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April 29, 2013
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Choice of game
I am an ardent Chennai Super Kings fan, and have been attending all CSK games this season. The KKR game, billed as the revenge match following the IPL 2012 final, was on top on my list. Who would want to miss a mouth-watering clash between two IPL champions?
I support CSK, not only because I grew up in the city, but also for Thalaivar ('leader' in Tamil) MS Dhoni, and Ravindra Jadeja, who has been in the thick of things for a while now.
Even though Mr. Cricket Michael Hussey stole the show, for me Chris Morris was the key performer. He bowled a splendid last over, literally yorking KKR's chances.
Two things I'd have changed about the match
I'd have liked to change the on-field umpires and the Chennai cheerleaders. The Manvinder Bisla run-out that was not given, was greeted by boos from the 'knowledgeable' Chennai crowd. The Chennai cheerleaders seemed quite lazy; they need to practice more, to keep the spirits high.
Unfortunately, the security at Chepauk is always very high, and thus, one cannot carry a lot of accessories to the stands. So CSK flags without sticks, and an empty water bottle without the cap were the only things I could get into the ground.
The Hussey direct-hit that got Bisla out. It knocked the wind out of KKR's chase and changed the complexion of the game.
Before the game, the CSK squad practiced near the terrace stands. We were fortunate to witness a miscued Suresh Raina pull shot sail into our stand. We were allowed to bring the ball home.
Shot of the day
The most memorable shot was played by Eoin Morgan. It was a cheeky stroke: he reverse-paddled a delivery that was outside leg stump, and bisected the gap between the wicketkeeper and short third man beautifully.
Despite the 4 pm start, the stadium was jam-packed before the match, with noise levels on the higher side. A single wave from Dhoni was enough to make the fans go crazy. We also witnessed half a Mexican wave, where the wave didn't complete a full revolution. Instead this one stopped and went in the reverse direction.
Twenty20 v ODIs v Test cricket
As a cricket lover, I have always preferred Test cricket. But T20 is food for entertainment. Like it or not, you just can't ignore it.
As always, we were joined by Mrs. Sakshi Dhoni, who the city seems to have adopted as its own. During each game, her reactions to the on-field action drive the crowd crazy.
Banner of the day
One banner got my eye before the start of the match. It said "Sir Jaddu, you are my Laddu" - weird, but attention-grabbing. (Laddu is an Indian sweet.)
Marks out of 10
The Chepauk faithfuls were blessed to witness yet another close encounter, even though CSK weren't chasing this time. I would rate the match 9/10.
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