It was my last day in Chennai. Tomorrow I would leave for home, perhaps never to return to this lovely city again. Of course, I would wish to, and dearly want to, but who is to say what the future has in store for us? Chennai had given me so many wonderful memories, taught me so many important lessons and generally, offered me a very pleasant stay. But it was all coming to an end, as all good things must. But not before another visit to the Chepauk.
Today, the Chennai Super Kings took on the Rajasthan Royals, the top team in the championship by a long way, in a crucial game. As an added bonus, Shankar Mahadevan was scheduled to perform before the game. Cricket had been the highlight of my stay in Chennai and there was no way I could have given this a miss.
I made my way in, nice and early, mainly to catch in as much of the Shankar Mahadevan performance as possible. It was a bit of a disappointment as the loud-speakers in our stand were not functioning properly. Also, all said and done, a cricket stadium is not acoustically the best equipped arena for a musical performance.
I was initially a bit disappointed at the crowd response. It seemed like an afternoon game would not attract the large crowds that I had seen a couple of weekends ago for the evening game against
We never really got into the game while we were bowling. From the first over when Makhaya Ntini conceded a free hit that was efficiently put in the stands by Asnodkar, it was just not our day with the ball. Dhoni fielding in the deep did get the crowds going and added spark to the game but in the end we ended up conceding a mammoth 211.
It was only when Fleming deposited Yusuf Pathan into the stands did the match really come alive for us – though he departed soon after with a silly run out. When Raina joined Parthiv we still had no clue that we were about to see something special. In no time Raina had launched a spectacular thrilling attack on Munaf and the whole stadium reverberated to the strokes of Raina’s bat. That ignited spark soon raged into a fire – one that burnt long after Raina departed throwing his wicket away through the Parthiv-Morkel partnership and up until Dhoni was fooled by Tanvir at which point the fairytale finally came to an end.
It would have been a perfect way to sign off had we been able to cross the line. Of course, life is not perfect, but I left the stadium once again with no regrets, as I left Chennai the day after. I shall continue to support Chennai through the rest of the tournament and hopefully, be back again for another season at some point in the future.