A dream start to continue a dream run
In short, it was the perfect Twenty20 performance, and Chennai Super Kings saved it for the biggest game of the tournament. A look at some of the stats highlights which are, not surprisingly, dominated by Chennai.
- Chennai's total of 205 was the third-highest in IPL 2011, and easily the highest in a final. The previous highest had been Chennai's 168 against Mumbai in last year's final.
- The margin of victory was massive too - 58 runs, which makes this easily the most one-sided IPL final of the four so far. The previous margins had been three wickets (with no balls to spare), six runs (in 2009) and 22 runs (in 2010). This result also means three out of four finals - and each of the last three - have been won by the team batting first.
- The win was set up by a magnificent first-wicket partnership of 159 between M Vijay and Michael Hussey, which is the highest first-wicket stand in all IPL seasons, and the second-highest for any wicket. The only higher stand was the one for 206 runs between Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh for Punjab against Bangalore earlier this season. The two highest partnerships have thus both been in this season, and Bangalore were at the receiving end on both occasions.
- Vijay's 95 and Hussey's 63 are the two highest scores in an IPL final. The previous-highest was also by a Chennai batsman - Suresh Raina's unbeaten 57 against Mumbai last year. Vijay's 95 is also his second-highest in all IPLs, next only to his 127 against Rajasthan last year.
- Chennai have usually been slow off the blocks in this IPL, but in the final they were switched on from the beginning, scoring 56 off the first six, their highest during the Powerplay overs and only their second 50-plus score this season. Before the final, Chennai's average run-rate in the first six this season had been 6.33, compared to Bangalore's 8.03. In the final, Chennai sped at 9.33, while Bangalore only managed 7.83. In the middle eight overs Chennai turned it on even more, scoring 87, while in the last six they amassed 62.
- R Ashwin said after the match that he felt confident bowling to Chris Gayle as he is a left-hander, and stats bear him out: against left-handers, Ashwin took ten wickets at an average of 12.70 and an economy rate of 5.60; against right-handers, he took as many wickets, but at an average of 26.10, and an economy rate of 6.47.
- For Bangalore nothing went according to script. None of their bowlers conceded less than seven-and-a-half per over, and even Daniel Vettori went for 34, his second-most expensive performance in this IPL. His most expensive spell was also against Chennai, only four days ago, when he conceded 42 in the first qualifier.
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo