First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
I want to watch at least one IPL match in the stadium every year, and this was my last opportunity this season in Chennai.
I've always been a supporter of the Chennai Super Kings.
MS Dhoni. The openers fell after a steady partnership and in came Dhoni to keep the momentum going. His assault on the Daredevils bowlers helped CSK cross the 150 mark, otherwise we might have seen a repeat of the Shane Watson heist when Chennai played Rajasthan, with David Warner or Virender Sehwag playing perpetrator this time.
One thing I'd have changed about the match
I wanted Virender Sehwag to do well. Watching him get out for nought was a terrible sight. It is hard to believe the same player scored 319 in a Test at this very venue, against a top-class South African attack. I am also disappointed that Viv Richards didn't show up on the field even for a brief moment. I am sure he would have got the loudest cheer of the day. I'd have also liked to see Morne Morkel bowl at his brother Albie, but Morne didn't get to play.
CSK's expression of gratitude to the home fans at the end of the game. The highlight was that while every other player was throwing freebies into the crowd, Dwayne Bravo stood out with his characteristic dance moves for the fans.
Michael Hussey, for a major part of the Delhi innings, fielded in front of us. He waved a few times to the crowd acknowledging the crowd's chants of "Hussey, Hussey". Suresh Raina was always in action irrespective of his fielding position. He was at his customary best today fielding at various points on the boundary and also in the infield, literally all over the place.
Shot of the day
Dhoni's six off Siddharth Kaul that went onto the roof and out of the ground was a jaw-dropping stroke.
A few of the top-tier seats in three stands were vacant and the emptiness was glaringly visible. The crowd had people of all age groups. There was a six-year old who identified the opening bowler of CSK as Rohit Sharma. There were also some foreigners who demonstrated their support by wearing customized CSK jerseys with their names on it. The excitement was palpable, what with this being the last match in Chepauk for a few months.
There was such a heavy rush at the food stalls during the innings break that it could have resulted in a stampede. It should have been better managed. The parking arrangements were quite haphazard. One wonders why these things don't improve even with corporate involvement in cricket.
Foot-tapping Tamil songs were the order of the day with Gangnam Style making a cameo appearance. In addition, the video of the 'Best dancers of IPL', featuring Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh and Darren Sammy, was shown a few times. Harbhajan's moves invited the loudest cheers, even louder than Bravo's.
TV v stadium
The stadium trumps TV any day, even if only for the ad-free experience.
I'll give this game an 8 for the quality of the game, 8 for the experience, and 10 for the atmosphere.
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