'They're not playing run outs any more'
The mystery call
In the seventh over of the chase, with Super Kings coasting, Kings XI Punjab seemed to have found an opening when Ryan Harris arrowed in a throw from mid-off that seemingly had Michael Hussey run-out. Hussey had put in the perfect dive, stretching flat out but looked fractionally short. The third umpire watched endless replays and though there was no conclusive evidence that Hussey was in, the giant screen flashed 'Not out'. Even Hussey and Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming were surprised by the decision. Rarely has a batsman got such a generous benefit of doubt. As Adam Gilchrist said at the post-match ceremony, "They're not playing run outs any more".
The triple threat
On the fifth ball of the 11th over, Super Kings had three chances of getting a wicket. First up, the bowler R Ashwin belted out a loud lbw appeal against Gurkeerat Singh, only for it to be turned down. The ball rolled off the pads in the direction of square leg, and there was major confusion over whether to take a leg-bye. The non-striker David Hussey hesitated, and would have been run-out by yards if MS Dhoni had hit direct. Dhoni missed, and there was an overthrow. Hussey motored back for the second, and though there was a direct hit this time, he made it in time. Rarely has there been a more action-packed delivery.
Super Kings pride themselves on being one of the better fielding sides in the tournament. With the likes of Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Michael Hussey and Ravindra Jadeja in the line-up, it is a well-earned reputation. M Vijay is also usually a safe fielder, but he put down a regulation chance at mid-off to reprieve Kings XI's most important batsman, David Hussey. In the sixth over, Hussey moved away from the stumps and mistimed the ball towards Vijay. It went flat towards the fielder, but Vijay didn't move forward quickly enough, and by the time he reacted it was too low for him to clasp the ball properly. Chris Morris, on IPL debut, was the unlucky bowler, and covered his face in disappointment at missing out on his first wicket in the tournament.
There have already been some spectacular catches this season, and Bravo nearly added to the list with a stunning effort. Ashwin bowled a legspinner which Gurkeerat hammered towards long-off, and the ball seemed destined for a six; Bravo, who was a few metres in from the rope, hared across to his left and towards the boundary before leaping with his right arm outstretched. While in mid-air, he nearly latched on to the ball, but his extraordinary effort only ended up saving his team two runs, as the ball dribbled to the boundary for four.
Towards the end of the innings, batsmen will run for everything, even for byes when the ball goes straight through to the keeper. To counter that, Dhoni decided to keep wickets with only his left glove on, allowing him to collect the ball and throw immediately. The strategy, previously used by Dinesh Karthik in the IPL, paid off for Super Kings in the final over. When Parvinder Awana failed to connect on his fourth ball in a row, Praveen Kumar decided to try steal a bye, but Dhoni's dead-eye throw caught him well short.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo