x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Timing is everything: the key moments in IPL final

The catch, shot, ball and moment that defined Chennai Super Kings triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Catch of the match

The one that MS Dhoni pouched to send Chris Gayle back. It was a thin edge, but coming off a slashing willow.

The wicketkeeper showed good anticipation, closing his gloves around the ball to start the celebrations in the Chennai Super Kings camp.

Shot of the match

Murali Vijay's first six of the game. It was a short of length ball from Sreenath Aravind, the sort you cannot drive or pull.

But Vijay just dragged one foot across and walloped it off the front foot over midwicket.

Ball of the match

The honours go to R Ashwin for a ball that sealed the fate of the game.

It was a classic set-up as Ashwin beat Gayle with two off-breaks before changing his action, pace and trajectory to make one skid in.

Gayle, the leading run-scorer this season, had committed himself to the cut, but got a thin edge to the keeper instead.

Low point of the match

Vijay and Mike Hussey had already put 103 on the board, but there was no telling what could have happened had Sreenath Aravind broken the stumps with a direct throw.

Hussey had just blocked the ball, but found Vijay almost at his end.

Aravind, in his follow through, had all the time to aim for the stumps, but missed. He could have thrown the ball to Virat Kohli, who was backing up at the stumps, as well.

Innings of the tournament

Virender Sehwag had expressed his doubts about the Nehru Stadium surface at the toss and, after negotiating the first over, he watched incredulously from the other end as S Sreesanth bowled David Warner with a ball that barely rose above his shin. The fourth ball of the same over rolled along the ground after pitching and caught Naman Ojha on the boot in front of the leg stumps. Mere survival on such a pitch would have been an achievement in itself, but Sehwag played the innings of the tournament.

Starting watchfully, he smashed 49 runs from his last 15 balls to surge to 80 from 47 before getting caught on the boundary. It was a true masterclass.

Figures of the tournament

Four bowlers took five-for this season but Ishant Sharma's against Kochi Tuskers Kerala on April 27, was the most destructive.

Entering the scene after Dale Steyn had taken out Brendon McCullum in the first over, Ishant took three wickets in four balls to wreck any hopes Kochi might have had of chasing down Deccan Chargers' target of 129.

He added two more wickets in his second over and the home side were six down with just 11 on the board.

Ishant's victims were Parthiv Patel, Raiphi Gomez, Brad Hodge, Kedar Jadhav and Mahela Jayawardene, and his figures were five for six after two overs at one stage.

Best century

There were six in total but Adam Gilchrist's hundred against Royal Challengers Bangalore was one for the romantics.

Nearing his 40th year, the Australian turned back the clock to play an innings of awe and inspiration.

In a game perceived to be for the young of limb, Gilchrist smashed a 55-ball 106 and scripted the highest partnership in IPL history - a 206-run association for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh, his compatriot and fellow left-hander, which allowed Kings XI Punjab to put 232 on the board.

The pleasure of watching Gilchrist comes from the eye-pleasing arcs he makes with the bat.

No ugly thumps or heaves, justpure timing.

As Marsh said after the game, "It was a privilege to watch it from the other end".