The 5th season of the IPL started off on quite a disappointing note, with the much awaited opening ceremony being more of a failed attempt than anything else. But in the two weeks since the IPL kicked off we’ve had some notable action already – from Narine’s 5-wicket haul on debut to Levi’s 50 on debut. There is always enough action in the IPL to fill the media pages.
Let’s have a look, then, at the good, the bad, the ugly and the supernatural in the IPL so far.
The Good – Chris Gayle
In yesterday’s classic encounter between the Royal Challengers and the Pune Warriors, the Warriors witnessed a Gaylestorm, when Gayle smashed Rahul Sharma for 5 sixes in the 13th over. Gayle was greatly instrumental in RCB’s victory as he soared to 81 off just 48 balls. But one out of the five consecutive sixes that came off Gayle’s bat hit a spectator named Tia, and the impact reportedly broke her nose. When Gayle found out, he personally went and visited the girl. Now where have we seen such an incident of kindness before?
He tweeted about the incident himself saying : Thanks! Really amazing game-that’s
#IPL. Visit Tia who got hit by 1 of my 6s, broken nose :(..her 1st word to me is to Chill,She’s fine!xxx
Gayle later went on to throw more light on the incident through this statement: “Just visited little Tia. She got hit by a cricket ball. Very sad this happened. But she is a brave young lady and her first words were – I shouldn’t be sad. And it was a very touching moment for me….I wish her a speedy recovery. I am sorry to the family as well. It is just unfortunate. She was very fun even though she was hurt. She told me to keep hitting sixes and not to worry – and wished me the best for all the games.”
The Bad – Deccan Chargers
What seemed like a great comeback by the Chargers after a long break of 8 days at the mid-way stage of the game, turned out to be another horror episode for the Hyderabad-based team. Having scored 196 against the Rajasthan Royals, they were in the driver’s seat at the half-stage. But great batting by the Royals, poor bowling and some even poorer fielding by the Chargers helped turn things around, before you knew it the Chargers had gifted away the game to the Royals. Deccan Chargers have managed to beat the Rajasthan Royals only once in all their encounters ever since the inception of the IPL. When Yagnik hit the winning runs off Steyn with back-to-back boundaries, Sangakkara and Darren Lehmann just stared in disbelief.
In fact, Lehmann was so disappointed and cross with his team that he went onto say, “We should have taken the catches and should not have allowed the ball pass between the legs while fielding. It was like an under-14 team on the ground. It was really disappointing to suffer three defeats in a row. In fact it should have been 2-1 because it was a flip of the coin case against Mumbai and same here. We bowled badly with the new ball but then it was same for both teams. We will have to work on lot of things and perhaps the boys are not listening to what is being told to them. We have to plan different strategy but the dressing room atmosphere is quiet.”
The Chargers would be hoping that they find some rhythm and register their first win in the competition, something that has eluded them until now.
The Ugly – Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel
In Vishakhapatnam, the Mumbai Indians took on the Deccan Chargers in a very close encounter, but the match was marred by controversy involving veterans Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel. Sangakkara, who was on strike, seemed to have been bowled by Munaf Patel, but the on-field umpires were under the impression that the ball hit the stumps after ricocheting off wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik’s gloves and hence declared Sangakkara not out. Harbhajan looked incensed at the decision, and walked up to the umpires, questioning them about their failure to refer the appeal to the third umpire. Munaf joined in and expressed his anger quite animatedly – it made for an extremely ugly sight. Surely umpires can’t be treated that way!
Munaf and Harbhajan were reprimanded and received official warnings, while the former was also charged 25% of his match fee.
The Supernatural – Dale Steyn
Richard Levi, the South African who took the world by storm when he scored the fastest T20 century in just his second game for South Africa, was up against his fellow Protean Dale Steyn in the encounter between the Mumbai Indians and the Deccan Chargers. Steyn, bowling the 4th over of the game, produced 6 beauties that reinforced why he is regarded as the best bowler in the world today.
As the IPL progresses, I’m pretty sure we’ll have many more noteworthy incidents like the ones mentioned above, maybe even more dramatic and colorful than these!
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