Chennai Super Kings celebrate after defeating Kings XI Punjab at the IPL T20 championship match at MAC stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Chennai Super Kings won the match by 18 runs.
The Chennai Super Kings came in for the pre-match practice a good one hour after the Pune Warriors had occupied the ground. Unlike Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni did not feel it necessary to pay a visit to the pitch before the game. The MA Chidambaram Stadium has been a stronghold of the Super Kings and the team in yellow seemed confident of avenging their loss to the Warriors in Pune last week.
The Super Kings achieved victory by 13 runs on Thursday, and suddenly the Warriors have started to look vulnerable.
Chasing a challenging 165, the Warriors' slide started early. After the Pune team lost their openers, Manish Pandey (13) and Ganguly started the repair work. The former India skipper got the scoreboard ticking with three boundaries in a Doug Bollinger over. However, once the Warriors' skipper was caught at long on after he mistimed a Shadab Jakati delivery, the Super Kings were in the driver's seat. The CSK bowlers managed to run through the PWI batting line-up in the same relaxed and confident manner in which they had started the game.
Earlier, the advice that Warriors' bowling coach Allan Donald gave during the second strategic time-out ensured the team managed to slow down the CSK scoring rate. At that stage, the home team was coasting at 100 without loss in 14 overs.
After the pep talk from Donald, Marlon Samuels was a changed bowler. He was given the ball in the 16th over with CSK on 115 without loss. The off-spinner responded by beating both the openers, Faf du Plessis (58) and Subramaniam Badrinath (57), in flight and having them caught in deep-midwicket. The two wickets in three balls not only broke the highest opening stand of this edition of the IPL, it also applied the brakes on the CSK innings.
Suddenly, Ashish Nehra too started looking dangerous and sanity returned to Rahul Sharma's bowling. However, the catches dropped by Murali Kartik and Sourav Ganguly hurt the Warriors in the end. Finally, Dhoni's monstrous hitting at the end helped the Super Kings to a competitive 164 for five.