The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was the place to be for cricket buffs
Every fan of Chennai Super Kings at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium witnessed history unfold as the team won the DLF IPL final on Saturday. The second consecutive IPL trophy for the team was more special as this was the first time an IPL final was held in Chennai, enabling a grand, home ground victory for the CSK.
With over a month of incessant cricket leading to the much-awaited final, the stadium was the place to be for the cricket buffs. The area around Chepauk seemed to be painted yellow, as fans of the CSK flocked to the stadium from as early as 5 p.m. for the match that was to start three hours later.
‘Dhoni T-shirts', yellow flags and screams for the favourites added to the excitement. Soon after CSK captain M.S. Dhoni won the toss, the crowd roared in excitement. “I was hoping he wins it,” said Sugantha, who was there with her husband T.V.Padmanabhan. Their daughter gave them a surprise on Saturday evening, gifting them passes for the match. “This is the first time I'm watching a match live,” she said adding that the T20 format of the game was very senior-citizen friendly. “We do not have to sit for too long, it gets over fast and it is very exciting,” Mr. Padmanabhan said.
There were a few like Prithviraj Nair who were hoping to see CSK lose. The class eight student from Kerala was in the city to spend time with his father who is with the army. “I'm angry with CSK. They defeated the Kochi Tuskers. They should lose,” he said and soon, in what seemed like an afterthought, he added: “They've [CSK] won the trophy once. I want a new team to win this time. So I'm supporting RCB.''
At the end of 10 overs, when the CSK had scored nearly 100 runs, fans knew they were in for a great evening. “One of the opening batsmen should get out now or it will get boring,” said a middle-aged Royal Challengers Bangalore fan getting restless as Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay's frequency of hitting boundaries increased.
The breaks between overs also got interesting with the crowd dancing to actor Rajinikanth's hits being played at the stadium.
Behind rows of fans, standing peeping and smiling timidly was A.Revathy, a conservancy worker engaged at the venue.
“My little son asked me yesterday if I saw Sachin. He was very disappointed that I did not. He has asked me to somehow get a glimpse of Dhoni today,” she said.
On days when the matches were held, she came at 11 a.m. and cleaned the rest rooms. Ms.Revathy did get lucky, for Hussey was caught and he made way for her son's favourite cricketer, the CSK captain, to arrive at the crease.
As the RCB's innings began and a couple of wickets fell soon after, the celebrations had begun for CSK fans. Chris Gayle's dismissal in the first over was a big gift from local boy Ashwin to eager CSK fans.
They responded with excited screams and whistles every time the young cricketer took position near the boundary.
With the CSK's performance keeping spirits high, some of the RCB supporters also seemed to gradually switch loyalties and cheer the men in yellow.
As the last ball of the innings was bowled, fire crackers could be heard all over and adorned the night sky. CSK fans jumped in excitement after the best possible end to IPL-4.