You may have heard ‘Manchester United’ winning a ‘Double’ or an Inter Milan winning a ‘Double’, but times have changed. Chennai Super Kings have now become the first Cricket Club to win the ‘Double’ by winning the IPL and Champions League in the same year. Chennai Super Kings have beaten the Warriors comprehensively by 8 wickets to win the trophy and take home the biggest prize money in Cricket, a hefty $2.5 million. This has been the perfect ending to what has been 3 terrific years for Chennai Super Kings. I say this as an ending as the IPL 4 auctions will mean that it would be a new look team from now on.

It would not be wrong to say that Chennai was the most formidable team of the tournament and that they thoroughly deserved to become champions. This fact was further proved in the awards ceremony as they swept away all the awards.  While Murali Vijay won the Man-of-the-Match (58 runs) and Golden Bat Award (highest scorer in the tournament), R Ashwin won the Golden Wicket Award (highest number of wickets) and Man-of-the-Series Award. Apart from Vijay and Ashwin, one must not forget the vital contributions of Raina, Muralidaran, Bollinger, Badrinath, Hussey and ofcourse the captain cool MS Dhoni in this successful campaign, where they lost just 1 match and that too in the Super Over.

Warriors had won the toss and decided to bat first in the big final. They got off to a good start scoring 39 runs in 4 overs without losing a wicket. It was then that the trouble began for Warriors and it was all Chennai after that. Ashwin got their most consistent batsman and captain Jacobs (34 of 21 balls) LBW and the innings fell away completely. Warriors could only manage 128/7 in 20 overs. Muralidaran(3 wickets for 16), Ashwin (2 wickets for 16) put the screws on the batting and ensured Chennai were well on their way to the Champions League crown.

If Warriors had any chance of defending the target successfully, they had to take early wickets. But in-form Vijay (58) and Hussey (51*) took Chennai to a position of strength and safety. In the end, MS Dhoni came in and finished off the match with an over to spare, scoring 17* in 12 balls.

There were huge on-field celebrations from Chennai players, led by Raina, who was over the moon. Dhoni described the moment as an emotional one saying:

“It’s the last time we’re playing as a unit. Can’t end it better, winning the IPL and now the Champions League. It’s a very emotional moment for us. Fleming took over as coach and we wanted to create an atmosphere that was good for the younger players. The senior players have really done a good job. Am really happy with the performance in the knockout stages. We had banked on the spinners throughout, but the line that Ashwin bowled with Murali was crucial. Balaji was very good as well. The start of the tournament, a few of the players were infected with flu. The environment has been superb, we got a lot of support in Durban. It was 50-50 support for both sides here. It can’t get any better than this.”

The fact that any IPL team can retain only up to 4 players in their squad for IPL 4 and the rest of them would go into a fresh pool for auction will make things very interesting for teams like Chennai, who have built a strong team over the past 3 years. Who will they retain and whether they would be able to re-purchase these players is something we will soon find out.

For the moment, it is a time to celebrate for Chennai Super Kings, definitely a moment to savor for them. Well done CSK…

Categories: General
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