Fortunately this time out is not sponsored by anyone. So we don’t have to talk about DLF Maximums and Citi moments of horseshit and what not.

SApel has reached its half way point. Most teams have played their first round of group matches  and I thought it would be a good time to check back on how the teams and players were fairing at the same time last year.

Team            2009          2008   Final Standing in 2008

Delhi                    1                     4                  4

Deccan                2                    7                  8

Chennai               3                   3                   3

Rajastan              4                   2                   1

Bangalore           5                   8                   7

Kings XI              6                    1                   2

Mumbai              7                    6                   5

Kolkata                8                    5                  6

The two IPLs have been played in completely contrasting conditions and still there are teams that have been extremely consistent. Chennai are the standouts and they seem almost certain of a semi final birth.

Deccan, Bangalore and Delhi have been the most improved sides this year and its reflected in the standings as well.

What it also shows is that a good start is very important. Teams are unlikely to stage dramatic comebacks to  end up in the top 4.  I’m not that into IPL cricket betting but I’d probably put the house I don’t own yet on Deccan, Delhi and Chennai making the semis.The momentum is with them. And they are winning consistently.

The 4th spot is an interesting one.

The 4th ranked and 7th ranked are only separated by 2 points.  For teams like Rajastan, Mumbai, Kings XI and Bangalore this means they are still in business.

We are at IPLs  equivalent of being on the last turn before the home stretch.

Last year Rajastan powered their way to 6 wins out of their last 7.

Punjab managed 5 out of 7.

Delhi and Chennai managed 3 each.

If Bangalore, Mumbai of the Kings Xi can repeat the Royals performance last year they are in with a big shout to make the cut.

So far the IPLs been a dreary old affair. I wasn’t its biggest fan last year resulting in me boycotting the whole thing. This year I thought I’d give it a chance. And sorry Lalit you still haven’t convinced me otherwise.

Sure its been fun watching some of the Sri Lankans, specially Slinga, ‘throw’ it down and watching the Wild Beast Dirty Dirk scare the bejesus out of most players- For some reason he reminds me of a Lumberjack. A wild young thang who can chop down a pine tree with his bare hands- but I still don’t know who to support. Its like watching Luton vs Nottingham Forrest, unless you are from either town you don’t really care too much about  the match.

Sometimes I’m only watching it to see the Cheerleaders and I tune in late in the day to see who was crowned Miss Bollywood for the day.

The stands, as we predicted, have been pretty empty on the weekdays.

Lets hope the 2nd half of the tournament can throw up a few surprises. I mean who doesn’t want to see Kolkata ShitKnight Riders making a come back and the fake IPL player revealing himself to be none other than Sourav himself at the post match conference after the Finals.

If I were to make a sporting bet, I’d say Mumbai will be in the top 4 by the end. But its anyones game right now.

Except the Knight Riders.

bangalore royal challenger chennai super kings deccan chargers delhi daredevils ipl kings xi punjab kolkata knight riders mumbai indians rajastan royals

To be fair to Mendis, there really arnt too many bowlers who can stop Sanath and Tendulkar when they are in that kind of mood.

Brutal, murderous and calculated. Sanath would have seen Mendis in the nets for ages so it would have been easier for him to pick him. But Tendulkar who had trouble with his back in Colombo took him apart in the brilliant way only he can.

1-0 Tendulkar in this IPL with round two just 4 days away.

His first 12 balls went for 28.

His last 12 for 11. Which tells the story of the match. It was won through the bats of the one of the most lethal opening pairs in this competition.

Once you go for over a 100 in 52 balls in a 2020, you are not going to be making too many come backs.

Mendis didnt get too much turn and he seemed a little lost in the middle of the assault. To his credit he kept tossing it up. Which dint help cuz they ended up being too full.

Another tough lesson for the prodigy. And he needs to learn in quick time.

ajantha mendis flyslip ipl jayasuriya kolkata knight riders mendis mumbai indians sachin tendulkar

3 days in and the IPL is as boring as what you do in the ad break.

None of the 5 games have even come close to being a thriller.

The commentary is so over the top and predictable – there is only so many DLF maximums and Citi moments of success that you can put up with.

Does Ravi Shashthri really have to yell into his mic every time the toss is on?

And who picked the colors for the highest run scorer and wicket taker caps?

More importantly what happens when a player, lets say Hayden, looses his cap to, lets say Dravid, in an ongoing match. Does he hand it over to him mid game?

What if the highest run scorer and wicket taker are the same person, does he wear his 2 caps ? Maybe like Sherlock homes with that deer hunter type thingys?

Why are all the high profile batsmen getting out to first ballers ? I’m not complaining but Jesse Ryder, KP and Ross Taylor -‘One of the best batsmen in this form of the game, he is so dangerous’- according to Danny Morrison.  1 run in 2 games is deadly alright. For his team.

The best Citi moment of success so far as to be  the look on KPs face after Murali cleaned him up. Giving whole new meaning to adding another ‘0’ to the his figures.

Spinners making a comeback? Ah-huh. Kumble, Warne, Murali, Vetorri, Harbajan have been brilliant in this IPL. Murali’s spell last night was way cool. The ball to Uttapah orgasmic.

Other than that the games lack the oomph of last year. No crazy 100s or finishes that make you wet your couch.  Yet.

anil kumble bangalore royal challenger chennai super kings deccan chargers delhi daredevils dravid hayden ipl jesse ryder kevin peitersen kings xi punjab kolkata knight riders mumbai indians murali rajastan royals shane warne vetorri