Matthew Hayden says that the art of batting in Twenty20, from a risk point of view, is how you minimize it and thereby maximize your chances of getting the result you want. He calls it pre-meditation and that, Hayden insists, is a huge part of the game.
That he understands it so well in his own way and has been able to capitalize on it so well could probably be the biggest reason why he’s currently wearing the IPL’s Orange Cap.
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On Saturday, he added 48 more to his aggregate in the tournament so far, taking his overall tally of runs to 426. In the process, he delivered another innings of quality that his teammates have been relying on throughout this tournament.
While Hayden did his bit and left, stumped off Jaipur skipper Shane Warne’s bowling, his innings was later overshadowed by Chennai’s own S Badrinath who smashed an impressive half-century.
Badri picked on Warne and all others, hitting a six that went over fine leg, a late-cut boundary that missed the third man and shots all over the mid-field that left Jaipur helpless. In short, it was an innings of remarkable quality and innovation that sealed the match in his team’s favour.
No matter how good the pitch is for batting, walking in second here could be depressing given the way conditions affect play in Kimberley. It gets cold, windy and there’s the dew factor to contend with.
It was precisely the case for Chennai when they walked in to chase Jaipur’s total of 140 runs. The required run-rate at the beginning was exactly seven. By the end of first six overs (powerplay), it rose to 7.8, by the 10th over it was still lurking around there.
But with Hayden and Badrinath standing out there, minimizing risks, maximizing chances, there was no opportunity left for Warne’s men.
Earlier, a slow start with the bat and quick fall of wickets towards the end didn’t allow Warne’s team to set up a target to the extent they would have liked.
In fact, Mahendra Singh Dhoni did enough to keep Graeme Smith tied down, letting him get way with 30 runs from 33 balls.