IPL: Into the Play-Offs, into the Night, Wankhede and Chidambaram

Linus FernandesAnalyst IIMay 23, 2011

James Franklin
James FranklinRitam Banerjee/Getty Images

The suspense has ended. IPL play-offs have been decided.

Super Sunday will repeat itself in two instalments on the 24th and 25th of May 2011, at the Wankhede.

It’ll be the Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier.

Mumbai Indians and Kolkatta Knight Riders will clash once more on Wednesday in the eliminator.

The Eliminator? Sounds like a wrestling tie to me.

The fresh format this year rewards consistency.

What is less known, as revealed by Sunny Gavaskar on Sony TV, is that the winners and runners-up are awarded the play-offs for next year for their performances in the IPL.

Something that the franchise owners will factor in while making their pocket book calculations. Winning pays and pays well.

The second qualifier and the final are schedule to be played at Chennai on the 27th and 28th of May 2011, respectively.

Sachin Tendulkar will be relieved that his side came out on the right side in an absorbing finish. Up until 39 overs, KKR were the dominant side. James Franklin stepped up to the plate when he was most needed.

Gautam Gambhir has another chance to make amends on Wednesday.

Three matches to win for either side to clinch the title.

Royal Challengers Bangalore have the desired momentum—just one loss in their past seven games.

The victories have come on the back of stupendous efforts with the bat by West Indian Chris Gayle.

Daniel Vettori has made it a point to have his best bowlers finish their quota up-front in the quest for quick wickets. The theory holds if his bowlers knock over the top batsmen leaving the weaker links to bowl to the tail-enders.

It worked like a charm against CSK on Sunday.

For CSK, it’s their fourth successive top four finish. Theirs has been the side to beat in all the editions of the IPL.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin TendulkarRitam Banerjee/Getty Images

Mumbai Indians will hope that they have regained the lost initiative.Their come-from-behind victory yesterday evening should galvanise them and restore their self-belief.

Four sides, four captains.

Daniel Vettori, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir.

Who will hold aloft the trophy on the 28th of May 2011? Your guess is as good as mine.

Let me know if you care.

Frankly,I don't.

Quote of the day: 

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. – Sir Barnett Cocks