However, the match only underscored the point that the real stars of the tournament are players like Ashok Dinda, who ensure that irrespective of the nature of the pitch or form of the bowlers, the spectators will be treated to plenty of fireworks.
Mumbai Indians chose to bat on what, according to Ravi Shastri, was an excellent batting surface. (He later he clarified that he meant it as just another reflexive cliché). Much to Mumbai Indians disappointment, Sachin Tendulkar failed to not trouble the scorers and got off to a sedate start before taking advantage of the field restrictions to hit a boundary and a six.
Even as worry lines started to appear on the faces of some Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans, ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja got the breakthrough for the Mumbai Indians by getting rid of Tendulkar.
Sachin Tendulkar: “Absolutely no shame in giving my wicket to Sir Jadeja” #MIvsCSK
Soon it was left to Rohit Sharma to essay a 20-minute stay at the crease to steer his team to a respectable, albeit yawn inducing, score. Ben Laughlin also brought a few moments of genuine mirth with his efforts in the last over to push towards 139. Things were getting so boring that even Ravi Shastri ran out of clichés to describe the soporific fare on display.
Meanwhile, discussions during lunch break veered around the team selection for the Champions Trophy.
Energy levels in the CSK camp was low during the innings break, with some players even suggesting that Sir Jadeja be promoted up the order to finish the match within the first six overs itself. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, would have none of it and insisted that the boys plan for a last ball finish.
Hussey accordingly tried to do his bit by repeatedly scything the ball to Kieron Pollard at point, whose fingers — still greasy after five vada paavs — spilled sitters off three consecutive deliveries. Later, this is what Rohit Sharma had to say:
Murali Vijay showed how it’s done by expertly driving away from his body to induce a thick inside edge and uprooted his off-stump. The perfect start that CSK could have hoped for.
Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath departed in quick succession and it seemed that we may yet have a match on our hands.
Someone wake up Shastri to tell him we have a match on our hands #MIvsCSK
However, Dhoni felt that it was still too easy and promoted Ashwin up the order to face up to Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin got bowled all ends up in going for a cute late cut and fans will debate for years whether it was a case of Ashwin making Harbhajan look like Ashwin or Harbhajan making Ashwin look like Harbhajan.
Soon, Dhoni was at the crease, with the required run-rate creeping towards double digits. However, his swagger gave way to panic after he learnt that he would have to negotiate four mind numbing, mentally excruciating overs from Pragyan Ojha.
He immediately holed out to Pollard at long off who knew that spilling a fourth catch could invite a CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] raid. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
Had Pollard dropped a 4th catch, CBI would have raided him. Whew. #MIvsCSK
‘Sir’ Jadeja finally came in at a time when even ‘Sir’ Jadeja would not have been able to make a difference. It was all over save for some lame Sir Jadeja jokes and a collective thoo from Chennai fans. All in all, a fine comeback from Mumbai Indians who promptly dedicated the memorable win to ‘God’.
Meanwhile, ‘Sir’ Jadeja faced the wrath of the mortal establishment…
(“Unreal Mama” is the pen name under which CS Krishna and Karthik Laxman, the founding editors of The Unreal Times (www.theunrealtimes.com), write fictional news reports, dressing room conversations and other such articles marrying humour with satire. The Unreal Times is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal.)