Here’s part-2 of my notes from the IPL RC v/s DD encounter…***********************************************************************************************************
The game began and it was McGrath to bowl the first over to Jacques Kallis. He was as miserly as ever and conceded just one run; the crowd ooh-d and aah-d as many balls went past the outside edge. After finishing his over, to our great joy, McGrath came over to field at the boundary line right in front of our stand! He had a friendly wave for the crowd as they cheered him with paper-poster-trumpets, whistles et al. The next over from Praveen Sangwan was much better for the RCs as Kallis took a liking to him and helped himself to a six and a four. This resulted in a bowling change with YoMahesh to replace Praveen, while McGrath pegged on at the other end. The proceedings weren’t too exciting thereafter and soon enough Mc Grath sent Chipli back to the pavilion, which brought the 19-year-old U-19 team wicket keeper, Shreevats Goswami to the crease. While it seemed like we might get to see a good partnership, Jacques Kallis was dismissed by Farveez Maharoof after a well-made 25 from 21 balls.
A huge cheer and chants of “Dravid, Dravid” filled the air as the local favourite boy and the RC captain walked out to the crease. The RC scoring rate however, was slow – that is, until Praveen Sangwan was brought back into the attack. Shreevats welcomed him with a huge six of the second ball and followed it up with three fours in the over; the ball dispatched all around the ground! We were delirious and couldn’t stop jumping and shouting in the stands. However, after that, there were no other big overs in the middle as the players just took ones and twos with only some occasional hits to the boundary, mainly by Shreevats. He stood tall at one end as other batsmen came and left, and went on to score a 50 on his IPL debut, before he fell to the very next ball [just as we were making a poster saying “Shree – U Rock!”:( ]. Nevertheless, it was a fine innings – made one wonder why he had to wait so long warming the benches, while people like Virat Kohli were being patronized with multiple opportunities and selections, without even one performance to speak for their worth.
Things went rather downhill after that and the crowds kept themselves entertained by other means like forming the Mexican wave and such histrionics. RCs finally reached a score in excess of 150, only thanks to some lusty blows by Misbah-ul-Haq and Zaheer Khan in the last over – the stadium came alive as Misbah struck three sixers and a four in the last over to end the RC innings at 154/7. For Delhi Daredevils, McGrath and Maharoof were the pick of the bowlers conceding just 15 and 13 runs respectively in their 4 overs and scalping two wickets each.
It was the 10-min innings-break and there was a mad rush at the food counters as the hungry crowd milled to get a quick bite before the Delhi innings began. Dale Steyn began the proceedings for RC and the very first ball was a boundary. That set the tempo as Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag treated all bowlers with scant respect, scoring boundaries and maintaining a run-rate of 12 runs an over. The Delhi team had raced to 60 in the first five overs. The 7th over saw a Viru blitzkrieg as he scored a six and three boundaries of Praveen Kumar, before he fell on the last ball of the same over, scoring a brilliant 47 from just 19 balls.
Meanwhile Gambhir continued his classy play as Delhi reached the 100-mark in the 9th over. He was soon run-out and then, Anil Kumble introduced into the attack. The crowd rooted for him, cheering him on to weave his spin-magic. The run-rate did slow down a bit with the boundaries cut down and also a couple of wickets fell to give the home team an outside chance. However the initial damage was already done and the Delhi lads needed to just keep the strike rotating, which was taken care of by Shikhar Dhawan and Maharoof. 28 runs were needed of the last 30 balls and it was always going to be difficult for the RCs to restrict the runs; but their cause wasn’t helped by a couple of boundaries and sixers given off some loose balls. The Delhi Daredevils romped home with an over and 4 balls to spare.
With the game not going our way, the crowds found their own means of entertainment. A middle-aged pot-bellied and shiny-head gentleman in our stand took it upon himself to give us our money’s worth. The spectators of stand-B were treated to some amazing dance performances. While he started off discreetly, he soon had the crowd behind him, egging him on and greeting his performance with whistles, paper garlands and paper-petal showers! Just as the dhin-chak music came on in the between-overs’ break he would break into an impromptu jig, with the steps changing each time to suit the beats; he’d just as suddenly stop and silently take a seat as the music died down and the action on the field began! The crowd thoroughly enjoyed this as much as the cricket and some of them were even found fanning him with make-shift paper-fans!
As the match drew to a close we started filing out, even as the presentation ceremony was being held at the other end of the ground. After getting past the surging crowds and traffic jams(?!?!) around the stadium at 12 in the night, we grabbed a bite in a nearby Coffee Day and drove back home to crash. It was going to be one long day on the morrow! But for all its worth, it was total paisa-wasool entertainment – an evening and an experience we thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