CHENNAI: There’s something about Chepauk, something in the wicket, in the rich air of this Southern metropolis that disallows visitors to leave with their desired result, despite having been accorded a king’s welcome.
On Friday evening, Deccan Chargers realized as much. Having confined the home team to 160 after M.S. Dhoni elected to bat, the Hyderabad team had their noses in front in the first half of the chase, only to eventually lose the encounter by ten runs. Suresh Raina was named Man of the match for his all-round show - a 24-ball 32 and the crucial caught-and-bowled of Kumar Sangakkara.
Chargers were going great guns before the customary Chennai vicissitudes performed a volte face, turning the match around in the time one could mouth ‘Krishnaswamy Kasturirangam’. At 77-1 in the 11th over, the basement dwellers were probably eyeing a much-needed third win of IPL-V, when the reversal began.
The well-set Shikhar Dhawan was run out by a quirk of fate, as Cameron White’s full-blooded drive ricocheted off the bowler (Dwayne Bravo) and on to the non-striker’s stumps. Eight runs later, Suresh Raina pulled off a one-handed stunner of Kumar Sangakkara, and suddenly the situation for Chargers was no longer paved with pansies. It was left to the two Aussies – Cameron White and Daniel Christian – to get their side the 55 they needed off the last four overs.
But knowing the venue and its characteristic treachery to chasers, the task was an uphill one. White largely played the lone hand with his 53-ball 77 – a remarkable innings on a stroke-unfriendly track - and struck powerful blows against the million dollar wastrel Ravindra Jadeja, but was run-out going for an ambitious second run. White’s dismissal signaled the end for Chargers, as Hilfenhaus came on to bowl the last over with 20 required for an unlikely win.
Although Christian nicked a boundary on the first ball, Chennai emerged victors by 10 runs, setting their campaign back on the same track as the previous two seasons, which had also demanded an almost impossible backs-to-the-wall corrective action from them.
Earlier, on a wicket where taking pace off the ball was paying dividends, Chennai posted a competitive 160, thanks to Faf du Plessis (42), Suresh Raina (32) and Dhoni (34). The total resulted as Chargers dropped several catches – two each of du Plessis and Bravo (12, 4b), and the hosts maintained a constant run-rate of around eight-an-over.
The lone eye-sore for Chennai was, once again, the wretched form of M. Vijay, a batsman who when on song harbours the potential to destroy the best bowlers in the business. Hopefully, Vijay will come good when Chennai needs him most, possibly in the knock-out stages – if the defending champions make it that far.
Story Author : Yahoo! Cricket
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