Chennai Super Kings Vs. Kolkata Knight Riders: Enjoyable.
I never thought I’d get into this. The IPL frenzie, I mean. Too much of pompous marketing hype, and a proof of what would happen if cricket was more than cricket and added bollywood and cheerleaders to the mix – thats what I thought. I had initially gotten some tickets from a friend, and had passed it on to some friends who showed more interest than me in the game. But when a couple of tickets were offered by a close family friend with the best seats in the stadium, it was a bit tempting to say yes, than to put it down and Yes I said.
This is the first time I am watching a live cricket match in the Chennai stadium and I am no sports reporter. So I hope the readers of this blog will be lenient should this fall short of an actual coverage.
The game was to start at 4pm today, but the ticket said that folks would be expected there a good two hours beforehand. Knowing how our folks have no sense of time these days – or are just enjoying an extra hour or so lazing on a saturday – we decided to play the first mover advantage and head to the stadium early. We reached there at around 2:45. The sun was still out. It was fairly hot, but a couple of folks – Mirchi Suchi, Benny Dayal etc were trying to keep a few people occupied and entertained with their live music.
At around, 3:30, the teams started coming in, and were going about their routine of stretches and excercises, and ten minutes before the game, the coin was tossed and Kolkata won it, preferring to bat.
As I said, I had no interest in this. IPL felt like this lavish noble of Rome buying and selling away gladiators to prove a point. I didn’t even know who all were having whom under their arsenal, except for the news-making Dhoni whose price-tag made headlines. For one, I was pleasantly surprised that there were quite a few new faces on the turf, and the Chennai team looked quite decent with a mix of batters and bowlers. I mean, do you need anyone else for bowling when you have Murali on the team? Sheesh. Nope, Me thinks.
So, skipping through the ball-by-ball acount, the Knight riders scored 147 losing all wickets, and it was upto the Super Kings to chase them. They won the match with Dhoni removing his helmet and blasting the last ball flying to the boundary when all we needed was one run to Win. Our man sure has style when it comes to granting the death knell I must say.
There were a couple of pretty interesting moments in the game. For one, the energy level of the audience was amazing.The audience was extremely engaged with the game. I mean, they managed to go on a few tides of the mexican wave and were absolutely interacting with the players. The game was very well organized that whenever the “noise level” went down, there was always a drum beat by Sivamani or a rajini track which would jolt the spectators to a rupture of support.
Some of the golden moments in the game was when Ponting got out. He walked in, took the batting end and gave a clean catch on the first ball. Walked out even before asking anyone. Gotta love players with a fabulous spirit of sportsmanship. On the other hand, the so-called Run-out of Shukla was quite interesting.
I guess there was a fair bit of expectations from the crowd hoping for Shah Rukh. The entire excitement would have been atleast a few times higher if he was there. It seems he didnt make it. Contrary to popular belief that the locals are totally backing their teams, there was more than a fair share of support for the knight riders and especially for Ganguly. He did walk out with with less than 20 runs and a lot of wasted balls, but I personally know of a few who lost their cheers post that.
I doubt a post on the IPL is barely complete without a comment on the so-called Cheerleaders. Well, I have to say that the Knight riders were pushing it a bit. They did have a wee bit over-excited and scantily dressed women going at it, but knowing Shah rukh, and the glitsy world that he comes from, its almost his signature on it – just as much the kingfisher airhostesses are Mallya’s signature.
The Chennai “Cheerleaders” are definitely on the conservative side, and i doubt that being on home town the crowd needed cheering. All said and done, and for the initial skeptism that I was brooding on, this match was one to remember!