Chennai v Punjab, IPL 2010, Chennai March 21, 2010

Punjab hold nerve on night of mediocrity


Kings XI Punjab 136 for 8 (Yuvraj 43, Murali 3-16, Morkel 2-23) tied with Chennai Super Kings 136 for 7 (Parthiv 57, Theron 2-17). Punjab won after Super Over
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Mediocrity met mediocrity on Sunday night, and somehow produced the first tie of the third edition of the IPL, leading to a Super Over, which gave Kings XI Punjab an unlikely victory. Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh managed 82 runs in the 10 overs they faced between them, but the others batted poorly to score just 54 in the other 10. In the chase, even after a 65-run opening stand, the Chennai Super Kings batsmen contrived to be needing 10 runs off the last over. Fittingly for a match of low quality, the last over of the regulation game - bowled by Irfan and faced by Albie Morkel and R Ashwin - read: edge for four, missed slog for two byes thanks to an overthrow, single, another edge for two, a missed waft, and a powerful, nervous hit straight to mid-off with one needed off the last ball.

Juan Theron, playing his first IPL match and Punjab's bowling hero in the regulation time, bowled Matthew Hayden off the second ball in the Super Over, and despite a slogged six from Suresh Raina, once again 10 were needed in the last over. Muttiah Muralitharan was hit for a six first ball by Mahela Jayawardene, but he came back with a wicket and a dot to set the match up again. Yuvraj chose that extremely nervous moment to execute a delicate reverse-sweep, a shot he hardly ever uses, to finish the game off with two balls to go.

By halftime, though, Murali, the second Sri Lankan spinner to bowl the losing Super Over in as many tied matches in IPL, wouldn't have expected to play any further role in the game, let alone bowl the pressure over. In regulation time, he was the perfect spy, taking out two of the most prolific batsmen from his country, with 3 for 16 in his four overs. It wasn't as if Chennai needed any extra-ordinary bowling effort: the Punjab batsmen were hapless again.

Irfan, promoted to open the innings, and Yuvraj would have felt the rest of the team had turned on them. They got zero support from the other end, and the two batted together for only nine deliveries. There was a time when Irfan had scored 29 off 17 balls with five crunchy boundaries, but thanks to the struggling Ravi Bopara and Kumar Sangakkara, Punjab were 30 for 1 after five overs. Yuvraj, too, scored 43 out of the 70 runs that came while he was at the crease. He got to face only 28 out of 64 deliveries bowled when in the middle.

Between those spells of ordinary cricket from Punjab came Murali's genius. In his first over, inside the Powerplay, he beat Sangakarra twice in the flight, but the real beauty came in his second. This time he didn't bowl it flat when he saw Sangakkara charging down, just got it to dip more and then the bounce left him high and dry.

Jayawardene was made to look poorer than that. Murali first beat a late-cut with a topspinner from round the stumps, and then got a flighted offbreak to turn enough to beat the bat and get an lbw decision. At 64 for 4 after 11 overs, Punjab were looking at a freak innings from Yuvraj to keep them alive.

Yuvraj hit four fours and two sixes, but Mohammad Kaif and Manvinder Bisla at the other end wasted too many deliveries. The trend for Punjab, until this game, had been for one aspect of their game to do well, and the other to let it down. Still, to defend 136 against an in-form Hayden was too much to ask for. What's more, they had dropped their only bowler who could produce wickets, Sreesanth.

Hayden was not at his murderous best, but he was good enough he overtake Yusuf Pathan for maximum sixes in the IPL so far, and leave Chennai only 72 to get off the 68 deliveries. Punjab, the whipping boys of the tournament until then, used to letting matches slip after getting into winning positions, were about to turn one around from a losing position.

Their newest player, Theron, a medium-pacer, provided the turning point. Parthiv Patel dropped one at his feet and called Suresh Raina for a single, but Theron ran faster than Raina and kicked the ball into the stumps, from a good-length area on the pitch. Umpire Daryl Harper, who had earlier called a clear six a four, joined in the fun, sending M Vijay off when the ball was clearly sliding down leg.

About five overs later, the six call was corrected, and Parthiv was seeing Chennai through with what seemed a sensible fifty. Then came the rush of the blood. Just after having hit a boundary, he jumped out to Piyush Chawla and was stumped, leaving Chennai 16 to get off 16. Morkel and Manpreet Gony, who had earlier bowled poorly to give 20 runs in two overs, started slogging as if the requirement was sixty and not sixteen.

Theron, bowling the 19th over, only had to be straight when Gony produced the worst bit of cricket on a night that had had its fair share already. Throwing his front leg out of the way, and his head up, he slogged and lost his middle stump. An injury had confined Justin Kemp to the dressing room and Ashwin, like a hare in the headlights, couldn't do much with the last two deliveries of that over, setting up an exciting finale.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 11Noobs on March 23, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    @rambo_072: Ok here goes. In the first season CSK won eight games. Badri scored 31*(14) and 64(47). In the other six innings, he did not bat or finished not out ( highest being 16* or there abouts). In the second season, CSK again won eight games. He scored 29(27), 45(34), 59*(41) and 22(23). In two matches he failed, and the other two he didn't bat. In 2010, he scored 43*(33). Those scores range from fair contributions to match winning ones. When he scored 29(27) he came in at 2-17 and shared a 67 run partnership with Raina. When he scored 22(23), the other batsmen had similar SRs. There, I hope I've explained it!!!

