IPL4: CSK sneak past Kochi, book play-off berth

Published: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 8:13 [IST]
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CSK sneak past Kochi Tuskers

After Wriddhiman Saha emerged the stand-out batsman for the Super Kings with his 46 off 33 balls which helped the hosts post 152/5, CSK's bowlers turned on the heat to ensure KTK fall short of the target. Brad Hodge with 51 off 42 balls and Brendon McCullum with a sluggish but useful 33 off 37 balls, held out hope of chasing down the set total, but their efforts went in vain.

Winning the toss and opting to bat first, the Chennai Super Kings got off to an odd start. The openers appeared to curb their aggressive instinct to play R P Singh and Sreesanth for a quiet first two overs. Then Murali Vijay blasted three fours off Singh before the bowler returned to clean up the batsman for 16 off 11 balls as the score read 19/1 in 3 overs. In the next over, Suresh Raina was lucky to be dropped off Sreesanth when the keeper Parthiv Patel couldn't collect the catch cleanly.

Two overs later, Sreesanth came in for some tap when Raina carted him for two sixes and a four. But the paceman immediately got his revenge when he induced Raina into hittinhg a skier which descended into the hands off Singh at mid on. The batsman was on his way for 19 off 13 balls. A couple more sober overs followed before S Badrinath lofted Hodge for a six, but was out in the very next ball to depart for 13 off 10 balls with the Chennai Super Kings in some bother at 60/3 in 8.5 overs.

Just two boundaries came off the next four overs as Hussey and Wridhiman Saha endeavoured to consolidate. In the 15th over, Saha lofted Ravindra Jadeja for a six, but just two balls later, Hussey was caught at deep midwicket for 32 off 37 balls as CSK slipped to 96/4.

Then captain M S Dhoni and Saha counter-attacked, smashing Muttiah Muralitharan for a four and a six in the 16th over. But almost immediately afterwards, Dhoni was foxed by Jadeja when the spinner had him caught behind for 9 off 6 balls, with the score now at 114/5.
A few powerful biffs from Albie Morkel and Saha, including a six from the latter's bat, took their side to a competitive 152/5 in their allotted 20 overs.

In their reply, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala's start was as sluggish as CSK's with only 10 runs coming off the first two overs. Then in the third, the visitors suffered their first set back when off-break R Ashwin induced KTK into a fatal shot to mid on. The batsman was out for 6 off 7 balls and KTK was 11/1 in 2.2 overs. But McCullum wouldn't surrender, smacking Doug Bollinger for two consecutive fours. In the 6th over, Gnaneshwar Rao belted Shadab Jakati for another couple of boundaries.

The batsman then got Dwayne Bravo away for a four, but the seamer immediately returned to get the him caught and bowled for 19 off 17 balls, as the score read 45/2 in 6.4 overs. McCullum struck Raina for a four to bring up his side's 50 in 8.1 over, before Brad Hodge rounded off the over with another boundary. A couple of boundary-less overs ensued before Hodge dispatched Bravo to the fence. But a short while later, there was trouble at the other end, when Jakati bowled McCullum for 33 off 37 balls with KTK now at 83/3 in 13.5 overs.

After Hodge was dropped off Raina in the 15th over, the batsman and his partner Ravindra Jadeja, sneaked past 100 in the 17th. With 50 runs required off the last 3 overs, Jadeja clobbered Bollinger for a maximum and then a four before perishing at deep square leg to the same bowler for 19 off 13 balls. Then with 38 needed off the last 12 balls, Hodge stepped on the gas, biffing Bravo for two sixes and a four, reducing the victory equation to 19 off 6 remaining balls.

In a fruitless last over for the Tuskers, Owais Shah was run out for 3 off 3 balls, while Hodge and Kedar Jadhav could manage to scamper just 7 more runs. The Chennai Super Kings had won the contest by 11 runs.

Oneindia Cricket

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