The knuckle ball that never came
The last time Michael Hussey faced Zaheer Khan was in the World Cup quarterfinal. Back then, Zaheer had foxed Hussey with his newest invention, the 'knuckle ball' that is pushed through at a slower pace and with a barely discernible change in action. That dismissal would have been in the back of Hussey's mind as he took guard against Zaheer. He was watchful in the first over, cautiously steering the first ball to third man, before defending from the crease as Zaheer angled a couple in, and landed two balls just outside off stump. With the knuckle ball not making an early appearance, Hussey charged Zaheer for a four off the first ball of his next over, and did not look back from there.
Butter fingers galore for Bangalore
They say Twenty20 cricket lifts fielding standards, but things went the other way today. It all began in the third over, when a lazy throw from Cheteshwar Pujara sailed well over AB de Villiers' head and resulted in an overthrow. From there, it just kept going downhill: Mohammad Kaif, one of the best fielders India has produced, ran back from mid-off and got into a good position to take a mis-hit, but grassed it. Countless misfields ensued and Chennai were bounding towards a tall score when Asad Pathan missed a swirler at third man. The fielding misses left Virat Kohli swearing in disgust, but he did not complain after the next drop: Kohli flicked his first ball uppishly straight to square leg during the chase, where another sitter went down. The culprit - Michael Hussey, who was the beneficiary in both instances of Bangalorean butter fingers.
Six and out - I
Ryan Ninan belongs to a breed rarely seen in Twenty20 cricket: the offspinner who relies on flight. M Vijay skated out of the crease to his second ball and dumped him over long-off. Ninan's reply was to give the ball even more air. Vijay jumped out again, but this time failed to reach the pitch and holed out. Later, Ninan nearly repeated the dose to Suresh Raina. After being pummelled for 16 off the first four balls of his third over, Ninan tossed another one up, and fooled Raina in the flight to have him slicing into the deep. This time, though, the dismissal did not come immediately after the six.
Six and out - II
MS Dhoni was winding up for the big finish when Zaheer Khan returned for his final spell in the 17th over. Dhoni carted the first ball over point, before brutalising the second with a furious bottom-handed thump that sent the ball towards the sight screen. Zaheer shifted to round the wicket, and sent down a slow offcutter. Dhoni waited for it, looked to play a cut and got a barely evident feather to the wicketkeeper. He did not look behind, he did not look disappointed, he just showed his bat to the umpire and swaggered his way back to the dug-out.
The dead-ball that had some life in it
In the eighth over of Bangalore's chase, AB de Villiers decided to pull out of facing a ball from Shadab Jakati due to some disturbance near the sightscreen. Jakati was already in his delivery stride, though, and went on to deliver a loopy ball just outside off. Even as he was pulling out of his stance, de Villiers calmly batted the ball away with just one hand on the handle. It was still ruled a dead ball, everyone smiled, and Jakati had to bowl it again.
The UDRS U-turn
In the next over, R Ashwin sent down his carom ball, full on leg stump and got it to straighten and hit de Villiers' pad as he missed the flick. Dhoni and Ashwin went up in spontaneous appeal for the lbw, but umpire Kumar Dharmasena was unmoved. Dhoni, half in jest, made the signal for an umpiring review. Yes, you read right - the same Dhoni who has been almost bull-headed in his opposition of the UDRS for three years now.
The dance and the whistle
M Vijay hared in from long-on to take a running catch when Cheteshwar Pujara miscued a lofted drive in the 17th over. It was one of the key moments of the game, and Vijay was thrilled to bits. He continued running in, spread his arms wide and then broke into a dance routine as he high-fived with his team-mates. The music came later, after Chennai sealed the win, when Kris Srikkanth stuck two fingers into his mouth and delivered his own rendition of the popular Chennai Super Kings song, Whistle Podu.