The nature of Twenty20 cricket leaves plenty of scope for an underdog to pull off upsets, but in the Champions League 2010, there was no doubt that the best team lifted the cup. Chennai Super Kings were so far ahead of the rest of the field that it would have been a travesty had any other team won the tournament. Here's a look at five stats in which Chennai were far ahead of the rest.
Superior with bat and ball
The difference between the batting run rate and bowling economy rate for Chennai is the highest among all teams and comfortably ahead of the next best team. The difference between their batting average and bowling average is an extraordinary 24.58, which is streets ahead of the Warriors, whom they beat in the final. None of the other teams have a run-rate difference of more than one, and only South Australia possess an average difference above ten. The overall stats of the top teams is summarised below.
|Team||Matches||Run-rate||Economy rate||Difference||Batting average||Bowling average||Difference|
The best spinners
R Ashwin and Muttiah Muralitharan produced excellent bowling displays in the final to restrict Warriors to a below-par total. In fact, the Chennai spinners were by far the best in the tournament, averaging just over six in the Powerplay overs and stifling most teams in the middle overs. Of the total 54 wickets picked up by Chennai's bowlers, the spinners contributed 31 at an impressive average of just over 11.
|Team||Innings||Wickets||Economy rate||Average||Wickets (middle overs)||Economy rate(middle overs)||Average(middle overs)|
Raising their game when it matters
When they were close to elimination in the IPL 2010, Chennai won six out of their last eight games. That was a longer tournament which allowed them to get away with a slow start. Here, there was little leeway, and they got into their stride straightaway, losing only a single match, and that too in the Super Over. They triumphed in a must-win match against Warriors before comfortably winning in the semi-final and final. They had a stunning record in the Champions League when they batted first, but a slightly more even record in the IPL.
|IPL 2010 overall||16||9||7|
|IPL 2010(1st half)||8||3||5|
|IPL 2010(2nd half)||8||6||2|
|IPL 2010(batting first)||8||5||3|
|Champions League overall||6||5||1|
|Champions League(batting first)||5||4||1|
Sharing the run-scoring burden
Two of the top four run-getters of the tournament were from Chennai, and this proved to be a huge factor in the final result. Suresh Raina played a superb hand in the rain curtailed semi-final against Bangalore, while Murali Vijay, the highest run scorer of the tournament, was highly consistent and played important knocks in the semi-final and final. Davy Jacobs of Warriors and South Australia's Michael Klinger were in fine form too, but Chennai had had greater depth, and more firepower.
|Michael Klinger||South Australia||5||226||7.66||56.50|
|Callum Ferguson||South Australia||5||200||9.09||50.00|
Chennai dominate the bowling department completely, with three of their bowlers among the top four wicket-takers in the tournament. Ashwin and Muralitharan turned the finals completely after a great start for the Warriors while Doug Bollinger was also among the wickets throughout. Shaun Tait's lethal pace was a major factor in South Australia's success, but he had an ordinary game in the semi-final resulting in their exit. Johan Botha and Rusty Theron were also consistent all tournament but they just didn't have enough runs to play with it in the final.
|Daniel Christian||South Australia||5||9||8.23||17.22|
|Shaun Tait||South Australia||4||8||7.75||15.50|
Overall, the 2010 Champions League produced far more runs and boundaries than the 2009 edition, which was slightly surprising considering the fact that the previous hosts had been India, where pitches normally favour batsmen. The 2009 edition had lower average scores and poor batting performances by the IPL teams, but two out of four semi-finalists this time were from the IPL. The number of fours and sixes also went up in the 2010 tournament, clearly suggesting a better batting performance.
Both Chennai and New South Wales, the 2009 champions, lost just one game on their way to the title. While Chennai lost to Victoria in a Super Over, New South Wales lost a close game to Trinidad after a blitz by Kieron Pollard. Chennai were the better batting side, with a higher average and scoring rate. The stats for the bowling department, though, were even. Chennai's bowling average was marginally better but New South Wale's economy rate, which was below six, was better than that of Chennai.
|Team||Innings||Runs scored||Run-rate||Batting average||Wickets||Economy rate||Bowling average|
|New South Wales||6||884||7.90||27.62||49||5.91||13.79|