What a fitting finish to the first edition of IPL Tournament. Had never imagined that the final would turn out to be such a close finish. Both the teams performed well. Great match for the cricket followers and that too after two totally one sided semi finals. There were many close finishes in the tournament but this one’s got to be biggest of them all- Its the Final match man. Its always different playing in the finals. One cannot rule out any side or declare any side as clear favorites considering their previous performances. And both Rajasthan and Chennai coming in to the finals by clean sweeping their opponents in the Semi Finals suggested that it could turn out to be a thriller and it did.
Rajasthan won the toss and put Chennai in to bat first. Chennai got off to a decent start and with Vidyut, Patel and Morkel all chipping in with useful runs before they were sent back to the pavilion by “Yusuf Pathan- Man of the day”. Raina was all set and was looking good but Watson came back to pick hi, up in his second spell. And Dhoni could not get to face many deliveries but he did play his shots to guide Chennai to 163 in 20 overs. With the outfield slow and with likes of Nitin, Gony, Muralitharan, Balaji the score was a formidable target to defend.
Rajasthan missing the services of Graeme Smith, suffering from Hamstring injury, started off cautiously. But then N Patel got out cheaply and Akmal followed him soon. But Asnodkar continued his great form and was looking all set but then Morkel sent him back with a lovely delivery. Rajasthan were really missing the services of their great opening Pair Smith- Asnodkar. Now it was up to the big hitters Watson and Yusuf Pathan to get Rajasthan back on track. As usual they got to their business with Pathan being a bit late to open up. But Murali got Watson clean bowled. Just when Rajasthan started to feel the pressure, Yusuf Patahn got to his business clearing the rope, hitting firmly. But two quick wickets in the form of out of form Kaif and Jadeja Rajasthan now had to rely on their captain and in form Pathan to guide them till the end. 21 runs required in 14 deliveries, victory in sight, but tragic stuck, Pathan got run out, superb effort by Raina. Tanvir in middle along with captain/coach Warne. Tanvir had to repeat his ICC Twenty20 world cup heroics here. And the match went into the final over with Rajathan needing 8 runs. And some quick singles and some bad bowling by Balaji, the match went into Last ball suspense. “1 run off 1 ball” this always sends shivers down my spine. And Tanvir held onto his nerves to score off the last ball. What a victory for Rajasthan Royals. They deserved the victory.
Rajasthan started the tournament with a defeat against Delhi but they came back strongly winning 11 of their 14 league games and then drubbing past Delhi in Semi finals and then the photo finish to win the Inaugural IPL tournament :). Yusuf Pathan was “Man of the Match” :). This will be his memorable performances and that too under pressure. He did great with the ball sending three top order batsmen to the pavilion there by restricting Chennai’s total. And then came out in the middle when Rajasthan needed his services and he did started off nervously but as its said “Its better late then never” he opened up later in the innings to guide them to victory. He really deserved the Man of the Final Match. Commendable performance by Chennai Super Kings, they were not the favs but they did give Rajasthan run for the Cup. Great captaincy by Dhoni, no wonder why he is the captain of Indian Cricket Team ;). Both the teams played well as one unit, and the crowd had hell lot of a time- both in the ground and in front of the TV :D.
So its end to the 44 day long tournament which included 59 matches out of which some were drab matches :(. There were loads of prizes given out in the massive presentation ceremony:). I will list them here:
- Man Of the match – Yusuf Pathan
- Best U-19 player of the tournament- Shreevats Goswami (Something to cheer about for the B’lore RCs 😉 )
- Orange cap- Shaun Marsh– 616 runs – Highest in the tournament
- Purple Cap- Sohail Tanvir– 22 wickets- Highest in the tournament
- (Any particular reason for only these colors being chosen and not others 😉 ?)
- Fair play award of the tournament: Chennai Super Kings (Kings- Got to be fair, Isn’t it?)
- Man of the Series- Shane Watson – 474 runs and 17 wickets
And other team prizes for Runners up and Winners. All the players are richer by huge amount 😛
Good Bye IPL 😦