Cop on the right, thinking, ‘Aila, aeroplane!’
IPL-5 has thrown up some dazzling individual performances, moments and bloopers through the last 40 days, and here, we will take a look at the BEST and the WORST of the group stages:
Moment of the IPL:
Pune Warriors player of the season, Steve Smith, gave us not only the moment of the IPL, but possibly of an entire decade- with his outstanding, superhuman leap at the boundary against KKR. The man plucked the ball out of thin air with an outstretched right hand, realized he was midway through his leap barreling back beyond the boundary rope- and had the stunning presence of mind in that split second to throw the ball back into play- AFTER the catch, mind you. Though this sensational piece of fielding was given prominence due to the six he saved, as per ICC laws, it was later discovered that this was, in fact, a clean catch…which is what makes this moment all the more magical.
A close second here, just for the sheer theatrics of the situation, would be old Sourav Ganguly parading his new hairstyle across the ground after bowling an in-form KP, thereby sealing Delhi’s fate. Us Indians, being sentimental suckers, really can’t let go of our Dada’s chest beating antics.
WTF moment of the IPL:
Everything Munaf Patel seems to have done this year, has made it to the top of this list. From his disgraceful antics against Deccan Chargers for Sangakkara’s wicket- where he threw the ball and stomped around the ground like a deranged child- from overstepping THRICE against the Royal Challengers in an over of complete madness- this IPL could very well be the tipping point for this therapist.
I may not speak English, but I no English.
Bowling spell of the IPL:
Dale Steyn, responsible for two sizzling spells against the same opponent Mumbai, ended up on the losing side for both games. However, his over to Levi in the first game, followed by his four over burst and sheer torment of Rohit Sharma and Pollard- will go down the most memorable spell in the shortest format of the game. Awana, the young Kings XI find of the year, will come a close second for his probing 3 wicket blast against a bamboozled Delhi top order.
Finish of the IPL:
While there are loads of contenders for this one, one would still have to go with Dwayne Smith’s unexpected, out-of-the-blue, shocking 3-ball finish against an unsuspecting Chennai SuperKings- after an unparalleled choke by his team. A close second would be AB De Villiers beautiful demolition of Ashish Nehra.
Innings of the IPL:
While many might go with the Warner turbo blast in just his second game of the year, for its sheer grace, skill and touch, it would have to be Rohit’s 109 against KKR on a difficult Eden Gardens track- that takes this prize. While far from consistent, Sharma’s knocks invariably lift his team out of a hopeless situation, with an out-of-touch Tendulkar at the top of the order.
Shot of the IPL:
Without question, AB De Villiers is 1 and 2 here- with his inside out monstrously shocking six of Dale Steyn topping the list. Next, his reverse swept maximum against Nehra. Also, Robin Peterson’s switch-hit from nowhere against Piyush Chawla, comes third in this list.
The ball was too damn white! %*&^*^#*(!
Over of the IPL:
While this can almost qualify as a cruel blooper for poor Rahul Sharma, Gayle’s five sixes off him in a match that was dead and buried, makes for the most outrageous six balls bowled this year.
Drama-queen of the IPL:
From the highs of Australia and Bangladesh to the lows of being dismissed for single-digit scores every game, Kohli’s reaction at being given out either by the umpire or being stranded in no-man’s land by his partner- warranties his addition to the next big Bollywood blockbuster centered around a man who has lost his faith in God.
Team of the IPL:
There is no doubt about this one. Deccan Chargers must wonder if there is a divine purpose to their suffering- after being the team with the singlemost close finishes in the history of this format. Whenever there is more than 30 runs to get in the last 2 overs against the Chargers, expect Sangakkara to drop his shoulders as if to say, ‘Gave it our best shot, now let’s lose.’ Even the mighty Steyn has fallen prey on more than one occasion, to the world-famous ability of this team to LOSE from any possible situation in this world.
Damp Squids of the IPL:
An ailing Pune Warriors team, responsible for the two longest losing streaks in IPL history in its first two years itself, is a team that can always be written off after winning their first few games. Just the calm before the inevitable storm, they say.
Should I order Rumali roti, or butter Naan? Hmm.
Chaplin of the IPL:
While the entire Punjab team can qualify for this honour, it is that babyfaced tweaker- the King of Rolls- Piyush Chawla, whose expressions often suggest that he actually plans the strategically-placed dropped dollies and those extended periods of bowling long-hops to well-set batsmen. Horizontally-speaking, his love of butter-chicken and Dal Makhani seems to have put him in the league of extraordinary gentlemen like Ranatunga, Inzamam, Akram Khan and our very own Powar.
That’s all for now, folks, and expect more additions to be made to this list as we enter the final stages of the tournament- with many more runs, wickets, Munaf Patel tantrums, Kohli’s love for everyone’s mothers and sisters, and other holy happenings to come.