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bharathh
Firstly, I had serious withdrawal symptoms today. Over the past 2 weeks - waking up early - I had a small routine down pat. Check India's schedule for the day at the Olympics; look up details of the sportsperson performing; read up a little on the sport if I didn't know it; and; watch the action play out. It was tough not having that to wake up to any Olympics action. Luckily, it was a Sunday and we had folks over - so rode the day out. Would have been awesome to watch our cricket team (who I hadn't followed for the past few months) thrash the Englishmen - but true to our luck in sporting events lately, the English were saved by their weather and we ended up with nothing to show despite some good performances from Jadeja, Rahul and Bumrah.
 
Going into this Olympics, I must state that I was hopeful of this being our breakthrough games. Our shooting contingent was incredibly strong and used to winning consistently. Our archery team (although always inconsistent) seemed to be capable of throwing up at least 1 medal and I felt we had great chances in winning multiple medals in Boxing and Wrestling as well. Was vaguely optimistic about our chances in Men's hockey, Neeraj in Javelin and Sai Praneeth in Badminton as he seemed to have an easy draw. Didn't have much expectations from the Mens' doubles team and Sindhu in Badminton, our tennis team in Tennis, and the other Athletics events and niche sports. I felt that we should end up with around 15 medals overall with the lion's share coming from shooting - esp given the form the team showed in the 2 world cup events this year. At the worst I figured we should end up with a tally similar to London with perhaps a few golds.
 
Day 0
The archery team disappointed in the ranking rounds as usual. Deepika wasn't too bad with 9th place - but the men's team was terrible. Que sera sera I figured - especially as we were bound to meet the Koreans in the Qtr finals. As usual they were clutch and occupied the top 3 spots. Medal expectations from Archery became 0.
 
Day 1
Was hoping for 2 medals from the shooting team on the day. Day started depressingly with the shooting team with two top ranked shooters from India not making the finals in the rifle event. However, Saurabh Choudary was showing his pre-Olympics form and nailed his place in the final with a super qualification performance. One medal didn't seem so bad. Mixed Archery team raised expectations by beating Chinese Taipei and promptly dashed them by losing in the next round pathetically. 
 
Didn't think much about about Mirabhai Chanu's chances in weightlifting esp given that she had been injured a year or so back. Was pleasantly shocked when she did so well! What a start we had to the Olympics! Medal expectations back up to 2 for the day! What a morale booster! Pumped to see India near the top of the medals table after just 2 medal events for the day! 
 
Was hoping Manika Batra and Achanta re-discovered their amazing teamwork seen in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in TT - but after a lively start got thrashed by the Taipei team. Oh well - didn't have much expectations from them. Mens' double team raised expectations with a superb comeback win against the higher ranked Taipei team! That last game was awesome - winning it 27-25 after being down a couple of match points. Sai Praneeth losing to some unknown Israeli was a shocker too. More bad news to come with Saurabh crashing out at 7 in the shooting final was a major downer - but we still got a medal from unexpected quarters and the Badminton team looked good to qualify as well! Hockey team won 3-2 vs New Zealand. We had 2 TT wins in women's singles as well along with a win in Tennis.
 
Despite Vikas Krishan crashing out in Boxing in the first round and the women's team's loss to Netherlands 5-1, I had never seen so much action from the Indian team at an Olympics on one day - let alone so many winning starts along with a medal!
 
Day 2
I thought 2 medals were a lock in today from Shooting. I dreamed of India floating at the top of the medals tally until the Swimming events and Athletics events started.
 
Terrible start to the day with 3 highly ranked shooting teams again failing to qualify for the finals. Esp disappointed with Manu's last shot 8 which prevented her from qualifying for the finals. Manika Batra, Sindhu and Mary Kom made it better with a couple of wins in TT, Badminton and Boxing. Manish Kaushik bowing out in round 1 in Boxing again was a big blow. He was IMO a genuine contender for at least a bronze. Aus thrashing India 7-1 made my cynical about our hopes in hockey. Terrible second day. More typical of our outings at the Olympics before. 
 
Day 3
Again terrible day following on from Day 2. Men's archery team predictably went through their first round to get roundly thrashed by Korea in the pre-quarters. Cursed our luck for meeting the Koreans so early and lamented that our guys coudn't have shot better on day 0. 
 
