Super Kings bag IPL trophy

Super Kings bag IPL trophy

Dhonis men trounce Mumbai Indians by 22 runs in the finals

Super Kings bag IPL trophy

Chennai Super Kings’ Suresh Raina (centre) celebrates the dismissal of Mumbai Indians’ Saurabh Tiwary with Mathew Hayden (R) and another teammate during the IPL-3 final match in Navi Mumbai on Sunday. PTI

The Indian captain marshalled his resources with customary poise and aplomb as the Super Kings ran out 22-run winners in front of a partisan, capacity crowd at the DY Patil Stadium.

Dhoni the batsman provided the momentum the Super Kings needed in the middle of the innings with a 15-ball 22, though the stand-out contribution in their competitive 168 for five came from man of the match Suresh Raina, with an unbeaten 57 (35b).

Raina was dropped twice, both easy chances, as the pressure and the stage appeared to get to the Indians. By contrast, the Super Kings pulled off some breathtaking catches, Raina in the forefront with a spectacular effort sprinting in from deep mid-wicket and diving forward to get rid of Saurabh Tiwary. The Mumbai Indians settled for 146 for nine, and a cash prize of Rs 3 crore for being second best.

Despite talismanic skipper Sachin Tendulkar courageously staving off the aftereffects of a split webbing, the Mumbai Indians were found wanting on the strategic front. The big-hitting Kieron Pollard was pushed down the order to number eight despite the required rate spiraling out of control; by the time the giant strode out to the middle, 55 were required off just 18 deliveries.

Pollard showed how much more damage he could have inflicted with more deliveries at his disposal with a 10-ball 27 that almost turned the game on his head, but his team-mates had left him with too much to do. He fell going for one big stroke too many, smartly caught at straightmid-off by Matthew Hayden in another victory for Dhoni’s ability to think out of the box, to effectively seal the game as a contest.

The final was played in the absence of BCCI president Shashank Manohar and secretary N Srinivasan, also the owner of the Super Kings, as battle lines were drawn ahead of Monday’s Governing Council meeting. On the field, though, the Super Kings were clear winners, of the IPL title and of Rs 6 crore. Bravo!