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IPL 2014: When Rajasthan Royals Claimed The Biggest Chokers Tag

In IPL 2014, to qualify into the Finals, Mumbai Indians chased down a huge score with a six in the end against Rajasthan Royals.

                                                               Image Source : BCCI

“Too much information will make your brain choke.”

It’s fair enough to slip from a mountain that holds on dangerous paths during climbing up to its peak. Quite a normal aspect of life or any sport is that you can choke from a situation expecting your calm nerves. But, from a commanding position, losing your grip against an opposition who are solving hundreds of formulas, is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not a Tom, Dick and Harry situation.

How the game atmosphere built up:

When Mumbai Indians lost their all games in the UAE during the first part of the Indian Premier League 2014, I guess the players were feeling the fatigue of remaining in a tough team environment. Coming back to India, they unexpectedly beat the table toppers Kings XI Punjab but their loss to Chennai and Hyderabad had made sure that most of us would forget them from the top four.

The Super Kings & Kings XI surely had done enough to earn a ticket for the playoffs whereas Rajasthan Royals (RR) were comfortably placed. So, the battle for the final spot would be between the KKR and SRH franchises. Though Mumbai had figured out their work, experts and fans had hardly any trust on them.

But in Cricket, the script never moves it fprward. Beating the Royals, Punjab and Delhi, the depending champions were discovering their dreams alive. Now, with a sudden push by the Knight Riders and the by-chance falling of Bangalore and Sunrisers were knocking the Royals door for their final spot door.

Now, Mumbai felt the narrowest chance to qualify when they were asked to chase down whatever RR would score in 14.3 overs. Watson’s slow innings didn’t really help them in a fast start. Karun Nair with the fall of the first wicket joined Samson to take their team to an amazing position thanks to their 100-run partnership in just around 9-overs. The last finish by the two Aussies Faulkner and Brad Hodge secured 189 in 20-overs in the score board. Chasing 190 in 120 balls is itself requires a big hand and to do it in less than 15-overs is next to impossible.

Will Mumbai go for the chase:

Mumbai players from Mike Hussey and Lendl Simmons were aiming at one point of hitting the balls hard to the boundary ropes. But they were not targeting 160 or something; that 190 could only be possible if someone stands firm and play a big knock. That’s where We found another romantic story bound with the game of Cricket.

During the last 2013 season, Glen Maxwell, playing in the blue Mumbai shirt was failing too much and his off-form saw him replacing his franchise to KXIP. Being a Chennai Super Kings fan, I could remember a nightmare innings that he played against the Yellow Army in Abu Dhabi was off Sheer class. Reverse-sweep and Switch-hits to the grass banks were not only giving Ms Dhoni a few headaches but it was too somehow providing questions over Mumbai’s decision to release the Australian.

Nonetheless, The Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson was almost going through a tough phase in both the departments but no one remembered your past; your present can change your future. When he was joined by Ambati Rayudu, the boundaries and half a dozen run seemed to be quite a regular customer. 81-runs were being scored in 5.1-overs had just opened the Royals bowling cart.

Against Rayudu’s innings of 5-fours with a six, all the plans of the opposition went in vain. But, if you had thought of watching enough and went to bed, you could be the funniest and unluckiest person next morning, missing the most crunch part of the 34-over affair. With Rayudu’s run-out, all the dead plants in the Royals jungle received new life.

The Anti Climax :

A giant conference between the umpires and the players spelled out the equation to a point that they were needed to hit a boundary to this last delivery of Mumbai’s hope to seal a playoff spot and obviously win the game. There had been some different opinions from different sources and channels about the required boundary off the last ball as the NRR generally depends on the final score and not on the winning target.

Whatever it is, the camera found Sachin, Kumble, Dravid, Jonty Rhodes all in pressure situation. Here comes Faulkner, “Full toss on the leg stump and new batsman Aditya Tare playing his first ball, has launched it over the square leg for a six to pull his side over the line.” The shirt came off over his head and a mad rush joined by Corey Anderson, 95* (44) and other team-mates had exploded all over the Wankhede.

“Wasn’t sure if we could do this but this game continues to bemuse everyone.”– Mike Hussey delivered his surprise. It was couple of months ago when James Faulkner had hit Ishant Sharma for a 30-run over in Mohali before finding himself to that receiving end; almost the same position to the context of the game.

Mumbai broke the hearts of Rajasthan: 

“It will take a little while to get my heartbreak down.” Rohit’s words had quite described the last 4-hours in a nutshell. And lastly the burning fire gets the better of the coolest perosn; you understand the match and its importance. “It was pretty disappointed to finish like this.” Said the team mentor Rahul Dravid in a media conference.

Mumbai went on to lose the qualifier 2 against the Chennai Super Kings but the 34.3-overs left us with a lesson to learn for the future. Never ever write off a class team untill they had zero chance mathematically and most importantly the Mumbai Indians, the 5-time Champions in 2021. The Royals grabbed the lesson that anything could take place in this game.


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