Kallis-Bisla stun Chennai to hand Kolkata maiden title
Chennai were the favorites to win this one, especially after posting a mammoth 190 at their home ground. But there were a certain Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis, who thought otherwise and which helped Kolkata win its maiden title in their first attempt.
The stage was set for the grand finale. After a gruelling schedule and some non-stop entertainment, the Indian T20 league reached its climax and here is a little summary of how the finalists crawled their way through.
Chennai - Did not even look a mere shadow of their ‘defending champions’ tag as they trudged along the tournament in a very unlikely fashion. Their team, unlike otherwise, failed to get the match-winners when required. It required the underdog Hyderabad to beat Bangalore at their own den which allowed Chennai a backdoor.
Kolkata - One of the most star-studded teams in the tournament. Best team on paper but that has been their scenario since the evolution of this league. But this time, led under the spirited captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, they came up with some strong performances. They had their trump card in Sunil Narine and their captain himself, gobbled up most of the scoring tasks.
MA Chidambaram was packed as MS Dhoni won the toss and he had no issues in electing to bat first. He felt that there was enough grass on the pitch to be exploited later on by his bowlers.
Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay gave Chennai a top start. They just did not look to blindly smack the ball but went on finding the odd boundary here and there with some good-looking shots. They amassed 54 runs in the Quick Start Overs.
The stand was broken only after 87 runs were made but that did not stop the carnage. In came the out-of-form, Suresh Raina, and he played a magnificent innings along with his fellow south-paw, Michael Hussey. Vijay faltered in the 40’s but Suresh Raina carried along and scored some breath-taking shots. Sunil Narine, the player who has not been picked for his spin variations fell to Raina, who also ended up giving Narine his worst spell of the tournament. In the end, Suresh Raina ended with the Batting Momentum of 169.
Kolkata lost Gambhir very early to Hilfenhaus. The other opener Manvinder Bisla, who is known for his brave array of strokes, kept up the asking rate in the hunt with some awe-inspiring stroke-play. The constant run down to the fast bowlers and smacking them for boundaries were a treat to watch. He tagged along with the experienced Jacques Kallis and they put up a enthralling stand of 136 runs off just 82 balls. They kept the shots going on and the crowd fell silent for a moment as their home side were in some trouble. Soon, Bisla departed but not after constructing a match-winning 89 runs. The turning moment came as two more wickets fell in the upcoming three overs.
20 runs were needed off 2 balls and the responsibility fell on the experienced shoulders of Ben Hilfenhaus. He did a good job for the first four balls conceding just four runs and then plucked out the main wicket of Jacques Kallis. But then he committed the blunder by bowling a no-ball for height and three runs were taken off that ball. That was the turning point as Shakib Al Hasan finished the over with a boundary.
Last over horrors were always a part of cricket and Dwayne Bravo was supposed to bowl it. Nine runs were required off the final over with Manoj Tiwary and Shakib Al Hasan to bat it out. Two singles off the first two ballls but then Tiwary scored two back-to-back boundaries to seal the victory for Kolkata.
Manvinder Bisla was named the Man of the Match for his match-winning knock of 89 runs off just 48 balls, who also topped the overall Performance charts with 73. However on the Castrol Index, Chennai edged out Kolkata inspite of a loss with a ratio of 63-57.