By Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, Bollywood Hungama News Network
The cricket extravaganza which has taken the world by storm- IPL 2009 is already into its second week and one must say that the last one week has seen more than its fair share of thrills and unparalleled excitement.
Even those who don't seem to be heavily into cricket seem to be following this tournament thanks to the presence of some Bollywood heavyweights. After all, everyone's curious to know which Bollywood star's team will come out triumphs in this year's IPL. Will it be SRK's 'Knight Riders' or Preity's 'Kings XI Punjab' or will it be Shilpa Shetty's 'Rajasthan Royals'? While the answer to that question will be known only after the tournament enters its latter stages, one can see how the three Bollywood stars' teams have fared amongst each other in the first round of the IPL.
Tuesday April 21st saw the first of these clashes when King Khan's 'Knight Riders' took on Preity's 'Kings XI Punjab' at Durban. While on the field it was a clash between Dada and his 'once upon a time protege' Yuvraj Singh, off the field it was a clash between Veer and Zaara (read SRK and Preity Zinta). Batting first, Preity's boys posted a decent 158 / 6 in the allotted 20 overs but it seemed to look like a paltry score once 'Knight Rider's' Chris Gayle took charge. The burly West Indian opener began hitting the ball to all parts of the ground and before you could say Kolkata, 'Knight Riders' had blazed away to 79 / 1 in just 7.2 overs. However, a rain interruption at that stage spoilt the fun and Messers Duckworth and Lewis came into play and they declared King Khan's team as the winners on the basis of the Net Run Rate. Even though we didn't have a full game, yet there is no denying the fact that Round 1 of the SRK - Preity clash belonged to Khan's 'Knight Riders'.
After winning over Preity's boys, King Khan's Knight Riders were all set to take on the 'Rajasthan Royals' owned by Shilpa Shetty and her beau Raj Kundra. The clash between SRK and Shilpa was also one that was looked forward to by Bollywood and cricket buffs. After all, even Shilpa had made her debut opposite King Khan, so all eyes were curious to see the rivalry between these two teams when they took the field on Thursday April 23rd. When the 'Rajasthan Royals' posted a score of 150 / 6 in their 20 overs, no one really thought that this would be one of those matches that would go down to the wire. However, T 20 cricket can be very unpredictable and this very fact was proved once again when the match ended in a tie with the 'Knight Riders' also scoring 150 / 8 in their quota of 20 overs. However, the action that followed is something that cricket lovers won't forget for a long time to come. As the scores were leveled, cricket buffs got to see the first ever 'Super Over' of the IPL where each team got a chance to play one over and the team with the maximum runs was declared the winner. While SRK and gang would have heaved a sigh of relief after Gayle and Co. scored 15 runs in one over, they were in for a rude shock when a certain Yusuf Pathan came in to bat for the 'Royals'. Yusuf slammed the ball as if he was swatting a fly and overcame the target with 2 balls to spare. In the end SRK was stunned, Shilpa was over the moon while cricket lovers had a night to remember for a long, long time.
It was touted as a 'Super Sunday' clash at Cape Town when Preity's 'Kings XI Punjab' took on Shilpa's 'Rajasthan Royals'. The clash between teams owned by two of the hottest ladies of Bollywood was eagerly awaited by one and all. Batting first, Preity's boys made a not-so-impressive 140 runs in their 20 overs. However, even that seemed too much when the 'Royals' began their run-chase. Wickets began to tumble thanks to some disciplined bowling by Preity's team and eventually the 'Rajasthan Royals' ended up losing the match by 27 runs. Preity had all the reason to flash her trademark dimpled smile as her team had indeed got the better of her fellow actor Shilpa's team.
So after round 1 of the clash between Bollywood's Big 3 at the IPL...the situation looks like this:-
SRK's team defeated Preity's team
Preity's team defeated Shilpa's team
Shilpa's team defeated SRK's team
It's pretty much Even-Stevens among the three teams owned by Bollywood stars after Round 1 in the IPL. Will the tables turn after the second round of the league and if so which Bollywood star's team will emerge at the top? This only time will tell.