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Harbhajan’s Heroic Leads MI To Lift CLT20

October 10, 2011

Story remains the same for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Once again in spite of qualifying for the finals of a tournament, having crossed a lot of barriers they fall short of going the required distance. On the other hand the team who had come out of nowhere have stunned the favorites of the night. After being the most valuable franchise since the first edition of the Indian Premier League they have not been able to win any tournament, neither IPL nor the CLT20. Have disappointed the supporters in the first two editions of IPL where the didn’t even qualify for  the semifinals. After dominating the third IPL season it was CSK who came big on the night of finals. In the following CLT20 they were kicked out from the group stages. In the last IPL they had a dramatic start, 8 wins of first 10 matches, then suddenly a drop form. They eventually made it to the semis before it was a Gayle blast there to thrash them out of the competition. So where there were expectations, they disappointed, but here they came with a lot of injuries and almost looking to be one of the weakest teams in the championship, they have come with fire. The extraordinary self belief has led them through to be the new champions of the Champions League.

RCB came from there home ground playing all of their matches there. It was all together a very different track where Mumbai had some experience of playing and that came of. Where the Bangalore pitch is more of a batsman’s paradise, the Chidambaram track on the other hand seems to offer a lot of assistance for the spinners as the game progresses. As it pitch gets older the ball doesn’t quite come on to the bat. That’s the reason why likes of Ashwin and Jakati have been so successful for CSK here. Not many teams have come here and beaten the home side but Mumbai did, and they did it with this team. So they would have believed that no reason why if they can put up anything over 150 would be defendable with kind of inform bowling attack they have. Although RCB would have been confident of chasing anything having chased down more than 200 in consecutive matches, but why should Harbhajan be bothered of that? What he has done extremely well in this tournament that having known what their limitations are, he has kept the things simple. Didn’t experiment too hard, stuck to the basics and that paid of as well. So here too having won the toss he had no hesitation what so ever to have a bat.

Kanwar announced his arrival to the crease by smashing a six over deep mid wicket of Dilshan in the first over. But soon in the very next over a horrible misunderstanding cost MI Blizzard’s wicket where Blizzard called for the single, charged down the wicket and Kanwar was watching the ball. Kanwar tried to took on the attack a bit, but he soon departed with an absolute gem of an yorker from Nannes. Then it was James Franklin who bowled an excellent 19th over last night under pressure having not performed with the bat, had now the responsibility to anchor this innings. The kiwi has grown as a batsman now, early days he would have been there in the side as an opening bowler, but not now. In the MI side his role is to play as a batsman who can bowl. And he delivered.. MI were going fine with him and Rayadu with scoring more than 7 an over.

Rayadu has remained off color in this tournament if compared to his last IPL season’s form. Here too he gives his wicket away in almost nothing of a delivery. He tried the lofted shot over extra cover, didn’t get the elevation as he would have liked for. Could have got away with somebody else, but he picked the tallest man of the RCB side, Gayle too timed his jump well. In came the youngster of 21, Surya Yadav who played a crisisman’s role in the last match. Here he was looking positive and confident right from the beginning. First ball he faced hammered it back over the bowler’s head and continued to impress. His dismissal was a bonus to RCB as he was run out at the nonstriker’s end after the cameo he played.  MI were 105-4 then, still looking very good to achieve what promised to be a large score, and suddenly another run out and another setback. This time the set batsman Franklin with a little hesitation to react early of Pollard’s call for two.

And then suddenly a flurry of wickets for MI. Pollard caught at long on, followed by skipper misjudged lbw to the opponent’s skipper having got away with one the ball before. And when MI were going down like the king pins, once again it was Malinga who came in to the rescue with the bat. His 16 were priceless at that stage with two delightful straight sixes. He was the one for whom MI could get some total under their belt to play with. Of course chasing 140 and chasing anything under 125 makes a big difference in the game plan of the chasing side.

RCB have been heavily dependent on their top three batsmen. The most destructive opening pair of the tournament was up against the man who is the best T20 bowler undoubtedly. MI needed early wickets, but it started with a bang from Dilshan. First ball disappeared for four and that too of a no ball followed by a wide. Exactly the start MI won’t have been looking for. RCB had 6 runs without a ball being bowled and that too of Malinga. Dilshan got of to a flier. He was driving and pulling really well, whereas Gayle seemed to have been under some sort of bother for the pitch that is of a quite slower side. Rayadu behind the stumps added some extra frustration for his team sneaking through couple of byes, one of those went for four. As a result body language of the MI fielders were mild, shoulders down and waiting to happen something that would go their way instead of trying to make one.

At this stage when RCB were really cruising through very fast Harbhajan still went with Malinga handing over the ball to him for the third over without a spell’s break. Rightly saw as MI very badly needed the breakthrough there. And Malinga didn’t disappoint his captain.In that over Dilshan’s off stump went for a walk. And coming to bowl his first over Harbhajan struck as Gayle made a went back to the hunt. Still the kind of start they had got it needed some sensible cricket to hang on for some time and try to play according to the nature of the track. But their impatience had allowed MI to come back once again as Agarwal and Kohli gave their wickets away in quick succession turning the match in its own head again.

The rest of the time it had been the same story…trying to play across the line, against the turn of the leg spinner they were held in the outfields. Wickets started tumbling, runs were hard to come by, and it was a matter of time from then that Mumbai will gather the momentum and hold it until the words were spoken. Young Chahal bowled an outstanding spell, so did Pollard and Franklin. The asking run rate were climbing every time and in attempt to catch up with that Vettori’s side kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Mumbai did the things so well that they had been doing well throughout the tournament and thus having given away the momentum so many number of occasions during the match it was a comprehensive 31 run win at the end of the day for the Mumbai Indians.

It was amazing how the young players stepped up to the task, worked with the opportunity that they had and if this team can achieve this much without their frontline players it really can do wonders in the future when they come back into the team. They just need to keep working hard as they did here and also I guess to keep the self belief which has seen them through tonight. They have done well to retain the characteristics of their team which has been working for them so very well. One of the retained players is none other than Lasith Malinga, who not only has performed with the ball, but also with the bat that has made him the automatic choice for the man of the tournament along with the golden wicket for highest number of wickets in the tournament. It is fact that T20 is making the bowler’s life difficult but no matter whether other bowlers are suffering or not in this format of the game, Malinga factor just can’t be denied as he continues his dream run for MI.

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3 Comments
  1. subhadeep permalink

    good, but bhule jas na ei teen jon chot er jonya England series khaleni, asole money holo honey, desh premer kono value neyi.

    • subhadeep permalink

      Bhajji did the captaincy of MI , but he was missing in the England series.Sachin has almost disappeared from cricket and has started appearing in Life Insurance advertisements, and Rohit sharma…..he can only perform in 1st class 20-20 cricket, but his batting average is 25 in ODI .So don’t enjoy it,bow down ur head in shame.

  2. Bhajji was not in a match fit condition then,he has been left out of the ODI squad for the next England series, but I guess he has made a strong statement here at this CLT20. As far as I know one can do advertisements even carrying an injury.. Sachin’s been there with the team everytime that they walked out to play.. I agree the fact that Rohit has not quite fired in the ODIs but he is a special talent, done well in the recent past in ODIs and hope he overcomes his problem of being inconsistent.

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