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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014
Chennai beat Mumbai, enter final
Khurram Habib, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 21, 2013
First Published: 21:04 IST(21/5/2013)
Last Updated: 03:41 IST(22/5/2013)

Fans have remained loyal, at least in least. That seems to be the guarantee that keeps Indian cricket flush with hope and funds, despite the negativity threatening it.

The crowd at the Ferozeshah Kotla, packed to the rafters on Tuesday, showed that. The spot-fixing allegations looming large, a cash-strapped franchise pulling out of the league and Sachin Tendulkar not playing didn't curb their enthusiasm.

Perhaps there is enough to look up to. A sea of yellow flags fluttering in response to the exquisite and innovative shots played by Michael Hussey showed where the support of the crowd lay - with MS Dhoni who walked out triumphant leading his team to the final with a 48-run win.

CSK, brilliant chasers, elected to bat. MI's Munaf Patel returned to the side after a month-long absence. In the end, he was more a liability on a wicket where his line and length was expected to be the key.

The Kotla track has played inconsistently this season. If the track has runs, there is nothing that can be done. Mitchell Johnson found that out early. There was no breeze and the season's dry heat almost blunted the deadliest paceman this season.

Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina could play as they liked. It was a massacre. Only Harbhajan Singh walked away with decent figures. It was too much for Rohit Sharma. He was furious, especially once at Munaf. Short of ideas to stop Hussey, he changed six bowlers in the first eight overs.

However, Dwayne Smith provided him and MI hope, flying Mumbai to 80-odd in the first eight overs. But a few wickets tilted the balance. And no prizes for guessing who plucked the big hitters -- Smith, Pollard and Karthik all fell to ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja.


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