First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
I am a diehard fan of MS Dhoni, so it was only natural for me to want to watch my favourite hero play at our home ground, along with another favourite, Sachin Tendulkar. I am a regular visitor to Chepauk- now renovated with state-of-the-art facilities - for any kind of cricket match and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
Chennai Super Kings have been my favourite team right from day one of the IPL. No doubt, Dhoni is a charismatic leader, and lucky too. M Vijay has hit two centuries in the IPL; Suresh Raina is the tournament's leading scorer; and Michael Hussey, another excellent contributor with the bat and on the field. The Super Kings are a conglomeration of high performers, winning two titles and losing last year's by a whisker. I think they are favourites to win it this year as well.
Kieron Pollard stole the show with his five sixes, his acrobatic fielding and his bowling. He was everywhere and deservedly received the Man-of-the-Match award. His blistering attack, especially on his compatriot Dwayne Bravo, was worth watching.
One thing I'd have changed
The seating arrangements left a lot to be desired. The volunteers or the policemen should have instructed the spectators to sit in the seats printed on the ticket. I had a minor scuffle with another spectator who said I was in his seat. I had to then take a seat that didn't have a great view.
Face-off I relished
In the 18th over, after Dhoni had hit him for a six and a four, Pollard stopped halfway in his run-up. When he ran in again, it was Dhoni's turn to withdraw.
Pollard's acrobatic catch at deep midwicket boundary to dismiss Dhoni in the final over was the moment that sealed the victory for Mumbai Indians.
Shot of the day
Pollard hit a mighty six over long-on off R Ashwin.
The crowd was in a frenzy, singing, dancing and applauding. The cool sea breeze brought some relief from the sweltering heat of Chennai.
T20 v ODI
I like Twenty20s more because of the edge-of-the-seat moments. In this edition of the IPL, we have already seen several cliffhangers. Cricket is not the only sport to be affected by crass commercialisation, especially in T20s, but the people enjoy the format.
TV versus stadium
It is always a pleasure to watch a game live at the stadium.
Marks out of 10
8. It was the perfect outing for a weekend evening.
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