Riding high of Suresh Raina’s sensational hundred,Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in the IPL 2013 match in Chennai today.
Shaun Marsh and David Miller got their side agonisingly close,but couldn’t finish the job as Marsh departed when the team needed him the most.
Dwayne Bravo bowled a brilliant last over,and picked up three wickets to seal the game for his side.
The run-chase required a flying start,and Punjab were denied one by early departure of Luke Pomersbach. Chennai seamer Mohit Sharma was not satisfied with Pomersbach’s wicket,and removed Mandeep Singh to reduce the visitors to 36/2.
They needed some momentum to put their chase on track. Next man in,David Hussey,did just the same as he,along with Marsh injected belief into the run-chase by stitching a brisk partnership.
Hussey made the long walk back early,but did the hard part of putting the chase on track. Marsh,from the other end,started to free his arms,and runs started to come thick and fast for the visitors.
Miller’s arrival to the crease improved their chances. The bowlers were missing their lines,and the duo were getting a big hit almost every over.
Apart from the big hits,they ran well between the wickets,and wasted no scoring opportunity on offer. Dhoni’s go to men in the previous fixtures — Dwayne Bravo and Chris Morris — were taken for plenty in the death overs,but the skipper didn’t look worried as the bowlers had plenty of runs to play with.
In the end,Punjab came agonisingly close,but fell short of the target,courtesy a brilliant comeback by Morris in the second last over,which left 19 to be scored off the last six balls.
After Dhoni elected to bat in searing heat,it was neither a Michael Hussey show nor Dhoni’s assault as Raina played an attacking knock,and scored the third hundred in IPL 2013.
The two-time champions lost opener Wrddhiman Saha early,but Hussey and Raina stitched a handy partnership to steady the innings.
Hussey couldn’t bat through,and fell after a fluent 29-ball 35. Hussey’s departure brought the in-form skipper MS Dhoni to the middle. It was clearly not the day of Chennai’s consistent duo as even Dhoni failed to make substantial contribution to the scoreboard. and was run-out for only two to his name.
Chennai had a hiccup after two quick wickets,but Raina had other plans. The left-hander didn’t change his game one bit and went after the bowling. He was striking it clean and getting enough distance on his shorts.
The team management decided to promote Albie Morkel,who has been in and out of the side this season,to accelerate the scoring,and the aggressive southpaw did impress during his 16-ball 23,but failed to get the big shots in.
Even Morkel’s wicket had no effect on a free-flowing Raina,who dispatched the Punjab bowlers with utmost ease and grace to power his side to a brilliant total. The left-hander’s 53-ball 100 was laced by seven boundaries and six big hits over the fence.
Chennai Super Kings
WP Saha,MEK Hussey,SK Raina,MS Dhoni(c & wk),S Badrinath,RA Jadeja,DJ Bravo,JA Morkel,CH Morris,R Ashwin,MM Sharma
Kings XI Punjab
SE Marsh,Mandeep Singh,DJ Hussey(c),DA Miller,LA Pomersbach,Gurkeerat Singh(wk),R Sathish,PP Chawla,MS Gony,P Kumar,P Awana