Tamil percussionist Sivamani consoled himself as he made his way out of the MA Chidambaram Stadium late on Wednesday night. “Tough luck for Chennai team. It is part of the game,” he said after Chennai lost to Bangalore.
“Congratulations, Anil Kumble,” a Chennai supporter shouted from the terrace as the 37-year-old leg-spinner walked out of the changing rooms to the presentation arena. “Well done, Rahul Dravid,” he shouted.
On Wednesday, Bangalore was a relieved team. There was smile on CEO Brijesh Patel’s face while Chief Cricket Officer Martin Crowe looked more than pleased. “Our players did a Houdini act today,” Crowe told Hindustan Times.
Captain Rahul Dravid, after nine losing post-match press conferences, had something different to say. “It’s just nice to win a game. It is good for the dressing room to have something to smile about,” an elated Dravid said. “We go back to Bangalore with smiles. Otherwise, it has been tough.”
Dravid was disappointed with the way his batsmen played. But for his pugnacious 39-ball 47, Bangalore would have had another defeat staring at them. “I was not completely happy with the way we batted... 150 or 160 is par for course on this pitch. Our bowling in the first four overs was not great. We showed a lot of character and maintained good spirit, which got us over.
“Credit to the bowlers, who responded very well and kept the pressure on them. Anil was brilliant and took wickets whenever we needed them.”
It was a sort of payback time for Bangalore on Wednesday . In their first meeting in Bangalore on April 28, Bangalore had lost from a winning position and in their return match it was Chennai’s turn.
“We played very good cricket for nearly three-fourths of the match last month but could not finish it off. It was similar for them. They bowled really well, did not give us a good score. But could not finish it off.”
Dravid felt Stephen Fleming’s dismissal was the turning point. “When we got Fleming, we felt we had a bit of hope. But until two balls left and 15 runs required, we never knew what was going to happen.”