Sachin Tendulkar came to bat with Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle continued his tornado batting in the T20 format and the audiences had a nail-biter, what more could be asked of IPL
After a dud first game in Kolkata (when was the last time Kolkatans, poor Kolkatans saw something that was exciting), T20 cricket was at its best, delivering things only this format and IPL could.
For starters Bangalore for the first time beat Mumbai in Chinnaswamy stadium, breaking a long-standing home ground jinx. There was nothing special though in the way they did it except for one man who almost on all occasions stands between Bangalore and losses. Yes, Chris Gayle again shone and this time on one foot, proving another fact that even on one leg, he is the best T20 batsmen the world will ever see.
It would not do justice to Vinay Kumar and Jaidev Unadkat if we do not give them some credit too. Mumbai had almost completed formalities in the 17th over with Dinesh Karthik spanking Daniel Christian for 24 runs. Mumbai needed 17 off the last two overs which in this format is a walk in the park. Kumar and Unadkat though had other ideas. Unadkat bowled the penultimate one and gave away just 7 runs, allowing Kumar a healthy 10 runs to bowl. It was then that this bowler often criticised for not doing justice to his potential delivered an over, very few could match. Giving away 7 runs, Kumar picked up two wickets and won the game for his side.
All this apart, the real big one was to see Test cricket’s two highest run-getters come out to open. It was certainly dream come true for cricket lovers across the world to see Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting come out to open in a format people thought was alien to them. Not only they came out to bat, they crafted a 50-run partnership. If this was not enough, another visual delight was to see Test cricket’s highest wicket taker bowl to them. Yes, it was Muttiah Muralitharan bowling to Tendulkar and Ponting.
One man though was unperturbed by all this. Christopher Henry Gayle began his party from where he left last season. He looked a little jittery to begin with but as he stayed on, runs began to flow. He got injured in the middle but continued till the end on one leg, only stating one fact, that no one is better than him in this format. Mumbai were in control till he let loose, and once he did, only one winner came out.
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