It was yet another CSK style finish. It was an interesting battle of wits where former teammates faced off as captain. Ashwin surprised by unleashing Gayle on and it was a day when everything Gayle hit turned to Gold. He was on a 6 hitting spree along with Rahul as Punjab followed Mumbai Indians strategy of going all out in the Powerplay. With 92 runs in the powerplay, Punjab was all set for a 230 plus score.
But the problem with Punjab was that they were a top-heavy team so once we got rid of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul there was a good chance of coming back into the match and restricting Punjab below 200. And that’s exactly what happened. Finch came and went in the blink of an eye ( Still sulking about missing his honeymoon ?) and Yuvraj who is well past his prime has never got going this tournament. Despite a few shots from Manayak Aggarwal Punjab never really got going despite a great start and Bravo’s end overs ensured that they fell well shot.
But CSK was plagued by their own problem of injuries. In a side filled with people who were at the wrong side of 30’s injuries have been our main worry. Murali Vijay walked in to replace the injured Raina and never really got going, Watson too got out for a few which meant the onus was once again on Ambati Rayadu till Dhoni found his touch. Ambati Rayadu has been our most valuable player for CSK reminding us of Badrinath. The perfect team man who does what the team is required and he was busy right from the start.
At the other end, Dhoni showed intent right from the word go settling in as quickly as he can. But an inspirational piece of fielding from Ashwin sent Rayadu back after a good partnership which got them back into the match. Dhoni and Jadeja waited and waited until Dhoni activated his finisher mode clearing the fence at will. Once again a recovery from a hopeless position.
Finally, it came down to 17 from the last over. But Dhoni’s back injury hampered him while Mohit Sharma consistently landed the ball outside the off stump. Despite Dhoni’s best IPL innings we just couldn’t finish it.but Dhoni’s finisher avatar took us back in time and gave us something to cherish.