Saturday, May 18, 2013

Staged Cricket Continues

Sunrisers Hyderabad 136/9 (20/20 ov); Rajasthan Royals 113/9 (20/20 ov)
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 23 runs

After arrest of RR players for fixing, one would have thought that RR won't dare to indulge in it again. One couldn't be more naive. 

Before the start of the match, Rahul Dravid, the captain of RR proclaimed that they would bounce back. And they did, by reducing the SRH, having the weakest middle and late order batting line up among all the participating teams, to 5/3 in 2.4 overs. With the great track record of RR in chasing this season, the match appeared to be all over for SRH. The captain, Cameron White, with his team at 5/2 had played as irresponsible a shot as any. duly controlling the power of the shot such that the ball didn't fly over boundary, to get himself out for zero.

From there on it was the turn of SRH to bounce back. They recovered well scoring without any problem, yet their greatest hitter Perera having been hitting sixes with ease in the tournament, scratched around in the end, not even attempting a single boundary of the 13 balls he faced. As a result, they scored just 7 runs in the last over to manipulate the session score (to great advantage of the fixers).

Samantray, the top scorer and backbone of SRH batting this innings, was run out as early as in the 6th over through a direct hit, getting back in the crease very casually and carelessly, but no one appealed. Clearly this run out happened as a result of carelessness of Samantray or the fielder hitting the stumps, and was not scripted. And none of the close-in fielders appealing would also mean that all of them were aware what the script was.

While chasing RR were comfortable till the 8th over, though scoring a bit slowly, inspite of having scored 13 runs in the 5th over, before Dravid got himself run out. And suddenly the match turned on its head to leave punters trapped. Next wicket went soon after and RR were 61/4 in the 14th over, with the main threat Watson also having gone. The consistently successful chasers of IPL 6 collapsed to 113 chasing a small total of 136.

This is how Rahul Dravid and his men bounced back.

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