M1 – CSK vs KKR. Fortunes favoured the bold ! Apr. 8.
After the ICC World Cup its now time for India to brace the “Cricketainment”. I could not witness the unleashing of the IPL sans Lalith Modi and my favorite CSK for this season. A visit to the God’s abode clashed with CSK’s first match on the home turf. However the former was given a go ahead after a considerable deliberation since I can pray for my teams triumph too. That, I considered a twin advantage. I entrained the Saptagiri express en route to Thirupathi in company with my friend. It was a good move to buy THE TIMES OF INDIA since it would help kill the time during the journey. The first page of the newspaper heralded the arrival of the IPL 4. The name and the logo of the sponsor , a big fish from the realty development sector and the ubiquitous image of a batsman launching himself into a blitzkrieg mode, depicted by a swoosh. “If such was the cynosure on this event , the sports page would make an interesting read” I said to myself. Within a blink of an eye my fingers deftly ignored the rest of the leaves and went straight to the last cover. For the next half an hour my eyes were buried in print. Speculations about the probable team combination were rife. Dhoni’s desire to repeat everything , Andy Bichelle being the new bowling coach, The new fishes in the kettle all made an interesting read.
Left with a cell phone which was not topped up , I was in the dark about the match. I was to an extent bothered about the outcome since we were up against a new look KKR which on paper looked EVEN STEVENS in comparison with the CSK. My friday was consumed largely by the visit to Thirupathi. After bidding adieu to God , I reached my home the next day when the clock read 1.00 am. The first question which I shot to my father who opened the door was who won the match ?? The answer sounded music to my ears. A voice from the bed room followed claiming that the match was a cliff hanger and CSK prevailed in the end. I started imagining in my minds eye and was in oblivion about the fatigue which I thought was bothering me to no ends. I was back right in front of the Idiot box. After surfing and choosing the right channel I was lucky enough to watch the highlights of the match right from the beginning. I parted ways with slumber.
SRK electrified the stadium with his live wire performance. Ironically his KNIGHTS were not able to RIDE on the initiatives offered by the opposition. CSK won the toss and their captain chose to wield the willow. Murali Vijay who had intentions to ride on his purple patch last season left in a hurry. Anirudha Srikkanth , who was at the other end , managed to raise few an eye brows with his place as an opener in the team. Nevertheless , he justified the faith his captain had on him by launching into lusty blows. The bulky boy playing in his own backyard was aided by luck and he capitalized big time. Albeit his counterpart Yusuf Pathan had it in short supply. Yusuf , (or was it Kamran Akmal in Yousuf’s attire ?) who was brought into the attack by Gambhir prompted A.Srikkanth to go down the pitch. The latter mistimed the shot. Just when everyone thought Yousuf nailed him , he revealed his real intention. Eventhough Yousuf had enough time to yawn in between, the burly PATHAN grassed a plump chance. After a few minutes it was deja vu time for Yusuf . This time he dropped the same batsman off BALAJI at extra cover. He was piling up his miseries meanwhile A.SRIKKANTH was riding high on his luck. KKR’s fielding hit the nadir when they went on a CATCH DROPPING SPREE. Meanwhile Raina was getting into his groove and played some shots which had elegance written all over it. When his presence in the middle was needed the most , he departed. Dhoni walked in and the crowd broke into a frenzy. He showed no signs of World Cup hangover. An industrious 24 came from his bat. Jacques Kallis produced a short pitched delivery and the cappie was caught napping. It was Albie the power-play Morkel who walked in next. Anirudha ran out of his luck when he succumbed to Kallis. His foot work was impressive and the commentators claimed that he used the crease well. Sort of SON RISE ! Kallis bowled the last over to his national team mate Morkel. Morkel lived up to his reputation of being an annihilator. The last over saw him blasting Kallis all over the park for fours and sixers. CSK managed 153 runs !
A lesser known Bisla and the seasoned Kallis gave a blazing start for the visitors. New entrant Tim Southee was at one point sent to the cleaners consecutively. Runs were flowing thick and fast from KKR batsmen through mighty hits and edges. Dhoni summoned his slow bowlers. Ashwin , Randiv , Jakati and Raina were launched to take the pace off the ball. Randiv very nearly brought him the result but Dhoni fumbling behind the stumps at the last moment meant Bisla was not leaving. Eventually he succumbed to Jakati in similar fashion and Dhoni redeemed himself this time. Gambhir promoted a big hitter ahead of him to accelerate the run rate. Yusuf’s arrival to the middle sent shivers down the spine of CSK fans. However he could not make his presence felt since he was ran out by a brilliant piece of fielding by MSD. Kallis when he was pouched by Badrinath at short leg off Ashwin made sure that the target was achievable. With the likes of Morgan , Gambhir , Tiwary and Shukla waiting in the ranks , KKR was walking firmly towards victory. MSD , on the contrary was collecting thoughts and hatching plots to halt KKR.
Raina’s entry as a bowler saw Morgan’s exit. Dhoni’s left his wicket in disarray when Morgan tried to go down the track. Gambhir had a short stint in the crease. His stay was cut short by a brilliant Styris. Gambhir sent the ball down to deep mid wicket. Albie fumbled first but collected the ball and directed it towards MSD. Styris collected it and hit the stumps in no time. Randiv was called in and Tiwary deftly sent the ball to third man for a four. The over was eventful since it saw two sixers by Tiwary and a stumping by MSD. Tiwary was back into the hut when his presence was badly required in the middle. He could have easily saw his team home. The last over was bowled by Tim Southee. The batting side needed nine runs to seal the game. Shukla succumbed in the second ball. KKR needed four runs off the last ball. Southee sent down a telling yorker to deny them the much needed boundary. CSK stole the match from right under KKR’s nose.
A CAMPAIGN BEGINNING WITH A WINNING START………….. Hope they continue the winning streak !!!!