Pitches seem to be favouring teams fielding second in IPL matches
Ajit Agarkars wicket of Sehwag turned a comfortable chase to a miraculous win for Kolkatta Knight Riders in their league match played at Eden Gardens Kolkatta on 7th April 2010. The Knight Riders did couple of things right firstly by posting 181 runs which more often than not guarantees a win and then tightened things by picking up the wicket of Warner. In the case of most teams the match is as good as won, but then Delhi is an exception considering the batting line up at their disposal led by the dangerous Virender Sehwag and their skipper Gautam Gambir. Kolkattas worst fears came true till a middle order collapsed triggered by their premier fast bowler Ajit Agarkar.
Two wickets changed the course of the match during Delhi's chase. Kolkata Knight Riders Skipper Sourav Ganguly ran out Delhi Daredevils skipper with the score on 99 for 1 after 10.3 overs when Delhi were cruising through needing just 82 in 57 deliveries with 9 wickets in hand. However in the case of Gutam Gambhir's dismissal one most admit that Gambhir has only himself to blame as he was running casually towards the non striker end. The second turning point was when their premier paceman Ajit Agarkar clean bowled Sehwag when Delhi were comfortably placed at 134 for 3 after 14.4 overs needing just 48 runs in 32 deliveries with the reliable duo of Sehwag and Dinesh Karthik at the crease.
If you are a viewer you should be happy that the last week has produced the most exciting matches in IPL with Shane Warnes Rajasthan Royals defending a target of 159 against Deccan Chargers, while M S Dhonis Chennai Super Kings defended 165 against the might of Mumbai Indians and for a change a huge target was chased when Kings Eleven Punjab made light work of Kolkattas target of 201.
However the big question mark is are teams fielding second getting additional assistance from the pitch in the later stages of tournament with the pitches slowing down after completion of 35 odd matches and if that is the case then skippers of teams in contention for the championship will be greatly concerned about the toss especially in the knockout stages of the tournament or in must win games. A skipper who loses the toss would lose the mental match because he knows that his team cannot chase target.
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