Super Kings lord over Challengers

Hussey makes most of dropped catches as Bangalore suffer third straight loss

Super Kings lord over Challengers

Even as the Chennai Super Kings put in a command performance befitting their status as the defending champions, the Challengers seemed to have learned precious little from their previous drubbing at the hands of Deccan Chargers.

The bowling was again little more than ordinary, made to look even worse by the abysmal catching and ground fielding, and the top-order batting completely thoughtless.

Consequently, the Challengers embraced defeat for a third consecutive time, finding the Super Kings’ mountain of runs impossible to surmount.

Drafted in immediately upon his arrival from Bangladesh, man of the match Mike Hussey made the most of being dropped twice to bat through the Super Kings innings after Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, his unconquered 83 (56b, 11x4, 1x6) the bedrock around which the home side posted a massive 183 for five.

Twice before Saturday afternoon’s encounter at the MA Chidambaram stadium, teams had failed to protect totals in excess of 180, including the Super Kings themselves against Kings XI Punjab in their last game. There was no hat-trick as Dhoni’s men defended the total with tigerish resolve, consistently controlled with the ball and fairly electric in the field as they kept the Challengers down to 162 for seven.

The only time the visitors were in the hunt was when Zaheer Khan and skipper Daniel Vettori sent down tidy two-over spells each with the new ball. Just 17 had come off the first four overs when Vettori went in to the dug-out for one over. That’s when the game began to run away from the Challengers.

Substitute fielder Mohammad Kaif made a hash of a regulation catch at mid-off when Hussey was only eight. Johan van der Wath should have tasted success with his second delivery, instead he was torn apart by Murali Vijay as 15 came off his first over.

That was the beginning of the torrent. Vijay, Suresh Raina and Dhoni all played competent but bruising second fiddles to Hussey, who began reasonably cautiously but made up with characteristically meaty pulls and drives down the ground.

Nervy Pathan

Van der Wath was also the unfortunate bowler when Hussey was dropped by a nervy Asad Pathan on 66 at the deep cover boundary, but between those deliveries, he provided enough fodder for the batsmen. The Challengers suffered badly on a good batting strip as the Super Kings could afford to hit through the line and make the most of indiscretions in line and length from an attack that was completely let down by shoddy, amateurish ground fielding.

By contrast, the Super Kings fielding was an absolute treat, and the bowling highly disciplined. Tillakaratne Dilshan’s soft first-over dismissal didn’t help matters, and had Hussey not spilled Virat Kohli first ball, the Challengers would have been in even more serious strife.

The three strokes-a-ball Pathan and Mayank Agarwal, clueless against R Ashwin, fell without meaningful contributions, necessitating Kohli and AB de Villiers (65, 44b, 5x4, 2x6) to not just consolidate but also keep up with the steeply climbing required rate. Kohli cashed in on his let-off by playing with characteristic flair, while de Villiers blossomed after a watchful start, both taking a particular liking to Shadab Jakati’s left-arm spin.

Through offies Ashwin and Suraj Randiv, Dhoni could exert enough pressure. Kohli fell in trying to up the pace, after which the result was a foregone conclusion. De Villiers played an outstanding hand, his reverse scoop-paddle off Tim Southee that landed beyond the third-man ropes an absolute peach, but it wasn’t even scant consolation on another evening of despair and gloom for the Challengers.

Score Board

CSK: Mike Hussey (not out) 83 (56b, 11x4, 1x6), Murali Vijay c Zaheer b Ninan 31 (21b, 3x4, 2x6), Suresh Raina c Agarwal b Ninan 29 (16b, 3x4, 1x4), Mahendra Singh Dhoni c de Villiers b Zaheer 22 (16b, 1x4, 1x6), Albie Morkel c Agarwal b van der Wath 9 (8b, 1x4), S Badrinath c Ninan b van der Wath 5 (3b, 1x4). Extras (B-1, LB-2, W-1) 4. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 183.

Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Vijay), 2-96 (Raina), 3-147 (Dhoni), 4-176 (Morkel), 5-183 (Badrinath).

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-33-1, Daniel Vettori 4-0-23-0, Johan van der Wath 4-0-49-2 (w-1), Tillakaratne Dilshan 2-0-21-0, Ryan Ninan 3-0-31-2, Virat Kohli 3-0-23-0.
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 33/0; 10: 80/1; 15: 126/2; end of innings: 183/5 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 45/0.

RCB: Mayank Agarwal c Hussey b Ashwin 7 (13b, 1x4), Tillakaratne Dilshan c Srikkanth b Morkel 0 (1b), Asad Pathan b Southee 14 (5b, 2x4, 1x6), Virat Kohli c Srikkanth b Jakati 35 (28b, 4x4, 1x6), AB de Villiers c Srikkanth b Morkel 65 (44b, 5x4, 2x6), Saurabh Tiwary c Dhoni b Randiv 14 (13b), Cheteshwar Pujara c Vijay b Randiv 2 (4b), Johan van der Wath (not out) 14 (10b, 1x4, 1x6), Daniel Vettori (not out) 2 (2b). Extras (LB-3, W-6) 9. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 162.

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Dilshan), 2-17 (Pathan), 3-31 (Agarwal), 4-73 (Kohli), 5-112 (Tiwary), 6-127 (Pujara), 7-145 (de Villiers).

Bowling: Albie Morkel 4-0-34-2 (w-1), Tim Southee 4-0-32-1 (w-1), R Ashwin 4-0-23-1 (w-2), Suraj Randiv 4-0-24-2, Shadab Jakati 3-0-36-1 (w-1), Suresh Raina 1-0-10-0 (w-1).
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 31/3; 10: 67/3; 15: 112/5; end of innings: 162/7 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 33/3.



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