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Riding on his team’s twin successes, Pune Warriors India’s Marlon Samuels is looking forward to taking on bowlers and clearing the ropes in the match against Kings XI Punjab on April 12. The hard-hitting Jamaican all-rounder revealed some lesser-known facts about him to iplt20.com.
Excerpts from Samuels’ conversation with iplt20.com:
1. Nickname: Iceman.
2. Idol: Sachin Tendulkar and that has never changed. The Master is the Master.
3. Life’s mantra: Brave may fall, but never yield.
4. Favourite cuisine: Jamaican food. Ackee and saltfish and dumpling, our national dish. But coming to India, I like I like curry because we love curry in the Caribbean. I eat a lot of curry in India.
5. Favourite beverage: Fruit punch or blended fruit punch.
6. I can’t do without: Talking to my little baby girl before I go to bed.
7. Favourite movie: The Matrix Revolutions.
8. Favourite band: I listen to reggae and dance on music. I don’t have a favourite band.
9. Style statement: The fans will have to see me in the night going out to see what I am dressing in.
10. Favourite TV series: Law & order.
11. Best pal in cricket: Chris Gayle.
12. Best bowler I’ve have face: Would definitely be Muthiah Muralitharan.
13. Worst bowler I’ve faced: It’s a tough game so I wouldn’t put down anybody as the worse.
14. Favourite shot: The extra-cover six. So tomorrow I will be looking for some [of that shot] because I liked the way the practice wicket played. I hope the wicket plays just like that in the middle, so you will definitely see me expressing myself.
15. The best bowler in the world right now: Dale Steyn.
16. The best batsman in the world right now: Until Sachin [Tendulkar] retires he is the best batsman in the world.
17. Favourite stadium in the world: Eden Gardens Kolkata.
18. Best innings: Hundred against India [2002 in the ODIs in India]. There were seven games and we were 3-3 going into the final [match], and that’s the best because it was a seven game series.
19. If I weren’t a cricketer I’d be a: Tough one. Maybe I would be sitting in an office doing 9 to 5 work; that would be so boring.
20. Bowler you don’t want to face right now: I am in good nick right now so I want to face every bowler. I want to face the best bowlers right now.
IPL 2012 – that took off in a whirl of dance, music and pyrotechnics with celebrity performers like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Katy Perry – has taken its first cricketing strides. And what big strides they’ve been. Week 1 has featured masterful innings, breathtaking bowling spells, sensational catches and last-ball finishes. It’s time to relive all the drama with iplt20.com’s top five moments, listed in no particular order.
Levi's IPL debut
Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings – April 4, 2012
Mumbai Indians' latest signing Richard Levi had only recently bulldozed his way into the record books by scoring the fastest hundred in Twenty20 Internationals. So when the South African took the field for IPL 2012, expectations were sky high.
There was pressure from other quarters too. It was the opening match of the competition, his team were up against defending champions Chennai Super Kings and he was opening the batting alongside Sachin Tendulkar. The 24-year-old held his own admirably, scoring valuable runs without too much of a fuss.
After four dot balls and a single in the opening over, Levi opened up when he crashed Doug Bolligner for two boundaries. That was only the start; by the time he was finished, he had scored 50 runs from 35 balls. He got to his half-century in style too – by hitting Dwayne Bravo for a six over long on. Levi had arrived in style! Morkel’s early strikes
Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders – April 5, 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders were rightly considered one of the strongest teams in IPL 2012 in the lead up to the tournament. After all, their batting line-up boasted the likes of Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan.
Morne Morkel paid no heed to the reputation of SRK’s leading men. The South African paceman demolished KKR’s top-order with two spectacular deliveries. In his very first over, Morkel delivered two perfect yorkers – from about seven-feet high – to which Kallis and Tiwary had no answers. Pitched right at the base of the wicket, he sent the stumps cartwheeling in two perfect cricketing moments.
But he was not done yet; in his second spell, he picked up the wicket of Gambhir leaving KKR licking their wounds, bowled out of the contest. Rahane's graceful 98
Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab – April 6, 2012
Twenty20 cricket is all about going hard at the ball and playing all the shots in the book. Ajinkya Rahane's knock against Kings XI Punjab proved that theory incorrect. The 23-year-old top-order batsman played the technically perfect innings – almost straight out of the MCC coaching manual – until he was dismissed attempting to go over the top. There was no slogging, no heaves across the line; yet the runs kept coming.
The majority of his 98 runs came through drives down the ground, most of them through pure timing. A knock to make the purists happy. Jadeja's all-round show
Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers – April 7, 2012
The cricketing world’s curiosity was roused when Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers were locked in a fierce bid for the Saurashtra all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja at the IPL Player Auction 2012. The USD 2 million limit was reached and CSK finally won the all-rounder’s services by means of the silent tie-breaker.
Given the kind of money splurged on him, Jadeja, or ‘Jaddu’, as the tattoo on his arm proclaims, paid his generous franchise back in the best way possible. Jadeja single-handedly won the away fixture against the Deccan Chargers, first blazing his way to a 29-ball 48 and then running through the DC line-up with five wickets. That performance – which made him the first player in IPL history to score more than 40 runs and take five wickets in the same match – has raised the bar for all all-rounders in the competition. Rohit's match-winning 73*
Deccan Chargers v Mumbai Indians – April 9, 2012
At the halfway stage in their match against Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians were reasonably happy to have restricted their opponents to 138 for nine. However, with a fired-up Dale Steyn charging in, their job was only half done and it needed someone to play a disciplined knock to see them home.
Rohit Sharma produced just that kind of performance. After 17 overs, the 24-year-old had scored 44 off 40 balls with his team needing 37 from three overs. That's when Sharma cut loose; he hit Amit Mishra for two sixes in an over and then took matters in his own hands in the final over, of which 18 runs were needed.
When the equation read 11 from three balls, Sharma heaved across the line to get a bottom-edge that sent the ball sailing over the point boundary. A couple of runs off the following delivery meant Sharma needed to get three off the last ball. And he got them in style, dispatching a low full toss from Daniel Christian into the stands at long on. A classic tale of IPL heroics.