Chennai - Magnificent death bowling by Doug Bollinger and Dwayne Bravo, a composed
half-century by Faf du Plessis and a vital late cameo by MS Dhoni
propelled the Chennai Super Kings to a 13-run win against the Pune
Warriors at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chenauk, Chennai on Thursday.
Chennai scored 164 for five in their innings.
In pursuit of 165 for victory, Pune looked down the barrel on 97 for
five, and needed 58 runs off the final 30 deliveries to win it.
An excellent sixth-wicket partnership between Steve Smith and Angelo
Matthews produced 44 runs off 31 balls, leaving the visitors needing 25
runs in the final two overs to silence the home crowd.
It was within their reach, as Smith (23 runs off 21 balls) and Matthews (27 off 22 deliveries with one boundary) were well set.
But Bollinger removed Smith with a slower ball as he was caught at long off for 23 in the penultimate over.
Bollinger conceded just four runs in a superb nineteenth over, leaving
Pune with 21 to get in the final over, to be bowled by Bravo.
The West Indian bowled Matthews with a yorker and allowed only seven
runs to be scored off his disciplined bowling, thereby ensuring an
excellent win for the hosts.
Pune finished on 151 for seven.
Earlier, Chennai recovered well from a slowish start to post a very competitive 164 for five in their innings.
It was due to half-centuries from Du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath
and an excellent late cameo from their inspirational captain, Dhoni.
Du Plessis hit 58 off 48 deliveries with four fours and two sixes.
Badrinath contributed 57 off 48 balls, with eight fours as the openers compiled 116 runs in 15.3 overs for the first wicket.
Dhoni hammered 28 runs off twelve deliveries.
His late flurry helped the hosts to pummel 39 runs in the final three overs.
In the context of the match, those 39 runs, and Dhoni’s acceleration, were vital.
Ashish Nehra was the pick of the attack with 2-23 in four overs.
The Pune Warriors lost their heavyweight-openers, Robin Uthappa and
Jesse Ryder, as well as Manish Pandey early on during the run chase in
pursuit of their target.
Uthappa was gone in the second over when he top-edged a delivery by
Nuwan Kulasekera to mid-off, where he was caught by Ravi Ashwin for
Ryder attempted a pull shot off Kulasekera in the fourth over but was
superbly caught by a diving Bravo for nine with Pune slipping to 26 for
Sourav Ganguly was targeted for some chin music by Bollinger.
The hunted became the hunter and Ganguly slammed 20 runs in that over to
power Pune to 53 for two upon the conclusion of the field restrictions
at the end of six overs.
Pandey departed straight afterwards when he tried to hit Bravo out of
the ground, but was magnificently caught by Badrinath at deep extra
cover for thirteen.
Ganguly perished in the tenth over when he attempted a straight hit and
skied it off Shadab Jakati, only to be caught at mid-off by Kulasekera
He faced 26 deliveries and hit four fours.
With his departure, Pune were reduced to 64 for four after 9.4 overs.
Marlon Samuels threatened briefly and put Jakati to the sword by
slamming 13 runs off his over, and he also flicked Bravo effortlessly
over square leg for a six in the twelfth over.
Ashwin deceived Samuels with his slower ball in the fourteenth over and he was gone for 26 as Pune slipped to 97 for five.
He faced 24 balls and hit two fours and a six.
Bollinger finished with 1-31 in three overs and Bravo managed 2-28 in four.
Ravindra Jadeja was miserly, conceding only 21 runs in four overs.
Kulasekera took 2-10 and his early double-strike set Pune back.