With the success of the first two seasons of IPL, the third season was much awaited by the fans across the country. The number of teams remained unchanged at eight. It started in the second week of March and went up to the end of April.
The final was played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Dr. D.Y.Patil Stadium where the hosts were convincingly defeated by the Super Kings. A third-place playoff was held between the losing semi-finalists and the winner of this qualified for the Champions League T20. While Sachin Tendulkar was the ‘Orange Cap’ winner for the most runs in the season, Pragyan Ojha won the ‘Purple Cap’ for most wickets and CSK won the ‘Fair Play Award’ yet again.
Prior to the season, the auction for the third edition was held in January, with Kieron Pollard and Shane Bond being the costliest buys at 750,000 USD by the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. It was estimated that over 200 million people watched that season live on television. It also became the first ever cricketing event to be broadcasted live on YouTube.
#1 Chennai Super Kings – Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is the kind of player who gives everything a captain needs. He is a complete package. Having scored close to 5000 runs in his IPL career, he has been instrumental in team’s success. The 3rd edition was no different for the UP cricketer.
Raina played in 16 matches scoring 520 runs at a strike rate of 142.85. It was at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai where he got his highest score of 83 not out off just 52 balls against the Mumbai Indians. He scored 4 half centuries that season including an important knock in the finals where he remained unbeaten on 57 off 35 balls with three boundaries and three maximums. This innings got the team to a respectable total of 168 which they eventually defended and went on to win the title for the first time. He was the third highest run-getter that season.