Klinger makes hay, Hayden clings on
Innings of the tournament
For a large part of the tournament, he was the man leading the golden bat race. Michael Klinger scored three half centuries for South Australia, two of them while chasing. His best effort was the 78 off 48 balls he smashed against the Lions in Centurion. Klinger had not scored a half-century in 20-over cricket before that day and a combination of excellent exploitation of the short ball, perfect placement and crafty footwork saw him sail over the 50 mark. He shared in two century opening partnerships in the competition, so his sidekick, Daniel Harris gets an honorary mention.
Spell of the tournament
Albie Morkel produced two gorgeous, bouncy overs for the Chennai Super Kings against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-final. He had the ball swinging like the 60s and Manish Pandey didn't quite know what to do with the away movement. At one point, there were three slips in position. Morkel picked up the wicket of Robin Uthappa with the final ball of the second over to finish the spell with figures of 1 for 13.
Catch of the tournament
Plenty of great plucking in this tournament made this one a difficult pick. Jean Symes and Johan Botha get special mention but the clutch that cut it was Matthew Hayden's spectacular steal against Central Districts in Port Elizabeth. Mathew Sinclair's reverse sweep off Muttiah Muralitharan required an acrobatic leap to the right from Haydos at first slip which he pulled off in fine style. He had a lean run with the bat and is fast approaching 40, but Hayden's powers of anticipation have not dimmed.
Surprise package of the tournament
The Warriors had laid claim to their first two pieces of silverware since the franchise system began on their way to qualifying for the Champions League. They fancied themselves for a final four spot but to advance to the decider in such emphatic fashion was surely unexpected. Davy Jacobs became everybody's favourite player with his no-fear brand of batting and easy-going leadership style. The home boys won the hearts of many and even though they lost in the final, they provided more than enough evidence that something very special is stirring in the Eastern Cape.
Thanks-for-coming of the tournament
Guyana, Central Districts and Wayamba provided a trio of whipping boys for the other teams. Between them, they posted the five lowest totals in the competition and conceded the two highest scores. Most of the time their hearts didn't seem in it, although they told us they were, so even when the Sri Lankans thrashed the New Zealanders by 74 runs, no-one cared.
Heartwarmer of the tournament
The unfancied Highveld Lions upset the Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener, to leave audiences aghast. When Robbie Frylinck bowled the last ball, to hand the Lions victory by nine runs, the team stormed the pitch to the sound of K'Naan's Wavin' Flag. The union that has been so troubled by internal strife and so plagued by failure were united for those few minutes by victory.
Best atmosphere of the tournament
The Centurion crowd at the semi-final between Warriors and the South Australia Redbacks. A hen party was clucking away in the grandstand complete with pink mining helmets for the girls and a colourful, fake, Mohican for the bride-to-be. That bunch was not even nearly as raucous as Redbacks' WAGS in the president's suite, cheering on their men, even when it was obvious that they were going home. By that point, the rest of the crowd threw their weight behind the South African side and started a chant, "Bye, Bye Redbacks." The Eastern Cape found a home in Centurion.
Song of the tournament
Enrique belted out I Like It at the opening ceremony but that song in its cheesy entirety was not heard again. There was a masala mix version of it, muddled with Taio Cruz's Dynamite. Catchy, but not quite the best beat of the event. For a tune that screams "bring out your pom-poms," a lesson in spelling and a healthy blend with something that sounds like Bhangra, the Chennai Super Kings theme song is the one that rocked.
Advice of the tournament
Someone needs to tell Ravi Shastri that when he is holding a microphone, he doesn't have to shout.
Quotes of the tournament
"This is a massive achievement for the Eastern Cape. The last 18 months have been unbeliev…., unbeliev… ongelooflik. I don't even know what the question was."
Davy Jacobs' turns to his mother tongue Afrikaans when his English fails him, and then forgets what he was asked in the first place
"I'll just go make a cup of coffee."
Jehan Mubarak, captain of Wayamba, at his press conference after his side lost to the Victoria Bushrangers. The media had no questions for the losing skipper
Firdose Moonda is a freelance writer based in Johannesburg