With the ICC T-20 WC coming to an end where India did reasonably well yet couldn’t across the line despite Kohli’s heroics for the second time in a row, it was time for the cricket festival in India which is enjoyed across the country every year irrespective of the people of different age groups.
So, it all started with the two Marathi teams (Mumbai & Pune) up against each other at the iconic Wankhede stadium of Mumbai. Pune & Gujarat being the fresh faces in this year’s edition led by MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina respectively who had their earlier stints with the CSK which was terminated this year due to disciplinary issues. Rising Pune Supergiants started with the bang but later faltered as the tournament progressed. With injuries to some of their key players including KP, Faf Duplessis etc, they were left behind in the race for the play offs. Mumbai Indians, the defending champions had a roller coaster ride throughout & eventually were knocked out. The only positive for them was the discovery of a formidable all-rounder in the name of Krunal Pandya. Delhi Daredevils which had always found themselves at the bottom of the table showed some glimpse of their talent in the first half of the tournament led by their new captain Zaheer Khan. But during the crucial stages, they were completely outplayed by the oppositions. Kings XI Punjab for yet another time were placed at the right bottom of the table. Kolkata Knight Riders, one among the most consistent teams just couldn’t qualify for the finals despite some really good performances from most of their players with the likes of Gambhir, Russell, Narine & Yusuf Pathan. Gujarat Lions, probably the most dangerous team at least on paper just couldn’t live upto the expectations and were overpowered in the playoffs by the mighty RCB despite having two chances to qualify for the finals. Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Mr. Virat Kohli (one among the all-time greats) with the firepower of humongous Gayle & Mr. 360° ABD had the best batting lineup & even managed to score 200+ multiple times. Kohli, clearly being the stand out batsman with four 100+ scores played meticulously right from the day one but still couldn’t grab his hands around the trophy. So close yet so far, same like the recently concluded T-20 WC where he finished top run getter but couldn’t give his country the second World title. Sunrisers Hyderabad commanded by its new captain David Warner, an Aussie flamboyant batsman did exceedingly well & eventually emerged as the new Champion, all thanks to their impeccable bowling effort chaired by Bhuvi (finished top wicket taker) & co. and batting heroics of Warner himself well supported by others.
So, it was finally 29th May’16, date for which whole of India was eagerly waiting to witness a marvellous game of cricket. Both RCB & SRH didn’t let down their fans and 400+ runs were scored in the match. Unfortunately at the end of the day, one team had to be at the losing end. Alas! it was RCB where Kohli gave his all, fought whole-heartedly, finished with a little less than 1000 runs & a consolation prize for his team. Triumphant team SRH found it no less than a dream & was on cloud nine after an epic final encounter. Lady luck was with Davey Warner (a beautiful wife & two adorable daughters), not to forget the role of their coach & the other staff who have an equal share in this memorable win.
VIVO IPL Ninth edition saw cricket going to a whole new level and it was a big success with no major controversies. Breathtaking catches, incredible batting performance including tons of stylish fours, some colossal sixes and intelligent piece of bowling sums up this year’s festival of cricket. A special thanks to the BCCI for organizing such an event, all the sponsors, supporting staff & last but not the least cheerleaders who have supported their teams in such a scorching heat. For an instance, during the play offs when KKR lost, these girls even cried for their team which was indeed a heartbreaking moment for all the cricketing lovers. Hats off girls!!!
2017’s IPL would be even better and much more fun when all the players will be up for grabs for yet another time in the fresh auction and all the franchises would fight one another for the best combination spending crores of rupees. V Kohli, MS Dhoni, ABD, Gayle, Mitch Starc etc. shall be the hot property next year.
Can’t wait for an another exciting year of the IPL. Till then cya take care & keep enjoying the game of cricket!!!