I have supported the Deccan Chargers since the IPL started. I felt that with Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Shahid Afridi in their ranks, anything under 400 was gettable. I was proved very, very wrong and was ridiculed for 12 months. This year things are very different and (despite this latest loss), I still fancy Deccan to lift the trophy.
Manish Pandey - The 19-year-old Indian right-hander emerged from Virat Kohli's shadow to post the highest ever score by an Indian in the IPL - a massive 114 not out off 73 balls, including flicks, drives and paddles. He was given a life early on when RP Singh let a sitter through the fingers but made his own luck from there.
It would have been nice if either one of these teams really needed the result. As things stood, both teams were safely through to the semi-finals and a loss for either would not have affected their tournament ambitions. I think a bit of needle with a loser-bows-out scenario would have been ideal. Having said that, we did still get a good game.
Not a direct face-off as such but each team had a proven middle-order boundary hitter in Ross Taylor and Rohit Sharma respectively. I was looking forward to either getting stuck into opposition bowlers and inflicting a few maximums, but it was not to be, as they both fell cheaply and were upstaged by opening batsmen in their teams.
To be honest, I think even celebrities are suffering from IPL fatigue now. Their numbers have dwindled substantially. Apart from the usual faces associated with each team there was nothing new on show. For me a chance meeting and photo-op with Sunny Gavaskar made up for the absence of a proliferation of attention-seeking actresses and b-grade celebrities.
RP Singh's dropped catch was an absolute sitter - Bangalore fans loved it - and it ultimately cost Deccan the game. High-pressure moments often swing big games and so it proved: the batsman went on to add 112 runs to his team's score and duly take Man-of-the-Match honours.
A fantastic showing by both sets. Bangalore's Mischief Gals probably showed a dash more energy, and for all we know, their team drew strength from this to post the win.
Very close to a full house at Supersport Park, one of the best grounds and playing surfaces in the competition. The grass banks were choc-a-bloc, and though there were a few open seats in the main grandstand, with the usual fireworks, music and lights, one could not be blamed for thinking it was indeed a full stadium.
This time the cricket entertained. A local band was employed, as is normally the case, but their cover versions fell flat. The Indian music coming through the PA system kept the spectators pumped up. The real artists were Pandey and Gibbs.
I would rate it as 8.5 out of 10, with points being deducted for lack of consequences on the day for the losing team. Still, a very entertaining game, with two batsmen getting going nicely. Just a pity Gibbs couldn't follow through; he found no support at all from his team-mates, but it must be said that Kumble marshalled the bowlers superbly to set up a win for Bangalore.