Chennai Super Kings 205 for 5 beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 147 for 8 (Ashwin 3-16) by 58 runs
Man of the match: M Vijay
It was a perfectly scripted victory by the Chennai Super Kings. That would be the best way to describe the mauling they gave the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL final on Saturday night. Almost everything went according to plan for M S Dhoni’s men in yellow. They won the toss and batted first on a slowish pitch. Their openers, who had not put their best foot forward in recent games, came to the party and registered a record opening wicket partnership. Chennai ended up with a score in excess of 200 and, most importantly, man of the tournament Chris Gayle was sent back for a duck in the first over. What more could Chennai have asked for as they successfully defended their IPL title.
Murali Vijay was the star of the match. He had an ordinary tournament till date. However, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Vijay combined with Michael Hussey in a sensational 159 run opening stand, which lifted Chennai to a mammoth total on their home ground. R Ashwin then took care of Chris Gayle, by sending him back in the opening over for a duck and virtually sealed the fate of the game.
Vijay and Hussey looked in little or no trouble as they went about building their match winning partnership. Interestingly, even as a number of big shots were played in the opening overs, there was hardly an element of risk in those. Very few chances were offered. There was one from Vijay in the 10 over, when he played a flick that only just cleared Luke Pomersbach near the boundary. Had the fielder judged it perfectly, he might still have been able to hold on to it. But, it wasn’t to be. He then slogged the next ball, but survived an edge. That was about it though as Vijay learnt from his mistakes and did not play any more rash shots until he was approaching his ton.
The opening partnership lasted for one ball less than 15 overs and both the players matched each other perfectly. Hussey played his chip shots and also drove well. Well the occasion arose, he lofted the ball and got his fours and sixes as well. However, for most part he was content rotating the strike. A majority of the big hitting was left to Vijay at the other end. Vijay timed his lofted strokes perfectly on the big day. In between, he placed the ball properly in the gaps and ran exceedingly well between wicket. As a result, Vijay started cramping up and eventually fell short of his ton by five runs. Before him, Hussey also fell. But, by that time a great platform had been laid.
After their job with the bat was done, the bowlers took over and did an equally good job. R. Ashwin gave Chennai the best possible start with the ball sending back Gayle off the third ball of the innings. In a smart move, Ashwin bowled two deliveries that turned away from Gayle. The third one came in and skidded on. Gayle tried to cut it, but only ended up falling into the trap and edging one behind to Dhoni. A B de Villiers came in and hit a few fours, but did not last long enough to trouble Chennai. He was trapped by Shadab Jakati and when Suresh Raina accounted for Virat Kohli, the faintest of Bangalore hopes had disappeared as well.
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