Chennai Beat Mumbai In Dead-Rubber Thriller
Chennai Super Kings 173-8 (du Plessis 52) beat
Mumbai Indians 167-7 (Karthik 74) by 6 runs
CLT20, Group B Match, Johannesburg
In a match that twisted and turned one way and then the other, Chennai Super Kings just about held their nerve to clinch it. Suresh Raina’s stunning catch on the long-on boundary proved to be the final twist, as, with 13 needed off five balls, he dived forward and caught Kieron Pollard inches from the turf.
Pollard had, along with Dinesh Karthik, brought Mumbai Indians unexpectedly back into the match during a passage of play that read 6,1,6,6,4,2,6 - 31 runs off seven balls - when they had looked to be out of it needing 51 from the final three overs. R Ashwin was the unlucky bowler as his third and final over went for 24 runs, leaving Mumbai needing just 27 from the final two.
Ben Hilfenhaus, though, restored some sanity. After his second ball disappeared for six, he recovered to take the key wicket of Karthik and bowl three dot balls at the new batsman, Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh. He was definitely fortunate in dismissing Karthik - who had started his innings slowly before finishing with 74 off 45 balls - bowling him with a ball that hit the thigh pad and rolled back onto the stumps.
Mumbai, in particular Pollard, though, weren’t finished yet. He smashed the first ball of the final over, from which 19 were needed, for six before that brilliant catch on the long-on boundary by Raina sealed it.
Mumbai’s effort to recover from 38 for two after eight overs to mount a serious challenge at Chennai Super Kings’ total of 173 for eight represented something special. Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger had done the early damage, both again at their best with the new ball - Hilfenhaus conceding just six runs from his first three overs - before Chennai’s spin twins, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, came in for a spanking. Jadeja, who bowled the last over, ended with figures of two for 47 from his four, while Ashwin was even worse, going wicketless and conceding 44 runs from three.
If Mumbai’s innings had been full of twists and turns, then Chennai’s was just as much so. Their opening pair of Murali Vijay and Faf du Plessis took 86 off the first eight overs, before Lasith Malinga pulled things back for his side and only 87 came from the final 12.
While du Plessis and Vijay were going strong, a total of over 200 looked a mere formality. However, Vijay was bowled by Pragyan Ojha, and Malinga struck twice in the 11th over, removing du Plessis for 52 off 33 balls and Suresh Raina for eight. He would go on to take three more wickets - those of MS Dhoni for a superb 35 off 19 balls, Albie Morkel (0) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) - to end with figures of five for 32 as Chennai limped towards the 20th over of their innings, closing on 173 for eight.
All told, it was an unusual match which produced an unusual statistic: namely that the middle 20 overs of it yielded 131 runs and nine wickets, while the two 10 over segments that bookended it went for 209 runs between them for the loss of just six wickets.
© Cricket World 2012
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