Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chennai spoil Mumbai's party - And the DJ ruined the spectator's party

This is my 5th article for ESPN Cricinfo Portal. It's the IPL T20 Tournament Eliminator Match Review between Mumbai Indians vs  Chennai Super Kings played at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on 28th May, 2014 and published on ESPN Cricinfo, next morning.
Choice of game
Since Mumbai was hosting the eliminator and a qualifier game, I decided to go for both. I am a Mumbai Indians fan, but this time I wanted Chennai Super Kings to win, because they are one of the most consistent teams in the IPL. They are a strong team. They have a powerful batting line-up who chase down any opposition's score in the game well.
Team supported
Though Mumbai managed to somehow qualify for this eliminator and the home crowd was vociferously supporting them, I knew in the back of my mind, even before the match started, that Chennai would win it.




Key performer
Suresh Raina was due for a big score in the tournament not having done that well in this year's tournament so far. The unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of Suresh Raina and David Hussey won the game hands on for CSK. For Mumbai, Lendl Simmons was the key performer. He has been consistent as an opening batsman for them and scored a well-deserved half-century.
One thing I'd have changed about the match
I would have changed the DJ, who was not really entertaining the spectators before the start, during the match or even during the mid-innings.
Face-off I relished
Corey Anderson had just played one of the best T20 innings, and is the reason why Mumbai made it to the eliminator game. R Ashwin has been one of the consistent bowlers for his team. After a quickfire 20 off 10 balls, Anderson tried to sweep Ashwin, but top-edged him to Ishwar Pandey at deep backward square leg.
Wow moment
After the first six hit by Kieron Pollard went flying into the crowd at midwicket, the big screen flashed the message: "Ab ki baar, stadium ke paar [This time outside the stadium]". Pollard tried to oblige, hitting a very high aerial shot off Ashish Nehra, but it was held by Mohit Sharma.
Shots of the day
Simmons hit two sixes after he got to his half-century. He first hit Ravindra Jadeja for a one in the 15th over, the ball effortlessly clearing long-off, and then Nehra in the 16th over long-on.
Hardship factor
Getting to the stadium and exiting it were very easy since it is located just opposite the Churchgate railway station. I reached the stadium early to secure a good seat. The security checks were quick. There were no specific seat numbers allocated. The seating was spacious, and the chairs were comfortable, though you hardly sit and watch while the game is on.



Entertainment
Sixes were followed by smoke released from machines installed in various locations around the stadium. Before the match began, someone from the broadcasting team flew what looked like a remote-controlled camera to record the crowd, which waved at it.

Before the match began, they showed the live telecast of the first qualifier in Kolkata, so we got to watch that.


Overall
8. Chennai were the better team and the deserving winners. The experience of watching the game at the Brabourne Stadium was a refreshing change as compared to the regular experience at the Wankhede Stadium. The crowd atmosphere was good, though it could have been noisier, with more slogans and at least one Mexican wave.

The link to the article on ESPN Cricinfo Portal
http://www.espncricinfo.com/thestands/content/story/748587.html

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