To the delight of fans, Chennai Super Kings have managed to make it to the semifinals, despite losing to the Delhi Daredevils at Chepauk

Two weeks into the third edition of the Indian Premier League, not many fans of the Chennai Super Kings would have envisioned the side making it through the gridlock that the team found itself wedged in. The pessimism of the points scenario, however, did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the ardent Super Kings supporters.

Standing in queue to enter Chepauk in time for Chennai's last match at home against Delhi Daredevils, Kavin Vivek took time away from minding two pesky nephews to speak his mind.

“I wasn't able to turn up for any of the previous matches,” he said, “So I wanted to ensure I was here for Chennai's final match here. Hopefully we will win tonight and enter the semifinals.”

Although things did not quite turn out the way Mr. Vivek had hoped, Chennai stayed in the hunt for most parts of the low-scoring encounter, making it worthwhile for fans.

Super Over defeat

After its loss to Delhi on that especially muggy evening, a few still believed that Chennai was good enough to avenge the Super Over defeat that they had suffered at the hands of Kings XI Punjab — a loss that put Chennai's future in the tournament in jeopardy.

“I watched the Super Over at the stadium and it was heart-breaking. I remember the crowd going completely quiet when Chennai was messing up the chase. Anyway, this is what Twenty20 cricket is all about and I am sure we will beat Punjab in the return match,” said Keerthi Kumar, who works for a software company in the city.

Incidentally, Kumar was seated in the new stands that have lent an Adelaide-esque look to the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. The stands have been a part of the effort to refurbish and expand the existing stadium in time for the ODI World Cup in the subcontinent next year. The swank new structure, that occupies the arc from fine-leg to cow-corner when the bowler runs in from the Pavilion end, provides a striking contrast to the grey concrete of the older stands.

Most people spoken to at the venue were receptive of the new structure that had come up. “It is a beautiful stand,” said Abhinav Naithani, who is marking time in Chennai after spending over 15 years in Delhi.

“The match was almost perfect, since I was supporting Daredevils. After Chennai got out for such a small total, Delhi's victory was never in doubt.”

Now that the dust has settled, there is no doubt who the semifinalists are. And unfortunately for Mr. Naithani, Delhi doesn't figure in the elite list, while Chennai has managed to sneak in.