2013 IPL: A LOOK BACK
It turned out to be another spectacular season for the Chennai Super Kings, barring the blip in the summit clash. The two-time champions stormed into their fifth finals while Michael Hussey and Dwayne Bravo bagged the Orange Cap (leading run-getter) with 733 runs and the Purple Cap (leading wicket-taker) with 32 wickets respectively.
CSK topped the nine-team league table with 11 wins from 16 games to maintain their record of advancing to the Playoffs in every season since inception. Second-placed Mumbai Indians, who went on to win their maiden IPL crown, also finished level on 22 points but the Lions took the pride of place owing to their better Net Run Rate.
“For the first time we weren’t under pressure going into the last stages of the league matches,” MS Dhoni said after the Men in Yellow topped the table for the first time in six seasons.
The Lions thumped MI by 48 runs in Qualifier 1 to straight up book a place in the title round while MI made it to the grand finale on second attempt after putting it across Rajasthan Royals, who beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator.
CSK were clear favourites for the title, especially after the big win in the Qualifier at the Kotla in New Delhi in which the Lions, opting to bat first, posted 192/1 on the back of an unfinished stand of 140 between Hussey (86) and Suresh Raina (82).
“We always tell our players that you should try to be the one who wins the game for the team and to focus on getting a good start,” Dhoni told the prize distribution ceremony. “That’s what Raina and Hussey did today. Hussey batted brilliantly and Raina gave us the edge we needed,” the skipper added.
In the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, CSK did well to restrict MI to 148/9 on opting to bat first as Bravo and Albie Morkel shared six wickets. CSK, however, suffered a major batting collapse, finishing at 125/9, with Dhoni waging a lone battle to remain unbeaten on 63.
“I think the batting department failed. Hussey and Raina got out to good balls but the rest of them played some bad shots,” said Dhoni. “It was important to get some partnerships going but we did not,” he added.
Earlier in the league phase, Dhoni famously tweeted, “When you give Sir Ravindra Jadeja one ball to get two runs he will win it with one ball to spare!!” after the southpaw pulled off a stunning win over Royal Challengers Bangalore with some help from RP Singh.
CSK required 16 to win off the final over and feisty Jadeja brought it down to two off the last delivery which turned out to be a huge no ball that Jadeja played at and was caught at third man in what was a dramatic finish!
Suresh Raina, who scored a spectacular century to seal a 15-run win over Kings XI Punjab at home, took 11 catches in the edition.
CSK also made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20.