A big attraction of the Indian Premier League is to watch the local, unsung cricketer take on the international stars.Sunday night's Chennai Super Kings versus Deccan Chargers game provided all the excitement as the Indian underdogs jostled for spotlight with the top names.
Suresh Raina (59 off 35 balls), Mike Hussey (46 off 41 balls) and Pragyan Ojha (3 for 26) justified their big contracts, but the unheralded Sunny Sohal and Shadab Jakati stole their thunder. After Raina and Hussey had powered CSK's batting and Ojha had taken the bowling honours for Chargers, Sohal and Jakati took the centrestage during the business end of the match, which the home team won by 20 runs to take their tally to 10 points (eight games). Chasing 166 to win, Chargers could only manage 146 for eight in 19 overs as they collapsed to their fifth defeat.
After Albie Morkel hit three successive sixes against Ishant Sharma, Sohal silenced the home crowd with his daring attack against the CSK opening bowlers. The 23-year-old Sohalsmashed four sixes and six fours in his 56 off 30 balls to set the tempo for the chase. But, the equally low-profile left-arm spinner from Goa, Jakati, did the job for Chennai.
As his skipper M S Dhoni struggled to control the rampaging Sohal, Jakati proved to be the game changer by providing the needed breakthroughs. He claimed the wickets of both the openers, Sohal and Shikhar Dhawan, in a spell of 4-0-23-2.