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Game, Set and Match for Chennai by 33 runs

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2008 22:30 IST

Hindustan Times
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Joginder Sharma, the last over specialist, remember T20 final ? came on to bowl and did what he does best, keep it tight. Katich, swung at one, but missed it completely as he tried to salvage some pride by striking someblows. He managed to do it, partially, when he stroked a huge six worth 95 metres. 34 runs off 1 ball, you gotta be kidding ! End of the match. Game, Set, Match Chennai, by 33 runs. Nearly 450 runs scored in 40 overs. Entertainment or what ?

Jacob Oram, then came on to the attack to finish things off for Chennai. The first ball on the spot, tough to get away from Oram. A fantastic finish from Oram, keeping it right up to the batsmen, not giving him anything to work with. Superb end to the over from Oram, keeping it tight and not giving anything away. Seven runs of the over, and match over for Mohali - needing 43 off 6 balls.

If the run-rate wasnt the biggest worry for Mohali, Dhoni brought on Muttiah Muralitharan to finish his spell off. And it worked for Dhoni, as Murali snapped up Sanga for a brilliant 54 off 32, not good enough to see his side through though. Murali then conceded a bye, to pass the strike to Irfan Pathan. A good over from Murali, only 6 off.

Going for the sweep, Katich could only manage a single, giving the strike to Sangakkara. Then, both batsmen changed strike through two singles. But singles aint going to do it for Mohali. The next ball was scooped by Sangakkara past short fine leg for a four, but its just getting tougher for Mohali. The last ball of the over was tucked away for a couple of runs, with 55 needed off the last three over for the home team.

The first ball of Amarnath's last over was picked for two by Katich. Although Katich swung the next ball and missed it completely, the batsmen changed strike and got Sangakkara back on. Sangakkara delivered right away, scoring a boundary past the diving Hayden. Sangakkara, en route to fifty. Two scoop shots from Sangakkara couldnt produce much for the home team, as they need a near impossible 66 runs off 4 overs.

Joginder Sharma dented Mohali's hopes further when he got rid of Yuvraj Singh, trying to go for a clean six, without getting the elevation, holing out to Palani Amarnath for 23. He looked dangerous, but a wicket at the right time for Chennai. Sangakkara, then got into the act stroking a superb boundary towards cow corner. Simon Katich, who has had a superb season in Australia, then got off the mark immediately. And what a way to finish the over, a superb six from Sangakkara, taking him to 38 and Mohali to 165/3 at the end of 15 overs.

Murali returned to bowl his third over of the innings for Chennai and Yuvraj scored a run off his first ball. Sangakkara, then managed to lift his team-mate for a single and an unusual wide from Murali added to the score. Then came the shot of the innings so far, when Yuvraj, who usually struggles against the Sri Lankan, slog swept him for a massive six over mid-wicket, 86m it says. To finish off, a dot ball. Mohali, 152/2 off 14 overs.

Amarnath began his third over of the innings, with a leg-bye and then what followed was a great shot from Yuvraj. A six, that sailed over long-on, hit with effortless ease - typically Yuvi. Another boundary from Yuvraj, this time a four when Yuvraj swung it clean through mid-wicket. Then a single to round off an expensive over from Amarnath. Mohali, 141/2.

Joginder Sharma began his second over, with a single taken off his first ball. Yuvraj playing it to long off and the batsmen rotating the strike. Sangakkara, then got into the six-hitting act by walking down the track and pulling him over deep-square leg for a six. A bad display of fielding from Manpreet Gony furthered the runs in the over, as Sangakkara struck a powerful shot through cover, but the fielder missed it completely. Joginder's eyes were filled with angst as he saw the fielder let the ball through. And two tight balls from Joginder finished the over strongly. 11 runs off the over, 126/2 after 12 overs. The asking rate is creeping up...

After Hopes departed, Mohali skipper Yuvraj Singh joined Sangakkara in the middle and they got their partnership going with singles off each delivery. Five runs off that Amarnath over, Mohali at 115/2, needing 126 off 54 balls.

Hopes, however perished to Amarnath, trying to put it over long-off for yet another six, without getting the desired elevation, holed out to Joginder Sharma for a well-made 71 off 33 balls. A big setback for Mohali, as they are now 111/2.