Shooting team  continued to shock with their pathetic performances. Started to think that day 1 was never going to be repeated again. Still had hopes from the shooting team - esp from the Mixed pistol and rifle events - but felt a sense of gloom. Women's hockey team continue to depress with a shambolic performance vs Germany. Both women TT players bowed out although Achanta went through round 1 in TT. Only bright spot of the day.
 
Day 4
Day started amazingly well as Manu and Saurabh topped the first qualification round. Sure shot medal I thought. Back to looking at the medals table with glee hoping to see the counter under the Gold column increase after 12 long years. Manu promptly fluffed the next round to eliminate us from the final. Agony compounded by the #1 Mixed Rifle team failing to qualify for the finals as well. Was hoping to see 2 medals today. Dashed immediately. Achanta raised hopes by winning one game vs TT legend Ma Long .. but was shown his place promptly after. Mens hockey team win over Spain the only bright spot for the day. No more expectations of medals from the Shooting team. Despaired at the thought of another failed Olympics like 2016. 
 
Day 5
Another depressing day with Sai Praneeth following up a pathetic loss to an Israeli to another unheard of Dutchman. Men's archery team shown the exit by another Israeli. Deepika Kumari raised hopes with 2 wins to progress to the pre-quarters - but was cynical of her chances given her history. Sindhu's win in Badminton to progress to the next round was the only good thing along with Pooja Rani winning her first bout. 
 
Day 6
 
Shooting continued to fail - but the expectations were 0 now - so didn't hurt as much. Atanu Das' amazing win over a Korean in the round of 16 was an incredible high. Raised expectations of a medal in Archery - esp given that he had beaten the unbeatable Koreans! India beating Argentina in Men's hockey made the day much better along with Sindhu's win in Badminton. Raised hopes of more medals from Archery and Badminton. Day ended with a downer with Kom getting voted out in Boxing in a close game. Disappointed that our legend was out - but she looked past it. Atanu and the Men's hockey team raised optimism again. 
 
Day 7
Deepika Kumari had a superb finish against a highly ranked Russian. Raised hopes that she would beat the Korean given how well she held her nerve in the shoot-off to score a 10. Promptly dashed them with her most pathetic performance against a Korean who looked nervous as well. Was pleased to see the Indian women beat the Irish in hockey. Hoped they could scrape through to the quarters by beating South Africa - everyones whipping girls next. 
 
Lovlina guaranteeing a medal in Boxing by reaching the semis was the highlight for the day along with Sindhu trashing Akane Yamaguchi in the Quarterfinals. Medal confirmed we thought making up for the disappointment from Sai Praneeth. Men's team rounded off the day well by guaranteeing a #2 place with a facile win over Japan. Nice revenge for the Asian Games. 
 
Week 1 was eventful. After the incredible high of the first day, the next few days had been very very tough. Day 4 was the most disappointing so far due to our failure in the mixed shooting events. We should have had at least 5 medals at the end of week 1 - but only had 1 Silver so far.
 
Day 8
Atanu was outperformed by the Japanese - so didn't feel too bad in Archery. Still was disappointed esp after he had that incredible round vs the Korean. Archery was 0 as usual. Another body blow to our medal hopes to see Amit Phangal getting thrashed in boxing by an unseeded Colombian. Kamalpreet Kaur qualifying for the final was a pleasant surprise. Hoped she had a medal chance esp since she had topped the qualifying round. Sindhu losing to Tai Tzu was very sad. She didn't look like she had a chance. Her losing tamely took away any medal expectations. 
 
Day 9
 
Two bright spots in Sindhu winning bronze and the men's team qualifying for the semis after 40+ years. Hoping for a gold/silver from the now. Satish Kumar - our only male boxer left - lost to the Uzbek champ. Amazing performance given his injury - but seeing Men's boxing failing again was sad. Was hoping we could do as well as London now. After thinking that would be our worst performance at the beginning - even reaching our London performance appeared like a long shot. Still - 1 more medal in the bank with more to come from Lovlina and the men's hockey team.
 
