Super Kings win again, thrash Mumbai Indians

April 24th, 2008 - 2:28 am ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 24 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians by six runs for their second consecutive win in the eighth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament here Wednesday night. Asked to bat first, the Super Kings made 208 for five in their allotted 20 overs and then took wickets at regular intervals to leave Mumbai Indians on 202 for seven despite a late blitz by Abhishek Nayar (45 not out).

Mumbai Indians thus had their second consecutive defeat, having lost to Bangalore Royal Challengers in their opening fixture.

Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni yet again showed the Midas touch as he rotated the bowlers well and almost every other change fetched his team a wicket. Joginder Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with two for 29 while young Manpreet Gony bowled a tight spell conceding just 18 runs.

Opener Matthew Hayden (81, 46b, 12 x 4, 2 x 6) and Suresh Raina (56, 3 x 4, 3 x 6) put on a century partnership for the third wicket to help the home team recover after they lost two wickets, including that of Mike Hussey, the centurion in the previous game, for 39.

The Super Kings, who had beaten Kings XI Punjab in their first game, initially struggled to break the shackles as the Mumbai outfit, backed clever field placements, kept a check on the run flow. However, Raina’s arrival saw the Kings step up the pace.

Raina, who had smashed a 13-ball 32 at Mohali last week, again played a brilliant knock that was a mixture of some clever improvisation and authentic cricketing shots even as Hayden maintained a watchful vigil at the other end.

The Super Kings sought to keep their wickets intact for a final assault in the slog overs, and to this end, both Hayden and Raina batted quite sensibly, raising the 100-partnership in 58 balls before Raina left, caught in the deep at the end of the 15th over.

Hayden, in contrast, was content to play the second fiddle, especially after he lost his opening partner Parthiv Patel (14) and then Hussey (5). Eschewing risk, the burly Aussie nudged and pushed with an occasional mighty heave as if just to remind his presence.

After Raina’s departure, Hayden took charge in the company of Dhoni and came up with typical sledgehammer shots as Super Kings total neared the 200 mark for the second consecutive match.

The Mumbai Indians, determined to make ground after losing to Bangalore Royal Challengers at home in their opening game, wilted under Hayden’s onslaughts and with Dhoni joining the party, the runs began to flow more freely.

Hayden and Dhoni added 51 runs in just 24 deliveries before the latter was run out by a direct hit from Harbhajan off the last ball of the penultimate over.

Bowling the last over, medium pacer Musavir Khote went for 14 runs, but picked up Dhoni’s wicket who, attempting a big shot, holed out at mid-on with one more delivery remaining.

Kings, put in to bat, paced their innings well, scoring 126 runs in the last 10 overs while Mumbai Indians, after keeping things tight early on, yielded ground in the final stages.

Mumbai Indians began their reply on a disastrous note, losing Luke Ronchi in the very first over as he was caught short of the crease by a direct hit from Badrinath. In the fourth over, the Mumbai team lost Sanath Jayasuriya just when the Sri Lankan was looking dangerous.

Thereafter, Mumbai Indians hopelessly fell behind the asking rate and despite some big hitting by Robin Uthappa (43, 36b, 1 x 6, 6 x 4) and Dwayne Bravo (24, 16b), they were never really in the hunt.

Just about every Mumbai batsman was off to a good start, but could not convert it into big scores nor forge a partnership.

With the asking rate mounting, Mumbai grew desperate and their batsmen virtually gifted their wickets attempting quick runs.

They targeted Muttiah Muralitharan who on the day was rather off colour. Beginning with three consecutive wides in his first over, the off-spinner did not settle into any kind of rhythm and though he finally took a wicket, he was not anywhere near his best.

However, Mumbai Indians could not exploit the rather thin bowling attack in which Jacob Oram went for 53 runs and Palani Amarnath for 57.

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