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Chasing 171 to win, the Warriors made a horrendous start. Jesse Ryder (1) mistimed an Ajit Chandila delivery into Shane Watson’s hands at mid-on off the fifth delivery of the innings. But Chandila wasn’t done surprising PWI. The off-spinner got one past Sourav Ganguly’s (2) pads to get the Warriors’ skipper stumped. With PWI stuttering at three for two, the Royals were already on top after the first over. The situation continued to worsen for the Warriors with Chandila getting his hat-trick after luring Robin Uthappa (6) out of his crease and having him stumped by Shreevats Goswami.
The 28-year-old off-spinner’s fairytale performance continued after he bagged his fourth wicket. Anustup Majumdar (9) was completely outfoxed and lobbed a simple catch back to Chandila to reduce the away side to 26 for four. Callum Ferguson and Steve Smith brought some stability to the PWI chase, but it didn’t last long as Johan Botha trapped Ferguson (23) lbw. With the required run-rate increasing every ball, Smith (37) tried to break the shackles only to get holed out at long-on. At 89 for six, it was all but over for the Warriors as the home side kept on taking wickets to peg the Warriors back. 125 for nine is all that the Warriors could muster in 20 overs.
Earlier, Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to bat first on a slow Sawai Mansingh Stadium wicket. PWI bowlers began well by restricting the run flow and getting the all-important early breakthrough. Rahul Dravid (21) nicked one to Robin Uthappa off an Ashish Nehra delivery to leave the home side on 29 for one. That brought the in-form Shane Watson to the crease. The Aussie, along with Ajinkya Rahane, ensured that the run-rate surged ahead thanks to some lusty hitting. The RR all-rounder looked in complete control, smashing four sixes and six fours en route to a 31-ball 58. However, Nehra dismissed the dangerous Watson by getting one to crash into his stumps.
Rahane (61), on the other hand, stroked the ball around with ease to keep the runs ticking for the Royals. Brad Hodge (14) failed to settle and perished while trying to up the ante. This gave Nehra his third wicket of the innings. At 156 for three, RR needed quick runs, but Angelo Mathews’ yorker was too much for Rahane to handle. Despite all their attacking intent, the Pune Warriors India eventually managed to limit the Royals to a 170 for four.
Opting to bowl first on a good batting track, CSK restricted the powerful DD batting line-up to 114. Ben Hilfenhaus, who had a great game against the Rajasthan Royals, put DD on the back foot with a first spell that read 3-0-14-3. The Delhi Daredevils had lost their top four batsmen by the end of the first powerplay and never recovered from this initial blow.
Hilfenhaus sent back DD’s explosive openers cheaply. In his first over, the pacer bowled Virender Sehwag (4) and even sent back fellow Australian, David Warner (8) in the next one. Hilfenhaus then got rid of Naman Ojha (3); the wicketkeeper-batsman nicked the ball to MS Dhoni. Although the CSK skipper wasn’t sure if he had caught the ball cleanly, the referred decision turned out to be in the home team’s favour. The following over saw Mahela Jayawardene (8) walk back to the pavilion after being caught at mid-on by Michael Hussey off Albie Mokel. This left the visitors reeling at 24 for four.
Y Venugopal Rao (27) and Yogesh Nagar (43*) then added 48 runs for the fifth wicket, before Albie took a diving catch to send the former back to the hut off the bowling of R Ashwin. Irfan Pathan (13*) then joined Nagar at the crease, and the duo ensured that the visitors did not lose any more wickets. They even collected 13 run off Hilfenhaus’ final over, with Nagar hitting him for a four and six. Although Nagar played a valiant knock, to take DD past the triple-digit mark, it wasn’t enough to help set a competitive target. In the end, the Daredevils managed a score of 114 for five in their 20 overs.
Defending a paltry total in the defending champions’ home ground, Morne Morkel conceded only three runs in the first over. However, after that, the CSK openers came to the party. The Super Kings were cruising on 45 for no loss at the end of six overs. Michael Hussey (38) and Murali Vijay put together a 75-run opening partnership before the former was dismissed by Irfan Pathan. Mr. Cricket hit five boundaries and a six during his 32-ball stay at the crease.
There was little that the DD bowlers could do as the hosts raced to the target. Suresh Raina (28*) partnered with Murali Vijay (48*) to finish the match with 4.4 overs to spare. A boost in their net run-rate, thanks to this nine-wicket win, could help CSK as the race for the playoffs heats up.
Man-of-the-Match: Ben Hilfenhaus for recording match-winning bowling figures of 4-0-27-3