Day 10
Women's team beating Australia to qualify for the semis was an incredible high. Beat out anything else happening in the day. Even Kamalpreet Kaur not medalling in Discus was fine. Fouaad Mirza's performance was noteworthy in Equestrian as well. Briefly raised medal hopes - but not good enough to compete with the others. Hopefully will do better soon. Shooters went out with a whimper with another pathetic performance failing to qualify for the finals. 
 
Day 10
Really bad day. Indian men lost a lead to go down to the Belgians in Hockey. Furious with the PC rules in hockey. Don't think it will become a popular sport until this is changed. Makes the game too mechanical. Not enough reward for artistry in the game.
 
Our first wrestler lost her opening round as well and our Asian games' shot put champ failed to qualify for the final.
 
Day 11
Aditi Ashok tied for 2nd place in women's golf was a nice surprised. She had started the same way in Rio also - so no real expectations from her - but was nice to see an Indian near the top of an event after all the disappointing days previously. Lovlina won the bronze. By now - no expectations. -so was nice to see another medal in the bank. 
 
Ravi Kumar and Deepak Punia though came out of nowhere to raise expectations sky high. Thought we would have at least 2 silvers/golds till Ravi Kumar was thrashed by an American. Still had hopes for a bronze given how well he had wrestled till then. Neeraj Chopra qualifying for the final in just 1 throw was awesome! He looked like a winner - although no expectations of anything more than a bronze from him. 
 
Day 12
 
Aditi still was at #2 with another good day's performance in Golf. India won bronze. Everyone went gaga but I was disappointed. Still was nice to see another medal - albeit bronze. Good day for Indian hockey. Good comeback to win against the Germans. Overall disappointing day with Vinesh Phogat bowing out in the pre-quarters. Ravi Kumar missing out on Bronze and Deepak Punia outperformed for Silver was sad. 
 
Still 2 medals for a day was awesome after so many poor days for India. Hopeful we could match the London tally now - esp with Bajrang to come
 
Day 13
Sad to see the Indian women miss out on the bronze. Lion hearted performance in the second half - but their poor show in the first half caused them to miss out. Hopeful for the future in the women's game. Bajrang missing out on the final another blow. The 20km women's final in walking was interesting. Was heartening to see Priyanka's performance to keep up with the leaders till the end. Aditi was still in #2 spot and looked certain for a silver at least. 
 
Day 14
Best day of the competition after day 1. Although it was heartbreaking to see Aditi miss out on a medal after three superb days - the competition for a medal went right down to the last stroke of the last hole.
 
Bajrang winning an unexpected bronze given his fitness and Neeraj's heroics to win our first gold in our very last event was just outstanding. Made up for all the disappointing days so far. 
 
 
The first day was such a rush! The days following were mostly terrible - but it was amazing to think about the fact that we had medal hopes almost each and every single day. I had never followed an Olympics for India prior to this anything like this one. If we progress this way in the coming years - we should have good times ahead in Paris. It was nice to see the fencing lady have her 15 minutes of fame along with Aditi in Golf. 
 
The upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth games should be good with the Shooting and Archery events being held in India in Jan 22. Going into the Commonwealth games - we should have plenty of Golds and Silvers (I hope) although I don't expect our tally to increase much once the games actually begin. We will probably be ranked lower in the medals tally than the previous games given that there are way more Swimming and Cycling events, fewer shooting events and new sports like Basketball 3x3 and more lawn bowls events.
 
The Asian Games should be a much better indicator of our progress for Paris. 
 
Wrestling and Badminton are the only sports that look strong going forward for medal contenders. Hockey needs to consolidate on the highs from this games. Archery needs a revamp as does Shooting. Still hopeful that our Shooters will bounce back given that they have been so good at world events over the past few years. Shooting is also more an individual sport than a competitive sport. The conditions don't change as drastically as it is indoors and the distances and conditions don't change from event to event. If our shooters are more mentally prepared they will rock it in the next Olympics.
 
Our male boxers need a lot of work mentally. Women boxers are looking good. Should look for multiple medals from here.
 
