Super Kings keep clean slate, beat Royal Challengers (Lead)

April 29th, 2008 - 1:53 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 28 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings kept their unbeaten record intact as they beat home team Royal Challengers, who suffered a dramatic batting collapse to go down by 13 runs in a pulsating Indian Premier League match here Monday night. Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a blistering 65 of 30 balls to help his team to a challenging score and then put his thinking cap on, rotating his bowlers cleverly to script their fourth win in a row.

Chasing 179 for victory, Royal Challengers lost their first wicket early but Wasim Jaffer (50) and Ross Taylor (53) laid a good foundation with some clean hits. But the middle-order played irresponsibly and fell like a pack of cards to see the hosts lose their third successive match at home.

The Royal Challengers were cruising at 102 for one in 10.6 overs with Jaffer and Taylor going great guns, but once the 89-run stand was broken, Super Kings bowlers tightened the noose around Challengers. Medium pacer Palani Amarnath (2-38) brought Super Kings back into the game removing the duo.

Pacer Manpreet Goni (three for 34) then struck twice in the 17th over.

Needing 37 of 24 balls, Suresh Raina, running backwards, squandered a chance to get rid of Mark Boucher off Goni’s bowling in the same over. Boucher’s luck ran out in the very next ball when he went for a huge hit over mid-off only to get a thick edge and Hussey caught it safely in the third man.

Just a ball later, Dravid was trapped leg before in front of the wicket to a delivery that looked to sail over the stumps. Albie Morkel (1-38) then cleaned up Virat Kohi in the next over.

The Royal Challengers needed 25 of 12 balls with three wickets in hand. Zaheer Khan struck Jacob Oram for a boundary to reduce the margin, but two successive run outs spelt disaster for the hosts. Zaheer was the first to fall short of his crease with Raina exhibiting a clever piece of work in the outfield, and then a misunderstanding led to the downfall of Praveen Kumar.

Needing 17 of the last over, the Royal Challengers fell short by 14 with two balls to spare. Steyn was the last batsman to depart when Hussey held him in the mid-on of the bowling of Joginder Sharma.

Earlier, after winning the toss, Dhoni and Michael Hussey ensured that Chennai Super Kings converted a shaky start into an imposing total.

Hayden, who has been in stupendous form in the tournament so far, did not fire in his last IPL match of the season as Zaheer Khan rattled his stumps in the fourth over.

Reeling at 115 for three in the 15th over, Dhoni, with nine boundaries and three sixes, and Hussey (47 of 37 balls) came to the rescue of the hosts. The duo scored at run a ball initially before stepping up the gear.

With five overs remaining, Hussey dismissed Balachandra Akhil for two sixes to score 14 runs in the 16th over.

Dhoni soon joined the party, clubbing fiery Dale Steyn for two boundaries and a six in the 18th over to blast 24 runs before falling prey to Zaheer in the penultimate ball of the innings. The Super Kings scored 76 runs off the last five overs.

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