Subramaniam Badinath came up with another brilliant performance as the Indian Premier League champions, the Chennai Super Kings went on to trounce the Champions from New Zealand by a mammoth 57 runs in what was the 3rd match of the tournament.
Having won the toss earlier in the day, MS Dhoni predictably chose to bat once again. Both captains seemed to have got what they wanted with Dhoni wanting to bat and How to bowl. The pitch looked a typical early season Durban wicket with a tinge of green on it and batsman having to be weary of the immediate new ball. The Chennai Super Kings went in with a similar team that one them the IPL earlier this year while the Central Stags were forced to do without the services of Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram.
Having said this, the Stags had the super kings on the mat early on in the match as the Super kings who decided to pick Hayden over hussey lost the former in the first over itself as hayden top edged a short delivery of Michael Mayson only to be caught at deep square leg. The Super kings were in trouble straight away as the wicket of Hayden was followed by that of Raina who fell to another ball and managed to fend it away to the waiting slip cordon.
Badrinath and Vijay managed to string a small partnership together before the latter flayed at one outside the off stump and was caught at slip. Dhoni threw in another surprise where he promoted Anirudh Srikkanth, son of former Indian opener K Srikkanth ahead of himself. Fortunately for the Super Kings the duo played sensible cricket aided by the bowling from the Stags as the total raced to 113 where Srikkanth was dismissed for an impressive 42 coming of just 29 deliveries. Local boy, Albie Morkel was promoted ahead of MS Dhoni once again and Morkel did not disappoint.
Morkel with his short cameo (26 of 15 balls) helped provide the impetus to the Super kings total thus aiding them get to a respectable total of 151 on a fast and seaming deck with the pitch offering some spungy bounce.
The bowling from the stags looked impressive early on in the piece but as the innings wore on the zip seamed to deteriorate. One could argue whether their choice of 4 seamers was the right one with a pitch offering some spungy bounce. Having said this, at the first look it looked a very green wicket.
Given a choice at the beginning of the match the Stags would have fancied themselves to get to a target of 152. However, that was not to be as the Stags were bundled out for a paltry 94.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the stags. There’s nothing much to comment on about their batting. A lack lustre display to say the least. However, a lot to talk about the bowling of the Super king bowlers. They were spot on, Bollinger up front was supported brilliantly by Albie Morkel who seems to have tinkered a wee bit with his action after inconsistent bowling displays early in his career. Dhoni keeping in mind the conditions refrained from using R Ashwin to open the bowling, something he did quite regularly in the IPL. The other off spinner, the legend, dint seem to look as if he was out of the game for a bit. Murali just went about work candidly, “going through the motions is what they would say” returning brilliant figures of 2 for 15 in his quota of 4 overs.
Laxmipathy Balaji was brilliant as he got seam movement of the wicket more than anything else and bagged another 3 for improving his Twenty 20 record all the time.
The problem with the Central districts is, the resources. As much as they would want to there’s not much that they can do with their team line up. The Super Kings played like champions, in a very professional manner and are huge threat to the opponents. A formidable side, loaded with former international greats and potential ones in the future.
The Central Districts have another huge match coming up, something that could decide how they go in the competition. They play the favourites of the tournament, the Victorian Bushrangers (Champions from the KFC BIG BASH Down under) in 3 days time and have a lot of work to do. The super kings on the other hand will be licking their fingers in anticipation as they go head to head with Wayamba. A loss for Wayamba and they could well be on their way out.
Lots to look forward to in the coming week. Another exciting week of sports.
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