24th April, Wankhede Stadium, Sachin Tendulkar. No matter what sporting event is on offer, it has to take a back seat when it is Sachin’s birthday. Cricket is a religion in India, and while religion has been dividing people since forever, cricket has been doing just the opposite. And while there are umpteen gods that people generally pray to, when it comes to cricket, there is only one. Such is the aura, such is the stature of this man that he is capable of stopping time in India. A Sachin hundred acts like a balm for the average Indian, it makes them forget all their daily woes, and helps them revel in the genius of India’s most powerful man.
The Wankhede sang in unison to greet Sachin on his birthday and the entire nation took up interesting ways in order to make the special man feel even more special on his big day. But Mumbai Indians were unable to top it off with a win, something that left a slight blot on an otherwise eventful day.
Mumbai Indians couldn’t chase down a par score of 160 on a rather sluggish Wankhede track, thanks to some wonderful death bowling by Imran Tahir and Ben Stokes. Pune began the night with a solid opening stand between Rahane and Tripathi but after the duo fell, none of the batsmen could really turn things on and they had to settle for what seemed like a par score.
Mumbai Indians went about their business in a unruly manner. Wickets tumbled at regular intervals and no one except Rohit Sharma seemed in great touch. Sharma’s valiant effort with the bat was all but going to bear fruits, until two brilliant overs from Tahir and Stokes, giving away just 4 and runs respectively, pegged the Mumbai Indians back.
17 to defend of the last over and Jaydev Unadkat held his nerve to dismiss Rohit of the second ball(the first one went for a six) and take his side home. Mumbai wouldn’t be reading too much into this loss, whereas Pune will be extremely buoyed by their performance and recent winning streak.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Lightning struck RCB the last time they took the field. A team that boasted of legends of the game, succumbed to one of the most humiliating losses in the history of the event. Virat Kohli held the entire team responsible for the loss but was quick to say that these set of individuals will come back stronger.
Sunrisers though will possibly pose the sternest of tests for the already wounded RCB batsmen. Their bowling line up reeks of devils that could open you up left, right and centre. Rashid Khan could be extremely useful tonight, seeing how Yuzi Chahal has relished in the spinners role at the Chinnaswamy this season. Bhuvi’s death overs bowling has been phenomenal this season and it could prove to be a major roadblock for RCB during their launch overs. But first they need to get past the hurdle of 50 runs.
Let’s get to business now!
IPL Fantasy League Fantasy Tips on the next page