An all-round show by Chennai Super Kings helped them register a 13-run win over Pune Warriors in their IPL 5 match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Pune managed to score 151 for 7 chasing Chennai's total of 164 for 5. Although a 44-run partnership between Steven Smith and Angelo Mathews brought back Pune into the game. At the end of 18 overs, Pune required 25 runs from two overs and it was quite possible with Smith and Mathews batting. But Doug Bollinger bowled a crucial penultimate over and gave only four runs and the wicket of Smith.
Still then Pune had chance of winning with 21 runs required off the last over, but Dwayne Bravo had other plans, as he cleaned up Mathews in his very first ball. After Mathews wicket, things were all but over for Pune and Bravo hardly gave any chance to the batsmen in the remaining five balls. Mathews top-scored for Pune with 27 off 22 balls and Chennai’s Nuwan Kulasekhara returned with figures of 2 for 10 in two overs.
When Pune Warriors came out for the run-chase, their openers - Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder failed to give a right start. In the second over, Kulasekhara dismissed Uthappa for 8 caught by R Ashwin, who ran in to take a catch at mid-off. Two overs later in-form Ryder (9), who held key to Pune's chase fell to Kulasekhara, while going for a pull shot but found Dwayne Bravo.
Manish Pandey and Sourav Ganguly looked to repair the damage done and seemed comfortable out there in the middle when Pandey couldn't resist the temptation of a pitched up ball and ballooned it over covers where Badrinath completed an excellent catch. It was a matter of time and Chennai got a grip and continued to put pressure on the Pune batsmen. Ganguly succumbed to the pressure and got out for 24 off 26 balls, when stepping out to Shadab Jakati, but played straight into the hands of mid-off fielder.
The Pune team had some decent allrounders down the order in the form of Samuels, Mathews and Smith, who can pull off a win on their own. Samuels was expected to fire when the chips were down, but could not continue till the end to see his team through. However, Samuels played an important cameo of 26 off 24 balls that included one six and two fours.
Earlier, Pune Warriors skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and asked Chennai to bat. Openers Subramaniam Badrinath and Faf du Plessis got Chennai off to a rollicking start and struck a half century each. Badrinath (57) and du Plessis (58) shared this edition's highest opening stand of 116 runs.
But after the wickets of du Plessis and Badrinath in quick succession, Chennai failed to lift the ante before MS Dhoni's (28 not out) lusty hits towards the end propped up their innings. For Pune, Marlon Samuels took 3 for 39 while Ashish Nehra claimed 2 wickets for 23.
After a slow start, Chennai picked up the tempo with Badrinath and du Plessis by taking the attack to the bowlers. Du Plessis continued his good form in the tournament as he reached his half century, his second this season in the 13th over. His fifty came off 42 balls and was studded with four fours and a six.
Badrinath survived a close run-out call in the last ball of the 13th over with the third umpire taking a long time to decide on it and he was lucky to continue as Pune wicketkeeper Uthappa missed out on an easy stumping chance off Murali Kartik. The record opening stand finally ended in the 16th over with du Plessis out for 58. Two balls later, Badrinath also departed as he tried to slog-sweep Samuels only to find Mathews again.