  • karthik_spunk on March 23, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    No need for discussions ,all seems to be match fixing in IPL n Mostly probably dis year winner will b either Mumbai Indians (or) RCB

  • lakx on March 22, 2010, 20:18 GMT

    Confidence is everything.I do not understand why Raina was made captain ahead of Badri. I also do not understand why Raina promoted himself and demoted Vijay to no7 after he scored 33 of 26 balls. Badri had a great record in 2008 avg 32@147.7, could have been better but when Badri played well Dhoni promoted himself and Raina ahead of Badri as a result Badri's confidence suffered and he is not playing with the same confidence now. When fringe players like Parthiv are promoted ahead of Badri and Vijay who have much better records than him in all forms and even Raina in first class and List A, they obviously lose confidence. Are Dhoni and Raina working to promote cricket in Chennai, no they just promote themselves and friends. We know that Dhoni, Raina and Partiv are friends & have great bonding & spend most of the time together during IPL while Chennai guys spend half the time at home.But misusing it is bad for cricket and Chennai when Mukund & Badani do not even get a chance.

  • lakx on March 22, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    WOW! Now Vijay and Badri are not worth playing for even Chennai. So much hatred for Vijay and Badri when the worst innings was played by Parthiv. He got out in the 18th over with score at 121, and scored 57( 58), others scored 64 (46). He used up 10/17.2, he hogged the strike but failed to score and when he got out with just 16 balls remaining and 16 runs to get the tail enders were expected to play better than him. For all those non-Chennai guys who want mediocre non-Chennai guys playing for Chennai, here are some ipl records,Parthiv(innings,runs,avg,rate)-2008(13,302,27.45,101.68)-2009(9,142,15.7,112.6)-2010(2,63,31.50,98.43), Badri-2008(11,192,32,147.7)-2009(11,177,19.6,107.9)-2010(4,64,21.3,103.2) Vijay-2009(4,60,15.00,89.55)-2010(4,50,16.66,121.95). The records show that Parthiv does not belong to T20, Badri is much much better(148 strike rate in 2008) and Vijay not given enough opportunities just 8 matches in 3 yrs, but still better(121 in 2010).But then they belong to Chennai

  • kapil__goyal on March 22, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    there is no fault of Raina in this, the only mistake that chennai made was they didn't go for the kill in the final overs which wud have made them win with one or two overs to spare. Batsmen of the caliber of Morkel were there and Ashwin too is a good all-rounder. Even on the last ball, when Ashwin got out, he could have instead just played the ball with soft hands instead of going for the drive and that wud have won Chennai the game. Now there was nothing Raina could have done, also when 13 were needed off 12,chennai shud have made sure that they make the most of in the second last over but they took it lightly and that cost them the game

  • Vipin51 on March 22, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    Parthiv Patel had hit a six, but the umpire signalled for four runs. CSK also did'nt point it out. Otherwise, CSK would have won it in regular 20 overs.

  • dummy4fb on March 22, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    wrong decisions cost csk the match ( both by harper giving a 6 as a four and vijay out lbw )....

  • ssenthil on March 22, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    It's rightly said "night of mediocrity"

  • harykrishnan on March 22, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    wat the hell was ashwin doing. when 1 is required of 2 balls u basically have to touch and run and not whack it to a fielder. clearly he wanted to be a hero by smashing a four and turned out to be a zero. the indian domestic players in csk wont find themselves in any t20 team . i was a fan of albie ever since he became a powerplay specialist down under. but wats happening ? he is his shadow self since last ipl and i seriously wish tht csk shd give chance to perara in place ofany one of the sa allrounders. i am sure he is going to be a star in t20 worldcup. i hope jakati is picked ahead of gony/joginder/tyagi as he is a better bowler although being a spinner. i hope tht raina must learn hereafter not to give a spinner the super over as it is a basic rule tht batsman find it easier to hit spinners out of the park rather than fast bowlers. i finally hpe that badri gets dropped as he can at best strike at less than run a ball which is abs. useless.

  • ssenthil on March 22, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Whatever Happens CSK news got always bigger in any forum, some hater words some supporting words and some neutral comments. Some want to enjoy of CSK losing some showing frustration and some other supporting these joker players. Way to go, it will increase only CSK fan base. Let see they can beat RCB which in many other thinks never going to happen without MS Dhoni but if these same jokers play to their potential they can beat any team in the world. For the worst play against KXIP now CSK should amend by beating table toppers RCB, otherwise CSK won't get any momentum going when they play the strong MI next.

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