Our Athletics chances of medalling can look awesome in field events if we can get Kaur to progress along with Neeraj and Tejinder Singh Toor in shot put. Our track chances look nil given that we are nowhere compared to the folks from North America, Europe and Africa. I feel Neeraj's success should help more ppl get into these events going forward. Maybe waking can be events where we can get potential medallists. Sandeep Singh and Priyanka in the women's events showed they could keep up with the best. Just a matter of building on their stamina for a good finish.
 
I feel in Paris we should reach the double digit medal mark comfortably with multiple golds taking us to the 20-30 range in the medals table. 

Gollum
All eyes will be on wrestling the next few days, unlike archery/shooting/boxing/hockey/weightlifting/javelin, many people don't know much about wrestling including how points are scored, how winners are declared etc. Maybe this will make it easier to follow.
 
There are 2 kinds of wrestling events in Olympics, Greco-Roman and Freestyle. 
 
Greco-Roman (GR)=Upper Body, nothing doing below the waist
Freestyle=Whole body comes into picture
 
Men have both these disciplines, further divided into weight categories. Women have only Freestyle variant. 
 
Indians traditionally don't do well in GR, historically USSR/Russia, Eastern European countries have dominated this sport. Other wrestling powerhouses too have won medals but when you think GR you think Russian (or Soviet) Bear.
 
Freestyle is India's strength, all our Olympic medals in wrestling have come from this variant. From KD Jadhav in Helsinki to Sakshi in Rio. All our wrestlers in Rio are from Freestyle portion, none of our GR wrestlers qualified. Many countries come into the picture in Freestyle: Russia, USA, Japan, Iran, Turkey, India, China, Canada, Cuba, Mongolia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Central Asian 'stans', Eastern Europe, Scandinavian countries etc. 
 
There are other variants like Folkstyle (USA, many matches/content on YouTube, somewhat similar to Freestyle in terms of skills required), Kushti (India), Sumo (Japan), Sambo (Russia, limited striking allowed), Bokh (Mongolia) etc. None of them in Olympics but you can watch Folkstyle videos to get more insights on techniques used in Freestyle. 
 
From Olympics pov only GR and Freestyle are important. Both involve takedowns, pins, tech falls, turns, escapes, reversal etc. but vastly different (both disciplines highly specialized), even points scoring is different.
 
Below (two) videos give brief summary, how points are awarded, how to pin, basic rules etc.....just 5 minutes long each. Watch the Freestyle video, GR is optional since most of us will skip matches not involving India. Still to appreciate the sport you can watch both. Some minor differences in actual Olympics (rules keep changing including how many pts to award, nothing major) but they give nice overview. Maybe watch a couple of live matches after this to get a better understanding, that way you can enjoy matches of Indian wrestlers (in action the next few days), 2-3 medal prospects as well. We have 2 bronze medals in wrestling, repechage rule explained HERE
 
Freestyle
 
Greco-Roman
 
 
They wear a funny kind of clothing (both men and women), called singlet, skin-tight ones that too. This is done because loose clothing is extremely dangerous in the sport, if a wrestler's hand gets stuck in some loose T-shirt or shorts good chance of breaking fingers or worse, dismemberment of fingers....because of the forces involved. Even when wrestlers train in shorts they ensure that pockets are cut out, for precisely the same reason, still risks will be there. In ancient Greece they used to wrestle naked, in kushti almost completely naked. Singlet is the only viable alternative. 
 

 
Brutal sport this, broken bones (sometimes jutting out of the skin!!!!), ACL tears, head/neck/spinal injuries are par for course....also physically the toughest sport since unlike boxing, whole body is involved in the tussle against a similarly built athlete, and always in contact. Oldest sport known to mankind as well, finds mention in all civilizations and cultures, at least wrestling in some form. 

Manishnirwal
The sport of cricket has a known history, beginning in the 16th century. The game originated in England, among shepherds using their crooks as bats, and the earliest wickets may well have been narrow sheep pens. The earliest men’s games that were officially recorded (from law court records) were played in southeast England in the 1550s. Initially a single wicket was used, as it still is in ancient games like stoolball that continue to be played in southern England.
ORIGIN OF CRICKET
The poet John Skelton describes immigrants from Flanders living in southern England playing creckette. This transformed into Crickett (1598) in a coroner’s account of teenage games in Guildford. All this sounds probable to describe the origin of the word ‘cricket’. The game itself evolved from a variety of folk hitabouts played in villages on both sides of the Channel, each with its own local idiosyncrasies. Confined the early versions of cricket to the forests and Downlands of south east England–in West Sussex and the Weald of Kent.
 
