Guess what the Kochi Tuskers Kerala will now do every time they are asked to choose irrespective of the toss — chase of course!
Thriving on their new-found confidence after outbatting Mumbai Indians, the Tuskers showed once again that they could be that dream chasing side by putting it across reigning IPL champions Chennai Super Kings.
Once more, it was Brendon McCullum who came to the party with a stupendous 47 that laid the base for the chase. Parthiv Patel, released by Chennai Super Kings during the IPL auctions this year, made his presence felt by going after the bowling, frequently pulling and charging down the wicket. Both didn't stay till the end but by the time they were dismissed, they had ensured Kochi Tuskers were well on their way to their second successive victory.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni came to Kochi and along with him brought the first rains to Kerala. The skies opened up just when Kochi Tuskers Kerala were warming up to the task of giving defending champions Chennai Super Kings a run for their money.
With Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay back in the hut and Subramaniam Badrinath almost holing out to Brad Hodge just before it started drizzling, Kochi could be forgiven for believing the momentum was lost on them.
But it was not to be. The Tuskers threw themselves on the ground, bowled full length, occasionally taking the pace off the ball to prevent Chennai Super Kings from taking off and ultimately tied them down to a chaseable 131 after rain reduced the match to 17 overs per side. The target was revised to 135 from 17 overs after Duckworth/Lewis was applied. Only Suresh Raina looked to build on the 95-minute rain-induced stoppage to carve out a half-century before being unfortunately run out by Thisara Perera off his own bowling. Dhoni tried to force a few before ultimately hitting one into the stands but it was too few, too late.
Then came McCullum. On the third anniversary of the first IPL match — where he had scored 158, still the highest score in the IPL — the Kiwi batsman tore into the Chennai bowling. Doug Bollinger, who supplanted Suraj Randiv, was the only bowler who could make an impression but the rest were flayed all over the park.
Big Mac shines
Jaywardene's departure didn't stop the attack as Patel joined McCullum to put on 51 off just 36 balls. McCullum holed out to Albie Morkel and later, Patel departed too. But then Brad Hodge and Ravindra Jadeja came in and knocked off the rest off the runs with ease with the latter hitting the winning runs and punching the air furiously in a sight fast becoming familiar.