Chennai: Prior to this match Chennai had lost three matches in a row on a ground where they were unbeaten for the entire season in 2011. But the defending champions managed to bury their past performances as they defeated Deccan Chargers by 10 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
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Deccan Chargers were pathetic in the field and had they held on to some of the chances that came their way, Chennai could have once again ended up losing a game, their fourth in front of the home crowd. But that did not happen as Chennai outclassed the visitors in all departments of the game.
Dhoni won the toss for the 12th time in front of the home crowd and decided to bat first. Their man in-form Faf du Plessis once again rose to the occasion as he scored 42 runs from just 35 balls. Murali Vijay who was included in the playing eleven once again could not score a big one as he was dismissed in the third over for 14. With useful contributions from Suresh Raina (32) and skipper Dhoni (34) Chennai were looking to score a formidable total. Bravo was dropped off the third ball of the last over and he went on to add another ten runs off the next three deliveries. Bravo remained unbeaten on 12 from 4 balls as Chennai reached 160.
Deccan lost Parthiv Patel early in their chase after which in-form White and Shikhar Dhawan added 66 runs for the second wicket. It was during this partnership that the home crowd went silent as both these batsmen scored runs without much difficulty.
It was Shikhar Dhawan’s unfortunate run-out in 11th over which gave some hope to the Super Kings. But the turning point of the match was the wicket of Sangakkara that came in the next over bowled by Suresh Raina as he took a brilliant catch of his own bowling to dismiss Hyderabad skipper who had scored a match-winning 52-ball 82 against Pune in the previous match. That was an effort that probably lifted the entire team.
As wickets fell at regular intervals, White did not stop playing his strokes and he fell in the penultimate over and it was the final nail in the coffin for the visitors. Before being dismissed, White scored 77 runs from 53 balls which was also his third successive half-century of this season. But he could have perished for a first-ball duck if Morkel held on to an easy catch off his own bowling after he bowled Parthiv Patel.
This was a much needed victory for the Super Kings who had been a mediocre side in the tournament so far. Even though Chennai emerged victorious in this match, it wasn’t a comprehensive win from a side which has won the last two IPL titles.
First Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 18:47