Amit Kumar

New Delhi: The bottom placed teams in IPL season 4 are playing their role of party poopers to the perfection. Teams which have already been knocked out of the tournament have not only given nightmares to the franchises which are vying for a place in the play offs, but also added to the thrill of league matches.

Rather than the top placed teams, the franchises occupying the lower positions in the points table have become cynosure of all eyes. Will the bottom placed team ruining the party of teams which have been performing well, is the question most debated these days by cricket aficionados.

Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab have kept their hopes alive for the tournament whereas Kochi Tuskers, Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers, Pune Warriors and Delhi Daredevils have been knocked out.

All 10 teams of IPL have either one or two match left. Barely four points separate all the five teams fighting for a place in the play off.

Punjab with 12 points in their kitty, still have to play two fixtures, whereas the number four team Kolkata are on 14 points. Their one loss may be the final good bye for them from the competition. These two teams are a dilemma for the teams with pinnacle in the points table.

On the other side, Kochi Tuskers (with 12 points) who have to play just one match with Chennai on Wednesday may play party spoilers for the team.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala with their brilliant bowling performance played a ruin sport against hopeful Rajasthan Royals. Tuskers swamped Warne and Company by 8 wickets with 76 balls to spare.

Rajasthan Royals were anticipating make a comeback into the game with 11 points in 12 games, but an upsetting defeat spoiled their party and end the hopes for qualifying.

Batting first, Warne and his brigades put their arms down on a paltry 97 runs in 18.3 overs. In reply, Brandon McCullum’s whirlwind 29 off 12 balls lashed out Royals to the humiliating defeat. After that Brad Hodge gave a final touch to the innings and wrapped their win steadily.

Even in the clash between Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians on Saturday, Chargers whacked the table toppers Mumbaikars in their hunch. MI suffered an upsetting defeat by 10 runs.

Mumbai spearhead Munaf Patel last over which conceded 23 runs (6,1,4,4,4,4) paid heavily to Tendulkar’s team. Batsman Amit Mishra gave all the answers to Munaf Patel with a swirl-windy 23 runs (1 six and 4 fours) in his last over after some hot word exchanged between him and Patel. Deccan Chargers gave an easy target of 136 runs.

In response, Mumbaikars fizzled out on 125 runs in 20 overs. Mishra’s good performance continued in bowling as well.

This defeat dribbled Mumbai from top to third position in the points table. Barely few days back, Mumbai Indian were at the top of the table, and two defeats in the final stages of the league matches have brought them down to the third position.

Two more victories by Kings XI Punjab may create an awkward position for Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. With most of these teams playing those placed in the bottom half they have to ensure a victory to remain in the race.