Chennai Super Kings chances for a semifinal berth in the Champions League Twenty20 suffered a blow as they slumped to their second consecutive defeat in the tournament with a six-wicket loss at the hands of Highveld Lions in Cape Town on Tuesday.
After being sent into bat,Chennai posted a challenging 158 for six with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni top-scoring with 34 but the Lions chased down the target with three balls to spare in a thrilling Group B match that went down the wire at the Newlands.
Opener Gulam Bodi smashed a 46-ball 64 to play a big role in the Lions win. The local side now are in a very good position to make it to the semifinals having beaten defending champions Mumbai Indians in their opening match on October 14. Chennai,who had lost to Sydney Sixers in their opening match on October 14,squandered a sensational start in their defence of 158.
Pacer Doug Bollinger (2/18)got two quick wickets early on to reduce the Lions to eight runs for two in the third over but Chennai allowed the local side to wriggle out of the tight spot and then to eventually win the match. Chennai will now have to win both their remaining matches to have any chance of making it to the semifinals.
Bodi and Neil McKenzie (32) shared a 93-run stand for the third wicket from 9.5 overs to turn the tide in favour of the Lions. The Lions needed 51 from the last five overs and 20 from the last two overs and they did it in style by reaching 159 for four with three balls to spare. For Chennai,Ravichandran Ashwin and Albie Morkel took a wicket each,besides the two wickets by Bollinger for 18 runs.
Earlier,Dhoni,who promoted himself to number four,hit two fours and as many sixes in his knock after coming at the halfway stage of the innings.
Chennai lost wickets at regular intervals and looked like they would settle below 150 but the 50-run stand from 4.2 overs between Dhoni and S Badrinath (27 not out) for the sixth wicket saw them go past that mark.
The last two overs yielded 27 runs,with the penultimate bowled by Dirk Nannes,producing 19 and that saw Chennai reach a challenging total. Badrinath was the second highest scorer while all the other batsmen,except for Albie Morkel (4),contributed in the 20s.
Brief scores: CSK: 158 for 6 in 20 overs (M SDhoni 34; Aaron Phangiso 2/17) vs Highveld Lions: 159 for four in 19.3 overs (Gulam Bodi 64,Doug Bollinger 2/19) (PTI)