Marsh’s blitzkrieg in vain as Dhoni shows who’s king
The Dalai Lama appears to have found a sudden liking for cricket. On Saturday, the spiritual leader granted the cricketers an audience at the Buddhist Temple, and, on Sunday, the monk paid a return visit to witness the contest between the Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings.cricket Updated: Apr 19, 2010 00:09 IST
The Dalai Lama appears to have found a sudden liking for cricket. On Saturday, the spiritual leader granted the cricketers an audience at the Buddhist Temple, and, on Sunday, the monk paid a return visit to witness the contest between the Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings.
Buoyed by his blessings, the teams went hard at each other. In the end, it was the Super Kings who emerged victorious by six wickets, thanks to an unbeaten 54 by skipper MS Dhoni.
The victory means that they are through to the semifinals.
On a quick and bouncy track, which should rank amongst the best wickets in the IPL, the contest was largely between the batsmen.
The ball came on nicely, allowing the batsmen to pull and cut with aplomb.
Making the most of it, Kings XI swung the game largely in their favour when they posted a stiff 193-run target on the board. While almost every batsman chipped in with significant contributions, the cornerstone of the innings was an attacking 57-ball 88 by opener Shaun Marsh.
The Australian hasn’t been a regular in the squad this time, and this was his last chance to prove a point or two.
Even as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara played aggressive cameos to see off the Kings XI to a brisk start, the Australian waited for his time.
He cut loose in the last five overs, with Irfan Pathan (44 n.o.) keeping him company at the other end. The duo unleashed a torrent of boundaries and sixes, leaving the bowlers and fielders clueless.
The Super Kings began on a wrong note with Ramesh Powar removing both Matthew Hayden and Murali Vijay in quick succession. Suresh Raina made light of the losses and launched a ferocious counter-attack.
His quickfire 46 off just 27 balls not only negated the advantage, but also kept his team firmly on course. But before he could tilt the balance back in favour of his team, he fell.
S Badrinath and Dhoni didn’t let the momentum wane. They kept themselves in with a chance with some mature batting before Dhoni exploded towards the end to wrap it up in the last over.