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IPL Final - lives upto its reputation!

What a final it turned out to be? The match got decided on the last ball and you cant ask for more. Tension, fear and trauma as it is the case with any last ball victory was all there. Great cricket and it was worth watching the full match.

Chennai Super Kings started off very well and was cruising along scoring 8 runs an over for the most part. All top order batsmen contributed to the total and when the stage was set for a big score after the end of 12 overs with only 2 wickets lost, the sudden slide or the slowness in run scoring crept in. Chennai Super Kings fell short by some 10-15 runs at the end due to some faulty tactics from the Captain. Added on to the fact of faulty tactics is the poor fielding by CSK. Yusuf Pathan was dropped on 13 and 33. Catches win matches is a very popular phrase and these two catches really tilted the balance as well.

But the full credit should go to Rajasthan Royals team. They fought hard and held on to the nerve till the last moment to score a win. Above that, they have been consistent performers during the league phase and they truly deserve to be the champions.

While watching the match yesterday, I felt both the teams felt the pressure of the big day and the game was not very natural, I would say. I also sometimes felt during the match why did CSK reach the final in the first place? Though I like Shane Warne led Royals as much as CSK, somehow the affinity to the team of your city has slowly but surely creeped in. You cant distance yourself from CSK and feel happy and sad when things go in favour or against them respectively. That is, a great success for IPL which tries to bring in that city based loyalty.

Overall, I think Chennai Super Kings lost the match due to the following reasons:

1. Albie Morkel was promoted to no.4 when Badrinath or Dhoni would have sustained the tempo. Morkel, agreed, is a big hitter, but he is unsure when playing the slower bowlers. He wasted many balls which finally made him go for the expansive shot which caused his wicket. His stay in the crease and the number of dot balls he gave, added more pressure on the batsman at the other end.
2. Instead of sending Badrinath, Chamara Kupgedara came in at no.6. Again a tactical mistake from Dhoni. Chamara K wasted good 12 balls and scored only 8 runs. When big hitting was expected at the end, it was a horrible sight to see batsmen scampering singles. Chamara has not played any big innings in this tournament so far, and I am at loss to know why he came in ahead of Badrinath.
3. Poor team selection - L Balaji was truly off-colour in the semi-final as well. But Dhoni persisted with him for the final as well. Balaji turned out to be the weakest link in the bowling. He was belted across the ground by all batsmen. Joginder Sharma or Palani Amarnath would have been a a better option instead of Balaji as the 5th bowler.
4. When the Balaji was being expensive, Dhoni didnt try to squeeze in a over from Raina.

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