Chennai v Bangalore, IPL 2011, Final, Chennai May 28, 2011

An ironic finish to proceedings

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL final between Bangalore and Chennai

The start
It took Chennai 7.5 overs to produce their first four of the day. It was a problem that had bogged them down in the league stage as well, especially in the matches against Kolkata and Bangalore. Unlike in those games, though, the four-drought did not bog down their run-rate tonight, as four sixes and innumerable well-run couples meant they were motoring along at well over eight an over when that first four came.

The contest
Whatever M Vijay did, Michael Hussey tried to better, and vice versa. Vijay swung S Aravind majestically over midwicket off the last ball of the second over. Hussey responded by carting Zaheer Khan for a bigger six off the next ball. Hussey then trotted out to the last ball of Syed Mohammad's over and lofted him for another six, only for Vijay to respond with a bigger six off the first ball of Chris Gayle's following over.

The overthrows and the outcomes
Chennai had played the first over quietly before Hussey steered the first ball of the second straight to Virat Kohli at point. Neither batsman was looking for a single, yet Kohli threw, missed and conceded the first of several overthrows. Vijay got strike, and played his first shot of assurance - the patented swat-pull - off the next ball. Three balls later, he perfected the shot and sent it screaming for his first six. He might not have even had strike for those balls, had Kohli resisted the urge to throw needlessly. Bangalore were sent on a leather hunt, but did not seem to learn from their mistakes as Syed Mohammad slung in another needless throw in the 15th over to give Hussey strike. This time, though, it resulted in a wicket as Hussey perished off the very next ball. Too little, too late.

The Caribbean flair
When Dwayne Bravo walked out for the final ball of the innings, Chris Gayle was on a hat-trick, and had conceded only a single off the first five. Gayle fired the last one full, on a length that was almost impossible to get under. Not for Bravo, though, who stayed back in the crease, hauled the bat up in a high back lift, and managed to lever the ball over the straight boundary. Chennai went from 199 to 205, the Jamaican did not wince, the Trinidadian did not smile, and Chepauk swayed to a moment dripping with Calypso flair as the players walked off.

The bravery award
Most bowlers have tried to hide from Gayle, but R Ashwin isn't one of them. He nailed him for the second time in two games, luring him into a classic offspinner's trap. "I was always confident to go up against Gayle and take him on," he would say later. Ashwin's nemesis, though, was the other big-built left-hand batsman in the Bangalore line-up - Saurabh Tiwary, who had smashed a ball straight into his head the other night. He bowled six balls at Tiwary in the final, conceded four runs and escaped without damage. It helped that Tiwary wasn't in very good form tonight.

The variations
Chennai have two specialist spinners, but between them they have the ability to bowl at least six different balls. Ashwin, classified as an offspinner, produced a legbreak to go with his bag of his sliders, offbreaks and carom balls. Jakati, who normally bowls orthodox left-arm spin, bowled a Chinaman to dismiss Luke Pomersbach. He tried it again off the next ball, but this time it slipped out and was no-balled for height.

The finish
The closing scenes of the IPL were a lot like the tournament itself: long-winding and a touch contrived. Unlike last year, though, there was no gaudy closing ceremony featuring inflated, large-size replicas of batsmen and bowlers dancing to Bollywood tunes. There was also no passionate speech from Lalit Modi, who instead tweeted: "Atmosphere absolutely electric at the Wembley stadium. No comparison to the earlier game today." What the final presentation did include, was prizes in several categories including one for the ground with the best outfield and pitch. It all ended in ironic fashion as N Srinivasan, in his capacity as BCCI secretary, presented the winners medals to players of the Chennai Super Kings, the team he owns. Conflict of interest, anyone?

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    I cant believe some people calling dhoni's achievements as luck, just because he is good and he delivers, bring him down right? these guys cant see any one being successful,typical Indian attitude, the guy is a master class, just accept it...

  • Eshwar on May 29, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    IPL is over!!! Enjoyed a few games, but felt a bit overkill as it came right after WC. Next year's should be better. Not many close games as what you would come to expect in T20, thanks for Gayle to bring that X/Fear Factor to IPL. And as Dhoni said when mentioned about achieving everything possible as a captain after WC, he said he doesn't mind to win them all over again, boy - he wasn't joking.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    hi guys ,i thnk csk played fantastic cricket to defend the title.they played superbly. evryone contributed 4 the team.i dont know why few of them are saying its a a boring series ,its all over.if mi won this.these people could say one more feather on his cap.little master proved again.

  • Anantha on May 29, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Whatever you might say about the "IPL tamasha",the final was cricket at its best. Excellent display of running between the wickets, power hitting, spin bowling in coordination, and an excellent all round team effort by the champions. Appreciate good cricket for what it is, and stop being snobbish puritan prudes.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    I smell sour grapes ;-) If MI or KKR wud have won.. not only wud have cricinfo gone on and on with appreciations and analysis .. also their fans wud have hailed IPL as the greatest cup of all time.. may be even World cup..

    Now that they did not..they start thinking for cursing IPL and waste of time etc. altho i feel the cud have kept it to 45 games or so.

    Personally i love IPL cos I get to see more of our players and it fits the time i come from office and i can relax with some exciting action from my fav. sport.

    Indians shud not feel insecure of defending their interests from the other world.If u like IPL keep loving it. Dont look into economics behind it..We love cricket and we love seeing our stars. Support it like the soccer fans support their clubs..they dont feel insecure.

    @soorajiyer : I 100 % agree with your views.nailed the point.

    Those who did not like CSK winning need to admire how they play as a team.. ! Dhoni IS NOT LUCKY WHEN HE WINS VERY CUP EVERYTIME. THINK PPL!

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    IS there something doing with the colour yellow.... Australia was at the top for a decade n now chennai going there way.... seems mumbai/deccan blues are next...

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    @Bigwonder Imagine how boring it would have got if australia won this world cup

  • poojan on May 29, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Its amazing .... now I wonder ...... was Dhoni born with luck or was luck born with Dhoni. But anyway, well done CSK!

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Looks like some guys are Sore Losers....

  • Gopalakrishna on May 29, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    I cant seem to understand calling it circus/jokers game and so on. I enjoy cricket in any form - be it played between me, brother and father OR played by my son with his friends OR womens cricket OR t20 in any form (call it any league) OR so called only serious cricket ie tests. I follow and love them equally. I think all forms of cricket are important and I enjoy them equally. If you dont like it, dont come to comment on it please? @Satya Paul - I am with you mate. Dont like it, dont follow it...

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