A Gayle special. (you can read more about that HERE)
Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Muttiah Muralitharan playing together.
A last ball nerve-wracking finish.
Who says the IPL and T20 is not exciting or a must watch. Yes there is commercialism, yes there is a lot of tamasha and politics but at the end of the day as seen in the last 5 years cricket is always the winner.
From the first new talent of the year, 19-year-old Jasprit Bumrah to watching legends Sachin and Ponting bat together to of course the Gayle special and the exciting finish, cricket was the winner all the way.
Ponting showed glimpses of why he is a great captain when MI were bowling with his field placements and bowling changes. Imagine having 6 fielders in the ring including 2 slips in the 8th over in a T20 match.
But at the same time, he missed a big chance to influence the game by sending Rayudu ahead of Pollard. The big man would have been a better bet at that stage and ensured MI could have won the game.
RCB also out fielded the MI team which made the difference at the end of the day.
The two big moments in the match:
1 - Chris Gayle – watching his slow start, it was clear that he was just setting himself up for another brutal assault and it paid off. What a delight it was to hear the screams of over 30,000 fans in the stadium cheering every hit to the boundary. A special treat to set the pace for the rest of the tournament.
2 – Ponting and Sachin batting together - Tentative, cautious, measured are the words that come to mind when watching them bat together for the first time. You could sense that in their body language. Both veterans with questions over their head – are they fit and good enough to play in the league and both started off delightfully with some breathtaking stroke play especially from Sachin.
It was sad to see the way they both got out but one thing is for sure, they will grow in confidence and MI finally have got that stable opening partnership that will lay a solid foundation for the rest of the tournament.
My money is still on MI while RCB have yet again proved why they are over reliant on Chris Gayle.
The unsung hero for the night was Jaydev Unadkat for bowling a brilliant 19th over increasing the pressure on the batsman and Vinay Kumar rounded it off perfectly for team RCB.