Hallelujah! The IPL Has Finished!

25 04 2010

Finally. The IPL has come to an end, with a comfortable victory for Chennai Super Kings over Sachin Tendulkars Mumbai Indians, despite Kieron Pollard’s best efforts. No more ‘DLF Maximums’ (sixes), no more MRF Blimp camera shots, no more ‘Karbon Kamal Catches’ and, thank god, no more Lalit Modi.

Readers of this website will know that our feelings towards the IPL are not entirely positive, however we have been forced to admit that the closing stages of this tournament have been both compelling and quite honestly an excellent sporting spectacle. Despite the ridiculously annoying advertising and the quite extraordinarily bad and inane commentary, the cricket has shone through and our worries about the lack of balance between bat and ball have been assuaged somewhat.

The old saying that cricket is a batsman’s game rather than a bowlers has always applied to a certain degree. This is, though, a misleading impression of cricket with the best matches and series always involving a balance between crickets two major disciplines. During the final three games of the IPL (excluding the 3rd place play-off), the balance was restored somewhat with some exceptional bowling performances in the end providing the difference. Doug Bollinger and Muralitharan’s efforts for Chennai Super Kings probably did more to ensure they won than any other player throughout the tournament as a whole.

Regarding the final itself, in the end it was a fairly simple victory for CSK. The classic cricketing adage that ‘catches win matches’ has never been proved more apt with Mumbai Indians dropping at least three, two of them coming from the bat of Raina who ensured that CSK made a competitive total. Once it was MI’s turn to bat they hardly helped themselves with Kieron Pollard being demoted to 8 in the order with Harbhajan Singh of all people promoted to 3. Singh was LBW playing a horrible tail enders poke for 1, before Pollard threatened to do the impossible and drag the MI’s back into the game.

Some time ago we picked 5 young players we thought could excel over the next ten years and some of you were surprised to see Pollard amongst those listed. Some of his shots tonight (and indeed throughout the tournament) have been breathtaking, amply demonstrating his innate talent. One 6 in particular off Doug Bollinger, pulled over long on’s head for a total distance of 107 metres, was quite simply one of the most amazing shots we have ever seen. That it came on the second ball he faced makes it all the more incredible. We hope that Pollard can transfer these abilities to the first class and test match arena in time as it would be a crying shame if the West Indies lost such a talent to 20/20’s sirens call.

We are not quite done with the 20/20 circus yet as the ICC’s World Cup 20/20 competition is kicking off on the 30th of April in the West Indies. The Compulsive Hooker is actually looking forward to this as due to Lalit Modi not being in charge, we can go back to calling a six a six amongst other things and let the cricket do the talking. A preview of this tournament will be published in the coming days with our picks of who might have a chance.

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