Receiving the man-of-the-match award on Tuesday night, Tendulkar once again put light on how much he loves the game and how much he has to share and also learn about it. It’s always special to hear the great man talk. The way he batted on Tuesday night brought back memories of the mid 90’s. While his Test place is debatable, I think he should continue playing Twenty20 till the time he wants to. Watching him is a treat and we must realize that there isn’t much of him left so let’s just enjoy whatever we get to see from this once in a generation cricketer. Many questions were being raised on his place in the Mumbai Indians’ line-up but his quick-fire 48 against Kolkata Knight Riders has put the questions rest in peace. KKR seamer Ryan McLaren who ended with figures of 4-0-60-2 was hit for five consecutive boundaries by Tendulkar in his second over, which set the tone for Mumbai. However the big surprise was McLaren bowled the last over of the innings going for 25 runs, while Laxmipathy Balaji with 3-1-7-0, didn’t complete his quota. Baffling tactics again by KKR, isn’t it? While Tendulkar did the job in Mumbai and took them to the second spot in the points table, another 40 year old former teammate of his, Rahul Dravid once again displayed a master-class knock for Rajasthan as he guided them to the second spot earlier in the day and Rahane again with a man-of-the-match performance reminded the national selectors that he deserved to be in the Champions Trophy squad. Dravid-Rahane opening is a treat to watch and Delhi Daredevils’ bowlers looked listless. Though Rajasthan’s stay at number two was short lived, the 16 points will do them a world of good. Both Mumbai and Rajasthan haven’t yet lost a match at home and while Mumbai has the good side, Rajasthan’s driving force has been Dravid’s inspiring and innovative leadership. Mumbai against Rajasthan next week will be an exciting affair. What separates them now is a net run-rate of 0.20 but there is a huge difference in ending up second and third. The second is always in an advantageous position while playing in the playoffs. Talking of the champions at home, another team, which has made their home ground a fort, is Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team has not lost a single home match and has been commendable with the ball. Chennai Superkings who have been the best side in the tournament displayed one of the most dismal batting performances on Sunday against Mumbai. Sunrisers with their potent bowling attack will try their best to make CSK replicate that. The last time the teams met, it was a poor fielding effort that led SRH down and allowed M S Dhoni a blazing knock. Sunrisers currently on 14 points are on 5th position and are still in with a good chance to make it to the play-offs. We look forward to another exiting Wednesday night contest.
Brief Scores RR 155 for 1 in 17.5 overs [R Dravid 53 (48), A Rahane 63 (45) *, S Watson 28 (14) *, S Kaul 3.5-1-23-1] beat DD 154 for 4 in 20 overs [M Jayawardene 34 (31), B Rohrer 64 (40) *, K Jadhav 23 (21) *, S Binny 2-0-3-1, S Trivedi 4-0-21-1, S Watson 3-0-21-1] by nine wickets MI 170 for 6 in 20 overs [D Smith 47 (53), S Tendulkar 48 (28), D Kathik 34 (18) *] beat KKR 105 in 18.2 overs [J Kallis 24 (26), D Das 23 (17), M Johnson 4-0-13-2, P Ojha 4-0-23-2, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-27-3] by 65 runs