Hussey puts Watson to shade
Rajasthan opener’s century goes in vain as Super Kings notch five-wicket win
Mike Hussey played a gem of an innings to put to shade Shane Watson’s brilliant ton and help Chennai Super Kings eke out a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in a thrilling Indian Premier League match here on Monday night.
Chasing a stiff 186 for win, Hussey (88) made short work of Rajasthan’s ordinary bowling attack and together with Suresh Raina (52 off 35) added 90 runs off just 61 balls for the second wicket to help Chennai move past the target with a ball to spare.
After Murali Vijay’s early dismissal, Raina provided Hussey the perfect company from the other end. The duo not only kept Chennai in the hunt but also set it up for Dwayne Bravo (15 not out off 9) to finish off the chase.
If it was all Watson show in the first session, Hussey enthralled the crowds in the second half with his brilliant 51-ball knock. Hussey made his intentions clear from the start. Both Hussey and Raina were aggressive in their approach and sent the Rajasthan bowling attack on a leather hunt to help Chennai reach 92 runs at the halfway mark.
Hussey scored his half-century off just 31 balls with the help of seven boundaries and one hit over the fence, while Raina reached the landmark in 33 balls and hit four fours and two huge sixes in the process.
James Faulkner (3/20) broke the partnership when he trapped Raina in front of the wicket. Chennai were cruising along when Hussey and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni were at the crease but two wickets in the 17th over completely changed the equation. First Hussey was caught short of the crease by Rahul Dravid’s direct throw. And then a ball later, Faulkner disturbed Ravindra Jadeja’s stumps with an accurate yorker to turn the tables around.
With Chennai needing 11 runs off seven balls, Dhoni was caught at the midwicket fence by Stuart Binny off Faulkner to raise Rajasthan’s hopes.
But it was not to be Rajasthan’s day, as needing 10 off the last four balls, Bravo hit Watson for a huge six to seal the match in Chennai’s favour.
Earlier, Watson (101 off 61) scored the first century of IPL 6 to single-handedly power Rajasthan to an imposing 185 for four. Towards the end, Binny played a 22-ball unbeaten 36-run cameo to further help Rajasthan’s cause.
Except for R Ashwin (2/20), all the Chennai bowlers bled runs as Watson went hammer-and-tongs. Apart from Ashwin, Bravo (2/36) also picked up two wickets for the hosts.
Riding on Watson’s brilliant strokeplay, the Royals got off to a rollicking start after opting to bat. Though the fall of wickets at the other end had an effect on him, Watson carried on to reach his century before perishing in search of quick runs, caught by Hussey off Bravo.
But Binny, who struck three boundaries and a six, took over to help Rajasthan Reach 185 for six.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Shane Watson c Hussey b Bravo 101, Ajinkya Rahane b Ashwin 16, Dishant Yagnik c & b Ashwin 7, Rahul Dravid c Dhoni b Bravo 6, Stuart Binny (not out) 36, Brad Hodge (not out) 9. Extras (LB-3, W-6, NB-1) 10. Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 185.
Fall of wickets: 1-71, 2-84, 3-113, 4-159. Bowling: Mohit Sharma 2-0-19-0, Jason Holder 4-0-30-0, Chris Morris 3-0-32-0, Ravichandran Ashwin 4-0-20-2, Ravindra Jadeja 3-0-45-0, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-36-2.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Murali Vijay c & b Chandila 3, Michael Hussey (run out) 88, Suresh Raina lbw Faulkner 51, MS Dhoni c Binny b Faulkner 21, Ravindra Jadeja b Faulkner 0, Dwayne Bravo (not out) 15, Chris Morris (not out) 1. Extras (LB-4, W-3) 7. Total (for 5 wkts, 19.5 overs) 186.
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-112, 3-154, 4-154, 5-175.
Bowling: Ajit Chandila 3-0-16-1, Rahul Shukla 2-0-24-0, James Faulkner 4-0-20-3, Kevon Cooper 4-0-49-0, Siddharth Trivedi 3-0-32-0, Shane Watson 1.5-0-21-0, Stuart Binny 2-0-20-0.