Chennai Super Kings v Pune Warriors, IPL 2011, Chennai

Rampant Chennai smother Pune in the field

The Bulletin by Firdose Moonda

April 25, 2011

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Chennai Super Kings 142 for 6 (M Hussey 61, Taylor 3-30) beat Pune Warriors 117 for 9 (Yuvraj 34, A Morkel 3-29) by 25 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Michael Hussey pulls in front of square leg, Chennai Super Kings v Pune Warriors, IPL 2011, Chennai
Michael Hussey's half-century took Chennai to 142 © AFP
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A disciplined performance from Chennai Super Kings in the field saw them get their IPL campaign back on track as they comfortably defended 142 against the Pune Warriors. Chennai backed up their bowlers' efforts with superb commitment in the field as they made 142 look a lot more daunting than it was.

Albie Morkel and Doug Bollinger started the assault, peppering the Pune openers with short balls. Mohnish Mishra, who survived an appeal for caught behind off Morkel's third ball, was undone by the slowness of the pitch. He tried to steer the ball down to third man but inside edged it onto his stumps.

Jesse Ryder was also battling to negotiate the extra bounce but ended up falling to R Ashwin whose arm ball disturbed the middle stump as the batsman backed away for the offbreak. Manish Pandey was dismissed in almost the exact fashion as Mishra was, trying to run a Morkel ball to third man and chopping it on. Pune's troubles worsened when Ashwin turned on the magic with a full ball that turned away from Robin Uthappa, snuck around his legs and bowled him. For the second match in succession, Pune had lost four wickets inside six overs.

Suraj Randiv and Suresh Raina bowled four quiet overs, during which Yuvraj Singh brought up 1000 IPL runs, but it laid the pressure squarely on Pune. Desperation started to creep in and Mithun Manhas mishit Randiv for six over cow corner, luckily getting the ball high enough to escape being caught. Manhas was out two overs later, trying to improvise by playing Bollinger late and only getting an edge that MS Dhoni collected.

With the required rate creeping over nine, Chennai, led by Suresh Raina's commitment, flung their bodies around saving numerous fours. Yuvraj and Nathan McCullum rotated the strike but couldn't escape the stranglehold. Chennai's efforts reached their climax when Shadab Jakati flew across from extra cover to take a catch that sent Yuvraj on his way. The lower middle order was left with too much to do and perished.

Pune had earlier kept their reputation as the most economical bowling side in the IPL intact, restricting Chennai to 142. Chennai started slowly, M Vijay looking particularly lacklustre and almost getting run out three times in the first six overs.

He and Michael Hussey had charmed stints, both scoring boundaries in streaky fashion. Vijay's first was an edge that flew past first slip while Hussey scored consecutive fours, first off an inside edge and then off an outside edge. He was also dropped on 28 by Yuvraj Singh.

Luck eventually ran out and Vijay top-edged a bouncer from Alfonso Thomas, presenting Nathan McCullum with a simple catch at midwicket. Thomas then taunted Raina with two short balls, one of which Raina top edged over mid-off and the third one knocked over middle and leg stump. Chennai were 66 for two at the halfway stage, their lowest score in ten overs in this year's IPL.

Yuvraj and Murali Kartik were economical in the middle overs while it was up to Hussey to provide impetus, bringing up his fifty with a stunning cover drive. Dhoni joined in the fun for a while, with consecutive boundaries off Rahul Sharma but like Chennai, his good fortune ended and he was stumped off a flighted delivery.

Hussey was dismissed four balls later, trying to shovel Jerome Taylor over long-on. Albie Morkel made no impact, departing for a duck while attempting a big shot that only found deep cover. Thomas bowled a clutch of yorkers in his last over and Taylor turned on the gas to finish things off. Even a six from S Badrinath in the final over couldn't take Chennai over the 150 mark, but 142 proved to be more than enough.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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