Chennai Super Kings dash Mumbai’s hopes, storm into semis

May 28th, 2008 - 1:42 am ICT by admin  


Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings survived some anxious moments to clinch a seven-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers and reach the semifinal of the Indian Premier League here Tuesday night. Electing to bat, Deccan Chargers put on 147/7 helped by Venugopal Rao (46) and Ravi Teja (40). Super Kings run-chase stuttered in the middle overs and they were required to score 28 off the last three overs. Suresh Raina batted resolutely to score an unbeaten 54 to see his team through in the tense moments.

Super Kings’ victory dashed the hopes of Mumbai Indians, who will play their last match against Royal Challengers Wednesday but are now out of semifinal contention.

Super Kings finished their league engagement with 16 points and completed the last-four line-up along with Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils.

Table toppers Rajasthan Royals will take on Delhi Daredevils in the first semifinal on Friday while Super Kings will clash with Kings XI Punjab the next day. The final will take place on Sunday. The semifinals and final will be played im Mumbai.

It was an embarrassing finish for Deccan Chargers, one of the strongest batting sides on paper, as they finished at the bottom of the side, and more importantly, they are the only team that has not scored a win on home turf.

Super Kings’ run-chase did not take off on a blistering note. Stephen Fleming (14) edged one to slips in the very first over but the ball went between the wicket-keeper and first slip. Fleming could add just 22 runs with Parthiv Patel (20) before he slashed a delivery from P. Vijaykumar (1-32) hard only to get a thick outside edge which was taken comfortably by Gilchrist.

Raina changed into attacking gear and hit over the in-field to score some boundaries. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (37 off 25) joined Raina after Patel was out to Sarvesh Kumar in the 9th over.

Dhoni was lucky to survive in the very first ball. He hit one straight to Sarvesh but the bowler failed to get a hand to the catch.

The Super Kings were 72 for two in the 10th over and Dhoni decided to launch an attack. He hit a massive six off Pragyan Ojha (1-28) and then two more boundaries came off his blade. Ojha had his revenge when Dhoni perished at long-on as he came down the crease to hit another six.

The match was thrown open after Dhoni was out as the bowlers gave nothing to score. Super Kings’ required 28 in the last three overs and finally 7 in the last over.

Albie Morkel took a single off the first ball from Vijaykumar before Raina hit a six straight down the ground to take his team home.

Deccan Chargers, in search for their first win at home, chose to bat but their star-studded line-up once again failed to deliver.

Chennai’s opening bowlers Makhya Ntini and Manpreet Gony got into the business right from the start. The duo bowled with pace and got good bounce and carry from the wicket. Gony, who has been the find of the tournament and is the team’s leading wicket-taker, maintained an impeccable off stump line and gave nothing away to the bowlers.

The home team suffered jolts early as captain Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs were out with just 15 runs on the board. A lacklustre Gibbs, after hitting two boundaries slashed one straight to Laxmipathy Balaji at third man off Ntini.

Gony then removed Gilchrist, who got a thick outside-edge while trying to hit him straight down the ground.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to finish Gony’s overs. His four overs cost a meagre 21 runs and returned one wicket.

Venugopal and Scott Styris (20) put down their heads to do the rebuilding job. But they had to stick to singles and boundaries with the bowlers sticking to a tight line.

Styris got a life when Ntini lost a top-edge in the lights, but he failed to capitalise as in the very next ball he was bowled while trying to hit him over the leg side. Deccan needed somebody to take the charge and lift the scoring rate.

Rao and Ravi Teja put on 76-runs to put up a decent total on the board. They belted Laxmipathy Balaji (2-34) in the 14th over and brought up 100 in the 16th over.

Three wickets fell in the 19th over from Morkel (2-37), but Deccan still got 13 runs. Afridi, who has been a flop, came out in the final over and skied one to Suresh Raina at long-off.

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