IPL 2012: Chennai Super Kings Bounce Back Once Again
Chennai Super Kings 164-5 (du Plessis 58) beat
Pune Warriors 151-7 (Kulasekara 2-10) by 13 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Chennai
The Chennai Super Kings continued their run of form in the Indian Premier League which has seen them follow up each loss with a victory as they beat the Pune Warriors by 13 runs.
Half-centuries from openers Francois du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath helped them score 164 for five and Pune closed on 151 for seven in reply, struggling throughout their innings.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a vital late cameo of 28 in 12 balls for Chennai, whose outstanding fielding during Pune's innings was a massive factor in their win.
They were afforded a fast start as du Plessis and Badrinath were both quickly into their stride but they were aided by a poor performance in the field from Pune and a few strokes of luck. Du Plessis was almost run out but a mighy close decision went in his favour while Robin Uthappa missed two stumping chances as Murali Kartik and Sourav Ganguly both dropped catches.
Taking full advantage, du Plessis made 58 in 48 balls and Badrinath 57 in 48. Both then fell within two balls of each other, and both were caught by Angelo Mathews off the bowling of Marlon Samuels.
Rocked by this double blow, Chennai continued to wobble as from 116 without loss they slipped to 119 for three when Suresh Raina (0) was caught by Kartik off Ashish Nehra.
Dwayne Bravo (12) and Ravindra Jadeja (7) also fell to Nehra and Samuels respectively but Chennai were hauled to a competitive score by a fine cameo from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He hit Samuels for 104 metres and out of the stadium, pulling out the helicopter shot to hit three more fours to finish on 28 not out in just 12 balls.
Samuels returned three for 39, his figures suffering for being entrusted to bowl at Dhoni in the last over while Nehra returned two for 23.
By contrast, Chennai were outstanding in the field. It started with Ravichandran Ashwin dving forward to catch Uthappa off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara for eight.
Bravo held on to a simpler opportunity to remove the dangerous Jesse Ryder off the same bowling for nine before Badrinath ran round to his right and held on brilliantly after Manish Pandey (13) drove Bravo high into the night sky.
Sourav Ganguly (24 in 26 balls) attempted to get the innings back on track, hitting four fours but he was also caught, this time by Kulasekara as left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati also got among the wickets.
Samuels (26) was the next to fall when his attempted drive found the safe hands of Kulasekara at cover off Ashwin as Pune rapidly slipped out of contention.
Steve Smith and Angelo Mathews battled on until the Warriors needed 25 to win from the final two overs but Smith's dismissal two balls in, caught by du Plessis off Doug Bollinger for 23 in 21 balls, effectively sealed the game for Chennai.
Bollinger's excellent over left Pune needed little short of a miracle - 21 in six balls. Chennai Super Kings scored 37 in the final three overs of their innings but it was not about to happen for Pune.
Mathews (27) was bowled by the excellent Bravo, who conceded just six from the last over.
© Cricket World 2012