The Pied Piper
The onset of spin had punctured Dolphins' resolve. Their chase of 165 against Lahore Lions struggled to retain the Bangalore crowd's attention; the portion that wasn't milling outside the stadium, waiting for the late game featuring Chennai Super Kings. Inside, Dolphins were 89 for 8. The remaining 76 had to be hunted down with only one recognised batsman. The fans found their own entertainment, launching into "CSK" chants. There were even a few echoes of the old favourite "RCB" chants. The DJ, then, egged them on to form a Mexican wave and sustain the atmosphere. But it was Robbie Frylinck who gave the Chinnaswamy stadium its coveted dose of adrenaline. He dismissed attempted yorkers to the boundary. The equation was still 57 off 18. But people started sitting up in their seats. Length balls were strewn into the aisles beyond, Aizaz Cheema bled four sixes in an over. The asking rate was still 15.5. People were up and dancing now. Bangalore was behind Frylinck, so much that last-man Prenalen Subrayen's single in the penultimate over was met with a tremendous cheer. Frylinck came on strike and repaid that with an instant boundary. He was not able to take Dolphins across the line, but he satisfied Chinnaswamy's appetite for mayhem. And then some.
"Come on, CSK!" they cried. The sight of a spinner hiked their hopes, but Brad Hogg's canny variations left Super Kings' followers exasperated. Perth Scorchers did not give width. They were loathe to let the batsmen get under the ball. Hands were flung, a million suggestions were yelled out, a few curses too. For 14 overs, they saw one of the most powerful set of batsmen in T20 cricket smothered to a run-rate below five an over. Chinnaswamy's buzz was flat-lining. Then the earth shook. Or it might well have and no one in the stadium would have noticed. MS Dhoni was in the building. Yellow flags were brandished and Dhoni's name being belted out louder than anything the crowd had mustered all day. He was what they were waiting for. He was their final source of entertainment for the night. They yelled for his singles, his manic running for twos had them whooping and when he walloped Yasir Arafat out of the stadium, the noise was deafening. Everyone knew the score was going up, but when they realised it had shot from 82 for 5 after 15 overs to 155, the "CSK" chants were unstoppable.
The lucky charms
With the Dolphins' final set of batsmen at the crease, the fans began to indulge in getting their fifteen minutes of fame. A group beyond the boundary at long-off pleaded with Ahmed Shehzad for a wave. They screamed his name repeatedly in hopes of enticing a response just as Kyle Abbott laid into a thump down the ground. Shehzad dashed to his left and flung a dead-eye throw, lobbing over the bowler, and onto the stumps at the keeper's end. Though he hadn't responded to their requests, the group at long-off's screams of "Shehzad, Shezhad, Shehzad" continued, this time flecked with a note of appreciation as well.
The startling support
Bangalore's affections were see-sawing throughout the evening. Umar Akmal's blitz seemed to have won them over, but the yellow-clad majority returned to their raucous renditions of the CSK chant. That was put to a halt when Frylinck unleashed in the final few overs. But with 19 needed off the last two balls, there would only be one winner. The Chinnaswamy stadium realised that and began roaring, "Lahore! Lahore! Lahore!" It was one of the few times the teams that were actually involved in the match got a mention and it seemed to startle Wahab Riaz. His slower ball skated down leg, past the keeper and into the boundary.
No time to rest in T20s
A perfect finish from Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. A limp batting display from Perth Scorchers. The night had taken a welcome and significant turn for the Super Kings fans and they were milking it for all it's worth. The roars were substituted by whistles now. The music had been switched to Tamil, the local language in Chennai, and that proved an occasion for further revelry. One enthusiastic soul had just finished his quota of chants. A late flurry from Nathan Coulter-Nile had limited his chances to shake a leg. So he took advantage of a few empty seats and sprawled across them for a bit of respite. None would be found though as the DJ called for another round of whistles and the Chinnaswamy responded furiously. The man got back up with a sheepish smile and had to join in again.