Chennai are the Super Kings of IPL. CSK, who are the reigning champions, retained their crown by comprehensively beating RCB by 58 runs at the Chepauk on Saturday night.
The champions played ‘Total Cricket’ to walk past the Challengers from Bangalore with ease for the second successive IPL crown. It was the most lop-sided final in IPL history with the victory margin being the highest recorded in an IPL final.
Chennai had started the game with a dual advantage. They were playing at home where they have a 100% win record and their opponents were playing back-to-back matches. But CSK skipper Dhoni proved the gods were on his side when he won the toss to the third and most important edge in the final. Winning the toss on a slow track meant CSK had won half the battle even before the start of the game.
The victory was choreographed by man-of-the-match Murali Vijay and his opening partner Michael Hussey. It was a night for records and the CSK openers’ 159-run first wicket stand was the highest opening partnership in an IPL final. Vijay smashed a chanceless 95 off 52 balls and Hussey chipped in with a priceless 63.
Cricket pundits had been criticising Vijay for his inability to convert his good starts into big scores. And Saturday saw the Tamil Nadu opener answered his critics in the best possible way and on the biggest stage. His 95 includes six huge sixes and four boundaries. Vijay’s and Hussey’s partnership broke Bangalore’s back and CSK were looking good for 230-odd runs. But RCB staged a late fightback to restrict them to 205 for five.
RCB then had the worst possible start to their innings losing their talismanic opener Chris Gayle in the very first over for a duck. R Ashwin claiming the Orange Cap winner’s wicket for a second successive time. After that it was all downhill for the Challengers. RCB kept losing wickets at regular intervals. And once Virat Kohli was dismissed in the 10th over with the scoreboard reading 69 for five, it was all over for RCB. The formalities were completed once RCB ended their innings on 147 for 8. For the champions, Ashwin was the best bowler on display taking 3 for 16 from his four overs.