Chennai: Despite missing Chennai’s ‘adopted son’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni in action, the crowd at Chepauk would be happy to have witnessed a good game of cricket that surprisingly went down the wire, before India emerged victorious to sweep the series 3-0, against the West Indies.
Fans were longing to see the CSK skipper in action at Chepauk when the team returned back to IPL this year. It was, however, cut short due to the protests organised by some political parties that forced the matches to be moved out of Chennai.
So when the fixtures were announced fans were eager to see their ’Thala’ in action but were disappointed as the selectors decided to give the young Rishabh Pant a chance. Even Kohli was rested and that gave a sense of emptiness.
Barring the banned stands, the stadium was not full as there were many empty chairs, especially in the upper tiers. When the West Indies openers, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer got off to a brisk start, blasting boundaries and sixers there was a dead silence at the Chepauk.
It was Chahal who broke that silence by dismissing Shai Hope with a flighted delivery, that got the top-edge and local lad Washington Sundar, holding the catch. With another wicket soon, the crowd was on its feet.
Standing ovation for Pooran
Chennai is always acknowledged as a knowledgeable crowd for the appreciation they give to the rival teams. The trend continued on Sunday too. Nicholas Pooran enthralled the crowd with his switch hits and reverse sweeps and it was well enjoyed by the local crowd. By the time he raised his bat for his fifty, the crowd joined him in the celebration by giving him a standing ovation, a sight that we can rarely see in India.
Rousing reception for DK and a thriller
During India’s chase after the initial collapse, Dhawan and Pant kept the crowd on its feet by hitting boundaries and reducing the margin for victory. When India’s win looked achievable some people started to leave, but Dhawan and Pant’s quick dismissals made them wait.
Suddenly there were loud cheers before the penultimate delivery was bowled as homeboy Dinesh Karthik came into to the non-striker’s end. He was given a rousing reception and a win in the last ball made the day memorable for the cricket loving Chennaites at Chepauk.