IPL 2012 – IPL 5 – Mumbai, Delhi Impress As Chennai, Kolkata Disappoint
The opening two matches of the Indian Premier League 2012 have set the ball rolling for the tournament. Reigning champions Chennai Super Kings were well beaten by the Mumbai Indians before the Kolkata Knight Riders were beaten by the Delhi Daredevils.
Two wins then, for the away sides, and wins for the sides that went into the game as the underdogs – Mumbai because of Chennai’ strength at home and Delhi because they are without their star batsmen in Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and Kevin Pietersen.
Irfan Pathan wrote his own script and his innings of 42 in 20 balls was my highlight of the first two games. As well as Richard Levi played in spanking 50 in 35 balls for Mumbai, Pathan was under pressure. He had no option but to accelerate when he did but the grace with which he lifted three sixes into the crowd showed just how well he managed the situation.
The 12 overs per side game turned out to be something of a thriller as at the halfway point, Kolkata’s score of 97 never looked enough but after Virender Sehwag and Aaron Finch fell within six balls of one another, we had a game on our hands.
Delhi missed one chance in the field but were otherwise outstanding. Kolkata needed everything to stick and get early wickets and once they failed in the latter, Delhi were always likely to come through.
Chennai were also not at their best in the field while Mumbai were excellent. Any team that loses three wickets to run outs will struggle, particularly if key players such as Francois du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni depart in this fashion.
Both sides are likely to bounce back but should Mumbai win today’s game against the Pune Warriors, they will quickly emerge as everyone’s favourites for the title with two wins out of two under their belt.
It would be sensible to remember that they have started well in the past and faded as the tournament went on. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.