Strange things happened at the Eden on Thursday. True the IPL is meant to be full of surprises. But right from a cricket match starting as late as 10.30pm to the fact that not many left the ground before seeing at least one ball of the rain-curtailed match, unusual was the new usual here.
The purple cap of IPL surprises was the fact that by the time the first ball was bowled, the deadline allowed by the high court to play the loud speakers in the stands had crossed. So wickets fell and boundaries and sixes were hit in ‘good old times’ of Test cricket ambience, that is only spectators cheering from the stands.
Since the first edition of the IPL fives years back, even 50-over matches these days come with their share of DJs and foot-tapping blasting music, but not here after 10 in the night according to West Bengal Pollution Control norms.There was yet another surprise waiting in the middle.
Put into bat, Kolkata Knight Riders batsmen looked like they wanted to achieve an almost impossible task of getting all out in a match reduced to 12 overs a side. They folded at 97 for nine.
The moment Virender Sehwag introduced South African Roelof van der Merwe in the second over, Brendon McCullum perished. Another South African Morne Morkel, castled compatriot Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary off consecutive deliveries and by the seventh over, made skipper Gautam Gambhir chop one onto his stumps. The hosts were staring down the barrel. Some lusty blows by local boys Debabrata Das and Laxmi Ratan Shukla took the score close to the three-figure mark.
Iqbal Abdulla’s well-judged catch on the ropes to dismiss Sehwag raised hopes but Irfan Pathan, sent out at No 3, hitting 42 off 20 balls saw a depleted Daredevils side go home with full points with an eight-wicket win.
Tiwary too eager
It seemed Tiwary was in a hurry to prove the India thinktank wrong. After sitting out for 12 consecutive international matches, the moment Kallis was bowled Tiwary was off the dug-out in a flash.
As a consequence, he crossed Kallis on his way out inside the 30-yard circle! Pity, he lasted just one ball.