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The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga
September 18, 2010
Chennai Super Kings 162 for 6 (Vijay 73, Hastings 2-22) tied with Victoria Bushrangers 162 (D Hussey 51, Finch 41, Raina 4-26, Murali 2-17). Victoria won in Super Over
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Twenty20 was at its chaotic best - or worst, looking at some of the shots played - in giving Champions League T20 its first Super Over, one that Victoria Bushrangers won emphatically to stay alive in the tournament.
With 24 required off the last three overs, and David Hussey entrenched on 48, it looked like a cruise, but poor shot after poor shot gave Suresh Raina four wickets in the 18th and 20th overs. Hussey left the job unfinished, but came back to finish some with three sixes in the Super Over.
Redemption seemed to be the theme of the night. R Ashwin, though, who bowled the Super Over for Chennai Super Kings, was left on his knees, all alone despite consolatory pats on his back. Doug Bollinger, not given the Super Over, was left an angry fast bowler, kicking the ground, mouthing off, sitting in the dressing room as opposed to the dugout. It was that kind of night.
Emotions were completely in check, though, after Aaron Finch's stunning 41 off 17 at the start of the chase. Victoria needed a straightforward 59 off 50 when Muttiah Muralitharan took two wickets in two balls. They were still in control with six wickets in hand when Raina began the 18th over. Madness was about to strike.
Raina fielded the first ball, and went for a blind reverse-flick. Had he hit, he would have got Rob Quiney. Had he not tried, he wouldn't have conceded the overthrow that brought Quiney on strike. Quiney, perhaps lured by the short leg-side boundary, went to pull a length ball, and lost his middle stump. John Hastings, hero of Victoria's bowling effort, got stumped trying a massive slog as opposed to giving Hussey the strike. Twenty-one from 13. Still manageable.
Bollinger, whom Finch had hit for 23 in his first two overs, bowled three perfect deliveries for three singles before getting Hussey to hit a slower ball straight to long-off. Game over? Peter Siddle didn't think so. He backed away, and chipped Bollinger over extra cover, like a batsman would, to bring it down to 12 required off the last over.
Raina was the man enjoying the tension. He was pulling out of deliveries and smiling, he was reverse-flicking and smiling, he was accepting gifts and smiling. He was the man to go to. Clint McKay, who had got Raina's wicket with a superb slower ball earlier, dealt him another blow, nonchalantly swinging the first ball over long-off. Six off five, with three wickets in hand. Game over? Raina didn't think so. The next ball stopped a touch, and Raina was smiling again after accepting a return catch.
Dirk Nannes played along with the chaos theme, and hit the next ball straight down long-on's lap. Siddle, who should have been given the strike, now made sure he crossed. He had earlier bowled an over of three waist-high full tosses, two of them deemed beamers, one of them hit way over third man. This was time for his redemption. Again, like a seasoned batsman, he made room and lofted the hat-trick ball over extra cover.
Two off two. Last wicket standing. Mind games began. Raina pulled out of the next delivery. When he came into bowl again Siddle pulled out. Raina wasn't blinking first, and refused to bowl the next time. Asad Rauf smiled, walked a few steps down the pitch, perhaps to move out of stumps mic's range, and told Raina something.
Raina let go this time, Siddle swung, got a bottom edge through to MS Dhoni, who saw Bryce McGain trying to steal one and lobbed the ball back to Raina. Raina had blinked. He wasn't back at the stumps, and had to throw from halfway down the pitch. The overthrow cost the single that brought the scores level. One more mistake was to follow. McGain swung across the line of the last ball, and missed. Dhoni collected cleanly.
Dhoni had earlier got Finch out by persisting with Ashwin, who was hit for 14 in the second over of the innings. He again went with Ashwin, ahead of Bollinger and Raina. Finch was there to face Ashwin, who bowled flat and fast, giving him little room. Hussey was brought on strike. This was time for the ultimate redemption. The captain should have finished it off earlier. He was going to do it now.
Hussey just took half a step down the pitch and pulverised the first ball he faced out of St George's Park. This six meant more than just six runs. The massiveness. The nonchalance. Ashwin knew Hussey could get him anytime. The carrom ball that had got Flinch was forgotten. The arm ball was forgotten. All that came out was flat and full, or flat and short, and went for 2, 2, 6, and 6.
With 23 runs to defend in the Super Over, Victoria went to the master of slower balls, McKay, who didn't need to do anything clever. McKay and Hastings, though, had to produce some of the best slower balls earlier in the night to keep the target to manageable proportions.
M Vijay, with his 53-ball 73, had taken Chennai to 135 for 2 in 16 overs when Hastings and McKay intervened with three overs for 14 runs and the wickets of Vijay, Dhoni and S Anirudha. Both expertly bowled all three versions of the slower ball - offcutter, legcutter and bouncer - and Chennai and the shots, just like punctured balloons, went nowhere.
If the slower ones had the sedative effect on Chennai, Finch shook them up harshly. McKay, Hastings and Finch would have thought they had done enough, but they were required again on a mad night.