Lady luck smiles on Chennai Super Kings

Published: Sunday, May 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Kolkata: Chennai Super Kings registered a narrow three-run win (via D/L method) in a rain-curtailed IPL tie against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

The wind blowing at a speed of 100 kph coupled with heavy drizzle stopped the proceedings and the umpires had no option but to resort to Duckworth and Lewis method to decide the fate of the crucial match much to the disappointment of the packed Eden Gardens.

When the play was stopped, Super Kings were on a roll with 55/0 in eight overs, while Knight Riders were 46/2 at this stage.

Knight Riders opting to bat first posted a competitive 149/5. Salman Butt carved a blistering 54-ball 73 inclusive of 10 hits to fence and one over it. Debabrata Das made a sedate 27 off 32 balls.


This fortuitous win ensured Chennai a place in semi-finals while Kolkata face an Himalayan task to earn a berth in last four. The Ganguly-led side will have to compete with the wounded Daredevils and resurgent Mumbai Indians for the one-off semis' berth left for grabs. Rajasthan Royals with 16 pts and Mohali with 14 pts advanced to last four round.

Chennai chasing a 150-run target got off to a fine start with Fleming taking on the formidable Kolkata opening attack Akhtar-Ishant to the cleaners. The stylish southpaw from New Zealand cut, pulled and drove the Kolkata new-ball attack to the fence. Flem hit as many as seven boundaries in his 20-ball 32 knock.

On the other hand Parthiv was shaky and survived a chance too when Dinda spilled a skier but the chubby batsman from Gujrat soon found his rhythm before rain stopped play.

Earlier, Ntini grabbed four wickets including a hat-trick (third in the event after Balaji and Mishra). And Gony and Albie Morkel bowled an economic spells conceding just 17 and 25 respectively in their quota of four overs as Kolkata was limited to 149/5 despite Butt's majestic innings.

Kolkata opting to bat first started off on a poor note with Ntini packing off Hafeez as early as in the third over and followed it up with a prized scalp of Ganguly. Ntini cramped Ganguly for room with a short-pitched stuff targetting at the batsman's rib-cage and surprised the elegant southpaw with a length ball on middle stick and surprisingly enough the god on off-side played a luxurious heave only to miss the line completly to see his stumps rearrenged.

Next man in Debabrata Das joined Butt, who was on song, in the middle and the pair raised 86 runs for the third wicket. Butt scored the bulk of runs in partnership but his partner played a turtle-esque innings as Kolkata crawled to 100 in 16th over. Kolkata might have missed a trick by sending Das instead of in-form Hussey (Jr).

Butt played a flowing innings on a two-paced pitch where his teammates struggled. The Pakistani cut loose in the 16th over hitting the seasoned Murali for three successive boundaries.

Ntini returned to complete his quota in the 17th over and swung the momentum in Chennai's favour. In the first ball the South African castled Das with a full-toss and bowled David Hussey with his trademark nipping in delivery to make it three in three after he removed Ganguly with the last ball off his first spell. Ntini in doing so joined his compatriot Balaji and Amit Mishra (Delhi).


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