Hussey's knock fit for the Kings
On the eve of the match, Rahul Dravid said Twenty20 cricket had scope for the artists as much as the hitters. He proved his point by playing a sparkling knock against champions Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium today. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. ScorecardUpdated: May 05, 2011 02:03 IST
On the eve of the match, Rahul Dravid said Twenty20 cricket had scope for the artists as much as the hitters. He proved his point by playing a sparkling knock against champions Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday.
His view was backed up by Mike Hussey during the second half to seal the game in the home team's favour. Playing in hot and humid conditions, the two Test stalwarts stuck to playing proper cricketing shots and were still very effective.
Dravid was a joy to watch as he repeatedly transferred his weight on the backfoot to force the spinners in the arc between midwicket and long on, or punch through the gaps on the offside. Later, Hussey was a master at work with the angles, finding the gaps at will, in the top of the table clash.
It was a perfect ending for Hussey as he capped his fine unbeaten 79 (55 balls, SR 143.64) by hitting the winning run as Dravid's 51-ball 66 proved to be in vain.
Batting first, Royals posted a competitive 147 for six, but Hussey and Suresh Raina (51-ball 61) helped CSK coast to an eight-wicket win.
Apart from Dravid's gem, nothing really went right for Royals.
CSK were pushed on the backfoot by the stunning assault launched by openers Dravid and Shane Watson as they raced to an 86-run partnership.
The home team's unheralded spinner, Shadab Jakati, again produced the breakthrough when he produced a superb reflex return catch off a fierce Watson hit.
The local bowlers seized the opportunity and pulled their team back into the game. They made things difficult for the new batsmen as Royals could add only 34 runs in the last five overs.
It was an ideal total and wicket to test the Chennai team but the famous Royals fighting spirit was missing.
The Jaipur team pride in their local brigade, but against Chennai, they chickened out. Stuart Binny and Ashok Menaria gave away 12 and 13 runs each in their one over apiece; Sidharth Trivedi's figures read 3.4-0-37-1 (3 wides). In batting, Menaria and Ajinkya Rahane just couldn't get the ball onto their bat. The inspirational skipper was just not able to galvanise his troops after Super Kings gathered early momentum. The head-to-head between Warne and MS Dhoni now stands at 4-4.
The Aussie spin legend lamented the defeat.
"Dravid played beautifully. He's such a class player. It's great to have him in the team, but fair play to Raina and Hussey. (We had) too many dot balls, the batsmen that came in, took too long to get in. I thought we let ourselves down (in the field). Fielding has always been one of our hallmarks."