The losers left the hopefuls hopeless, while the winners finally found form and choked the contenders in to near-exit.
Rajasthan Royals went down by 4 wickets to KKR who played the role of spoiler to a tee. RR, batting first, tried to be ultra-aggressive to get their run rate up and increase their chances of qualifying. However, after achieving one-fifth of their total in the first over, they succumbed to poor shots and limped along to a total of 101. What should have been a fairly simple chase was made competitive by KKR's genius and some tight bowling by the Royals. However at 45 for 6, 'Bombay-Duck' Agarkar joined Lakshmi Ratan Shukla at the crease to take KKR to victory in their final match and to ensure that we will have a new IPL champion this year.
Another low scoring game followed, with CSK setting a modest target of less than a run-a-ball. However their bowling which had let them down in the match before came to the party and managed to restrict kick-sip to a mere 92. The beauty of it all was that they still had two wickets in hand and played their entire quota of overs, such was the vice-like grip that Murali and Co had on the opposition's batsmen. Even the King's XI's captain who tried to hang around and play a lone hand just ended up playing what his worst innings in the series so far. It was a field day for spinners, the off-spin trio for Chennai successfully choking the lefties in kick-sip and even Powar from the opposing team had a good day. Chennai's strong record against the prince's team continues and MSD's acumen came to the fore again on a day where defending a low total required him to think on his feet. One feels happy that he is leading the Indian side into the T20 World Cup this year - at least one member of our team is in some sort of form.
We are only three days from the finals, but still don't know who will join Delhi and Chennai in the top four. Kick-sip need to sit back and wait for other's results, whereas the Bangalore and Deccan just need to simplify things for themselves and win.
Meanwhile, after today Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty can hug and console each other. Visualisation under progress... mmm...