Hopes, after being the strike by Sangakkara off Murali's first ball, put it over mid-wicket for his third six off the innings. Then, came a boundary from Sangakkara's bat, a powerful pull that went past Muralitharan, who didn't move. The ball raced like a bullet to the fence. Chennai, finished the 10th over at 110/1.

Hopes, then carried his form through to the next over, bowled by Joginder Sharma. Putting him to the swords, Hopes collected two consecutive boundaries, one a low full toss put through extra-cover for a boundary and the next one, over mid-wicket for a four. 11 runs off the over so far, with singles from the next three deliveries. Joginder, then sent down a wide, Sangakkara coming down the wicket to flick it away, missed the stumps narrowly. The over ended with a single from Sangakkara, 13 runs off Joginder's first over. Mohali, 97/1 after 9 overs.

Hopes, realizing the need for a desperate boundary, then lofted one from Palani Amarnath for a boundary, the ball taking one bounce before crossing the ropes. Amarnath, then was hit for the second one in a row, then he strayed on Hopes' pads and was deservedly flicked it past short fine-leg for yet another four. Hopes completed his fifty off 24 balls with a boundary past mid-on. The last ball of the over, was hit hard, straight back at the bowler, but he could not cling on to it, hence taking the score to 84/1 off 9.

Muttiah Muralitharan, got a share of his first IPL action, when he was brought on by Dhoni to bowl the seventh over of Mohali's innings. Facing him was country team-mate Sangakkara, who played it down to square leg for a single. Hopes, swept one to deep square leg and immediately rotated the strike. Sangakkara, then played it down the track for a single, while Hopes ended the over the way it began - with another single. Mohali, 69/1 after 7 overs.

The second six off the Mohali innings came from the bat of James Hopes, a flat shot over square on the off-side. Next ball, what would have been the catch of the tournament so far. It was spanked hard to mid-on by Hopes, Murali dived superbly to cover the travelling ball, but just slipped off his hands in the last minute. And, a wicket. It was bowled at a good height for Goel, but he mistimed his pull, and the skier went straight down Parthiv Patel's throat. A wide followed and then Hopes pulled one down over deep square leg for a huge six. Mohali, 63/1 off 6 overs.

Oram, bowling his fifth over of the innings began with two dot balls. The ball hit hard towards him, but his size 9 boots taking the sting off it. And then Hopes cutting one down to square leg. He then farmed the strike over, by pulling the next ball fiercely to deep square-leg, where the fielder cleaned up well. Goel, on his part kept the scoreboard ticking, by taking a single off the next delivery. Then, at last, boundaries in the over, when Hopes lofted Oram over mid-wicket on two consecutive occasions. Mohali, 47/0 off 5 overs.

Gony began his second over strongly, with two dot balls off his first two deliveries. And then, a lofted shot over cover from Goel, only to be stopped on the fence by Amarnath and keeping it down to a single. Hopes picked the next one to mid-on, but a slight misfield by Muralitharan made the single look comfortable. Then, Goel nicely tucked Gony off his pads for a quick two, the ball was racing down the outfield, but it was good work by the deep fielder to keep it down to two. Goel, finished the over with a superb six off the last ball of Gony's over. It was smashed over long-on, much to the delight of Priety Zinta, who's grin just got wider and wider as the ball sailed over the ropes. Mohali, 37/0 after four.

Oram's next over began with a single and what followed was a big booming drive, struck hard by Hopes that made its way to the fence. Normalcy returned, as a dot ball followed the boundary. Then, a pull from Hopes, again took the ball to the boundary. A good start for Mohali after recieving the treatment themselves. In the air, and safe. Hopes played the ball in the air, but it just went a wee-bit over the fielder, giving him a single. Goel, then finished the over with a single. Mohali, 27 for no loss after three. Neck and Neck with Chennai, except that Parthiv was back in the dug-out at this time.

Manpreet Gony, in more ways, a local boy came from the other end, and Goel, again tucking it down the leg for one, giving Hopes the strike. A dot ball then followed when the ball struck Hopes right in the box. An edgy stroke from Hopes raced down to third man, but the big Jacob Oram came down well and stopped the ball from going past him. Goel, then kept out a good one from Gony. Next, a pull shot from Goel looped straight in the air, but Murali, trying to replicate his catch against WI at Guyana, went for it but could only parry it to the ropes. It was struck powerfully by Goel. Mohali, 16/0 after 2 overs.

