Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings :
The 2nd edition of the IPL got underway with a mouth watering opener, between arguably the best two teams in this tournament. Both full of heavyweights, promised a humdinger of a contest.
However, unlike the inaugural match of the 1st edition, where Brendon McCullum of KKR had blown the game away from the Bangalore Royal Challengers, with a breathtaking century, the match today, did not actually set the stands on fire. Overcast sky & the pitch with a tennis ball kind of bounce & did not really encourage stroke play. The opening stand between Tendulkar & Jayasuriya saw a lot of innovative strokeplay, but did not last very long. Runs were not easy flowing. The foreign recruits in Duminy & Bravo, flopped & it was finally left to Tendulkar along with Abhishek Nayyar to stitch in a respectable total. I8th over by Flintoff was tore open with three sixes by Abhishek & 22 runs to the kitty. 35 runs off 14 deliveries by this Mumbai youngster, was really worth a mention. Tendulkar, making good of an early drop catch, anchored the innings & stayed till the end with a well compiled 59 off 49 deliveries. The batting, a tribute to the Little Master’s genius. The team posted a fighting total of 166……….
The CSK bowlers, probably the best combination amongst all teams, were very disciplined in their attack, & managed to contain the Mumbai batters, as Dhoni marshaled the field with very good field placements.
In reply, the opening stand of Mat Hayden & Parthiv Patel for the Chennai was a disaster, with Patel going to a catch in the slips for no score on board, & one down Raina managing to escape a difficult catch in the deep. All this in the very first over. While the burly Hayden escaped a simple catch put down by the wicketkeeper in the third over, Raina just holed out in the deep to a wonderful catch by Raje the very next delivery. A brief recovery by Hayden & Flintoff saw some good stroke play, but introduction of spin, with Bhajji & Jayasuriya, saw the score dipping to a trickle. The first over by Bhajji to Hayden was a brilliant contest between the bat & the ball. Flintoff departed to Bhajji’s persistent line soon, bringing Dhoni to stare into the barrel. Hayden departed for a well made 44 out to a brilliant catch by Zaheer, & at 89 for 4, the CSK looked deep in trouble, the reqd run rate climbing beyond 11 an over. Jacob Oram though looked rusty in the beginning, managed to still loft a six, but holed out the very next delivery, & Badrinath followed back soon. Joginder Singh did hit a six as well & Dhoni tried his best with his usual lusty hitting, but with almost no support for him at the other end, the CSK had lost the plot. The final over needed 25 runs for a win, & Dhoni in an attempt to scale the impossible, lost his wicket to Malinga’s immaculate yorker.
The bowling of the Mumbai Indians was extremely disciplined, with Bhajji, Zaheer, Bravo, Jayasuriya & above all Malinga ensuring that the CSK batting line up fold under pressure. Malinga(3 for 15) & Bhajji(1 for 15) were simply outstanding, while others provided with brilliant support.
Much against the pre match predictions, Sachin’s Mumbai Indians beat Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings by 19 runs. Sachin the man of the match for his excellent unbeaten 59, which set up the total for the MI. Way to Sachin…..we look forward to more ahead……

The tournament also brought about some very innovative, interesting & new advts from Tata Indicom, Coke, Wrigleys, Airtel, Hero Honda, Samsung & others……. Entertainment galore, even during breaks…….Wow.