Jeremy Alberga is a Canadian working as an administrator in an HIV AIDS prevention programme in Botswana. Holidaying in Durban, he caught glimpses of the IPL on TV and turned up at the ground on Wednesday with his son and daughter for a first-hand feel of the craze. After a few hours, he was left stunned by the “vibrance” of the show.
The match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI wasn’t exactly vibrant in terms of the excitement the majority of the rest of the 17,000-plus were expecting. There were few big hits - just four fours and two sixes in the Kings XI innings, which was incredibly low by T20 standards. The figures didn’t change significantly in the Mumbai Indians innings either.
Alberga loved it still. Having grown up in Toronto, he played a bit of cricket in school and knows that the Cricket Skating and Curling Club there hosted a number of matches featuring India in the nineties. “I don’t like the cricket that goes on for several days. T20 is fun, gives you instant gratification and people here seem to love it.”
The people did love it. “Since our favourite cricketers are scattered in the different teams, we don’t support anybody,” said Allen Ratheepaul, a local business man. “We just come here to watch exciting cricket and have lots of beer.” He had countless likeminded people for company and they were all in high spirits.
Few complained about the absence of big shots. Even fewer appreciated the extraordinary job done by the bowlers. It was Lasith Malinga first who crippled Kings XI with a barrage of toe-crushers. Hurled at good pace, they restricted batsmen throughout and rattled the stumps in the closing stages.
Kings XI Punjab: Bopara c Tendulkar b Bravo 6 (14b), Goel st Shah b Harbhajan 12 (12b, 1x6), Sangakkara not out 45 (44b, 2x4, 1x6), Yuvraj c Zaheer b Duminy 10 (13b, 1x4), Jayawardene c Dhawan b Jayasuriya 7 (9b), Irfan c Bravo b Zaheer 7 (10b), Mota b Malinga 5 (6b), Chawla b Malinga 0 (2b), Powar run out (Shah) 10 (10b, 1x4)
Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-11) 17
Total (for 8 wkts; 20 overs) 119
Fall of wkts: 1-18, 2-18, 3-41, 4-52, 5-84, 6-97, 7-97, 8-119
Bowling: Zaheer 4-0-19-1, Malinga 4-0-12-2, Harbhajan 4-0-23-1, Bravo 3-0-24-1, Duminy 3-0-23-1, Tendulkar 1-0-7-0, Jayasuriya 1-0-5-1.
Mumbai Indians: Jayasuriya c Yuvraj b Irfan 0 (1b), Tendulkar c J’wardene b Malik 1 (6b), Dhawan lbw b Abdulla 3 (7b), Duminy c sub (T Kohli) b Abdulla 59 (63b, 4x4), Bravo c Mota b Powar 15 (20b, 1x4, 1x6), Nayar b Irfan 15 (15b, 1x4), Harbhajan c Goel b Chawla 6 (5b, 1x4), Tiwary not out 6 (4b), Zaheer not out 0
Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-8, nb-1) 11
Total (for 7 wkts; 20 overs) 116
Fall of wkts: 1-1, 2-4, 3-12, 4-45, 5-94, 6-101, 7-113
Bowling: Irfan 4-0-20-2, Malik 2-0-12-1, Powar 4-0-23-1, Abdulla 4-0-19-2, Chawla 3-0-26-1, Goel 2-0-11-0, Mota 1-0-3-0.