Sat, 28 May 2011 - IP Chennai vs IP Bangalore, IPL 2011, Final - Bulletin
Chennai kings again
It was an anti-climax of sorts for the much anticipated ‘battle of South’ in the IPL-4 final as Chennai trounced Bangalore by 58 runs in a packed Chepauk to retain the title. Chennai openers batted with utter disdain to virtually bat their opposition out of the contest, Murli Vijay muscled his way to 95 and the hosts posted a huge total of 205, the highest ever in an IPL title-clash. However, Bangalore were in the hunt for just three deliveries faced by Chris Gayle; once the danger man was back in the hut for nought, the title was all but lost.
It was a day that completely belonged to the defending champions, the Dhoni led side did not do anything wrong. Right from the point MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on a track that was expected to slow down as play went on, Chennai had the upper hand. On the contrary, Bangalore did not make lot mistakes, they were beaten by a team that performed well on the given day at home.
Chennai put the new sparkling IPL trophy beyond Bangalore with a superlative batting performance. Their openers led the way with a Herculean opening partnership, 159 at an amazing rate of more than 10 an over. Chennai just couldn’t have asked for more from Vijay and Hussey. The former fell short of what would have been a stunning hundred in the final by just 5 runs.
The duo began with a definite plan- target the loose balls and weak fielders. They converted singles into doubles with aggressive running. Though, Vijay was the first to tee off with a tonk over cow corner, Hussey landed the first blow on Bangalore as he hit nemesis Zaheer Khan into the crowd. Bangalore played the waiting game hoping for a bad shot but it was Chennai all the way. The visitors could just watch the ball disappear into the night sky over after over. The unusual thing was that Chennai’s first boundary came in the eighth over, till then the two had hit four maximums. The openers, though, had contrasting approaches to batting, the runs came thick and fast from both ends. ‘Mr. Cricket’ Hussey played conventional shots targeting empty spaces in the field, while as, Vijay bludgeoned his way with pure power especially the front foot wallop. The stylish right hander to Bangalore’s ill-luck found his hitting arc and punished them with aggressive stroke play of the highest class.
The first real misunderstand happened in the 12th over but Arvind missed the stumps in his follow through and Vijay added insult to injury with two mighty heaves over mid-wicket in the same over. The dose was repeated for Syed Mohammad before Hussey holed out to long-on for a well compiled 63. Skipper Dhoni promoted himself up the order and played a couple of quiet overs but more than made up for that with a 22 run cameo. He gave Chris Gayle a taste of his own medicine with two monstrous hits in the eighteenth over, his team well on course for a total in excess of 200. A tired Vijay finally fell for 95, four fours and half a dozen crowd-killers punctuating his innings. A couple of batsmen had to go back trying to accelerate; Dwayne Bravo made a powerful statement at the end as he hit countryman and Bangalore’s big hope Chris Gayle out of the park.
If there was anybody who could turn the tables in favour of Bangalore, the tournament’s best batsman, Gayle had to come up with probably the finest innings of this year. But, the hope lasted just four deliveries as Dhoni’s masterstroke of opening with R Ashwin once again paid rich dividends, Gayle got a feather to a rising delivery from the mystery bowler. Virat Kohli, although, has impressive numbers, the huge score was beyond his means. The innings went pear-shaped after the early blow, wickets kept falling and the asking rate went out of the roof. Surabh Tiwary’s 42 could only narrow down the margin of defeat as the proceedings in the second half of the innings were extended last rites of their roller-coaster campaign.
The final, which critics would label as dud for the lack of excitement, in no way was a fitting end to an event that has witnessed some gripping contests in the past few weeks. It also was a day when history repeated itself, the team with Orange cap once again failed to win the cup, Chennai did not lose a game at home (8 in total this year), Bangalore stumbled near the finish line (runner ups second time) and MS Dhoni successfully defended the title he claimed last year. Surely, Chennai’s talent grabbed the opportunity in the final to be the worthy Champions of the annual carnival and run away with a Rs. 10 crore prize.
Rising star of the tournament: Iqbal Abdulla (Kolkata)
Best individual performance: Paul Valthaty (Punjab)
Orange Cap: Chris Gayle (Bangalore)
Purple Cap: Lasith Malinga (Mumbai)
Man of the match in final: Murli Vijay (Chennai)
Player of the tournament: Chris Gayle (Bangalore)© eContent.in
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