Chennai coast to six-wicket win
G Vignesh and Ian Harvey starred in a comfortable six-wicket win for the Chennai Superstars. Set a target of 143 by Dhaka Warriors, both threatened to end the chase in a blink. They rattled up the team fifty in 2.5 overs, but the tempo slowed as both fell with the score on 61. Russel Arnold, the former Sri Lanka batsman, steadied the innings with Hemanth Kumar to ease Chennai home with two overs to spare.
Harvey started the assault with a charge down the pitch on the third ball of the innings against Manjural Islam. Tapash Baishya was pulled, cut, and lofted for three boundaries in the second over. The score read 26 after two overs when Vignesh joined in the carnage. He hit Manjural for four fours, the wagon-wheel swinging from point to square leg. The match seemed headed for an early finish before Mohammad Rafique terminated Vignesh's blitz with an arm ball. Dhaka then swooped in with two more quick wickets, including Harvey's. However, Arnold showed his experience to guide his team to the target.
Dhaka would have wished they had someone with Arnold's experience to lend their innings some solidity. They were sitting pretty at 78 for 1 from nine overs, with Aftab Ahmed and Nazimuddin moving along at a fair clip. Aftab, in particular, looked in fine nick, hitting Nantie Hayward for three fours in an over. Emboldened, he paddle-swept medium-pacer Vignesh for a cheeky six. But his own chutzpah got him in the end. He failed to connect with an attempted reverse-sweep against Syed Mohammad, and Vignesh cleaned up Nazimuddin to put Dhaka in a free-fall. Mohammad, a left-arm spinner, tightened the noose with a spell of 4-0-12-1 as wickets tumbled at the other end. Wicketkeeper Dhiman Ghosh ensured Dhaka got to a respectable total, but eventually, they couldn't defend it.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo