We’ve had the first 72 matches, now it’s time for the final four. There was much jostling for positions in the coveted top four but the debate has now been settled. Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are through.
Chennai scraped through thanks to Royal Challengers Bangalore choking against Deccan Chargers on Sunday. It was often a case of Gayle or bust for RCB and ultimately it proved to be bust. The tournament’s top run scorer will play no further part in proceedings.
As the top two sides, Delhi and Kolkata will get two chances to reach the final which will be played this Sunday, May 27. Qualifier 1 takes place tomorrow. The winner of that is guaranteed a spot in the final. The loser will face the winner of the Eliminator, to be played on Wednesday between Mumbai and Chennai. Qualifier 2 will occur on Friday, the winner of which will advance to the final.
We’ll first have a quick look at the form of the four that have advanced in the last five games:
Delhi – WLWLW
Kolkata – WLLWW
Mumbai – WLWLW
Chennai – LWWWL
Each side has one three and lost two. But what does form count for in a knockout situation? Delhi have been the best side at the tournament, but that won’t matter a jot when they face Kolkata, who put on a mid-tournament charge of such significance as to guarantee their passage through. As with all of the games at this tournament (apart from those involving Deccan in the early part of the competition and Pune Warriors in the latter) it will be incredibly tough to call.
But call I must. Kolkata will advance to the final.
Chennai and Mumbai both made harder work of qualifying than one would have expected. These franchises have dominated the previous three instalments of the IPL but both showed signs that their powers are, perhaps, on the wane.
In the end, however, both had sufficient reserves of talent and experience to see them through. It will be another close fought thing, but unlike in previous knockout ties between the two, I fancy Mumbai will win through.
And then lose to Delhi.
It will then be down to Kolkata to defeat Delhi for the second time in a week. Will Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine of the Knight Riders be able to see off the threat of Virender Sehwag and Morne Morkel of the Daredevils?
I’m pencilling in Kolkata for their first IPL triumph…Tweet
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