It sizzled in Cape Town on Thursday The Rajasthan Royals are up and alive and Shane Warne is his customary animated self. His theatrics alone are worth a ticket to the stadium, the gesticulations, the recriminations against umpires, slap on the wrist of his faster bowlers for not bowling bouncers at Sourav Ganguly and finally entrusting the fate of his team to an 18-year-old were all magical stuff. His is cowboy stuff, where the hero shoots from the hip and unfailingly rides out in the golden sunset. Only, this man still has unfinished business.
No less a sight was Sourav Ganguly who came to the crease with the innings in tatters and all but won the game. His calculated assault on Munaf Patel showed the old fox can still bare his teeth. His animated frustration at the loss of Yashpal Singh's wicket, having asked the rookie to hold his bat and watch out for Warne, will stay in the memory. For this match alone, this IPL was worth it.
Kolkata are definitely thin on batting and the infatuation with Brad Hodge has to end at some stage. I still believe Mortaza has a role to play. Baiters of Ajantha Mendis would have gained heart at the manner in whichYusuf Pathan took him to the cleaners in the super over. I was surprised that Gayle wasn't given the opportunity.
Rajasthan, on their day, can still upset many an applecart. Warne must have enjoyed rubbing it in on John Buchanan with whom his exchanges aren't exactly courteous. Now that Pathan has come good, Swapnil Asondkar needs to fire for the batting order to acquire some meat.
The first match between Delhi and Chennai was a clash of titans. Delhi will be buoyed by the resilience it showed even when its superstar openers had fallen cheaply. It really was daredevilry from Viru's men. These two teams along with Mumbai and the Chargers have looked a league apart from the rest in the early stages of the tournament.