Fan Following

Never mind the letdown

No match worth the name, but a result to please the hordes of Chennai fans

Ariel Jackson
05-May-2009
Shadab Jakati took his second consecutive four-wicket haul, Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers, IPL, 29th match, East London, May 4, 2009

Jakati: making four-fors a habit  •  AFP

Team supported
Chennai Super Kings. They represent southern India, where I hail from. And I like MS Dhoni as an inspiring leader.
Key Performer
Once again it was Shadab Jakati, the new "mystery" slow left-arm spinner. Not forgetting Dhoni's crucial knock.
One thing I would have changed about the match
I would have had Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs firing on all cylinders, which would have made for a closer match.
Face-off I relished
Albie Morkel v Herschelle Gibbs. It was short-lived, and Albie had the last laugh. Also, RP Singh v Dhoni. Dhoni won all the way.
Star-spotting
Sivamani, the indefatigable drummer. Always cheerful, never says no if one wants a photograph with him.
Wow moment
Dhoni's six off Pragyan Ojha over long-on left us gasping. It was simply breathtaking. There were a couple of Dwayne Smith moments that were also worthy of some fireworks.
Cheerleader factor
Chennai Super Kings all the way. Their cheerleaders are by far the best I have seen in this edition of the IPL, and they are ably assisted by Sivamani.
Crowd meter
Not surprisingly (since it was a Monday) the crowds were thinner. Still, there were more than enough people to raise a racket when the signature horn was played by the DJ. The Super Kings might have felt they were playing in Chennai because of the support visible on the ground. One six hit by Smith over midwicket came near where we were sitting. A little fellow tried desperately to latch on to it in vain.
Local hero
The local hero I wanted to see on the ground was Makhaya Ntini, who did not play. The others, Gibbs and Morkel, were greeted warmly, but not at the decibel level reserved for JP Duminy on Mayday.
Overall
It was a letdown. Two super teams enacting a one-sided show. Chennai's fielding leaves a little bit to be desired. The Chargers: pathetic batting, worse bowling.
Marks out of 10
Super Kings - batting and bowling: 9, fielding: 6
Chargers - batting and bowling: 5, fielding: 6

Ariel Jackson has been living in South Africa for almost 20 years. He has never missed an international cricket match in East London during this period. He expects the Mumbai Indians to do well this IPL season. Beyond cricket, Jackson likes reading, writing, watching films, listening to Indian music, and writing screenplays. You can read his blog here