The third edition of the IPL came home to roost (12 March-25 April 2010 ), but more than onfield play, activities off it received most attention. The charges of graft, politicking and much worse at the top of the BCCI and IPL power centres however, failed to distract the fans.
The tournament, by now well-established and accepted by one and all, was as action-packed as the previous editions and to top it all, the men most on everyone’s mind, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, looked like the ones having the best chance of holding aloft the trophy.
The semifinal saw the previous year’s finalists pitted against the new challengers Chennai Super Kings vs Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians vs Bangalore Royal Challengers with Mumbai and Chennai emerging winners.
The final was yet another special contest with Tendulkar’s swashbuckling style contrasting with Dhoni’s quiet efficiency.
While Mumbai held Chennai down to a very gettable 168 runs (every batsman got into two figures with Suresh Raina slamming 57 not out), yet it could have been better for Mumbai but for Mumbai bowlers Harbhajan Singh and Malinga failing to snag even one wicket, while Zaheer Khan got just one – these three arguably form the best bowling attack in the world.
The batting reply by Sachin was stupendous, but there was scant support with S Dhawan out for a duck right at the start. Sachin himself scored 48, but apart from AM Nayar and Kieron Pollard smashing 27 each, the rest of the batting failed to get the measure of Dhoni’s fine bowling changes nor the bowlers guile – apart from R Ashwin, who failed to get even one wicket, the rest of the bowlers bagged one each Bollinger, Raina, Morkel, Muralitharan (figures of 1 for 17 runs at an economy rate of 4.25) and Jakati got 2.
MS Dhoni lifted the cup, but it was Sachin Tendulkar who topped the batting statistics. Fittingly, Sachin received the man of the series award (15 innings 618 runs at an average of 47.53 runs with 5 fifties – next best was Jacques Kallis with 572 runs off 16 innings). Suresh Raina got the man of the match trophy.