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Dwayne Smith took the attack to the Delhi Daredevils bowlers as the Chennai Super Kings registered an emphatic 8-wicket win with two balls to spare. While chasing a competitive 179, the CSK opener – who was ably supported by Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina during separate phases of the run-chase – struck four fours and eight maximums on his way to a 51-ball 79. While he got out in the 19th over, the ever-dependable MS Dhoni took over and ensured the Men in Yellow got over the line.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and asked DD to bat first. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay opened for the Daredevils. While the latter was slow off the blocks, the young South African batsman went after the CSK bowlers from the get go. During his 16-ball stay in the middle, de Kock (24) struck three fours and two maximums and gave his team a good start. However, an unfortunate mix-up in the fifth over found him short of the crease. Kevin Pietersen (0), who replaced him, got a first-ball duck; Mohit Sharma cleaned him up to leave DD on 37 for two in 4.3 overs.
But then, Dinesh Karthik joined Vijay in the middle and the duo stitched together an innings-steadying partnership. And despite coming in to bat later, Karthik soon overtook his partner and led the Daredevils past the 100-run mark in the 13th over; he also brought up his half-century in the same over. However, soon thereafter, he was dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus. Laxmi Shukla (0) was the next man to depart; R Ashwin dismissed him in the 14th over. And shortly thereafter, Ravindra Jadeja ended Vijay’s (35) resistance.
However, that was the last bit of success the CSK bowlers would taste as JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav joined forces and took the attack to the opposition. During their 34-ball unbroken stand, the pair plundered 58 runs. These runs included seven fours and two sixes. Eventually, Duminy (28*) and Jadhav (29*) took DD to 178 for five in their allotted 20 overs.
In response, the CSK openers – Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum – started out with a bang. The DD bowlers had no answers for Smith’s regular big hits; the West Indian batsman struck eight of those during his innings. Meanwhile, McCullum was playing second fiddle to his partner, who did bulk of the scoring. The pair added 82 runs in 11.2 overs, before McCullum (32) was caught by Vijay – off Shukla’s bowling – near the long-on fence; Suresh Raina replaced him in the middle. Meanwhile, Smith continued his onslaught and brought up his half-century in the 14th over with a strike to the fence. And later, even Raina got in on the action by scoring timely boundaries.
At the end of 15 overs, CSK had reached 127 for one and the run-chase equation read 52 off 30 balls. And thanks to some big-hitting, the equation came down to 38 off 24 balls. But the next over, bowled by Jaydev Unadkat, yielded only five runs; and with a constant downpour, there was a possibility of the Duckworth-Lewis Method coming into play. As per the D/L method, at that point, DD were one run ahead of CSK. However, as a result of an expensive 18th over, DD were left with 16 to defend off 12 balls.
However, Smith (79) departed in the next over; Vijay pouched his catch in the outfield off the bowling of Wayne Parnell – who gave away just five runs off the 19th over. But MS Dhoni – who struck a six and the winning four in the last over – made sure CSK got home with two balls to spare. Raina remained unbeaten on 47 at the other end.
Man of the Match: Dwayne Smith for his match-winning innings.
Thanks to a triple-blow by Shane Watson, followed by the first hat-trick of the tournament a la Pravin Tambe, the Rajasthan Royals were able to ride home with a 10-run win in Ahmedabad. After posting 170 for six, RR were initially unable to create any dents in the KKR line-up, thanks to a 121-run opening stand between Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. However, the match took a sharp turn in the 15th over, as six wickets fell in the space of eight deliveries, courtesy the Watson-Tambe show. KKR could not recover from these setbacks and could only manage 160 for six at the end of 20 overs.
Earlier, KKR won the toss and opted to field first. RR opened their innings with Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair. Both batsmen began on a positive note and scored 50 runs in the powerplay. However, a sharp piece of fielding by Sunil Narine ran Rahane (30) out in the seventh over. Sanju Samson walked in at No.3 for RR. Along with Nair, he took the score to 76 for one at the halfway mark. And then, the pair brought up RR’s 100 in the 13th over of the innings.
However, soon thereafter, Shakib Al Hasan had Nair (44) stumped with the scorecard reading 105 for two in 13.3 overs. This wicket brought Shane Watson to the crease. The RR skipper did not waste any time before going after the opposition bowlers, and started striking the ball to, and over, the fence at regular intervals. Meanwhile, Samson (37) failed in his attempt to dispatch Narine out of the park and holed out near the deep midwicket fence. Watson (31) then took his side past the 150-run mark in the 18th over. But Narine soon dismissed him, thanks to a well-judged catch – which required some fancy footwork – by Suryakumar Yadav.
The KKR fielder then plucked off another outfield catch – this time to get rid of Steve Smith off Vinay Kumar’s bowling. And then soon after, Ryan ten Doeschate pouched a remarkable catch of his own – to see Stuart Binny’s (11) back in the final over. But thanks to a late big hit by Rajat Bhatia (6*), RR managed to salvage the 20th over and ended up posting 170 for six.
In response, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir came out to bat at the top of the KKR order. And just like the RR openers, even this duo added 50 runs in the powerplay while taking advantage of any loose offerings from the opposition bowlers. The pair continued to score freely while ensuring their opening stand remained intact. Uthappa, who took charge of the partnership, even reached his half-century a short while before KKR reached the three-figure mark.
Despite the RR bowlers’ best efforts, there was no sign of a wicket as even Gambhir (54) reached his fifty in the 14th over. But finally, the KKR skipper departed off the bowling of Watson with the score on 121. The RR skipper then got Uthappa (65) out two balls later; and finally, much to the delight of the local supporters, Watson bowled Andre Russell (1) out off the fifth delivery of the same over.
Then, Pravin Tambe further swung the momentum in RR’s favour by effecting the stumping of Manish Pandey (0). From 121 for no loss, KKR had stumbled to 123 for four in a matter of six deliveries. And just when things could not get any worse for the visitors, Tambe caught Yusuf Pathan off his own bowling on the very next ball. The 42-year-old leggie then bagged the first hat-trick of Pepsi IPL 2014 by trapping ten Doeschate (0) leg-before off the very next ball. At the end of the eventful 16th over, KKR were struggling on 126 for six.
Then, with 39 needed off 18 balls, Shakib Al Hasan played a key role in plundering 15 runs from the 18th over. James Faulkner then bowled the 19th over and ended up conceding just seven runs off it. With 17 required off six balls, Watson decided to roll his arm over and ended up sealing a 10-run win for his side.
After the match, Pravin Tambe was presented the Purple Cap for rising atop the Pepsi IPL 2014 wicket-takers list with a total of 12 scalps.
Man of the Match: Pravin Tambe for his game-changing hat-trick.