The month long cricket carnival has come to an end. A new champion has been crowned. And it's time to take stock of what was and what wasn't in the final few days of the IPL.
Well to me Chennai's loss in the semis came as a bit of a shocker. I couldn't get down to writing a post about that game. But I'm over it now. For me Dhoni's decision to play Oram instead of Hussey backfired on him. It was a difficult call to make. Oram had played the whole tournament and added depth in the bowling department. Hussey had just come back from national duties and would have played his first IPL game of the season had he been given the chance. It was a tough call to make. With Mattie Hayden doing as well as he was in the tournament and the batting looking very good I'll give Dhoni the benefit of the doubt there. Most fans feel that Chennai's bowling let us down. But given the circumstances I think we performed really well in bowling. What let us down was the batting. Had the batsmen put on 10-15 more runs on the board then it would have been a very different game.
To take nothing away from Bangalore though. Chennai had got off to a flyer and B'lore did wonderfully well to come back the way they did. And they went about chasing down the score also in a very professional manner. They made the most of the initial fielding restrictions. Put together a couple of useful partnerships and they found the boundary whenever it was required.
The other semi was an all out Gilly show. It was batting at it's brutal best and even Sehwag had to admit that there was nothing he or his bowlers could do about it. I feel sorry for Delhi. They played the best cricket in the tournament. But Gilly has this uncanny ability to raise his game when it's a big one. And he did it again and sent Delhi packing.
So this year's finalists were actually last year's bottom finishers in the league table. Fantastic turnaround for both teams. B'lore had done magnificently to come to the final. They were not doing too well in the initial stages of the league. Only when Pietersen left and Kumble took over the reigns did B'lore's fortunes change. Chargers on the other hand had gotten off to a handsome start but faltered mid-way. Andrew Symonds's return added strength and dimension to the team and they made the most of that. Rohit Sharma and R.P. Singh played fantastically through the tournament and Deccan rode in to to finals.
It was a well fought final. B'lore bowled and fielded really well. But Deccan managed to strut together a few crucial partnerships and Gibbs played responsibly(not something that you'd associate with him!) to bat through the innings. It was a good total put up by the Chargers but not something that was beyond B'lore. B'lore's chase began in right earnest but they kept losing wickets. There was a brief time, when Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli were batting, that B'lore looked to be in control of the game. But Symonds's match- changing over, when he managed to dismiss both of them in two consecutive balls, swung things the Chargers way.
In the end the Deccan Chargers prevailed and were crowned IPL CHAMPIONS 2009.
The closing ceremony was an insipid affair. I couldn't sit through Akon's non sense. Now this is a man who sells his music through his vulgar lyrics and perverted videos. What were the organizers thinking in bringing him on for the closing ceremony? One would have liked to see the IPL babes in swim suits and things like that. But there was nothing of that sort. And Katrina Kaif had far too many clothes on to be interesting. So that was that.
Anyways.... the IPL was a great way to pass off the evenings during this summer. I hope Chennai will do better next year. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts this IPL. Thank you. Will be back next year also. :)