Deccan Chargers 129 for 7 beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala 74 by 55 runs
Man of the match: Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma undoubtedly produced one of the greatest spells in the four year old history of the IPL as the Deccan Chargers successfully defended a modest target of 130 against Kochi Tuskers Kerala on a pitch that offered ample bounce for pacers from both sides, but the former team had better bowlers to make use of the conditions even though it has to be said that the Kochi bowlers did a good job themselves. However, Ishant was just too good on the day as he knocked out five top batsmen with his pace, bounce and movement to decide the fate of the match rather early.
Ishant began his unbelievable demolition act after South African speedster Dale Steyn got the vital early breakthrough in the very first over of the innings. Brendon McCullum was the victim as the ball moved away appreciably, but not before taking the edge of his bat. Ishant took over from there and was all over the Kochi batsmen. Parthiv Patel was the first of his victims. He jabbed at one that lifted after pitching and like the Steyn delivery moved away to take the bat’s edge to the wicket keeper. In a surprising move, equivalent of Bangalore promoting Zaheer Khan, Raiphi Gomez was sent in at number four. And just like Khan, one ball was all he lasted. The ball came in sharply on this occasion and Gomez clearly had no clue about it.
Brad Hodge was the next of Ishant’s victims. The Aussie tried to drive one outside off stump, but the ball once again came in and cleaned up the stumps. Four wickets were down and Kochi had only scored 2. The only silver lining if one can call it so was the presence of skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who was trying to hold one end up as the wickets crumbled one by one. However, Ishant wasn’t done yet. Kedar Jadhav was trapped plumb in front of the stumps from a vicious Ishant in ducker. And to top it all, he ended mission destruction by get the edge of Jayawardene with one that pitched on a good length. Mahela wasn’t even trying anything expansive. It was just a defensive push, but Ishant was too good for it on this day. When Mahela left, Kochi were struggling at 11 for 6 after four overs. Ravindra Jadeja and Thisara Perera forged together a steady partnership, but by then it was all too late.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers recovered from their own collapse to post 129. It wasn’t a great total, but a decent recovery considering the fact that they were at one stage struggling at 37 for 3 at the halfway mark of their innings, Kumar Sangakkara leading from the front with a sedate half century. Kochi played their part in letting Sangakkara get away. Sreesanth bowled an unplayable delivery that knocked out Sangakkara’s stumps. However, TV replays showed that it was a no ball and the former Lankan skipper survived.
Sangakkara and Cameron White then joined forces to feature in an important partnership. They were severe on Vinay Kumar and Perera in a three over period where the boundaries flowed. However, Vinay got Kochi back into the game getting White caught at deep midwicket forcing Sangakkara to edge a slower ball off consecutive deliveries. The others continued to struggle and 129 was all Deccan managed, way better that Kochi’s effort of 74!
Chennai Super Kings 145 for 2 beat Pune Warriors 141 for 6 by eight wickets
Man of the match: Doug Bollinger
A mature half century from S Badrinath and his counter attacking partnership with the demoted Suresh Raina enabled the Chennai Super Kings to overcome a tricking target of 143 against the Pune Warriors, who themselves got that far thanks to a breezy, unbeaten knock of 62 from their skipper Yuvraj Singh. Earlier, the Chennai bowlers made very good use of the extra pace and bounce in the surface at the D Y Patil Stadium to keep the Warriors down before Yuvraj launched a late assault.
Badrinath it was who steered the Chennai chase after a slow start by Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey made them a bit edgy. As he is known to do, Badrinath played proper cricketing shots to prove once again why technically sound players like him can also succeed in the IPL. Rahul Dravid is another shining example of the same. Coming back to Badrinath, he came in after Murali Kartik took out Hussey, who threw his wicket away unable to break the shackles. Chennai weren’t even score at 5 per over when Badrinath took charge. And eight overs had already passed by.
Badrinath began by attacking the wicket taker Kartik, slamming him for four to long-off and then lofting him for a six over cover. Next, he placed him down to third man to earn another boundary. As 16 runs came of the over, Chennai were finally underway. He hit Yuvraj for a six soon and Chennai were in command. At the other end, Vijay continued to struggle and his misery finally ended when he skied a slower ball and was caught easily. Badrinath was then joined by Raina. Badrinath continued in a similar vein and, as the partnership progressed, Raina too grew in confidence. In fact, he brought the curtains down on the match by lofting Jerome Taylor for huge sixes.
In hindsight, Pune’s lack of runs came back to haunt them again. They got off to a poor start as Jesse Ryder was consumed by Doug Bollinger off a short, rising delivery. Mohnish Mishra, who has played one match winning innings in the IPL also fell in a similar fashion, unable to judge the line of a short one. At the other end, Nuwan Kulasekara sent back Mithun Manhas with one that came in, beat the bat and pad to dislodge a bail. Manish Pandey too failed trying to swat Tim Southee, but unable to get any power into the shot. Pune had stumbled to 41 for 4.
Yuvraj had no other option but to break free and get as many as possible on his own. Robin Uthappa showed flashes of brilliance with a couple of six, but his impetuosity got the better of him again as R Ashwin dismissed him with the carom ball. This was followed by some clean, lofty hitting by Yuvraj. He slammed Ashwin, Bollinger and Southee for big hits as 50 came in the last five overs. His single handed effort though paled in comparison to Chennai’s combined brilliance.
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