In reply, Mohali got off to a perfect start, with Karan Goel putting away a loose one from Jacob Oram down the leg side for a boundary. The next one, beat Goel all ends up. Despite speculation against his fitness, the Chennai skipper has donned the gloves for his team. Goel, then brought James Hopes (the pinch-hitter) on strike by tucking one down his hips for a single. Shot and four. Short and wide from Oram, James Hopes cut it through cover powerfully for a boundary. Mohali off to a good start, 9 for no loss after the end of the first over.

Badri, then got into the act and began the final over of Chennai's innings with a six over mid-wicket. Followed it with one more, a similar shot, again through mid-wicket and then a boundary evading the short-fine leg fielder. 16 runs from the over from Badrinath so far. Badrinath, then gave Hussey the strike with two balls to go. One more from Hussey, another six over long-on in the penultimate ball of the innings to take the score to 238 for five. Hussey then picked two off the last ball to take the Chennai team to 240/5 after the 20 overs. Badrinath, played a good hand in scoring 31 off 14 balls. Hussey, the star of the show, scoring 114 off 53 balls at strike rate of 215.09.

Badrinath began Brett Lee's over in superb fashion as he guided one short and wide from Lee past third man for four. Lee, bowled the slower one, and Badrinath rightly gave Hussey the strike and a chance to complete the second IPL hundred in as many games. And he's done it. Hussey reached his hundred with a single off Lee, to reach a brilliantly paced 50-ball 100. Badrinath, then scampered through for a single to give Hussey the strike and he obliged it with a brilliant pick-up shot, through mid-wicket for six. Chennai are nearing Kolkata's 222. Hussey, with a wee-bit of luck, then grabbed an easy two runs to take Chennai to 215/5 with one over remaining.

Pathan, bowling the 18th over of the innings started off with a dot ball, but a good work of improvisation from Badrinath followed as he neatly placed the ball over short-fine leg for a boundary. He followed that shot with a single, giving Hussey the stroke. Hussey then got down on one knee and swept Pathan for a single, but Sreesanth carelessly conceded an extra run through overthrows. Hussey, then put a full-toss out of the ground with a powerful stroke for six, taking his stroke to 95. He then reached 99, with a boundary off the last ball of the over, taking Chennai past 200 off 18 overs.

Sreesanth was brought back into the attack by Yuvraj in a bid to finish the innings on a stronger note. Badrinath, was doing the right thing by giving Hussey the bulk of the strike as the left-hander was going smoothly. Hussey, produced his seventh six of the innings when he dispatched one from Sreesanth into cow-corner yet again. Then, stand and deliver. Hussey, followed the huge six with a boundary that he lofted over the bowlers head, leaving the bowler with absolutely no chance. And, the batsmen rounded off the over with two singles off the last two deliveries. Fourteen runs from Sreesanth's over. Chennai at 183/5 with Hussey nearing his ton.

Oram, taking a cue from Hussey, stroked Pathan's first ball of his new over for a six over long-on by giving himself room and struck it powerfully. Pathan, then produced a perfect yorker to remove Oram, even before he could bring his bat down. Subramaniam Badrinath, then joined the in-sync Hussey and rotated the strike immediately. Chennai ended the 16th over at 169/5 off 16 overs. Hussey on 74 off 41 balls.

Hussey, a master in the art of finding gaps, managed to produce one more off Mota's first ball of the 15th over, when he flicked one through mid-wicket for a boundary. Oram, giving himself room tried to go for a big six over long-on, where Sreesanth was positioned for such a shot, but could only breathe a sigh of relief as the fielder put it down. Another full-toss, another four from Hussey. Mota bowled a rank full-toss and Hussey only had to connect it and he did it well to put it past the bowler for a boundary. Mota shared Hopes' fortunes as Hussey tonked him for yet another six over long-on. Chennai, 161/4 after 15.

The fourteenth over of the innings, bowled by James Hopes did not see much hitting action till the fifth ball, when Hussey creamed one over mid-off for yet another six.

