What a champion like chase, by the Chennai boys. It is matches like these that make T20 the exciting format that it is. The Royal Challengers would have thought that they would end up winning since it was pretty much the score that they were asked to get in last year’s final. But then, champions are known to pull off that bit extra and that is exactly what the Chennai Super Kings did.
They got off to a good start in the chase which is so important. Du Plessis in earlier games had played some lovely straight batted shots over the straight and off field and he once again did that and with Vijay also getting the middle of the bat, the start was brisk. The skipper Dhoni knew that he had to lead from the front and he promoted himself up the order and kept them in the hunt. But when he was out, it looked a mountain too high to climb.
It is here that Vettori made a big blunder bringing on Virat Kohli. Now Kohli may be on song with the bat, but as a bowler he is what opposition batsmen are looking for to go over the top. Albie Morkel, who had been held back in the previous matches was set free and the powerful South African destroyed Kohli and with it took the game away from the Challengers.
For once the feisty Kohli looked lost as he saw ball after ball disappear into the stands. His slow leg-cutters were coming nicely into the natural swing off Albie Morkel’s bat. It was a brutal display and this year we have seen some devastating deeds from the South Africans.
Morne Morkel’s spell in Kolkata, Dale Steyn frightening bowling against Mumbai, the batting of Du Plessis and AB de Villiers and now all that is left is for their greatest cricketer, Jacques Kallis to strike form for this to be an event dominated by the Proteas.
The impressive run of the Pune Warriors was halted by a grassy pitch at Mohali. Having just seen the mayhem with the bat in the previous match, cricket lovers would have realised as soon as they saw the Mohali pitch that the ball was going to do the talking and that meant a low scoring game. It served the purpose and the Kings XI got on to the points table, but it would be interesting to see if they keep a similar pitch against teams that have a better pace attack than the Pune team.
The T20 format is popular because the spectators get to see plenty of big hitting, bowler bashing and run chasing. But pitches like the one in Mohali means that the batsman will be struggling and that does not give value to the spectators, and teams barely getting past 100, hardly makes it exciting. Still it was what the Kings XI wanted and now that they have opened the accounts on the points table, they will be a different side.
The Chennai Super Kings will be high on confidence after their breathtaking chase against their southern neighbours Royal Challengers Bangalore and with Pune Warriors having lost in Mohali, the odds would favour the defending champions.
Professional Management Group