There was a blackout at Mumbai's iconic Wankhede Stadium on Thursday just before the start of match 59 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 between the two most successful sides -- Mumba Indians and Chennai Super Kings. After the match, many wondered if those few minutes of 'darkness' had indeed sealed Chennai Super Kings' fate.
The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings needed a win against already-eliminated Mumbai Indians to keep their IPL title defence alive, no matter how fickle it looked. But as it turned out, CSK lost the match by five wickets in a low-scoring encounter. The four-time champions were dismissed for their second-lowest total in IPL - 97 all out.
There were ominous signs though, if one wants to talk about things that directly or indirectly control the outcome of an event. The toss was delayed, and the match officials didn't have access to Decision Review System (DRS) for the first few minutes as Mumbai Indians put Chennai Super Kings into bat.
Later, it was revealed that the blackout was due to a short-circuit at the Wankhede Stadium and the first 10 balls were played without technological assistance with on-field umpires, Chirra Ravikanthreddy and Chris Gaffaney calling the shot as it should be. But it took only two balls for the 'game of revelation' to start.
Chennai Super Kings opener Devon Conway became a victim of a dubious LBW decision, off a Daniel Sams delivery which looked like missing the leg-stump. Then, Robin Uthappa got out LBW to Jasprit Bumrah in the next over, in what looked like a 50-50 call. And they couldn't challenge the verdict, because there was no power. Yes, power!
Here are some reactions:
A day to forget so far for #CSK. One debatable call but that cannot explain away a mere 97. Bumrah and Sams were outstanding today.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 12, 2022
Got to give it to the IPL - they figured out a way to get social media traction on a largely pointless match by switching off the electricity.#DRS— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) May 13, 2022
Unlucky for Devon Conway, the ball was missing leg stump. He couldn't take the DRS due to powercut in the stadium. pic.twitter.com/kyaUJsZw9e— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) May 12, 2022
The biggest league in the world @IPL, no #DRS just because of power?? Is this a kind of joke ?? It's not out #umpire calls just senseless #IPL2022 #CSKvsMI @mipaltan @ChennaiIPL #powercut pic.twitter.com/21lMgyv9qi— Subramanyam Jaswanth Kota (@subbu_yash) May 12, 2022
So is the DRS not available for the whole match or only until the power is back... if its only a temporary power cut how is this fair for the teams? - The power issue has been restored and DRS is available now#DRS #MIvsCSK #umpire #RohitSharma𓃵 pic.twitter.com/8EAWghG7wF— Rohit Sharma Fan Club (@45Rohitsharma45) May 12, 2022
Devon Conway was pivotal in Chennai Super Kings's revival, or in their last-gasp bid for an IPL 2022 playoff spot. His scores in the three previous matches were 85 not out, 56 and 87. The New Zealander's dismissal early in the innings sure dented CSK's hopes.
From 1/1, it became 5/3 in the second over, with Moeen Ali's wicket in between; and Chennai Super Kings never recovered from that early blows. MS Dhoni did wage a lone battle but Mumbai Indians were a motivated lot against their fierce rivals. After all, the clash is deemed IPL's own 'Clasico'.
After the match, Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming termed the absence of DRS "unlucky", saying it led to a chain of events that didn't go in their favour.
"It was a little bit unlucky that it happened at that time," Fleming said about the absence of DRS at the post-match press conference.
"We were a little disappointed, but that's still part of the game, isn't it? It sort of set off a chain of events that were not in our favour, but we should be better than that. It certainly wasn't a great start."
The five-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians ended Chennai Super Kings' IPL 2022 campaign with two matches remaining.