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Super Kings get a Royal bashing

Playing their last match in Ahmedabad on Sunday, it was expected that the Royals would turn the heat on the opposition. And it was Naman Ojha, who seized the opportunity to score a brilliant 80 in his team’s 17-run win over Chennai, reports Bivabasu Kumar.

cricket Updated: Mar 29, 2010 00:36 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

The Deccan Chargers paid the price of sledging Yusuf Pathan on Friday. But where did the Chennai Super Kings go wrong on Sunday? They didn’t resort to unnecessary gamesmanship, so what triggered their defeat? Shane Warne had the answer on the eve of the match. “We don’t just rely on one player. We don’t entirely rely on Yusuf (Pathan). In a couple of games, he didn’t perform, so when he performs it’s a bonus for us and it’s great to watch. Everyone contributes and that’s why we are a good side,” he had said.

Playing their last match in Ahmedabad on Sunday, it was expected that the Royals would turn the heat on the opposition. And it was Naman Ojha, who seized the opportunity to score a brilliant 80 in his team’s 17-run win over Chennai.

The Royals won the toss and elected to bat. The openers didn’t fluff their lines this time as Michael Lumb smote Albie Morkel for a sizzling six and Ojha drilled a four through a packed off-side field. Thirteen runs from the first over set the tone for the match. The Royals were chugging at 10 runs an over when a slower one from Albie Morkel in his second over consumed Lumb. Though the run-rate dipped slightly, it never went below nine an over. Ojha played a freewheeling innings, dispatching the short balls to the fence and tucking the fuller deliveries into the gaps.

At the halfway mark, the Royals were 96 for 1 and a score of 180 looked imminent. Shadab Jakati struck with two quick wickets but Ojha’s big hitting helped the Royals post a 178-run target.

Warne introduced Yusuf into the attack and the all-rounder removed Matthew Hayden with a smart return catch. Murali Vijay threatened by scoring 24 runs in Sumit Narwal’s second over. The Chennai opener looked to turn the match on its head when a direct throw from Yusuf changed the course of the match.

The contest was still evenly poised when MS Dhoni and S Badrinath played with caution. But the Chennai skipper’s run out seemed to peg them back.

Shrewd bowling changes and a brilliant team effort once again was the highlight of the Royals’ victory. And one more win will bolster their chances of a final four berth.