IPL race for semis wide open ahead of KZN’s finale

2009-05-20 00:00

THE road has, at times, been rather trying, but finally one can make enough sense of the IPL table to say the race truly is on.

The Bangalore Royal Challengers, led by a dashing Jacques Kallis, threw their hat squarely into a ring that is rapidly overfilling.

Aside from the almost comical Kolkata Knight Riders and the confused Mumbai Indians, the other five sides in the competition all have a chance to join the pace-setting Delhi Daredevils in this weekend’s semifinals.

After over 50 matches, it all comes down to each sides final round-robin ties.

The defending champions, Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals, simply must defeat the Knight Riders in today’s early game at Kingsmead to have any chance of defending their crown.

The second clash, between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kings XI Punjab is equally important.

If the Punjab outfit prevails, they will also maintain their interests in the final four.

The Super Kings, currently second, should be safe, but a win will surely give them momentum heading into the home straight.

Tomorrow’s matches are equally intriguing, though the Daredevils’ clash with Mumbai is the only “dead rubber”, with the Delhi boys certain of top spot and Mumbai out of reach of the semis.

The final clash between Bangalore and Adam Gilchrist’s Deccan Chargers has now assumed quarter-final status, with the loser almost certainly packing their bags.

If all that makes any sense to you it is a small miracle, but that is exactly what the second edition of the IPL has been.

That it was staged on such short notice was impressive enough.

The fact that it has just about held locals’ imaginations into the chill of winter, despite the Super 14 and other delights on the small screen, is testimony to the array of stars on display.

Today marks Kingsmead’s final fling with the dancing girls, the blaring music and the fireworks, on and off the field.

Afforded the most matches out of all the cities, Durban has done itself proud, with excellent attendances, even in the middle of the day.

One wonders just how many “sick” notes have been hastily arranged to catch the action, and they will no doubt be in use today for the final show.

The Royals will look to Warne again, but a hearty contribution from the unusually erratic Graeme Smith would be most welcome.

A big score could be crucial for the Royals, as their net run-rate is in the red at the moment, and semifinal spots could be decided on such matters.

The Knight Riders will simply be looking to end as they started, with a win.

The less mentioned about their horror show in the middle the better.

In the second clash, the Super Kings will be looking to bounce back from their shock loss to the Knight Riders. They will welcome back the big, booming bat of Matthew Hayden, as they look to cement their semi spot.

The Kings XI Punjab have no option but to win.

Intriguingly, they have opted to bench Yusuf Abdulla since the return of Brett Lee.

The Dundee Express topped the wicket charts not so long ago, and will surely be desperate for a game on his home patch.

All in all, it promises to be quite a finale at Kingsmead.

If you are not yet out of excuses to skip work, get down to the ground to wave goodbye to the IPl roadshow.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.