Sunday, 18 May 2008

A Crucial Win

Cross-posted on The DLF IPL

Rain and Duckworth and Lewis combined together to make our task much easier today, but it would be fair to say we fully deserved this win the way we played. We must note that we have never lost a game bowling first and that should say something. Of course Kolkata was a weak batting team as I mentioned in my preview but we had to bowl well nevetherless. What was even more impressive was the way our openers batted before the rain. It is conceivable that they knew about the impending weather - and played the perfect game i.e. to keep wickets in hand and not go for too much, because the Duckworth Lewis system can create havoc with the target with every wicket you lose. In the end the 3 run defeat margin did not really reflect the true nature of the contest.

It was an inspired choice to play Ntini - one which I myself wasn't convinced about, but a lot of our readers were and well done to them ! It was even more astonishing to see that no one noticed his hat-trick including himself for a long time ! And this hat-trick constituted three top order players, each breakthrough turning out to be crucial in the context of the game. Well as Ntini bowled, I do think there is more improvement that can be shown on the bowling front by other bowlers - I thought we should have restricted Kolkata to abut 130 today.

With this win, we shall be breathing much easier and would be "quite safe" with regards to making it to the semifinals.

Problem Areas

1) Bowling - With the exception of Ntini, the rest of the bowling still looked toothless, even surprisingly, Gony. Murali is a major worry now, earlier though he was not picking wickets he was economical. Today he was really taken to task.

2) Fielding - The fielding was less than impressive with Vidyut in particular not looking too flash.

Kudos

1) Ntini - For his splendid performance, but even more so, for the decision to play him
2) Fleming - Finally he is looking like the Fleming we know, the one who can strike the ball crisply and score big at a brisk rate.

Now hopefully an easy win at home against minnows Bangalore, shoud virtually seal the deal for us.

6 comments:

Robin said...

@ Gaurav,
Personally I thought that our bowling was nor that bad... Yeah! Rather than picking wickets, they were looking to contain the batsmen.. But the medium pacers were successful... They were able to keep even the set batsman like Butt & Das quiet for a large part of their partnership... So I would rather than a job well done..

Thirucumaran Ratnavadivel said...

Yeah, exactly, the bowlers did a really good job and Gaurav hasn't given enuf credit to them! 3 Thumbs up!

The TV commentators were telling that if Ashoke Dinda had held onto the chance given by someone (not sure whether it was Patel or Fleming), the par target would've been 55, in which case it would've been a tie! :)

praveen said...

a win is a win..!

but i hate D/L method for deciding a match. that too a t20 game. becoz things change very quickly in T20. isn't it ??

on the match : fleming came good in this match. and openers didnt lost their wickets. we just need to continue to our next match..

Gaurav said...

perhaps you guys are right from that point of view, however i come from the school of thought that believes that taking wickets is the best form of containment. against stronger teams in the competition it is difficult to just contain without taking wickets, therein lies my concern.

Robin said...

@ gaurav,
yeah.. this negative approach is really hurting the team.. For example in the match, Dhoni removed the slips in 2 or 3 overs, though our team was on the top... Team's strategy is to choke the batsman for runs so that they take risks, leading to wickets... But this tactic is not working against explosive batsman like Sehwag, Gilchrist and Jayasuriya who can easily attack the rhythm of the bowler by their style... Hope they change the tactic sooner than later..

Danesh said...

Murali has been very disappointing. No great performance in IPL from him so far...