We were well and truly outplayed

We were well and truly outplayed

At the end of a long campaign, a hesitant start followed by a record-breaking winning run, we were well and truly outplayed by the Chennai Super Kings. Playing in front of their home crowd, enjoying the benefits of a five-day rest since the first Qualifier, CSK produced just about the perfect performance.

They won the toss and opted to bat first on a slow pitch, where everybody knew batting was going to get more difficult as the evening wore on. Then their openers produced a brilliant start, rotating the strike and dispatching anything off the correct line. They were patient and ruthless in equal measure, reaching 159 without loss in the 15th over.

A target of 205 was always going to be really challenging, and CSK’s perfect day continued when they dismissed the in-form Chris Gayle without scoring in the first over. The West Indian opener has been in the form of his life over the past month or so, making the art of batting look ridiculously easy. To have battered 608 runs in 12 innings, at a strike rate of 183.13, has set a new standard of batting in T20 cricket.

Virat Kohli has enjoyed an excellent tournament as well and, for a while, he and I tried to settle the innings and lay the platform for a strong chase, but CSK maintained the pressure and deservedly won their second successive IPL title.

I think everybody would agree the tournament has been an outstanding success. It may have started in the shadow of an Indian victory in the ICC World Cup, but the sustained quality of cricket and the relentless excitement in this format of the game has delivered growing audience figures and a genuine buzz in the grounds.