Kochi Tuskers Kerala 135 for 3 beat Chennai Super Kings 131 for 4 by seven wickets (D/L method)
Man of the match: Brendon McCullum
A superlative knock of 47 from 33 balls and crucial cameos from Parthiv Patel and Brad Hodge enabled Kochi Tuskers Kerala to upset reigning champs Chennai Super Kings by a comfortable margin of seven wickets in a rail curtailed game at Kochi’s Nehru Stadium. Earlier, Chennai struggled their way to 131 for 7 in 17 overs, which was build on the back of an 18 ball 28 from Murali Vijay and a laboured half century from Suresh Raina. The Duckworth Lewis revised the target to 135, which the home team got to without much trouble thanks to McCullum’s early burst.
The Kiwi opener was in his elements right from the very start. He began by depositing Albie Morkel straight over his head and never looked back from there. Continuing to be severe on Morkel, McCullum slammed him through his favoured extra cover region as well. The only consolation for Morkel was that he want the only one being taken to the cleaners. Doug Bollinger too was treated the same way when he resorted to bowling length. And when Shadab Jakati got a chance to bowl, he too was taken for plenty. As such, M S Dhoni pinned a lot of his hopes on Tim Southee, who is known to bowl some great yorkers. However, he too strayed in line and was taken away for boundaries.
At the other end, Mahela Jayawardene departed after a couple of big hits off R Ashwin. But, McCullum soon found solid company in the form of little Parthiv Patel. The diminutive wicket keeper played a couple of lovely drives apart from miscuing a few to the boundary to keep Kochi on par with the run rate. McCullum eventually departed miscuing Ashwin while Patel also fell while trying to clear the boundary. But, Hodge and Ravindra Jadeja batted sensibly to see their team through without much trouble and with as many as two overs to spare, the duo opening up their arms towards the end after getting set.
In contrast, Chennai found the going much tougher with the bat. It did not help that there was rain around, and the match had to be stopped after nine overs. In that time, Chennai lost the big wicket of Michael Hussey, who was done in by the conditions, which made even R P Singh look lethal. Vijay was the only batsman for Chennai who looked in control of the proceedings. But, he too threw his wicket away, gifting it to Thisara Perera, when on 28. Raina did get a half century, but he clearly was undone by the conditions. This is apparent from the fact that he took 40 balls to complete his 50, an innings replete with edges and mishits, with only luck favouring him.
The story wasn’t too different with S Badrinath and even Dhoni struggled to break the shackles. R P Singh troubled him towards the end with some nagging yorkers as Dhoni managed on 14 in 13 balls. A big hit by Morkel improved their score marginally. But, once McCullum unleashed his fury, it was clear Chennai hadn’t got enough runs on the board.
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