KKR Crash the SRH Party!
A day game in the heat of the Eden on a Sunday can be a daunting pressure situation for anyone to deal with, players and umpires alike. DK having won the toss invited the Orange army to bat first which meant the much awaited return of David Warner was straight away upon for seeing. Warner along with Bairstow started cautiously and despite looking rusty hung on in the first 6. 54/0 didn’t look very threatening until someone reminded Warner of which team he was playing for. He then threw caution to the wind and bamboozled the famous spin trio of the KKR, much to the surprise of anyone. It ended up being one of the rare off days for that man Sunil Narine and SRH looked set to get a score in excess of 200. Vijay Shankar, who everyone is watching very closely this summer, heaved it to all parts of the ground was well supported by the man who handed this KKR team a final almost single-handedly, Manish Pandey and SRH had 181 to defend. On most days SRH would take 182 to defend given the likes of Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in their bowling department. All eyes were keen on welcoming out Lynn and Narine but it didn’t aid the crowd seeing the arrival of Nitish Rana along with Lynn. Of course it made sense later with Rana anchoring the innings from one end with Robin Uthappa giving due support before falling to an ever so animated Siddharth Kaul. The stage was set for the NIDAHAS man to prove his mettle at number 4 and get his ticket to London. Wicketkeeper captains are always expected to be calm, cool and finish it like a boss in India but it was not be for DK tonight having been undone by the knuckle of Sandeep Sharma. With the asking rate now creeping up to 13, Rashid and Bhuvneshwar having 2 overs each left out of 5, there was only favourite. Out came Andre Russell, and now that one favourite became suddenly doubtful. It was Rana who first switched on the beast mode bringing the equation down to 59 from 4 overs before the lights switched off and decided to play a party spoiler of its own. After a delay, Straight away the KHAN sent Rana packing and it was India’s best talent Shubman Gill walking out to pull off the unexpected and justify the “Game Banayega Name” phrase. Suddenly a good over brought the equation to 53 from 3 overs and it was then suddenly that the Greatest hitter of IPL decided to take matters in his own hands. Kaul, soon in a meeting with Robbie was asked to bowl it slower. He obliged, but Russell swung it to Salt lake Stand with no mercy. Kaul decided to drop a man at backward square and in a suicidal crime ended up bowling in the arch of the Caribbean. You don’t escape that generally, not when Russell has decided to show the world “It’s my way or Highway”. In ending that over, Russell heaved it straight back past and before Kaul could look back the outcome was a 6. The required rate was still a mammoth 17. But is there anything a safe bank when Russell is on his brute mode? Of course not. It was the Captain’s turn now to suffer the Russell furore who ended up conceding 19 in his last over. The pressure was all on Shakib now and it showed when he sprayed first one down the leg and on seeing the Big man off strike the next ball, he must have seen a ray of hope. But Didn’t I tell you, India’s finest Young talent was on the other end? Calm and composed lad without breaking a sweat despite playing out a dot, the kid sent the ball in the crowd twice in three deliveries with sweetest of timings one could imagine. The outcome of the game and a celebrating superstar owner igniting the loudest cheer of the day from the crowd meant “KKR Hai Taiyaar” while the SRH have now been left to wonder “What might have been, what merely was, what would have been, had it been for one brilliant Caribbean!” Games like these make IPL magical, Games like these make legends out of players.