Super Kings thrash Knight Riders

April 26th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 26 (IANS) Pacing their chase to near-perfection, Chennai Super Kings strolled to their third consecutive win, drubbing Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets in the Indian Premier League here Saturday. After Jacob Oram’s three-wicket haul that restricted Knight Riders to 147 for nine, the Super Kings, thanks to Matthew Hayden’s second successive half-century (70b, 3 x 6, 6 x 4), cruised to victory that put them on top of the IPL leaderboard with six points.

The Super Kings batted sensibly taking no risks whatsoever and romped home with ease.

Hayden, who had made 81 in the previous game against Mumbai Indians, put on 66 for the first wicketwith Parthiv Patel, the highest opening stand in the tournament so far, to provide an ideal platform for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43, 27b, 2 x 6, 3 x 4) to finish the game in style.

Given the relatively modest target, the Super Kings focussed on denying the Riders early breakthroughs and then had plenty in reserve to step up the pace when it was required with Hayden clubbing a few sixes.

Hayden and Dhoni added 86 runs for the unfinished second wicket even as the Knight Riders grew in frustration and started to spray the ball around.

Earlier, the Riders, having won both their previous two games, began promisingly with opener Brendon McCullum blazing away, but a twin strike by Oram broke the back of the Kolkata innings that never really recovered from these setbacks.

The Kiwi all-rounder returned with figures of three for 32, a far cry from his 0-37 and 0-53 in the two previous games both of which Super Kings won.

Oram first got rid of McCullum who top-edged a catch and off the very next delivery, out-of-form Ricky Ponting offered a tame catch with Riders on 32 in 2.4 overs.

Thereafter, it was an endless procession as the Riders batsmen in their anxiety to quicken the pace, fell to indiscreet shots.

Super Kings skipper Dhoni kept the pressure on, shuffling his bowlers and not allowing the batsmen to settle down.

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan applied the brakes on the Riders, conceding just 12 runs in his four overs while Palani Amarnath picked up two crucial wickets, those of David Hussey and Md. Hafeez.

Barring Lakshmi Ratan Shukla (42, 33b, 1 x 6, 1 x 4), none of the other Riders batsmen looked comfortable on a pitch that had a bit of movement and appreciable bounce, but certainly no demons lurking under the surface.

Super Kings also fielded quite well, holding the catches that came their way and giving little away on the ground.

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