By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar
Kolkata Knight Riders 162/4; Delhi Daredevils 144/8
(Kolkata Knight Riders won by 18 runs)
The scorecard of the match is here.
There were four main factors that were always likely determine this match – how Gambhir, Warner and Sehwag went with the bat and how Narine went with the ball (or rather how DD fared against him with the bat). KKR won every one of these battles – and that was that.
The poor decision to give Warner out (in front of the hawkish gaze of 32 cameras, most of which caught the mistake) makes a mockery of one aspect of IPL no one cares to highlight. If IPL is an Indian domestic tournament, this tendency to import umpires for this event is inexplicable, whether they are as mediocre as Billy Doctrove or not.
The great opportunity such a long tournament offers to domestic umpiring talent is squandered – the quintessential wannabe Indian mentality prevailing yet again (much like how curiously every single female host on Set Max has an American accent – as if they’ve done research to suggest that Indians like their women speaking like this). But this is another story, of course.
The big story of the match is that Delhi Daredevils produced its second-lowest impact performance in IPL 2012 (when in full strength) in this match. Bad selection (given the pitch) and classic cavalier Sehwag logic to back it (“Aaron and Yadav have been bowling brilliantly and they are youngsters so how could we drop them?”) was a bad start, further compounded by their main bowler having a seriously off-day. They still got back (twice) through the efforts of its less heralded players but then promptly lost parity again.
Here is the match through the Impact Index prism.
Yusuf Pathan got the Man-of-the-Match award but it should have comprehensively gone to Jacques Kallis (which even some of the commentators seem to miss). Pathan (40 off 21 balls; Batting IMPACT 4.02) was indeed the highest impact batsman in the match but Kallis delivered a classic all-round performance, neither of which would typically get attention on its own (30 off 33 and 2 for 24 in 4 overs – Batting IMPACT 2.35; Bowling IMPACT 2.99).
Kallis also produced the only all-round performance of the match (despite the presence of so many all-rounders, especially in his own side). Though Negi came very, very close to doing so.
Pawan Negi (1-18 in 4 overs; Bowling IMPACT 3.22) was the highest impact bowler in the match, an unlikely candidate, given that he was the least fancied spinner in that park. His 14 off 11 in the end almost gave him a Batting IMPACT of 1 too.
Even more unlikely, two of the highest impact three bowlers of the match were from Delhi Daredevils. Irfan Pathan (1-20 in 4 overs; Bowling IMPACT 2.81) also produced a tight performance (interrupted by a split webbing) – all of which had Kolkata Knight Riders in trouble at 106-4 after 16 overs. It took his elder sibling in the opposing side to bail them out.
Laxmi Shukla (24 off 11 balls; Batting IMPACT 2.61), playing only because of an injury to Manoj Tiwary, teed off to give his team a challenging total to defend.
Three players – McCullum, Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan had identical IMPACT numbers for the match (4.02) but they gave varied performances. McCullum made 31 off 36 and kept wickets (taking 2 catches and effecting 2 stumpings). Gambhir made 32 off 16, took one catch and captained the side. Pathan made 40 off 21 balls.
Impressively, nine players had an IMPACT of over 1 in KKR – exemplifying the all-round talent in that team and the manner in which they are pulling together as a team.
DD, conversely, had a poor day. Their strongest component – pre-tournament, and in the league stage – their batting, failed completely, with only Jayawardene and Ojha crossing an IMPACT of 1. Their strongest bowler, Purple Cap holder Morne Morkel registered a very poor Bowling IMPACT of -0.45 (his big match temperament in question now).
In the end, DD had a Team IMPACT of just 1.17 whereas KKR registered a relatively massive 2.17. This was a bigger beating than even a margin of 18 runs suggests.
For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com