It's the first time in the history of the IPL that the Royal Challengers are living up to their team name. What a show beating Chennai and staying in the hunt to get to the semis! As a dozen people crowded around a PC at the office hoping for some of the Dhoni luck to rub off on their team, I had only one thought: "We're toast if Taylor is still there at the end." And toast we were. CSK is now more dependent on Hayden than India were on Tendulkar in the mid-90's - and that's a lot of dependence. Doesn't bode well for the team, even thought they've been winning. Hope they prove me wrong.
Then followed the best match of the IPL so far, even better than the super over one, given the state of the tournament.
Speaking of Sachin Tendulkar, today we saw a master stroke by the Mumbai think tank. "Why open with Sanath and Sachin?", they thought. "Why not make them bat when three wickets are down, the required run rate is ridiculously higher and most of the middle order has melted away?" And it was with this iron-clad philosophy that Mumbai almost muffed up a gettable target. Sachin came it at no 5, Duminy at 6 and Jayasuriya at 4. The supposedly injured Shane Warne was bowling beautifully and ended up with 3 wickets. It was his passion again that seemed to be egging the Rajasthan Royals on. (Was he playing despite the injury, or was he never injured? Can someone fill me in on this?) And then came Abhishek Nayar. Aur usne kya maara na-yaar! An unbelievable blitz of 35 pushed Mumbai right to the brink of victory, but KKR flu was in the air. Nayar got stumped. Only 6 runs were required from 8 balls. But the Royals prevailed after an unbelievable last over from Munaf Patel with two run outs. And that difference of two runs means that Mumbai move a step away from the semi-finals and the Royals, a step closer. What a match - so many twists, and the Royals win yet another very tight game - they have the gumption to do this over and over. Will that be the rush they need to defend their title? The next week shall reveal all!
And guess what, SRK's having a really bad time of late - his team plays with the IQ of Mandira Bedi , his cheerleaders couldn't perform in South Africa and it turns out that that Bollywood role for which those women were selected during the games is all hogwash. They're not going to be in any movie-shovie. Go figure!