Malinga cameo flattens Chennai

Malinga cameo flattens Chennai

Cricket Champions League T20

Malinga cameo flattens Chennai

stirring knock: Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga smashes one during his match-winning 18-ball 37 against Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League T20 match at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Saturday. ptiLasith Malinga blasted Mumbai Indians to victory, and don’t think of those toe-crushing yorkers. It was Malinga the batsman who did the job for the Indians on a tense Saturday night as they registered a three-wicket win.

Michael Hussey played a magnificently paced innings to guide Chennai Super Kings, defending champions of the Champions League T20, to 158 for four in 20 overs at the MA Chidambaram stadium. The Chennai bowlers had Mumbai pinned on the mat till the 16th over, and when Malinga walked in after the fall of Kieron Pollard, the visitors needed 53 runs off 4.4 overs.

It’s not an improbable target in T20, but you hardly expect Malinga and Harbhajan Singh to knock that off against a quality attack on a slow pitch. But what followed were scenes befitting to be a part of Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Malinga smashed sixes and fours at will, much to the disbelief of Chennai players and spectators.

In fact, Mumbai started the chase on a brilliant note, with Davy Jacobs and Aiden Blizzard adding 39 runs in 4.5 overs. The Mumbai Indians supporters in the gallery could have been the most pleasant bunch of people on earth at that time, but the introduction of R
Ashwin changed the whole scenario.

The offie dismissed a rampaging Jacobs, stumped by Dhoni off a wide down the leg side, and Chennai emphatically widened the small creek into a deep abyss, winkling out the next five batsmen for a mere 46 runs.

Raina and Dwayne Bravo exploited the slow nature of the surface to the hilt to share four wickets equally among them at that stage to wreck the Mumbai Indians’ innings. Pollard was Mumbai’s biggest hope, but Albie Morkel-Dhoni combine crushed it before Malinga stepped in.

Earlier, Hussey played a remarkable knock. Every innings Hussey plays in the T20 format destroys the myth that batsmen in the classic frame have no existence in the ultra-abridged version. He seldom resorts to ungainly ways at the crease, and even an earthquake measuring a full 10 on the Richter Scale won’t distract him.

Mumbai bowlers were high on confidence after Malinga yorked Murali Vijay early, and one batsman perforce had to stay there and ward off the initial threat. In Hussey, Chennai had a perfect man to do that job.

There were those typical taps to either side of the wicket for quick-run singles and twos and well-timed drives through covers. But the adaptive skills of Hussey came to the fore when the Super Kings’ innings touched the halfway mark.

Perhaps, fed up of poking around, Hussey came down the track to send leggie Yuzvendra Chahal 90 meters into the ‘E’ stand. In the initial part of his innings, Hussey had the strong support of Suresh Raina, who kept the board ticking with a busy little innings. The second wicket alliance between the two left-handers was worth 35 runs, and looked set for many more before Raina got out in unfortunate fashion.

Pollard beat Raina’s forward prod, and the ball ricocheted onto Davy Jacobs’ pads to rattle the stumps, and the southpaw had to walk back disappointed. S Badrinath failed to provide the momentum during his stay, and Hussey stepped on the pedal thereafter in the company of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Chennai went past the 150-run mark.

Score board

Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey c Blizzard b Nechim 81 (57b, 8x4, 3x6), M Vijay b Malinga 8 (10b), Suresh Raina st Jacobs b Pollard 18 (17b, 2x4), S Badrinath c Sathish b Nechim 16 (21b), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (not out) 22 (13b, 3x4), Albie Morkel (not out) 2 (2b). Extras (LB-4, W-7) 11. Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 158.

Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Vijay), 2-63 (Raina), 3-111 (Badrinath), 4-144 (Hussey).

Bowling: Lasith Malinga 4-0-29-1, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-32-0, Abu Nechim 4-0-35-2 (w-1), Andrew Symonds 2-0-16-0 (w-1), Yuzvendra Chahal 3-0-23-0 (w-1), Kieron Pollard 3-0-19-1 (w-4).

Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 28/1, 10: 67/2, 15: 109/2, End of Innings: 158/4 in 20 overs.

Power Play: 1-6: 36/1.

Mumbai Indians: Davy Jacobs st Dhoni b Ashwin 18 (15b, 3x4), Aiden Blizzard b Raina 28 (21b, 4x4, 1x6), T Suman st Dhoni b Raina 5 (7b), A Rayudu c Dhoni b Bravo 5 (6b, 1x4), Andrew Symonds c Morkel b Bravo 3 (5b), Kieron Pollard c Dhoni b Morkel 22 (19b, 3x4), Rajagopal Sathish lbw Ashwin 14 (8b, 1x4, 1x6), Harbhajan Singh (not out) 19 (20b, 2x4), Lasith Malinga (not out) 37 (18b, 3x4, 3x6). Extras (B-2, LB-1, W-5) 8. Total (for 7 wkts, 19.5 overs) 159.

Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Jacobs), 2-50 (Blizzard), 3-57 (Rayudu), 4-59 (Suman), 5-63 (Symonds), 6-85 (Sathish), 7-106 (Pollard).

Bowling: Doug Bollinger 3.5-0-37-0, Alibie Morkel 3-0-32-1 (w-3), R Ashwin 4-0-23-2 (w-1), Dwayne Bravo 3-0-22-2, Suresh Raina 2-0-6-2, Shadab Jakati 4-0-36-0 (w-1).

Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 39/1, 10: 67/1, 15: 102/6, End of innings: 159/7 in 19.5 overs.

Power Play: 1-6: 49/1.

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