The first known match was at Coxheath near Maidstone in 1646. A tree stump was utilized but because on the downs of Sussex and Kent, where the game had its stronghold, there weren’t many trees, a new target had to be found–the ‘wicket-gate’, through which passed throngs of sheep. This gate took the form of a minor hurdle, comprising two uprights known as stumps. The stumps were 12 inches high and set 24 inches apart. On top of them was laid a crosspiece, known to this day in Australian meadows as a bail. This produced a superior target to a tree stump, as there could be no argument when the bail fell to the ground.
 
By 1730, cricket was being constantly played in London at White Conduit Fields in Islington, the Artillery Ground in Finsbury and Kennington Common. The ‘bat’ resembled a hockey stick. The ball started off as a round piece of wood till seventeenth-century cobblers began stitching a leather cover round cork stuffing. In 1774 the laws were amended to assure the ball should not weigh over 5¾ ounces and no less than 5½ ounces. The design of the bat reflected the type of bowling that was prevalent at the time—fast, underarm bowls rolled along the ground.
 
In the 1760s and 1770s, it became common to pitch the ball through the air, rather than roll it along the ground. This crucial innovation gave the bowler the weapons of length, deception through the air, and increased pace. It also opened alternative possibilities for spin and swerve. In response to the demands placed on them by airborne bowling, batsmen used new techniques. They now had to master the timing and stroke selection. For the observer, this evolution enhanced the game better than any other. There were now many more ways for batsmen to score runs and many more ways for bowlers to get them out.
The History of Hambledon Cricket Club
Although historical evidence suggests that the game was first played in the Weald around Kent and Sussex, it is the Hambeldon Club of Hampshire that is generally perceived as cricket’s spiritual home. The birthplace of modern competitive or professional cricket to be the Hambledon Club in Hampshire. The world’s first cricket club was established in Hambledon in the 1760s. Some of that club’s members formed the White Conduit Club in London in the mid-1780s and this then changed its name over time to become The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
 
In the history of cricket, Hambledon was the leading club in England for some 30 years, regularly drawing crowds of 20,000 to its matches on Broad Halfpenny Down. A sign of its might was that in 1777 Hambledon scored 403 against All England. The formation of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which attracted major players to London ended Hambledon’s influence.
The History of Cricket in the United States
In the history of cricket, the first ever international cricket match played between the US and Canada in September 1844 in Bloomingdale Park, Manhattan. The game was actually between two clubs, but then again, of course, so was the America’s Cup. The game was proclaimed as the United States of America versus the British Empire’s Canadian Province, even if the players were mostly from the St George’s Club of New York and The Toronto Cricket Club. Around 50000 crowds showed up to watch this match.

Austin 3:!6
Since its inception more than a decade ago, IPL has changed the way cricket is being played and players outlook towards the game. During its 12 year stint, IPL has made many superstars and fulfilled the dream of many young cricketers. But there are few sorry and forgotten tales in between as well.
 
Below are the list of players whom we perhaps have forgotten from IPL:
 
1) Swapnil Asnodkar -
Very few players have lit up the scene like Asnodkar did in the inaugural edition of IPL. When most Indian players were trying to figure out how the T20s work, a diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman from Goa made all heads turn. He scored 311 runs at a strike rate of 133.47 playing for Rajasthan Royals under the captaincy of Shane Warne. However, in the next season he was not impressive and could only score 112 runs in 7 matches. His name also appear in match fixing but investigation found him not guilty. However, he was never picked in any side since then. Last year, he silently retired from the game and took charge as the coach of the Goa U-23 team.
 
2) Paul Valthaty -
He was considered find of 2011 IPL when he scored 463 runs with a century playing for Kings XI Punjab. He scored a brilliant 120 runs in just 63 balls against Chennai Super Kings chasing 189. The impact of that knock led to his selection for India Blue in the Challenger Trophy. But everything was about to go downhill from there for him. A wrist injury lead to him performing inconsistently and he was never the same again. Eventually, Valthaty went unsold in the IPL 2014 auction and it was the end of the road for him as far as a chance to play for India was concerned. Paul Valthaty now plays for Air India, Cricket Club of India, and mentors budding players and works with the Homeground Cricket Academy.
 
