|Player:||ML Hayden, J Maha, YA Abdulla, A Kumble|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009|
DateLine: 4th May 2009
The great thing about a long tournament is that no one can assume that things are done and dusted.
At the end of the first week, Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils looked like they were running away with the honours but even they would have known that it would be impossible to get away from so many engagements without a scratch.
So the inevitable began to happen as the Chargers and Daredevils were hit by defeats, not once but twice within the week, as the former went down to the Delhi team and Rajasthan Royals. But the good work done in the first week kept them on top of the table.
Delhi, at the same time, somehow seemed to have come to this conclusion that they were unbeatable, and that cost them. They managed to put one past the Hyderabad side but suddenly they too looked fallible, going down to Rajasthan and then to Chennai Super Kings.
While the top slotters were being reeled in, the team that made real headway were Kings XI Punjab. Beginning the week in the bottom four, the Yuvraj Singh-led team, which had been hit by rain and bad luck all of the first week came back in no uncertain terms, sharing top slot with Deccan, just ahead of Delhi, as the week ended.
The first of these wins was an incredible three-run win over Mumbai Indians at Durban, where the huge Mumbai line-up could not chase down 119 runs.
But their next game was even more surprising, though not in a great way. Yuvraj Singh notched up a T20 hat-trick, to add to his six sixes on the same Kingsmead ground, and added a half-century to boot. This would normally be the recipe for success, but somehow things didn’t go their way at all, and the Punjab side went down to an eight-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
However, Yuvi’s men came back to score a hard-fought win over Kolkata Knight Riders to rustle up two more points and clamber up to second spot on the list.
Another success story of the week were the Bangalore boys. Having ended Week One at the bottom of the pile, they rose like the proverbial Phoenix, inevitably against KKR, and then went even further ahead, overcoming Punjab and then hammering Mumbai by a huge nine wickets.
Mumbai would be happy they played KKR twice in the week, and that gave them four points. Otherwise, they looked scratchy and pretty much out of sorts.
Chennai however, managed to make something of the week, winning twice to make their long-awaited case. However, their unimpressive first week made sure that they stayed in the bottom half.
Among the individuals, Punjab’s South African left-arm seamer Yusuf Abdulla really came to the party, running away with the purple cap for top wicket-taker. Chennai found some form from the eternal big hitter Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina, while Anil Kumble’s captaincy seems to have done the magic for Bangalore. Jacques Kallis was in supreme form as they decimated Mumbai.
The horror story is, once again, Kolkata Knight Riders. Plagued by bad decisions and bad luck on the field and phantom blog writers off it, KKR is now a bad dream that doesn’t seem to end. The number of times they lost of the last ball of the innings could make for Chinese torture, and a look at skipper Brendan McCullum’s face says it all. One thing is for sure – this team is headed for some serious carnage, once the tournament ends.