What a calculator is to Bengaluru fans, BP is a tablet to Chennai fans. Yesterday’s two matches proved this again. After Bengaluru won the first match yesterday against Rajasthan, chants of ‘E Salah’ started again. Karnataka Lions are sitting on the calculator, even though there are various complicated conditions like ‘that team should beat this team, this team should beat that team, but no team should beat this team, no team should beat that team’.
After seeing the condition of Bengaluru fans, they have sent the fans home on a night when the lions of Love Cave should have won and gone to the playoffs if they had boarded the Bharat train and come to Chennai. Yes, the last league match of the season in Chepauk ended in defeat to Chennai.
With this, Kolkata are still alive in the series and need to win the last match against Chennai or Delhi to easily secure a playoff spot. With 5 days left for the tournament, no one can predict how the table situation will turn into a riot. The yellow army has started to order PP pills saying ‘Cheers again…’.
Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat this time just like in the last Chepak match. He mentioned that Chennai pitch has changed a lot in the second half of the IPL and now it is a “Bad Burst” field. As usual there is no change in the team. Kolkata captain Nitish Rana also said “I would have chosen batting”. Vaibhav Arora replaces Anukul Roy in the team.
The Rutheraj-Conway duo took a slow approach to the powerplay. It is not even logical to say this. The reason is that this is how Chennai approached the entire game. Varun Chakraborty, who bowled his first over, dismissed Ruduraj Gaikwat for 17 runs among the openers who were chipping away at the cap for a boundary per over. At the end of the Powerplay, Chennai were 52/1, a somewhat comforting score.
Varun attacked again in the 8th over to send in Rahane and Chennai began to falter slightly at 61/2 in 8 overs. Ambati Rayudu was dropped by Shivam Dubey, who was good against spin. Conway, who had been living on the line of 100 strike rate for a long time, got out on 30 runs. The rest of the batters checked with no sign of it, the Chennai fans happily said, ‘Ok, now it’s the batting mode’.
Rayudu did not take advantage of his opportunity and in the very next over he lost the stumps in the spin of Narine. In the last ball of the same over, Narine bowled Moeen Ali with his carrom ball. Well, if the fans were expecting Dhoni to drop now keeping Jadeja’s form in mind, Jattu did. If Dhoni’s fitness is a reason for this, it’s a tricky thing for the team! Jadeja’s batting seemed to confirm that.
Dubey calmed down after hitting Aasi for a six, after which Chennai started playing in slow motion. In addition to the spin, they also tested the suppressor readings. Especially 13 – 15, just 11 runs in those 3 overs, and that too in singles. In Chepak, mothers were shouting to their children saying, “Sleep… Doni Wanda will wake you up”, while fathers were snoring.
At the end of 16 overs, they saw the scoreboard at the time out break! On arrival, Jadeja hit a six and Dube hit a six. Dubey again hit a six in the next over bowled by Varun. In the death over, two spinners bowled each over and gave away 31 runs. However, the last two overs bowled by the fast bowlers were the opposite. Only 5 runs in the 19th over bowled by Thakur!
Rana’s face turned red when the umpires informed him that an extra fielder had to stand inside the circle in the last over due to the slow over rate. Well, if you think Dubey-Jadeja will take advantage of this opportunity to form a good partnership, no one has touched the boundary. Dhoni also cheated when he came to the last two balls.
144/6 at the end of 20 overs. Even though 145 runs were ordinary, the fans were expecting Dhoni’s captaincy to bring about changes. A correspondingly good start was made by Deepak Sahar.
Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz were the openers. Deepak Sahar bowled the very last ball of the first over, Gurbaz was caught for a six by Deshpande on the boundary line. Venkatesh Iyer came in as an impact player. Just like the Ariya brothers asking ‘Brother, will you give me two milks’, Aasi hit two fours and got out with a catch to Jadeja in the next over. Sahar again bowled the 4th over and sent Jason Roy out, the score 33/3. ‘This match is for us’ shouted Chepakum.
But, after that, the pair of captain Nitish Rana and action finisher Ringu Singh realized the situation and started adding runs responsibly. As they didn’t need more runs, they turned only the wrong balls into boundaries and rotated only the strike on other balls. A couple of scattered fours, spaced sixes ensured that Kolkata’s score was well above the required run rate.
Only 19 runs needed in the death overs. 7 wickets in hand. From 33/3 to 126/3, the pair learned how to chase low scores. Ringu Singh, who had scored 54 runs, was run out in the 18th over, to no avail. Captain Rana ended the game by hitting a boundary in the next over. Ringu Singh was adjudged man of the match.
As this was the last league match to be played in Chepauk this season, a ‘thank you event’ was held to thank the fans. Banners reading “Yellorukkum Nandri” – Let’s Meet Again were placed all over the stadium and some gifts were given to the fans. That was the only consolation they got!
In any case, before the next match that Chennai will play, it will be known to some extent which teams, what situation and what Chennai will have to do. However, Chennai must win against Delhi to have a chance of finishing in the top 2. Otherwise, Chennai fans will have to look for a calculator with BP tablets.
More tragically, there are still opportunities to exit Chennai. Check it out boys!