Chennai Super Kings win a humdinger against Kings XI Punjab

Yuvraj Singh’s unbeaten 58-run blitzkrieg turned out to be an exercise in futility as Chennai Super Kings survived some torrid moments before eking out a 12-run win against Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Chasing a mammoth 187 runs from 18 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, the Punjab side eventually managed 174 for three, largely due to Yuvraj (58 not out), Simon Katich (50) and Mahela Jayawardene (44 not out).

Albie Morkel castled Sunny Sohal (2) with the second ball of the innings and Shadab Jakati’s second delivery too turned out to be a wicket-taking one, accounting for Karan Goel (14) as Kings XI stumbled early in their chase.

Simon Katich (50) decided offence is the best defence and the result was three sixes in a row off Manpreet Gony’s first over.

Jakati also copped some punishment before catching the left-hander near the ropes off L Balaji to cut short Katich’s two-run-a-ball knock.

Lot was expected of Yuvraj and the Kings XI captain, dropped by Gony in the deep off Muttiah Muralitharan, seemed luck on his side as well.

With both him and Jayawardene going great guns, the target looked only stiff and not impossible but Suresh Raina bowled a tight penultimate over, conceding just six runs, and Kings XI could score only 10 off the the last over from Balaji.

Earlier, Hayden and Dhoni added 100 runs in eight overs as Chennai Super Kings posted a mammoth total.

And that too after they had a rather ominous start following Dhoni’s decision to bat first.

The unaccustomed opener’s role thrust on him, S Badrinath joined IPL’s ever-growing golden duck list, guiding the first ball he faced from Irfan Pathan to a lurking VRV Singh at third man.

Chennai run-machines Hayden and Suresh Raina (32) clearly didn’t hold the Punjab attack in very high esteem and that was more than evident in the nonchalant way they treated the Kings XI bowlers.

Earlier, Hayden slammed a 58-ball 89 and Dhoni hammered an unbeaten 56 off just 27 balls as the Chennai outfit posted a mammoth 185 for three in the rain-marred tie which was reduced to 18-overs-a-side following a 90-minute rain interruption.

Incidentally, the Super Kings had a rather ominous start after Dhoni opted to bat first.

The unaccustomed opener’s role thrust on him, S Badrinath joined IPL’s ever-growing golden duck list, guiding the first ball he faced from Irfan Pathan to a lurking VRV Singh at third man.

However, Chennai run-machines Hayden and Suresh Raina (32), top two run-getters in the tournament so far, didn’t held the Punjab attack in much esteem and it was more than evident in the nonchalant way they treated the Kings XI bowlers.

Raina dismissed Pathan over long on and followed it with a four and then greeted Yusuf Abdulla, IPL’s leading wicket-taker till RP Singh eclipsed him, with back-to-back fours to convey what he thought of him.

At the other end, Hayden had warmed up with fours off Pathan and S Sreesanth before sending a VRV delivery soaring over the long off ropes.

After the Super Kings had raced to 68 for one in just 7.3 overs, it needed weather god’s intervention to stop the rampaging duo, who returned later to find that the match had been truncated to a 18-overs-a-side affair.

Raina returned soon with Piyush Chawla striking with his first ball but Hayden smote the leggie for a six to bring up his fifty and went on to hit Sreesanth for three sixes in the penultimate over before perishing in the deep.

Dhoni also made merry, milking 24 runs off a VRV Singh over, including a couple of sixes and as many fours.

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