3) Manvinder Bisla -
Remember Bisla whose blistering knock of 89 in 44 balls against CSK in the finals led Kolkata Knight Riders their first IPL trophy in 2012. Manvinder Bisla was also a part of the Deccan Chargers dugout when they won the IPL trophy in 2009. In his 7-year IPL career, Bisla has been part of four franchises and has played 39 matches in which he has scored 758 runs. With Brendon McCullum's departure from KKR in 2011, he got the opportunity as the first choice keeper. Bisla got 7 games to prove his worth where he scored 213 runs, which is why the Haryana lad became a regular in the 2013 season but failed to capitalize on the opportunities and soon the franchise released him. He was then bought by RCB ahead of the IPL 2015 to partner Chris Gayle at the top. However, he couldn't grab the couple of chances he got, which is why RCB skipper Virat Kohli promoted himself and took over the opening duties. Subsequently, Bisla warmed the bench for the rest of the season and then was released from the squad. Since then he was never picked in any IPL team. Now he plays small corporate level tournaments.
 
4) Joginder Sharma -
After winning 2007 T20 world cup, Joginder Sharma was considered a T20 specialist. He made his IPL debut under MSD led Chennai Super Kings but after a serious accident in 2011 he retired from cricket. Now he works as a deputy superintendent of police in Hisar district of Haryana.
 
5) Kamran Khan -
Remember Kamran Khan, the speed sensation of 2009 from Rajasthan Royals? He belonged from a small village in UP and had never played any First Class cricket when Rajasthan picked him. He had a good tournament and picked 11 wickets but later suspicion was raised on his action. He later came back with remodeled action but no longer effective as before. Kamran was picked by Pune Warriors in 2011 edition but injury kept him out for the whole tournament. Since then he was never picked by any other IPL team. He now works as a farmer.
 
6) Tamim Iqbal -
Flamboyant Bangladeshi opener who has 10K runs under his belt across formats in international cricket spent the whole of IPLs 5 and 6 on the sidelines for Pune Warriors. Purchased in 2012 and 2013, Tamim didn’t feature in a single game, even for a franchise that was considered to be the weakest across their brief stay at the IPL.
 
7) Ajit Chandila -
Arrested on suspicion of spot fixing in 2013, the Rajasthan Royals off spinner was subsequently given a life ban from the game three years later. At IPL5 in 2012, Chandila was hitting the headlines in a more positive way as he took the only hat trick of the season, becoming the ninth player in the history of the competition to record such a feat. It was the only highlight of a modest IPL career as he left Rajasthan with 12 wickets across two otherwise forgettable campaigns.
 
8) Lee Carseldine -
In 2009, the then 33 year old played five games for the Royals, scoring 81 runs while taking one wicket.
His modest career in the sporting arena wasn’t aided by chronic back complaints that had initially forced him into retirement in 2004.
 
9) Shane Harwood -
Another punt taken by Rajasthan Royals in 2009 when they picked Shane Harwood where he took a wicket of the first ball but after three games, he’d added just two more scalps before drifting away to become another footnote.
 
10) Richard Levi -
Somebody who was considered as the next 'Herschelle Gibbs', Richard Levi triumphantly announced himself on the world stage with a staggering 117 of 45 balls in a T20I against New Zealand, which is the third fastest T20I hundred. A lot was expected from this batsman and Levi was picked up Mumbai Indians for a sum of $400,000 for the 2012 season, but the talent was never visible. Because of lack of consistency, Richard Levi lost his place in the South African T20I side and garnered just six appearances for the Mumbai Indians franchise. Post that, he has been playing the Ram Slam T20 league and also in the Natwest Blast in England but hasn't been able to create interest in any franchise to buy him in the last 4-5 years.

sourab10forever
Game 10 | RCB v MI - IPL Match Report | 28th Sept, 2020 | Dubai
 
Not sure about COVID, But RCB will surely kill me in the next few days. 
 
