Chennai fight of Punjab assault to post win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings
Player:ML Hayden, SK Raina, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, SM Katich, DPMD Jayawardene
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 7th May 2009


Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s choice to bring in Suresh Raina to bowl the 15th and 17th overs became a masterstroke as the offie’s two overs made the difference between a potential upset win and a close match. Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene just couldn’t get Raina out of the park and Kings XI Punjab, chasing Chennai Super King’s 185 (revised Duckworth/Lewis winning score of 187) off 18 overs, fell short by 12 runs.


Raina’s two overs went for just eight runs and that was the turning point as Yuvraj, and Simon Katich before him, threatened to run away with the game with a barrage of heavy artillery.


Punjab needed over ten runs per over right from the beginning and each batsman tried to get at that, with varied success. Katich began the assault and he was pugnacious, going after all the bowlers with aplomb, carving out an even 50 off half the number of deliveries.


When he and Yuvraj were at the crease, it looked like that the chase was very much on. The amazing thing is that Punjab lost Katich in the 10th over but Yuvraj and Jaywardene, despite their 90-run stand, possibly lost their way against Raina’s slower stuff, even as all the other bowlers were being carted around.


Lakshmipathy Balaji also bowled an efficient line and length and also snared Katich, which came as a big blow to Punjab.


Hayden may as well walk away with the Orange Cap, since it has almost become norm that he comes in scores at least a half-century. Thursday’s effort was a humongous 89 off 58 deliveries, with eight boundaries and six sixes, one longer than the other.


Kumar Sangakkara would be also trying to forget the evening, having missed a stumping off Hayden when the man was on 32. That was really a huge miss.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni actually looked sedate by comparison, as he ‘quietly’ completed a half-century, 56 not out coming off 27 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes.


While fielding, Punjab would have thought they were really into it, especially when S Badrinath skied Irfan Pathan to VRV Singh at third-man, the very first ball of the innings. But that is where the partying ended for them, since whatever little success they got thereafter, didn’t really help their cause.


Since, to start with, they had to deal with Suresh Raina while Hayden got his act together. Raina needs no second invitation and he waded into the bowling from the beginning and with the hammer coming down from both ends, it looked bad enough.


It got worse when the rain came down after 7.3 overs, with the score reading 68/1. Once it stopped, about an hour later, the overs had been reduced to 18, and the ball was getting wet.


So that just about took the cake. Raina finally went off a Piyush Chawla long hop, but that brought in Dhoni, and it was massacres after that.


Dhoni belted VRV Singh for 24 runs in an over, and then Hayden helped himself to three sixes, including a ridiculous one-handed hoist, off S Sreesanth before getting out. Bu that time, he and Dhoni had put up exactly 100 runs.


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