 overs. A  way to fix adopted often to rob the punters, as explained by the bookie on Times Now on the 20th May, 2013.

After chasing by RR began, inspite of early loss of Dravid's wicket, they were very comfortably placed by the 7th over with 50/1, and odds in their favour being 1.12, before loss of Watson's wicket. The scoring in the 6 over session was controlled such that exceptionally high score (against the run of play) was made in the 6th over as is another usual way of fixing. From 50/1, RR suddenly slumped to 57/5 in 10 overs, SRH becoming favourites with odds of 1.55 in their favour now. But striking a body blow to punters who would have taken SRH win for granted at that stage, in view of their strong bowling potential and performance earlier in such situations, Brad Hodge, who was overdue for a heroic innings in the tournament took RR home from there on.

The match was turned again on its head in the 14th over when KV Sharma was taken for 18 runs, mainly by Hodge. Earlier Sharma had been taken off bowling after taking a wicket of his first over. Interestingly commentator had commented that he was held back for Hodge, Hodge not being so comfortable against spin. This is how punters are be-fooled.

Sammy, the hero so far in the match, was brought to bowl the last over, RR still needing 10 runs to win. He bowled lolly pops for his first two deliveries enabling Hodge to hit sixes with ease. Earlier couple of run out opportunities of Hodge were duly missed by SRH.

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