RCB never not entertain. And that's what makes this team the one to follow. Ninety to defend off the last five on a big ground and they still managed to turn it into a blockbuster. Star Sports will want Kohli's men to take the field every day.
 
Match Report: MI won the coin toss and to everyone's surprise, chose to chase on a ground where first-batters took the honors on most days. RCB had bought-in bowling reinforcements in the form of Udana and Zampa while AB had to take up the gloves so that Mann can replace the outgoing Philippe. MI finally came to their senses and played Kishan ahead of Tiwary.
 
1st Innings: Finch and Padikkal (this guy is a superstar in the making) gave RCB the perfect solid start that they required. Both notched up their individual fifties. The pair has lifted loads of pressure off VK-AB, which seems to be the only thing different about the team from last year. VK's sluggish form continued while AB showed his class yet again. Dube's cameo at the end (27 off 10) helped RCB get past 200. Numbers-wise, no Mumbai bowler stood out to get a mention in this report, not even Bumrah (be like whaaat?).
 
RCB clear fav's at the half-way mark.
 
2nd innings : RCB couldn't have done better as a bowling unit in the PP. Boy did Sundar bowl well. 4-0-12-1 , bowling three in the powerplay. That's the match right there. Give him the MoM even before the match is over. Rohit and SKY departed early and after Hardik failed to leave a mark, the odds of a party at the Antilla took a plunge. What was left was a massive task, even for Pollard the beast. But thanks to sensational comeback knock by Kishan and some really helpless bowling from the red boys, we somehow ended with a super over at our hands.
 
Super Over : MI , following the footsteps of KXIP, did not bat their star from the main innings. Pollard and Hardik opened and the duo only managed to get seven(thanks to a misfield that gave them a much-needed boundary) off the superb bowling of Saini. "I'm going in " -said ABDV. "I'm following you" -said VK. Just two of the first three balls and then Bumrah decided to go for that short ball and not the yorker. AB's miss-hit took it to the fence and then that was that. RCB finally bagging the match that was already in their pockets eighteen overs ago.
 
Against sane interpretation, MoM went to AB (Not taking away anything from him) ahead of a fine knock from Kishan and Sundar's wow numbers. 
 
For more times than I've prayed the Lord for a million dollars, RCB needs to sort out their death bowling issues. 
Till the next, Ciao!

zen
A match up of teams with big hitters on a small ground is usually an interesting one. This one promised even more since both teams were coming to the game with impressive wins in their last games. The toss was won by Rajasthan Royals (The Wild Wild West team of the IPL). Captain Smith elected to field first, hoping to pick up early wickets. However, the hope remained a hope as Agarwal and Rahul forged a 183 runs partnership for Kings 11 Punjab. After Agarwal's departure, who scored a 106 of 50 balls with 7 6s, Kings 11 could not capitalize much till Pooran came to the party with a 25 of only 8 balls. That inning could never have happened if Uthappa had taken his catch early on. As they say  "whatever happens, happens for the good" - those runs laid the foundation for an exciting chase. 
 
In the 2nd innings, Royals were expected to come out blazing by going for big shots. The early departure of Buttler only brought in the man-in-form Samson. Samson-Smith crafted a valuable partnership nullifying the hard work done by Agarwal for Kings 11. Smith's departure brough in Tewatia who began to stall the momentum. Samson decided to take the bowlers on his own and succeeded. One of his hits was miraculously saved by Pooran from going for a 6, one of the best piece of fielding  efforts of all time. Once Samson's heroic effort ended, it was left up to Tewatia to make amends. As if a magical power had entered his bat, Tewatia too made one of the best individual comebacks in the history of IPL by smashing 5 6s of Cottrell's over. The man who had stalled the momentum energized the Royals to make the team arrive at the doorsteps of victory. In the fitting end to this memorable game, Curran dispatched M Ashwin for a 4 to take the Royals over the line. Samson was named the Man of the Match for his power knock. 
 
Overall, a memorable day for cricket with interesting innings by Agarwal, Pooran, Smith, Samson and Tewatia. Pooran also made that magical fielding attempt. Nothing much was expected of the bowlers on this ground but they played their part in making this one of the most memorable games and, if I am not wrong, the highest chase ever in IPL's history. Cheers to cricket! 


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