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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Champions League T20 Finals - CSK set an easy target

After the first half with CSK needing only 128 for a win, things are looking very bright for CSK Dhoni and his men.  It is 15 minutes to 11 pm at Chennai.  Many Chennaites would be awake - happy with the progress so far, expecting an easy win for CSK.

The Organisers could not have expected a better podium fight as CSK with a huge Indian fans turnout playing a local team.  A good finals is on the cards.  Johannesburg has been a happy hunting ground for Dhoni. He lost the toss and DA Jacobs had no hesitation in choosing to bat first and set a formidable target.  In walked Aleem Dhar and RE Koertzen and Bollinger started running in.

Well the first ball was not delivered as there was a hold up. It took some irritating minutes before it was sorted with Bollinger and Ashwin speaking to the ground staff and the reserve umpire Asad Rauf climbing over the advt. hoardings. A good finals on the cards. Jacobs has so far been the highest scorer in the tournament. Teams are unchanged and Jacobs opened with Ashwell Prince. For CSK, Ashwin, Murali, Bollinger all have been amongst wickets with Ravichandran Ashwin leading the highest wicket takers.
When it happened, it was a clinical performance by CSK. After the beauty of a delivery, Davies struck in – the next two were fours. He was chancing and hitting at will - after 4 overs, Warriors were 39 and a big score was in the offing.

Ashwell Prince was not hitting the sweet spot and was first to go - out to a full from Bollinger. Davie Jacobs ungainly reverse sweep off the first ball he faced from Ashwin saw Rudi Koertzen raising his finger after some thought. The turning point perhaps. Murali showed his class, foxing Boucher and taking another wicket. Wickets fell at regular intervels. Raina was a live wire, was everywhere took a well judged catch yelling Murali Vijay to stay away. Anirudha was also good on the field. Balaji bowled a steady line save his final over when he was hit for 18. Murali the 800man bowled the final first two dot balls. Thyssen presented a simple catch to Anirudha at covers off the fourth. Just four in the final over. 4-0-16-3 reads his figure ; Ashwin finished with 2/16 off 4. A target of 129 seems eminently gettable with the much famed batting line up of CSK.

It was a methodical and clinical win in the end. CSK had really performed as a team with many contributing. Just a solitary loss that too in the super over. The youth brigade and wily seniors had all plotted it. The new stars are Murali Vijay, Ashwin and Anirudha Srikanth which will do Indian and State cricket lot good.
Chasing a modest total and getting along, Murali Vijay was distinctly lucky in the fifth over when he edged one; Boucher showing signs of old age did not go for the catch at all. The chance went abegging & Murali collected four runs also for that.

Just the type of people needed for chasing this s score - the experienced Mike Hussey partnering the prolific Murali Vijay. The only threat appears to be the mindset of playong to the target rather than the usual game.

Even when the match is on, one of the players is on mike and then Rudi was on for a lengthy time. Will it not be a diversion and impact the match is a valid Q - but would remain unanswered in present scenario where onfield happenings get directed elsewhere.

After 8 Boje came on, Vijay danced down with elan and played him over extra cover - one bounce - a statement of authority as to which team was dictating. Immediately another stumping chance went begging. That time he was 16 less than the aggregate of 286 in the tournament by Jacobs.

After ten - CSK were 65 without loss. Murali Vijay gets the golden bat and Ashwin, the ball - two to Chennai besides the cup. 100 came up with a straight six hit by Vijay. He left at 103 with little to be achieved by his teammates. His 58 came off 53 balls laced with 6 fours and two sixers. The winning runs came from Dhoni’s bat and Hussey also completed his fifty.

(the second part was posted subsequently)

Regards – Sampathkumar. S
PS: In TOI (Chennai Edition) today in the first page - photo caption reads 'Ingram out to Muralidharan ; actually it is that of D Jacobs getting out to Ashwin'.

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