So, CSK does it again. Whether they chase or not, they always like to get over the line in the final over. Asked to bat first by Gambhir, they had a new opening pair in Saha and Hussey. CSK finished with 200 for 3 in 20 overs and though Bisla’s love affair with the Chennai ground continued, he was not able to see them through, this time. And in the end, KKR fell short off the target by 14 runs.
Surprise package Saha : When Saha stepped out with Hussey to open the innings, one would have thought how he would cope up against the defending champions. He started positively and was involved in a 103 runs stand for the 1st wicket with Mike Hussey. He scored a quick fire 39 runs of 23 balls and the 2 sixes he hit were outstanding. When he got out in the 11th over, he had already laid a strong platform for the big hitters in the team to flourish. It would be interesting to see if Dhoni will pick him for the next match ahead of the out of form Vijay.
Mr.Cricket’s golden run continued: It is not for nothing he is called “Mr.Cricket”. The Aussie paced his innings beautifully and provided the perfect start along with Saha. He almost played every shot in the book and in an act of unselfishness, sacrificed his wicket going for the big shots and fell short of 5 runs of what could have been a very well deserved century. And he being in immaculate touch with the bat, CSK can very well become the first team to qualify for the knock out phase.
The Raina we all know, is back: The most consistent player in the IPL history is back to form and that should be like music to the ears of all the CSK fans. Scoring a 25 ball 44 and getting run out for the team’s cause, he is back. Also, in this innings, he became the first Indian player in the IPL history to hit 100 sixes.
KKR’s Chase: With 201 to win, KKR was expected to cash in on the super overs. They got support from unexpected quarters in the form of Dirk Nannes. Nannes, coming into this match after an injury, started with a wide and then bowled a no-ball. With 10 runs after just 1 ball, KKR had a dream start.
Bisla’s love affair with Chepauk: No one could forget Bisla’s knock against CSK in the last year’s final. He continued from where he left off and scored the runs at will. Though he was not comfortable initially against the Chennai pacers, once he got his eye in, he continued to score runs at ease. I was forced to think about the last year’s final when this man was at the crease and a similar result was very likely. When he got out for a very well made 92 off 61 balls, they required 23 off 9 balls and that was much gettable in this format.
Off-day for Kallis: The man who can walk into any team for his all round skills had a pathetic day with both the bat and the ball. Conceding 50 runs in 4 overs and scoring a painstaking 20 ball 19 runs is something he would like to forget immediately.
CSK’s misses on the field: With Raina dropping a sitter by his standards, Ashwin flooring another one and the skipper himself missing out a tough stumping chance, the game could have gone in favour of their opponents on another day. Nannes had a miserable day with the ball and he almost won it for KKR. I am sure he will sit out for all the remaining games. Bowling at death is still a worry for the Chennai team and they should try and find answers for this, before the knock out phase starts.
Outstanding final over by Morris: With 19 runs to get in 6 balls, Morris was given the responsibility of bowling the final over. With the man in form, Eoin Morgan and the big hitting Pathan at the crease, it was well within the reach. Morris started off with a beautiful yorker and ended it off with another 2 yorkers. 4 runs from the final over and looks like death bowling issue will be sorted out for the CSK if he continues to bowl these yorkers.
CSK : 200 for 3 in 20 overs. Hussey 95(59), Saha 39(23), Raina 44(25). Narine 1/35 and Bhatia 1/31
KKR : 186 for 4 in 20 overs. Bisla 91 (62), Morgan 32(22). Sharma 1/23, Morris 1/29 and Bravo 1/37