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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014
Frenetic mega serial reaches climax
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay, Hindustan Times
Johannesburg, May 24, 2009
First Published: 00:50 IST(24/5/2009)
Last Updated: 00:57 IST(24/5/2009)

It’s time to say goodbye to IPL-II with a final fling. This is a strange tournament in the sense that one finalist will come to know who the other one is less than 24 hours before the match. One team will have more than a day’s rest before the biggest game and the other one will trudge back to the ground hours after playing the second semi-final.

Giving things a stranger look is the fact that no one is complaining. “It’s understandable in a tournament like this. All teams knew it’s going to be like this and everyone is in an equally advantageous or disadvantageous position,” is what all they, irrespective of the colour of their shirts.

At the risk of sounding a little uncharitable, it also has to be said that the colour of money has united players of different countries, shades, food habits and religion. So even if they are stopped in the middle of a media conference because the boss (Lalit Modi) is yet to arrive, they don’t utter a word. This happened in Pretoria before the first semi-final on Friday.

When they are in India for a bilateral series and are disturbed in a similar situation by, say, someone from the media arriving late and the door creaking as he enters, most foreign teams would raise more than an eyebrow. Here in IPL, everybody is happy, about almost everything.

So instead of paying attention to questions about congested semi-final and final, Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehmann was at his defensive and best. He praised his players for being “receptive on and off the field” and urging for the final “big push”.

Like most other T20 cricket between evenly matched teams, the final is also anybody’s game. Unless people like Adam Gilchrist or someone else has an extraordinary day.

What can be said with a reasonable amount of certainty is that the last one of this 59-match mega serial without a day’s gap in between will test the basic skills of players. It has been like that over the past 38 days and players of limited ability have not blossomed like they had in India last year.

For those not so fond of T20, that can be comforting point. They haven’t had to withstand the sight of mediocrity lording it over class. Those who like T20 shouldn’t have problems either. They have had good fun in terms of batting, mostly from some established names and some exciting bowling performances. On Sunday, all can get ready for one last laugh!


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