The Chennai Super Kings are the IPL 2010 champions. Defeating the title favorites Mumbai Indians by 22 runs in an exciting encounter, amidst the phenomenal atmosphere of the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, the Super Kings finally captured the trophy after having missed it out on the last two occasions.
Chennai Super Kings is the only side to have entered the semi final stage in all the three seasons of the tournament. They were the finalists in the inaugural IPL series where they lost the title to the Rajasthan Royals and ended their IPL-2 campaign with a loss at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-finals. For Mumbai Indians, which emerged as the strongest team this year, this was their first taste into the finals of the tournament after their lowly performances in the past two editions.
The evening for the grand finale was all set on fire by the scintillating performances by the magical AR Rehman, bollywood diva Bipasha Basu and heartthrob Shahid Kapoor during the closing ceremony preceding the final match. What more was required to set the pulses thumping ahead of an interesting encounter between the teams of the two India’s most favorite cricketers!
As the electrifying crowd in the stadium roared for the one and only Sachin, the toss flipped in favour of the Chennai skipper MS Dhoni who elected to bat first with the expectation of setting up a 160-plus total to put pressure on the Mumbai Indians which was already feeling the heat with the injury of their in-form captain Sachin Tendulkar.
Though Mumbai put a great bowling attack in the first half of the innings by restricting Chennai to just 58 runs in the first 10 overs, it came out as a smashing performance by the southpaw, Suresh Raina, who smashed 57 runs from just 35 balls hitting three boundaries and three maximums that brought his side back into the game. He remained unbeaten till the end.
Raina and Dhoni added crucial 72 runs off just 35 balls to take their side to a competitive total of 168 for five. Dhoni scored a quick 22 off 15 balls. Earlier in the innings, openers Matthew Hayden (17) and Murali Vijay (26) gave Chennai a decent start with Badrinath adding a modest 14 to the total.
Mumbai Indians put up a sloggy fielding with a couple of dropped catches and it was Dilhara Fernando who came out as the most successful bowler for his side with 2 wickets for 23. Kieron Pollard and Zaheer Kan took one wicket each.
A determined side as it had been throughout the event, the Mumbai Indians presented a rather poor show in their summit clash. With the first over going maiden, they lost Shikhar Dhawan in the second over. Though with a languishing run rate, both Sachin Tendulkar and Abhishek Nayar made their best efforts to take their team towards the winning end.
Abhishek Nayar, who got another life in the seventh over after Hayden dropped his catch at slips off a Muttiah Muralitharan ball, fell out in the eleventh over after scoring 27 runs in 26 balls. Harbhajan Singh was sent ahead of Pollard to accelerate the innings but he disappointed his side and went back with just one run in his kitty.
A breakthrough came for the Chennai side as they picked up the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar in the fourteenth over as he tried to pull up a shot off Jakati. He scored 48 runs in 45 balls.
Saurabh Tiwary couldn’t continue with his performance in the finals and went out for a duck while JP Duminy was picked at a score of 6. The fall of wickets in quick successions left the host to score a whooping 55 runs in the last three overs.
As the match appeared to be tilting towards the Chennai side, a turning point came with Keiron Pollard in the middle who slashed 22 runs in the eighteenth over off Bollinger. Though, Chennai got the command back when Morkel took the dangerous wicket of Pollard and Ambayati Rayadu in the penultimate over thereby killing all hopes of the title win for Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians finished their innings with a score of 146 at the fall of 9 wickets.
With this clash, Super Kings have managed four wins out of a total of seven matches against the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. As far as this season is concerned, Chennai won 9 out of their 16 encounters while the powerful side Mumbai had to face their fifth loss in 16 matches at the most crucial time in the tournament.
The post match presentation ceremony was marked by the ousted IPL Chairman Lalit Modi coming out with his speech in which his extended his gratitude to the players, officials, franchisees, staff, cricket boards of all the participating nations, the state governments and all concerned with the IPL. He further expressed the fact that all the decisions regarding the IPL were taken in full transparency and with the consent of the governing council but being the leader of the team he takes full responsibility for any flouts that may have occurred. He also spoke about his happiness in successfully realizing his dream of setting up a sports league in India.
Mumbai Indians batsman Saurabh Tiwary took away the award for the Best Under-23 Player of the Tournament. The adjudicators for the award were Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and MAK Pataudi.
Sachin Tendulkar won the Player of the Tournament award as well as the Orange Cap for being the highest run scorer of the tournament.
Pragyan Ojha of Deccan Chargers got the Purple Cap for being the highest wicket taker this season.
The Fair Play Award of the tournament went to the Chennai Super Kings.
Auhtor: Meenal Johari (Agra)