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Chennai Super Kings registered a thumping 34-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Ranchi. The Men in Yellow posted 148 for three – thanks to Brendon McCullum’s 56 – and then restricted KKR to 114 for nine in their rain-affected encounter. Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-12-4) and Mohit Sharma (3-0-22-3) played a crucial role in handing CSK a comprehensive victory.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first at his home ground. However, there was a delayed start to the game due to rain and the contest was reduced to 17 overs a side. As usual, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum opened the batting for CSK. And after playing a few big shots, including a maximum, Smith (16) was trapped leg-before by Shakib Al Hasan in the third over. Suresh Raina then walked in, and along with McCullum took their team’s score past the 50-run mark. As the partnership blossomed, both batsmen freed their arms and took the attack to the KKR bowlers, and after 10 overs, the scorecard read 85 for one.
However, Suresh Raina (31) departed soon after; he became Shakib’s second victim. But McCullum (56) continued to be severe on the KKR bowlers and brought up the team 100 in the 12th over. He even brought up his half-century thereafter. Andre Russell finally dismissed him in the 15th over. But some late hitting by Dhoni (22*) and Ravindra Jadeja (17*) took CSK to 148 for three at the end of their 17-over quota.
In response, KKR opened with Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir (6). But the latter got out early yet again; he was run-out in the second over itself with the scorecard reading 18 for one. Uthappa, however, took charge of the innings. He promptly belted any loose deliveries to, and even over, the fence. However, he did not receive much support at the other end as Jacques Kallis (4) got out off the bowling of R Ashwin in the fifth over. And then, Jadeja claimed two wickets in two balls to peg KKR on the back foot; the left-arm spinner first got rid of Manish Pandey (1) and then dismissed Shakib Al Hasan (0) for a golden duck. Thanks to this double-blow, KKR were reduced to 39 for four after six overs.
Uthappa and Suryakumar Yadav (8) then added 27 for the fifth wicket. But Jadeja trapped the Yadav leg-before in his second over. Jadeja even managed to break Uthappa’s (47) resistance, leaving KKR on 88 for six in 13.4 overs. And three runs later, Mohit Sharma cleaned up Andre Russell (1). Meanwhile, Yusuf Pathan was firing on all cylinders at long last. He struck four massive sixes during his 29-ball knock. However, it was too little, too late for KKR as the required run-rate was all but insurmountable. They lost Piyush Chawla (1) and Pathan (39) off back-to-back deliveries by Mohit Sharma in the last over of their innings and ended up with 114 for nine.
In the process, Mohit Sharma picked up his 11th wicket of the tournament and became the reigning Purple Cap holder.
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round impact on the game
Mumbai Indians finished winless in their UAE leg of Pepsi IPL 2014. Chasing 173 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Rohit Sharma-led side was given a mid-innings boost thanks to a 48-ball 78 (3x4; 6x6) by Kieron Pollard. However, the SRH pacers – led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn – ensured their side registered a 15-run win.
Earlier, MI won the toss and chose to take the field first. MI included Ben Dunk in place of Michael Hussey in their playing XI. Meanwhile, SRH persisted with the Aaron Finch-Shikhar Dhawan combination atop their batting order. And while Finch got his team off to a quick start, Dhawan (6) perished early off the bowling of Zaheer Khan with the scorecard reading 21 for one in 2.4 overs. Lokesh Rahul then joined Finch (16), and just when the duo seemed to have got a handle on the MI bowlers, the latter became Zaheer’s second victim of the night.
The dangerous David Warner walked in next for SRH. Along with Rahul, he took SRH past the 50-run mark. The duo then got their eye in and kept chipping away at the MI bowlers. They brought up the team’s 100 in the 14th over while laying a solid foundation for a late-overs onslaught. And Warner did take advantage of the situation by launching a couple of huge hits and bringing up his half-century in 41 balls. In the process, the right-hander even smashed an above-waist no-ball by Kieron Pollard straight into umpire Kumar Dharmasena; the brave umpire, however, was back on his feet in no time despite copping a hit on his left shoulder.
And while Warner (65) tormented the MI bowlers for a few more overs, he got out off the bowling of Corey Anderson in the 19th over with SRH on 149 for three. Darren Sammy (10) then replaced him and immediately made an impact by striking a first-ball six, and then, a four a couple of deliveries later. However, Anderson had the last laugh as he had the hard-hitting all-rounder caught in the deep off the last ball of the 19th over.
Rahul (46) then departed off the bowling of Laisth Malinga in the final over. After that, Naman Ojha (10*), in the company of Irfan Pathan (1*), took his team past the 170-run mark with two late fours. SRH finished at 172 for five as the last seven overs produced a whopping 83 runs.
In response, Ben Dunk opened the Mi innings with Rohit Sharma, who was cleaned up by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second over. Even Anderson (1) did not last long as he fell prey to Dale Steyn in the very next over. And while Dunk (20) got off to a decent start, he failed to make the most of it; Sammy bowled him out in the sixth over with MI struggling on 31 for three.
His dismissal brought Ambati Rayudu and Pollard together. The duo took the MI core past 50 as they tried to bring the run-chase back on track. But after 12 overs, MI were still 106 runs short of the target. That is when Pollard unleashed and took the attack to Amit Mishra, who had conceded only eight runs off his first two overs. Thanks to some big shots from the Trinidadian, the leggie went for 19 runs off his next. Pollard then meted out a similar treatment to the other SRH leg-spinner – Karn Sharma – and this time, he was joined by Rayudu as well. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept things tight at the other end, bringing the run-chase equation to 67 off 30 balls.
And thanks to the mounting pressure, Irfan Pathan had Rayudu (35) caught in the deep while attempting a big hit. Pollard, however, continued to rally on and brought up his half-century in just 37 balls. And he continued to go after Mishra; thanks to three sixes and one four, Pollard helped plunder 27 runs off Mishra’s final over. From 58 off 24, the run-chase equation came down to 31 off 18 after that eventful over.
Dhawan then handed the ball to Steyn, and he responded by claiming the wicket of Aditya Tare (7) and conceding only four runs off the over – the 18th of the innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then got rid of Harbhajan Singh (1) in the next over while giving away just seven runs off it. MI needed 20 from the final over with Irfan Pathan rolling his arm. He cleaned up Pollard (78) off the very first ball and ended up conceding just four off the 20th over. With MI ending up at 157 for seven, SRH registered a 15-run win.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-17-2) and Steyn (4-0-20-2) were the pick of the SRH bowlers, and they were complemented Irfan Pathan (2-0-10-1), especially towards the end.
Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his game-changing spell of 4-0-17-2