Murali spins Chennai into IPL semi-finals
Muttiah Muralitharan led a disciplined spin attack as Chennai Super Kings qualified for the Indian Premier League semi-finals with a 24-run win over Kings XI Punjab in Durban, reports Subhash Rajta. Listen to podcastindia Updated: May 21, 2009 18:38 IST
Yuvraj Singh must have struggled to hold himself back from saying ‘thank you’ to MS Dhoni when the latter handed over the list of his playing XI. It didn’t contain names of Matthew Hayden, Albie Morkel, Shadab Jakati and Sudeep Tyagi. Yuvraj couldn’t have asked for more in such a crucial game.
Kings XI Punjab capitalised fully, keeping Chennai down to just 116. What they would not have budgeted for is the abject collapse that followed, handing Chennai victory by 24 runs.
Chennai started on a solid note with openers Parthiv Patel and George Bailey adding 40 quick runs. But once that partnership was broken, Kings XI’s bowlers ran through the batting line-up.
Sreesanth, in particular, looked really pumped up and couldn’t control his emotions when he bowled Dhoni. Sreesanth’s celebration stopped just short of being a victory lap. Brett Lee and Irfan Pathan provided ample support with the ball and the Chennai team ended with a below-par score.
What followed was the most amazing batting display as the Punjab line-up imploded, seemingly without reason. Muttiah Muralitharan applied the brakes, young offie R Ashwin was accurate and Suresh Raina became the third offie to pick up two wickets on the day. Just two batsmen managed double figures as run-scoring became increasingly difficult as the ball grew old and Punjab limped to a tame finish at 92/8.
TeamsChennai Super Kings team:PA Patel, GJ Bailey, SK Raina, MS Dhoni, S Badrinath, JDP Oram, R Ashwin, MS Gony, L Balaji, M Muralitharan, T Thushara.
Kings XI Punjab team: S Sohal, SM Katich, LA Pomersbach, Yuvraj Singh, KC Sangakkara, WA Mota, IK Pathan, B Lee, PP Chawla, RR Powar, S Sreesanth.