Mohali all-rounder Wilkin Mota then came into the game, with his legal first ball (his first ball otherwise was a wide) getting Raina, who tried going downtown, but could only manage to hole out to Pathan at long-on. Raina went for 32. Jacob Oram, came into replace Raina with an eye on going for the charge. Oram got off the mark immediately. Mota, in the meanwhile, intent on keeping it full and outside the off-stump, stuck to his plan and gave away singles to end the over at 134/4 after 13.

Hussey continued with his six-hitting act, putting a full-toss from Karan Goel for a six over mid-wicket. Looks like his favourite spot in the ground today. Then, to followed it with a boundary that did not look powerfully struck, but was chipped beautifully over mid-off. The second six off Goel's over came off Raina's bat as he perfectly placed an inside-out shot over extra cover for the maximum. Hussey, reached his fifty with a superb display of running between the wickets, after he fiercely drove the ball past the bowler. Chennai, 127 for 3 after 12 overs.

Piyush Chawla, the Indian leg-spinner then came into the attack and was welcomed with a massive six over mid-wicket by Mike Hussey. He tossed it to Hussey, who came down the track and lofted Chawla over the ropes. And keeping with good limited-overs batting, Hussey rotated the strike off the next ball. Raina, going for his shots, slog swept one from Chawla with the ball just bouncing in front of the deep mid-wicket fielder. And the over just got worse for Chawla as Raina hoisted him for the second six of the over. Raina finished the over superbly with a boundary off the last ball, a classical straight drive that took the ball past the fielder. The shot was played with excellent timing, to take Chennai to 107/2 after 11 overs.

Yuvraj, reacting to the situation brought off-spinner Karan Goel to stem the flow of runs, but brisk running between the wickets between Raina and Hussey unsettled the bowler's rhythm. Goel, conceded just five runs in his first over, that saw reverse sweep for the first time in the game, when Hussey used the shot to finish the over. Chennai, 88/3 after 10 (8.8 runs per over).

Pathan, resumed his spell with a well-disguised slower one and Hussey giving Raina the strike. Raina, continuing his blitz, glided one down the leg-side, and with a vacant fine-leg, the ball went straight to the boundary. His brief-stay in the middle has been entertaining, and could have almost come to an end, after he checked his shot and the ball looped in the air with no fielder placed. Hussey, then got into the six-hitting act, pulling one powerfully through mid-wicket for Chennai's third six of the game. And then finished off the over with a neat paddle down to third man for a single. Chennai at 83/3 after 9 overs.

James Hopes' second over of his quota began fruitfully as he successfully trapped Dhoni leg before before the Chennai skipper could even get going. Although their was enough doubt to give Dhoni out, especially with an indication of an inside edge, umpire Mark Benson gave him out. Dhoni, out for 2. Suresh Raina, then joined Hussey in the middle and managed to get off the mark straightaway. He got going immediately with a big six, a stunning pull shot off Hopes. Hopes came back in perfect fashion, beating the edge of the bat to finish the eighth over with Chennai at 70/3.

Chennai skipper Mahendra Dhoni walked into the middle and got off the mark straight away, with a powerful dab towards through point. Hussey, then pulled Pathan through mid-wicket, taking two runs, not without a brilliant diving effort from Piyush Chawla to save a boundary. Ending the over with two singles, Chennai moved to 62/2 off seven overs.

Irfan Pathan came into the attack and Hayden welcomed him with a boundary, albeit a streaky one, which went past fine-leg. An edgy shot, but anything is welcome in T20 cricket. Irfan Pathan removed Hayden soon after, with the left-hander trying to go for a pull, only to see his woodwork damaged after the ball thudded on to the stumps through an edge from his bat. Chennai lost an important wicket, just at the wrong time as a partnership was building - the two Aussies added 31 runs and Chennai at 57/2.

James Hopes was then brought into the attack by Yuvraj. Hopes bowled one within Hayden's zone, and he came down walking, giving him the charge and he struck it powerfully, but evaded Wilkin Mota, who tried a goalkeeper's save, and the power took the ball to the boundary. Chennai, bringing up their fifty. A bad start for Hopes. Then followed the first six of the game, Hayden launching Hopes over mid-off. Even though it seemed like it wasn't well struck, thanks to the bat speed and power that Hayden posesses, the ball sailed over the boundary. Further signs of Hayden opening up were seen when he tried to loft the ball in similar fashion, only for the ball to evade the two converging fielders, and the batsmen running a single. At the end of six overs, Chennai, 53/1.

