Right then, back again for the IPL review, but in a rather melancholy mood after still not having recovered from the horrendous Rajasthan Royals performance in the playoffs. Only two games to cover this time, let’s get right into the misery.

Chennai in the Finale

If you’re unaware, the IPL’s ‘playoffs’, as they’re called operate in a rather weird way as compared to the semi-finals or knockout stages of other competitions across different sports. The top two team in the table face off in the first Qualifier, and the winner reaches the final whereas the loser gets another try, in the second Qualifier. The third and fourth placed teams play in the Eliminator, where the loser is out and the winner advances to the second Qualifier. The winner of that game goes to the final. Why the geniuses at the BCCI don’t follow a general pattern is beyond me, but oh well… this is India we’re on about.

Anyway, Chennai played Hyderabad in the first qualifier, and almost won, and then almost lost, and then won again. It was basically a textbook IPL game. Hyderabad batted first and after the batsmen bottled everything, as usual, they only managed to score 139 runs. Carlos Brathwaite, relevant for scoring 19 off 4 in the T20 World Cup Final against England was Hyderabad’s best batsmen as he got 43 runs. Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan also got scores in the twenties, but at very slow speeds.

Chennai almost bottled the score as well after their batting line-up did what the Sunrisers did and lost a load of wickets early. 0, 67, 22, 0, 9, 7, 3, 10, 2, 15 were the massive scores made by the experienced Chennai lineup. Mind, the 67 and 22 did somehow get them over the line. The Afghani wizard Rashid Khan bowled four overs and gave eleven runs in total, picking up two wickets in the process. However, Carlos Brathwaite and Shakib Al Hasan (yes the cheat) gave 51 in a combined five overs and essentially lost Hyderabad the game.

The 67 and 22 were made by Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina respectively. The South African got off to a slow start but then smashed everybody everywhere and got Chennai over the line with 5 balls to spare. Ironically, salty Mumbai fans were crying that the game was fixed.

Rajasthan in the Bin(ale!)

Legitimately just done that to rhyme finale and bin, don’t hate on me, a man needs his cheeky subheadings. Right back to the point, the Rajasthan Royals played against the Kolkata Knight Riders and lost a game that the Knight Riders won for them. Doesn’t make sense? Allow me to explain.

After a bad start to their innings, captain Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell propelled Kolkata to a good total of 169. Alright, alright decent score, nothing unwinnable though. But of course, like they’ve done before, the Royals f**ked it, there’s not a politer way to put it.

83 in 60 were needed by the Royals to win the game and get to the second qualifier. Somehow, the Royals made only 58 and despite losing only four wickets, lost by 25 runs. It currently pains me to write about the game, because of how depressing it was. Rahane, Samson and Tripathi did their part to an extent, it was the latter three that lost the game for Rajasthan. Klaasen made 18 off 18, Binny made a huge 0 off 3 and Gowtham made 9 in 7. That was that and we bottled. I went on an expletive-filled rant but my account got suspended, so I can’t link anything 🙁

Shane Warne was especially loud throughout the game, on Twitter that is. The team’s coach was sitting in Melbourne and giving us live coverage of the game along with his thoughts. In the end, he said that the team didn’t attack enough in the middle overs, if only they understood that Shane…

Warne was also particularly pissed at Dinesh Karthik and was displeased at Karthik’s unnecessary talking and constant time-wasting gestures and directions. I would’ve linked those tweets as well, but I got suspended again, on another account…sort it out Twitter.

That brings us to the end of the penultimate IPL round-up, and on Monday I’ll return with reviews of the second Qualifier and Final. Till then you can catch me on Twitt…oh f**k.