IPL 2013: Chennai Go Top After Hussey Blitz

IPL 2013: Chennai Go Top After Hussey Blitz
IPL 2013: Chennai Go Top After Hussey Blitz
©Action Images

Chennai Super Kings 200-3 (Hussey 95) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 186-4 by 14 runs
Indian Premier League 2013, Chennai
Report by Chetan Narula

Chris Morris held his nerve in the last over of the match to bowl Chennai Super Kings to a 14-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at home.

This was Chennai’s fifth win on the trot this Indian Premier League 2013 season and elevates them to the top of the points table, with 14 from nine games. For defending champions Kolkata, this was their sixth loss in nine matches, leaving them third from bottom with just six points. 

Kolkata won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that backfired on them. Wriddhiman Saha came in place of Murali Vijay and opened the batting with Mike Hussey, and the openers put on a century stand. 103 runs came off 61 balls, with Saha contributing 39 of those. He used up 23 balls, with four fours and two sixes, before falling to Rajat Bhatia (1-31) in the 11th over. 

His wicket did not bring any respite to Kolkata as a second partnership was strung together between Hussey and Suresh Raina, 57 runs coming for the second wicket.

Hussey reached his fifty off 31 balls, and eventually fell for 95 runs off 59 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes. The score at that stage was 158 for two in the 16th over and it set the stage for a high total, one which Raina made sure they reached.

Along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he put up 32 runs in 21 balls to help Chennai reach 200 for three.

Raina scored 44 off 25 balls, with four fours and one six, before being run-out. Dhoni (18 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (1 not out) were the unbeaten batsmen, while Sunil Narine (1-35) was the only other wicket-taker for Kolkata. 

Chasing 201, Kolkata were given a quickfire start by Gautam Gambhir (14), but he fell in the third over and it was left to his partner Manvinder Bisla to carry on. And he did, reprising his stellar role in the 2012 IPL final at the same ground, as he struck a fine 92 runs to steer Kolkata to the doorstep of victory.

He used up 61 balls and hit 14 fours along with two sixes, before he was run out by a direct hit from Hussey in the 19th over, the turning point of the chase. 

Earlier in the innings, after Gambhir fell, Brendon McCullum (6) also struggled to get going and it was Jacques Kallis who stayed long enough at the wicket to provide a platform to push for the target. He scored only 19 runs off 20 balls with one six, but more importantly he put up 36 runs for the third wicket with Bisla.

However, promoting Kallis above Eoin Morgan might have cost Kolkata the match, as shown amply by the quick scoring Englishman when he arrived at the crease in the 13th over. 

Morgan remained unbeaten on 32 off 22 balls, with two fours and as many sixes, and perhaps could have pushed the score along quicker if he had come in to bat early. He and Bisla brought the asking rate down to 14 per over towards the end, only for Bisla to fall and Dwayne Bravo (1-37) to bowl an excellent penultimate over, which was followed by an even better effort from Morris (1-29).

Kolkata finished at 186 for four, and are now in danger of falling out of contention, unless they turn their form around quickly.  

© Cricket World 2013

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