24 May 2011
Live (Pause) Blogging Chennai v Bangalore - the first semi-final

It’s not do or die time.  The loser gets a place in the second semi-final.  How cool is that?  Actually, for Chennai it’s even better.  The second semi-final (and final) are being played at Chennai.  On the ground where we’ve never lost. But even so, we want to win.

1536 Ravi Shastri’s wearing one of those long Indian shirts.  Normally the commentators wear a branded Western shirt.  What is going on?  Is an element of traditional Indian culture creeping into the IPL?  I think we should be told.

1542 And already all the talk is about Chris Gayle.  Without him Bangalore were bottom of the table.  With him they were top.  He has played 9 games and won 8.  No other player has had that sort of impact on the tournament.  Just as well.  On the other hand, with Chennai every performance is a team effort.  It’s a fascinating clash: the one-man team versus the all-man team.

1555 Simon Hughes is talking about trends in where batsmen are holding the bat.  What an analyst.

1557 Oh hang about, Mark Butcher has out-analysed him.  Low down is more manoeuvrable.  Watch out Mark - he’ll be out for revenge now.

1601 Hughes is backing Chennai to win.

1627 Gayle out, lbw b Ashwin 8.  Game on.  And Hawkeye agrees.  Now what do we do?

1643 Interview with the bowling coach.  While the over is going on.  Not sure how I feel about this.  Team members are guardians of team secrets.  So either they spill the beans - disaster - or they’re so bland there’s no point.

1648 OMG, they’re interviewing the umpire!  Hasn’t he got better things to do?

1743 Six.  Pommersbach.  Amazingly flat. (121-3, 14.50).  So, not such a one-man team then.

1751 Out! Pommersbach.  Bowled.

1757 Ashwin’s just got hit on the head.  I’m amazed he’s concious let alone walking.  He’s left the pitch. Albie Morkel got hit the other day from Chris Gayle.  When I was growing up it was the batsmen who were the vulnerable ones.  Now, it’s the bowlers.

1940 What a game!  Chennai win with two balls to go with the most amazing slogging over the last 4 overs.  Everyone’s exhausted.  Raina’s gone down with cramp.  The worm is amazing: level pegging ball by ball.  Even the wickets fell at similar times.  Gayle should win man of the match for his bowling.  Even so, it goes to show that Bangalore are far from a one-man team.  They’ve clearly got a lot better as the tournament has gone on, Gayle or no Gayle.  And we’ve still got a final to play.  I’m not sure I can stand it.

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  1. Quibble.  Not really a “semi-final”, for the reasons you said.  But, what else do you call it.  Officially it’s “Qualifier 1”.

    I agree.  Hell of a game.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 26 May 2011 at 05:30pm

  2. Suddenly, I realise I don’t know what “semi-final” means.  Does it mean “last step before final” or does it mean “one of two equally ranked games”?

    “Qualifier 1” is awfully bland.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on 26 May 2011 at 05:55pm

  3. It’s 3.45pm on Friday, and Gayle is at it again, against Tendulkar’s lot.  27 in the first over.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 27 May 2011 at 06:49pm

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