Super Kings win Chennai thriller by 6 runs

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Chennai: Medium pacer Joginder Sharma's reputation as a specialist last-over bowler -- which he established in the final match of T20 World Cup 2007 -- continued as he helped Super Kings to clinch victory in their home match against Mumbai Indians at MA Chidambaram stadium here Wednesday night.

Harbhajan Singh (28 off 14) and Abhishek Nayar's (45 not out off 20) spectacular performance had the Mumbai side needing 19 off the last over when Dhoni tossed the ball to Joginder. With in-form player AM Nayar (45*) batting, that was not an impossible task at all. When Nayar hit consecutive fours off the first two balls, the game was evenly poised.


The third ball of the over was a no ball. But Nayar who overstepped in a bid to hit another boundary could not connect it well and he had to be satisfied with a single and tailender Ashish Nehra came to strike.

Though Nehra tried his maximum to connect the yorker-length ball, which was also a free-hit, the cool-headed bowler deceived him. But Nehra managed to take a single in the fourth ball and the equation was eight runs needed off two balls.

Joginder kept his nerves to bowl the fifth ball and Nayar, who hit the yorker ball direct to the covers fielder, had nothing to do but pray for a no-ball as the tourists needed 8 runs off the last ball. The sixth ball was just a formality and Nayar managed only one run as Mumbai Indians eventually finished on 202 for seven.

With this win, Chennai have four points from two games while Mumbai are yet to open their account.

Chasing 209 to win, The Mumbai Indians sorely missing Sachin Tendulkar, their skipper, who is still recovering from a groin injury, were off to an ominous start losing opener Luke Ronchi who was run out to a direct throw by Super Kings' S Badrinath.

They were required to score at 11 runs per over, Veteran left hander Sanath Jayasurya held out hope. But at 30, off the fourth ball ofthe fourth over, Jayasurya trying to step up the scoring holed out to Joginder Sharma at mid on off medium pacer M S Dhoni. He scored 20 off 11 balls and hit four fours.

However, at the other end Robin Uthappa was settling down to some luslty hitting. But on 43 he was castled by Joginder Sharma. He made 43 off 36 balls hittig a six and six fours.

The Mumbai Indians were now under pressure as the 51 runs stand off 47 balls between Uthappa and Shaun Pollock ended at the team's score of 81 in 9.4 overs.

Sixteen runs later Pollock felll to medium pacer, the promising P Amarnath of Tamil Nadu who castled the former Proteas all rounder for 17. Pollock faced 15 balls and hit one six.

As Abhishek Nayar joined Caribbean D Bravo the Mumbai Kings reached their 100 mark off 12.2 overs, requring still a little over 100 runs to be scored for a win. They had to score at the rate of 13 runs per over, indicating that the Chennai Super Kings had the match firmly in their grip. They were 110 for 4 in 13 overs. And even the limited Super Kings bowling attack could not make it easy for Mumbai.

They were in for another set back when Dwayne Bravo fell to Joginer Sharma who replaced off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan.

Bravo was caught at long on by Jacob Oram and scored 17 off 15 balls with six fours and one six. Bravo and Abhishek Nayar who came in after Pollock, added 33 runs for the fifth wicket off 16 balls.

Prospects looked bleak for Mumbai from then as Muralitharan picked up his first wicket in the IPL, dismissing Musavir Khote. Khote made nine with a six off five balls. Musavir holed out to Suresh Raina, to see the Mumbai team six down for 141 runs in 15.3 overs. They needed 62 from 23 balls to pull off a win.

They then passed the 150 run mark in 16.2 overs. Chennai rushed to 180 for 6 after Abhishek Nayak hit two sixes off Oram and needed 29 from 14 balls.

Needing 20 runs from eight balls, Mumbai lost the wicket of Harbajan Singh, who holed out to Badrinath at long on off Muralitharan. He hit three sixes and one four and added 48 rus for the seventh wicket with Abhishek.

Earlier, Chennai Super Kings, who were put into bat by Mumbai Indians, scored 208 losing five wickets in the stipulated 20 overs led by a brilliant 81 by opener Mathew Hayden and a fine 53 by Suresh Raina and their 104 run stand.

The Super Kings, who had outplayed Punjab in their first outing, went into bat to a bright start opening with left handers Parthiv Patel and Mathew Hayden. With both the former India stumper and the hard hitting Aussie opener taking on the Mumbai pace spearheads former Proteas all rounder Shaun Pollock and the dropped India medium pacer left hander Ashish Nehra.

Striking hard blows, Parthiv and Hayden put on 8 runs in 1.3 overs, 16 in two overs and 34 in 3.4 overs.But the Mumbai Indians, looking to compensate their loss against Royal Challengers, Bangalore on home turf, struck two early blows. Nehra forced Parthiv Patel to nick to wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi off the first ball of the fourth over. Patel fell for 14 off 11 balls with the help of three fours.

Hayden in the meanwhile struck 15 runs including a six and two fours off Pollock as a near full house at the historic Chepauk ground cheered wildly, enjoying every hit by the two batsmen.

Harbhajan, leading the Mumbai team for the second successive match in place of the injured Sachin Tendulkar, the original captain, brought in Dhaval Kulkarni in place of an expensive Pollock at the pavillion end. Kulkarni had the no 3 batsman, left handed Aussie Mike Hussey castled missing the line of the ball. Hussey fell for five off nine balls and hit one four.The Super Kings were reduced to 37 for 2 in 4.4 overs and Suresh Raina. The Kings under pressure to post a fighting score, pushed themselves to 88 for 2 posting the 50 run stand and Raina touching 25, in 10.2 overs. It was 90-2 in 10.3 overs. Even the West Indian speedster Bravo, who was picked in place of an injured Lankan Lasith Malinga in the Mumbai Indians XI, could not put the breaks on the two Super Kings batsmen.

Harbhajan Singh took himself off to bring in off spinner Vikrant Yelligetti but he conceded two fours and a single to see Chennai Super Kings posting their 100 mark off 11.3 overs with Hayden coasting to his 50 batting on 41 and Raina on 31. Hayden was severe on medium pacer Abhishek Nayar. He reached his 50 off 37 balls with seven fours and two sixes.

Suresh Raina too posted his 50 in 33 balls with three fours and three sixes. The Super Kings were 143 in 14.4 overs.

Not only the near full house, the Super Kings Hayden and Raina regaled the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunidhi, Chief Secretary and a few state ministers. But the Mumbai bowlers had another breakthrough when Suresh Raina fell, caught by Bravo off Musavir Khote who replaced Nayar. Off 15 overs, the Super Kings scored 143 losing three wickets. Raina and Hayden put on 104 runs for the third wicket off 63 balls.

As skipper joined Hayden, the Super Kings hoping to reach 200, coasted to 168 for 3 in 17 overs and the Mumbai Indians making trying out all its bowlers. Hayden, dominating the bowling and Dhoni put on 50 Bravo off Khote for 30 off 16 balls with four fours and a six. partnership in 24 balls. But off the last ball of the 19th over Hayden fell for 81 run out off a direct throw by Harbhajan Singh.He faced 46 balls and hit 12 fours and two sixes. As Jacob Oram, the Kiwi all rounder came in, Super Kings posted the 200 mark in 19.1 overs, five balls remaining in their innings.

The local lad S Badrinath faced the last ball of the Super Kings innings which closed at 200-5.

Oram remained not out on 5 with one four and Badrinath on 2.for Mumbai Kings, Musavir Khote picked up two wickets for 29 runs in his three overs.

With inputs from UNI

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