Nature tried hard to rain on the hosts' parade for survival. And quite a parade it was. Around the intersection christened the Anil Kumble Circle, cottage industrialists painted faces and sold flags and knockoff jerseys. Inside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the eagerness of the ground staff was
quite evident - three Super Soppers pressed into action as soon as the heavens finally gave it a rest; one overzealous foot-soldier, unmindful of a certain Bon Jovi album title, slipped on the wet covers.
And those out to paint the ground red and gold did not let their heightened spirits to be dampened by the downpour that turned their fabric sheer. A cheer ensued as, on the giant screen, Gilly did the Bhangnam after snaring Bhajji with a gentle off-spinner.
A roar went around the packed ground each time the sheets covering the square were taken off, only to be brought right back on. As the evening wore on, though, the screams went from sustained to sporadic until the din of the 33,000 touched a deafening nadir.
Six minutes past ten, life returned to the galleries. The last of the blue sheets was off, the stumps were put in place, and players from one team had already hit the practice pitch.
A washout would have made it painfully simple — CSK vs MI for a spot in the final, Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator, and the end of the road for RCB this season.
A match did take place, and for that to happen now, the Sunrisers will have to beat KKR in the last match of the league phase. Put in, skipper Virat Kohli promoted himself up the order to propel the hosts past 100 in the truncated quota of eight overs.
With six needed per ball, MS Dhoni sent it out of the park. Eventually, Zaheer Khan scalped four as table-toppers Super Kings finished 24 short.
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