The final of the 2011 Indian Premier League was a showdown between two powerhouses. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fresh from leading India to the epoch defining ICC World Cup win, was in his elements in the yellow of Chennai Super Kings yet again. He and his band had a flawless tournament as they reached the final of the tournament for the third time in four years, having won it 2010.
On the other side were the Royal Challengers Bangalore, powered into the summit clash by the tornado named Chris Gayle. It was RCB’s second final in three years and they wanted to make amends for the last gasp loss in 2009.
The summit clash was a home match for CSK as it was being played at the Chepauk. Dhoni wonthe toss and decided to bat first. His decision was backed up by the CSK openers, Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay, as they launched a scathing attack on the opposition bowlers.
Vijay was in cracking form as he hit the ball beautifully on the up. Hussey played the perfect second fiddle as the duo put on 159 for the first wicket. When Hussey was dismissed for 63 off 45 balls, CSK were well on their way for a total in excess off 200. Dhoni promoted himself to number 3 but the night belonged to the Chennai boy Vijay. He smashed four boundaries and six maximums in his 52-ball stay in the middle. He was all set for a memorable century, but was dismissed 5 runs short of the landmark. But his efforts helped CSK put up 205/5 in 20 overs.
It was a great platform but with Chris Gayle breathing fire, Dhoni knew the match was not over till it was over. Dhoni turned to his trusted lieutenant Ravichandran Ashwin in the powerplay overs and the off spin genius delivered, dismissing Gayle for a duck in the very first over of the chase.
This was a sucker punch that RCB never managed to get over from. Virat Kohli wasn’t the force that he is today and his efforts went in vain. Ashwin ended the night with figures of 3/16 as CSK thumped RCB by 58 runs in what has been one of the most one-sided IPL finals ever.