Friday, May 30, 2008

'Elementary, my dear Watson'

The second semi-final, in which the Chennai Super Kings (the team I am rooting for) will play Kings XI Punjab, is slated for tomorrow at 10.30 AM EST. I will be watching it in the coziness of my North End apartment. No, no pizza or beer. I am on a strict diet in preparation for beach weather and so only BCAA tablets, some H2O and maybe a bit of cheese will figure.

What about the first semi-final that happened this morning? Well, the Rajasthan Royals' Shane Watson's blazing 52 may have made the Delhi Daredevils nervous. Whatever it was, the Daredevils, when it was their turn to bat, collapsed all out for 87 in the first semi-final of the knockout stage of the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Watson's team, the Rajasthan Royals, are currently at the top of the league table and have shown that the recent fracas with Kings XI Punjab (where RR lost quite spectacularly) was just that: a fracas. And not really the psychological advantage that the Kings XI may have hoped for a few days ago (during the dead rubber -- and final 1st round -- match between the Royals and Punjab).

A quick rundown of what to expect tomorrow

Chennai: Stephen Fleming is back in NZ, in anticipation of his wife's delivery of a child. So it will be interesting to see who Parthiv Patel will open with. But Chennai has a strong middle order, probably the strongest in the league. But then Punjab has the strongest top batting order in the league. Chennai's bowling totally sucked during their second 1st round match against the Rajasthan Royals. So their bowlers cannot afford to screw up against a team like the Kings XI.

Mohali: Kings XI has the strongest top order batting lineup in the league, their opening striker being Shaun Marsh, who at US60,000 has proven to be an outstanding value for the money for Punjab. Marsh by the way has scored the most runs in the tournament. They have very good (and, more importantly, consistent) bowling and fielding.

Verdict: If Chennai isn't consistent in their batting and if their bowlers just give it away, they will certainly lose against Mohali.