Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Chennai

It wasn't all yellow

A Chennai supporter watches Gilchrist take the wind out of Hayden's sails, and has trouble getting in and out of the stadium

Sekhar S

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Adam Gilchrist pulls, Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Johannesburg, May 16, 2009
Gilchrist's explosion for Deccan couldn't be matched by Hayden © Associated Press
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The game
My main reason was that there was a high-profile match at Chepauk after a long time. I predicted a Chennai Super Kings win.

Team supported
Chennai.

Key performers
Chaminda Vaas. Given Chennai's batting-heavy line-up, even a target of 190 was supposed to be a cakewalk. But Vaas struck with the wickets of M Vijay, Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina in the Powerplay. Chennai never came back into the game after those wickets.

One thing I'd have changed
The entry and exit to the stands. The ticket-holders for the F and H stands numbered about 2000 and had a single entry point. There was a scramble at the turnstiles when more than one person tried to get in at the same time. The exit point was also restricted to one. I would have opened it up to five entry points and redirected ticket-holders according to their stands.

Face-off I relished
Gilchrist v Hayden. Gilchrist's early damage was exactly what Hayden would have looked to replicate for Chennai - but that didn't happen.

Wow moment
The entry of the dog. It seemed a repeat performance of the one that invaded the Newlands pitch for the Chennai-Mumbai match in 2009. It held up play for a brief period, went out of the ground near the B stand, only to reappear from near the A stand. It then kept circling around the 30-yard circle, but the game went on.

Player watch
Vijay was cheered when he took his position at deep midwicket. When someone from the crowd called out his name and he turned back and said hi.

Shot of the day
Rohit Sharma's six in the last over off Sudeep Tyagi. For a moment it appeared as if it would go out of the stadium, but it landed near the Chennai dressing room.

Crowd meter
The C stand was under renovation and was empty. The others were packed to capacity. The new-look A and B stands were coloured yellow by the Chennai-supporting spectators. The loudest cheers were for Hayden and MS Dhoni. Stands began to empty out after Dhoni got out. Symonds' 50 and some brilliant fielding saves by Deccan received ovations - as is customary with the Chennai crowd.

Twenty20 v ODIs
I prefer Twenty20s, since I can watch a complete game without needing to change channels. The nature of the format is such that you cannot miss a single delivery. With some innovations and changes, ODIs can also be modified to keep audiences glued to their seats.

Banner of the day
"Gilly, we want to see some shots in our belly"

Star-spotting
The percussionist Sivamani, who plays at Chennai's games, shook hands with fans wherever he went.

Marks out of 10
7. The cricket was of the highest quality. The atmosphere was electrifying with flags flying and horns blaring.

Sekhar S is a 24-year old software engineer from Chennai who works in Bangalore. Cricket is one of his major interests and following international and domestic cricket action from around the world is his hobby. He plays for his corporate team and aspires to become a cricket writer in future.

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