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01 Jun 2008 – Dr. D.Y.Patil Stadium, Mumbai : A cricket final, of the most exciting and popular format – Twenty20, going down to the wire to the very last ball. A fitting finale between two equally matched teams, evident from the fact that the Royals getting their single off the final delivery to win a cliffhanger by 3 wickets and lift the inaugural DLF IPL Trophy.

 

The evening started with the glitz and glamour with spectacular performances from artists across, including stars from Bollywood! What followed the spectacle was another spectacle that lived up the expectations and hype of a final. Having won the toss, Warne choose to chase under the lights.

 

The Chennai team got off to a good start with Parthiv Patel looking in good touch. However, Warne’s move of getting Pathan paid off with Vidyut falling prey to be Pathan’s first victim. In a brilliant spell of bowling, Pathan scalped three victims – Vidyut, Patel and Morkel. Raina had a good outing with the southpaw mustering 43 of 30.

 

Warne saved his best bowlers for the end but Chennai skipper Dhoni made sure he made the most towards the end as the Chennai Super Kings managed 46 of their last 5 overs. With the Royals chasing 164 for the title conquest, sans their opener Graeme Smith nursing his hamstring injury, the crowds were in for a good run chase.

 

The Royals opened with Patel and Asnodkar. Patel, who has had a great outing every time he has come into bat, looked at discomfort and was out to a woeful 2 of 11. On the other end, Asnodkar continued his good run before he perished for 28 of 20. The Royals then lost Akmal for not too many and it looked that Smith was dearly being missed, with the score 42/3.

Watson and Pathan then built a solid stand of 65 runs to take the score past 100. Pathan was the aggressor as he went on to smash Murli for successive sixes. Watson tried to emulate but yorked himself and got bowled. Kaif too looked good in his brief stay and lofted Murli for a six. But the offie had his man eventually. Jadeja only lasted a ball. In the meanwhile, Pathan raised another half century but was out run-out trying to sneak a single. With three wickets having fallen in 5 deliveries, and still needing 21 from 14, the Royals hope seem to be getting buried.
Warne and Tanvir held their nerves and dealt only in singles until skipper Warne smacked Ntini’s last for a four through the covers. With 8 needed from the last over, this was certainly going down to the wire. Balaji ran in and conceded only 2 of the first three deliveries. But pressure seem to have got to him and ‘keeper Patel. Balaji bowled a wide that Patel failed to collect and the batsmen ran a single as well.

 

That meant the equation came down to 4 required of 3. With a single of the next and a couple thereafter, the Royals levelled the scores on the penultimate delivery. There was a chance of a bowl-out; but Tavir pulled Balaji and with Warne already having ran half way down the pitch, it wasn’t to be. The Royals held their nerves once again to pull off a nail biting win!

 

A fitting finale and a deserved winner – the Royals; having stayed on top of the standings and pulling victories time and again simply with the outstanding team work and the spirit to win and never-say-die attitude. Kudos, outstanding leadership and a fantastic team effort!

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