CSK 190/3 (20 ovrs) (Raina 73 ; Hussey 54 ; Shakib 1/25 ; Kallis 1/34)
KKR 192/5 (19.4 ovrs) (Bisla 89 ; Kallis 69 ; Hilfenhaus 2/25)
The Knights arrived in Chennai to play their first IPL final after a spectacular run in the league and a comfortable win in the playoffs against DD. In a packed Chepauk stadium, the Knights were prepared to script a new chapter in IPL history and take on the challenge against the two time defending champions on their home ground. The Knights had to make three changes for the final, with Tiwary and Bisla coming in for Das and McCullum while the injured Balaji was replaced by Brett Lee.
Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. The Knights managed to keep it tight for the first two overs, but the Chennai batsmen made use of the good batting conditions to get back in the game with some big shots being played by Hussey and Vijay. Vijay fell to a spectacular catch by Shakib Al Hasan in the 10th over, but the Chennai innings was still carried along by Raina and Hussey. Controlled bowling by Shakib and Kallis in the death overs, with both of them picking up a wicket toward the end, helped the Knights to restrict Chennai to 190/3 in their 20 overs. This meant that the Knights had to pull off the highest run chase ever in an IPL final to pick up their first title.
The chase got off to a bad start, with the skipper being dismissed in the first over. With our top run scorer in the tournament dismissed, the fans felt the Knight’s chances slipping away, but it was the turn of Manvinder Bisla to seal his spot in the hearts of KKR fans for eternity. In the company of Jacques Kallis, Bisla decided to take the attack to the CSK bowlers right away. He cut loose in the 4th over bowled by Morkel, smashing the bowler for four glorious boundaries. There was no looking back for Bisla after that, as he smashed Ashwin for two massive sixes in the 6th over and continued on his way, constantly making room for himself and playing some magnificent shots to reach his half century off just 27 balls! Kallis kept rotating the strike and let Bisla take care of the big hitting, as the two Knights settled down to anchor the innings. Bisla was dismissed in the 15th over for a brilliant 89 off 48 balls with eight fours and five sixes! This was the highest score ever in an IPL final and Bisla had taken the Knights to a very comfortable position, needing 50 runs off the last 5 overs with 8 wickets left. Kallis then took on the onus of the playing the big shots, smashing three fours and a massive six to bring up his half century to leave the Knights needing 27 off the last 3 overs. Kallis carried on despite suffering from cramps that left him struggling to run and played with the composure that he has displayed throughout his career. When Kallis was finally dismissed on 69, the Knights needed 16 runs off 7 balls with Shakib and Tiwary at the crease. Shakib was caught off a no ball and deftly scooped the extra delivery for a four behind the stumps to leave the Knights needing 9 runs off the last over. Tiwary then took the Knights home with successive boundaries in the final over and the Knights had successfully chased down the highest total in IPL final history to get their hands on the trophy!
The home crowd went silent for a minute before they broke out in applause for the new champions as the entire KKR staff ran on to the pitch to celebrate this historic moment. There were scenes of uncontrolled joy as the Knights ended a 5 year journey to become champions in spectacular style. On a night when their top run scorer and top wicket taker failed to make an impact, other Knights came to the fore and proved the skipper's faith in them to get the job done. Kallis was spectacular with both bat and ball throughout the season and he did the job in the final as well, but the star of the show was undoubtedly Manvinder Bisla, who had also played some good knocks at the start of the season to get the Knight’s campaign underway. He returned in the final to script the most glorious chapter in the history of the Knights.
Sunil Narine was given the Golden Player of the tournament award for his spectacular performances with the ball. He just missed out on the Purple Cap, but managed to hold on to his place as the most economical bowler in the tournament and his 24 wickets were crucial in the Knight’s run to the title.
Gautam Gambhir said after the match, “Only one thing comes to mind again: Mission Accomplished! I thought whenever the situation came, the guys would stand up. This one is for Kolkata. Balaji has been our unsung hero. We were playing for him, missing such a game in front of his home crowd was big. Chasing 195 against defending champions in their backyard shows the character of Bisla. This just proves that a captain is only as good as his team. It’s the team that makes a successful captain and not the other way round.”
The celebrations will continue and the fans in Kolkata will be eager to give their champions a rousing reception when they get back to their hometown. The night was colored purple and gold, as the fans took to the streets all over the world to celebrate a much awaited victory. A wonderful team effort by all the Knights capped off a great season that saw the Knights celebrate long into the night with the IPL trophy nestled firmly in their hands.
Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo!