Mongia and Tuffey edge out Chennai
Chandigarh Lions 163 for 8 (Mongia 47, Hayward 4-21) beat Chennai Superstars 155 for 8 (Hall 3-23, Tuffey 3-13) by eight runs
Dinesh Mongia and Daryl Tuffey's strong performances helped Chandigarh Lions win by eight runs and handed Chennai Superstars their first defeat of the tournament. Mongia top scored with 47 and set a target of 164, before Tuffey grabbed three top-order wickets to lead his team to their second victory.
So far in the tournament Chennai have depended heavily on their openers and Russell Arnold for direction. Today, however, Ian Harvey and G Vignesh fell early, leaving Arnold with too much to do. Tuffey induced Vignesh to slash straight to deep point and foxed Harvey with a slightly slower one. He also got rid of Stuart Law, playing his first game, with extra bounce and finished with 3 for 13.
Arnold and R Sathish tried to put the chase back on track but the asking-rate remained beyond their grasp. Arnold fell 62 runs short of the target and Sathish was dismissed while Chennai were 36 runs away. The lower order struggled to build enough momentum to achieve victory.
Chandigarh's lower order, however, managed to score 59 runs in the last six overs of their innings, a period that eventually was the difference between the teams. It provided the ideal finish to a collective effort.
Matthew Elliott began the attack against Chennai's bowlers, reserving his shots for former Pakistan fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed during an attractive innings. He pulled the first ball of the game for six and hit three fours - one straight, the next over point and then to third man - in the third over. Elliott was dropped on 26 but failed to capitalise on the let-off. He was bowled by a yorker from Nantie Hayward a run later.
Mongia took over after Elliott's departure and was the only batsmen to pass 30 for Chandigarh. He jumped down the pitch early in his innings to hit the seamer R Jesuraj inside out over extra cover, and then smashed left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad for three consecutive boundaries: two disappeared to long-on and the other crashed into the cover boundary. When the fast bowlers were brought back, Mongia flicked them off his pads for three more fours. Mongia's dismissal - caught at the wicket - was followed by Chris Cairns' which left Chandigarh 114 for 5 in the 14th over. The lower order, however, ensured that their bowlers would have a match-winning target to defend.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo