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The Chennai Super Kings registered a seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians in Match 12 of Pepsi IPL 2014. Thanks to Mohit Sharma’s four-for, CSK held MI down to 141 for seven in their 20 overs. Then, led by Brendon McCullum (71*), the Men in Yellow scripted a comfortable chase against the defending champions at Dubai.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat first earlier in the evening. However, MI opener Michael Hussey’s (1) subpar form continued as he got out in the second over, off Ben Hilfenhaus. Aditya Tare (23), meanwhile, lashed out in the early overs, but even his innings came to an abrupt halt just when it was taking shape; Mohit Sharma dismissed him to leave MI on 25 for two in 4.4 overs. Due to these early setbacks, the Indians were able to post only 31 runs in the powerplay.
Corey Anderson and Rohit Sharma then set about the task of bringing the MI innings back on track. They started going after loose deliveries once they got their eye in. Both batters pitched in almost equally as they brought up the team 100 in the 15th over. However, just when it looked like Anderson (39) and Sharma’s charge was going to go unchecked, the former was run-out by Ashwin. The third-wicket pair added 84 runs before getting separated.
The fall of Anderson’s wicket shifted the momentum dramatically in CSK’s favour as the MI innings went off track from that point forward.
Hilfenhaus got rid of Rohit Sharma (50) in the 18th over with the scorecard reading 123 for four. Mohit Sharma, who bowled the 19th over, then dealt a triple-blow. The CSK pacer got rid of Ambati Rayudu (1) off the first ball of the over. He then dismissed the dangerous Kieron Pollard (12) off the fourth ball, and off the final delivery of that over, he sent Harbhajan Singh (0) packing. This middle-order collapse saw MI lose four wickets for four runs in the space of eight balls.
While CM Gautam (7*) and Zaheer Khan (7*) tried to get their team to a challenging total, 141 for seven was all they could amass in their allotted 20 overs.
For CSK, Mohit Sharma was the star performer; his four overs went for 14 runs and accounted for four wickets. While Hilfenhaus claimed two scalps, Ishwar Pandey and R Ashwin bowled at a sub-six economy rate over their four-over spells.
In response, Dwayne Smith launched the CSK innings in grand fashion. He struck three early sixes while ensuring the pressure was squarely on the MI bowlers. Even Brendon McCullum joined in the action as CSK scored 51 runs in the powerplay. But almost immediately, Corey Anderson took a tough running catch off Pragyan Ojha’s bowling to get rid of Smith (29). And then, Harbhajan Singh had Suresh Raina (1) stumped in the next over to bring MI back in the game.
But McCullum, who scored yet another half-century, and Faf du Plessis had other ideas. The duo stitched together a valuable 53-run partnership, which saw them survive a few chances at critical junctures. And after surviving one such chance off Harbhajan Singh’s bowling, du Plessis (20) was eventually stumped off the off-spinner. But despite this breakthrough, there was no respite for MI as MS Dhoni took guard opposite McCullum. Both CSK batters struck timely boundaries to bring the required run-rate down to four-and-a-half by the 19th over. And then, McCullum (71*) took CSK past the finish line as Dhoni (14*) remained unbeaten at the other end. The Super Kings achieved the target by a seven-wicket margin and with an over to spare.
Man of the Match: Mohit Sharma for his four-wicket haul
The Sunrisers Hyderabad posted their first points in Pepsi IPL 2014, thanks to their four-run win over the Delhi Daredevils. After scoring 184 for one, SRH prevailed by a slim margin in a match that came down to the last over.
Earlier, SRH won the toss and elected to bat first in Dubai. Both their openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch – vindicated the decision by giving their team a brisk, yet solid, start. Ensuring they dealt with any loose offerings from the DD bowlers, both openers brought up the team 50 in the 6th over itself. In fact, SRH scored 55 without loss at the end of the six-over powerplay and were looking set for a big score. However, Dhawan (33), who had done the bulk of the scoring till that point, perished soon after; he fell prey to Shahbaz Nadeem in the seventh over.
But Finch, along with David Warner, continued to put pressure on the DD bowlers by maintaining the SRH run-rate around the seven-an-over mark, and more importantly, preserving wickets for a late onslaught. The SHR 100 came up in the 15th over as the stage was set for some late-innings fireworks. Finch also reached his half-century during this period and began an all-out assault against the Daredevils. While Warner played more than a handful of big shots, it was Finch who stole the show by dispatching the DD bowlers to all corners of the park almost every other ball. Warner also reached his half-century soon after – in the 19th over.
Thanks to the 128-run unbroken second-wicket partnership, off 88 balls, SRH posted a massive 184 for one in their 20 overs. In fact, the Hyderabad franchise put up 85 runs in the last six overs alone, thanks to the exploits of Finch (88*) and Warner (58*).
In response, even the DD openers – Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay – started steadily. They even brought up the team 50 in the seventh over of the innings, with de Kock taking centre stage and Vijay playing the supporting role. However, as the innings took shape, even Vijay came into his own, matching his partner run-for-run, and at times, shot-for-shot. Thanks to both the batters, DD were scoring around nine-an-over and were firmly in the hunt.
But de Kock (48) finally perished with the score on 99 in the 12th over; Karn Sharma got the better of the SRH opener as he was trying to go for a big hit. Vijay (52) fell shortly thereafter, upon reaching his half-century, off the bowling of Darren Sammy. Dinesh Karthik then joined skipper Kevin Pietersen in the middle with the run-chase equation reading 82 off 46 balls. And despite having two of their best batsmen at the crease, Daredevils’ scoring-rate took a hit. With a little more than four overs left in the innings – and 61 runs still required – they needed to go after the SRH bowlers, who had done a great job of restricting their opponents during the middle overs.
And while Pietersen struck a welcome six and a four in quick succession, Karthik (15) succumbed to Dale Steyn in the 17th over. Pietersen (16) suffered the same fate off the very next ball. The ace pacer, however, missed out on a hat-trick. Then, with the required rate climbing further, DD had two fresh batsmen – Manoj Tiwary (23*) and the in-form JP Duminy (20*) – taking strike. The duo plundered 18 runs off Amit Mishra’s final over – the 18th of the innings – to bring the equation down to 31 off 12 deliveries. But the next over cost SRH 11 runs, which meant that DD needed 20 off the last six balls of their innings.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled the 20th over, ensured there was no fairy-tale ending for DD this time around. Despite a couple of hits to and above the fence, the Daredevils fell short of the target, giving SRH a four-run win. Man of the Match: Aaron Finch for his match-winning innings of 88*