It has been four days since the advent of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 scratched its grand surface and we have already had some absolute crackers with the couple involving CSK and KKR. CSK has just shown us how much everybody missed them in the last two seasons. Two close finishes and they got over the line both the times. One remarkable thing about CSK is their awesomeness to find unlikely heroes, today it was Sam Billings.
The game-changing instances;
The name could have been KKR giant Andre Russel but few instances like the last over of KKR batting where there was an urgent need of giving Russel the strike but the Kolkata’s fast bowler Tom Curran failed to do so hence the target saw its end in 202 only. Hence KKR somewhere got about 10 runs shorter in setting the target. But in reciprocal to that target the chase of CSK has been magnificent especially in the first 5 overs where the score was 75 with no loss. But subsequent to that CSK witnessed a slump in their chasing speed. And with the advent of Sam Billings, the much important required rate which went past 12 per over had been slacked down to 10 per over. He went on to play on every corner of the field which got them closer to their highest chasing victory.
The error of the night though had to come later when two English debutants were having a go at each other. Sam Billings made room for himself off Curran’s bowling, in the 15th over, but miscued it high towards mid-off. Robin Uthappa, who was without his wicketkeeping gloves, got the timing of his jump completely wrong and dropped a crucial catch. Billings went on to add 47 runs off the next 17 balls he faced.
And the final instance where Vinay Kumar with his first spell came to bowl in the final over having 17 runs to win in 6 balls started his spell with a no-ball which went for a six and subsequently allowed the CSK with a free hit which ended up with a double. And the remaining run slacked down to 8 runs to win from the remaining 5 balls. That one ball cost KKR 9 runs which caused them losing 2 points in the tournament.
How good was Sim Billings;
With 102 runs still left to be chased down from less than nine overs, Billings arrived at the crease. In his debut for CSK, and more importantly, in the team’s return to the Chepauk he showed his class. The Englishman hit a four off his second ball, and once he was dropped on 7 in the 15th over, he perhaps got a validation from his luck. His first reaction to the dropped chance was to hit a six off the next ball. He showcased his familiarity with fellow Englishman Curran, by hitting him for the second six in that over. He’d hit Curran for another six in the following over and then went after Russell. Billings was eventually dismissed by Curran, but the dropped chance from Curran himself had a massive bearing on the result.
The low-on-confidence R Vinay Kumar;
R Vinay Kumar might have finished the last game with two wickets but he was still a bowler running really low on confidence and starting the innings with him was the biggest confidence booster the Karnataka pacer could have had. Especially with the cushion of runs he had up front. However, his diffidence came to the fore immediately as he conceded 16 off the opening over. That he would return to bowl the decisive over, where he had to defend 16, was a huge gamble from Karthik, which didn’t pay off.