Monday, April 20, 2009

Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Dhoni opted to bat at the toss & CSK started in whirlwind fashion, with Hayden & Parthiv Patel, spraying the bowling to all parts of the ground. RCB tried everything, but pace or spin, nothing could put brakes on the scoring, as CSK seem to just muscle their way through, with Hayden doing the bulk of scoring. His 50 came in double quick time, & the Chennai team had crossed the 100 runs mark before the lemon break with all their wickets intact. Peiterson had a worried look at the break, as all his bowlers struggled with the ball. Kallis gave away 20 runs in one over, & neither P Kumar, nor Steyn nor Kumble could make any impact. CSK looked comfortable to go beyond 200 at this stage. However, there was reverse action in store for the RCB. Pieterson came into bowl after the break & immediately bowled Patel out, & Hayden got run out in the very next delivery.Hayden had made 64 & Parthiv 29. Two wickets in two deliveries, brought two new bats at the crease, Raina & Dhoni. Both, however had the luxury of taking singles while getting their eye in, & they did so with sensible nudges around. The next 5 overs yielded only 28 runs, as Kumble & Pieterson pegged the batting back. Having survived a tough catch drop, Raina started opening up, but Dhoni holed out to Praveen Kumar. In walked Freddie Flintoff with 4 overs still to go, but runs had become hard to come by. Raina finally went out holing to Virat Kohli at the long off but Freddie & Albie Morkel managed 14 runs of the final over, with Morkel losing his off stump in the last ball from Dale Steyn. CSK ending with 179 runs at the end, highest ever total till now in this ground, & also the highest total of the tournament uptill now, though, finally much lesser than what seemed achieveable midway.

RCB started with P Kumar & Utthappa, the former send in as a surprise & pinch hit. But the ploy failed as he fell to Gony in the first over itself for a nought. Kallis walked to the crease, & along with Utthapa, kept the run rate up for a while, but just when he looked like getting into top gear, he went out leg before to Morkel. He had scored 24 of 19 deliveries. Next in was the New Zealand sensation Ross Taylor. Meanwhile, for the fielding side fielding, Dhoni decided to keep wickets instead of Parthiv, & at the end of 6 overs, the RCB had put up 46 for 2. Taylor disappointed again, falling to Freddie, & in walked skipper Peiterson, with his team in a spot of bother. MSD now introduced Murali to the attack, & he immediately scalped the very important Pieterson for a duck & RCB were left gasping at 49 for 4. The Wall, Dravid was next in to do damage control for his team, but watched in agony as Murali got Utthapa stumped in the very next ball. Two crucial wickets in his first over of the tournament & Murali had settled in as usual. RCB had lost 4 wickets for just 11 runs, & suddenly the match was slipping away from them. Midway in their innings, they had only reached a dismal 56 with half of the squad back in the dugout.
At my end, there was a sudden powercut & I could not watch the match for a while. By the time power was restored, I could only see the fall of the last wicket of RCB, with Dravid holing out in the deep for a total score of just 87. The blackout had saved me from watching the abject surrender of RCB to the last year finalist CSK. It was a near clinical performance by CSK in all departments of the game as they demolished RCB by 92 runs. Murali had ended with 3 for 11.

CSK look to be back in business, with a convincing win under their belt.
The ever modest Murali pipped Mat Hayden to Man of the Match award with his brilliant bowling, though he said at the presentation ceremony that it was hayden who deserved the prize. There was something to cheer for Hayden too. He had earned himself the purple cap of the tournament from Rahul Dravid, for being the leading run scorer till now. On form he would always be any bowler's nightmare.