Lee began his third over by bowling a pacy yorker, cramping Hayden for room, but could not stop the Aussie opener from picking up a single. Hussey then produced one of his trademark strokes, piercing cover yet again with the ball going through the gaps to the fence. Hussey made it two in two, when he flicked one pitched on middle and leg from Lee through square leg, the ball teased the fielder, but the ball won the race in the end. Good comeback from Lee, as he produced one that was straight and did not give Hussey anything to work with, the result - a dot ball. Once again a brilliant display of fielding from Goel, finished Lee's over strongly with a dot ball. Chennai, 42/1 after 5.

After being pulped for 15 runs in his first over, Sreesanth begin his over strongly with a good ball that beat Hussey all ends up. Hussey, seemed like a man with enough determination, keen to get his eyes in before going for the shots. The third ball of the over was paddled down to third man for a single. Hayden, then rotated the strike by taking a single to mid-on. Hussey, then drove one towards covers, except for the fact that Karan Goel made a brilliant stop. The last ball of the over, Hussey came down the track and stroked over cover, with the ball having enough legs to make the boundary. Chennai, 33/1 off 4 overs.

Lee followed his good start with a dot ball, but misery followed soon as he sent down the first no ball of the IPL, which Hayden duly obliged by putting it away past mid-on for a four. Free hit now ! Lee clean bowled Hayden, when he tried making room for himself to cream it over mid-wicket, but free-hit rules suggest that the batsmen cannot be out except run-out. Hayden then farmed the strike over to Patel, with some hesitation over the call, tight call if the fielder had hit the stumps. Wicket again, this time out ! Parthiv Patel was the first Chennai wicket to fall, after Lee bowled one on and around the off-stump, Patel poked at it and Sangakkara made no mistake by pouching it clean. Chennai, 26/1. Mike Hussey joined Matthew Hayden and immediately got off the mark with a single. Lee finished the wicket-taking over with a dot ball, with Chennai at 27/1 after 3.

Sreesanth charged into bowl only to be driven sublimely by Parthiv Patel through cover for a boundary. A thick-edge followed in the next delivery, but in T20 cricket, no slips means the ball only goes for a boundary. Then, the third consecutive boundary of the over came through as Patel crunched Sreesanth through the covers yet again for four. Twelve runs of the over already. It could have been four in a row, but for a good effort in the field from Queenslander James Hopes, restricting it to just two. Sreesanth's ragged over continued, when he sent down a wide soon after, to give Chennai their 15th run of the over. A dot ball from Sreesanth's last ball concluded the over. Chennai, 20/0 after 2.

Brett Lee opened the bowling for the home team with Parthiv Patel taking strike in the first ball. Hitting his straps in the first ball, Lee clocked 145 kmph, with a good carry through to Sangakkara's gloves. The first run of the match was scored by Parthiv Patel through a single, thus pitting countrymates Matty Hayden against Brett Lee. Over to Haydos ! Hayden, walked down the track in typical fashion to pull Lee through mid-wicket for the first boundary of the day. Lee finished the over strongly though, with Hayden going for a wild swing, only to miss everything and the ball thud into Sangakkara's hands. Chennai, 5/0 after the first over.

Earlier, In the second match of the Indian Premier League, much awaited tussle between Dhoni and Yuvraj, the Chennai skipper won the toss and had no hesitations in batting first. The wicket, which had a tinge of grass a couple of days back, looked a belter. Spinners, taking the pace off the ball could make a difference, but all in all Dhoni has called it right and its all set at the PCA Stadium for a run-feast.

Teams:

Chennai: Matthew Hayden, Parthiv Patel (wk), Subramaniam Badrinath, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Jacob Oram, Joginder Sharma, Muttiah Muralitharan, Manpreet Gony, Palani Amarnath

Mohali: Karan Goel, James Hopes, Kumar Sangakkara, Yuvraj Singh (capt), Simon Katich, Pankaj Dharmani (wk), Irfan Pathan, Brett Lee, Piyush Chawla, Wilkin Mota, Sreesanth