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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Tuesday April 13 2010

Yesterday I posted a piece on Samizdata about the IPL, in the course of which I mentioned that, in addition to enjoying how very well various of the world’s very good cricketers are playing cricket in the IPL, I am also rather enjoying how IPL-ers Matthew Hayden (because I didn’t like his commentating for the BBC last summer) and Muttiah Muralitharan (because I have never liked his bowling action) have both been doing rather badly.  Writing things like that is rather like placing a bet.  If those two continue to do badly, I win.  But if they suddenly start doing really well, they make a twat of me.  So, how have those two bets been doing, since I placed them yesterday?

Well, today, the team that Hayden and Muralitharan both play for, the Chennai Super Kings, absolutely slaughtered the Kolkata Knight Riders.  Almost everyone playing for Chennai did well, if they had to do anything at all.  But two Chennai players did badly.

During the Kolkata innings, which was quickly reduced, mostly by Indian spinner Ashwin, to 19-4 and which never really recovered, one Chennai bowler conceded more than twice as many runs in his four overs compared to any of the other Chennai bowlers: Muralitharan.  Muralitharan is, like Ashwin, a slow spinner, but one of huge renown, having taken more test wickets than anyone else.  But he had been dropped from the Chennai team after conceding over fifty runs in four overs in an earlier game.  But today he was back, and things looked very good for him, because the wicket was taking a lot of spin, as Ashwin had already demonstrated.  All the worse for Muralitharan, then, that he did so badly.  The only time in the entire game that Kolkata looked like they had a chance was when Muralitharan was being hit for sixes.  He did get one wicket, but only in the final over of the innings, which hardly counts.

When it was Chennai’s turn to bat, they thrashed off the runs with six and a half overs and nine wickets to spare, a totally crushing margin.  The one wicket that did fall?  Hayden, who got out for nought, bowled by the second ball of the Chennai innings, a gentle delivery from Chris Gayle which Hayden swiped across completely unnecessarily.  Raina and Vijay (whom I also mentioned in my Samizdata piece but in a good way) then flayed the remaining hundred and thirty something runs that Chennai needed in an unbroken and utterly dominant partnership, thereby making Hayden look even more foolish.

File under: guilty pleasures.

Is your objection to Muralitharan’s action that it breaks the rules and that Muralitharan (uniquely) gets away with it or that it is bad for the game?

Let me put it another way: is the straight-arm rule the same as the offside rule in football?  A complete and utter waste of time.

Posted by Patrick Crozier on 14 April 2010
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