Mohali halted by Balaji’s hat-trick
Chennai win the match by 18 runs and tie with leaders Jaipur with 12 points in the league table, reports KR Guruprasad.Updated: May 11, 2008, 03:20 IST
Mohali's Irfan Pathan almost broke the hearts of a near full house with three sixes and a four just when Chennai thought it had the match in the bag.
Chasing a target of 181, and with 55 needed from last three overs, Pathan hit MS Gony for two sixes and a four in 18th over and then hit another six off Albie Morkel to silence the crowd.
Mohali then needed 27 from last over and Pathan hit Laxmipathy Balaji for a six off the first ball. He holed out to deep midwicket in the third ball.
Mohali then needed 18 from three balls and Piyush Chawla skied it to long leg. VRV Singh edged the next ball to wicket-keeper MS Dhoni to hand Balaji the first hat-trick in the IPL and with the last ball yielding no runs, Chennai won the match by 18 runs and tied with leaders Jaipur with 12 points in the league table.
Having lost their home match earlier to the same opposition, Mohali looked for revenge win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday. And they looked all set tying down the Chennai batsmen after winning the toss and electing to field.
But Chennai’s S Badrinath and captain Dhoni shared a 91-run stand for fourth wicket to set up a target or 181. Later, Mohali's Shaun Marsh gave his team an outside chance before Pathan almost pulled it off.
Earlier, it was Sreesanth who set the tone of the match with a dramatic first over. It included a wide, two boundaries, a wicket and then a painful blow when the bowler stuck his foot out to a ball that was hit straight by Suresh Raina.
He was in obvious pain. The next ball he started his run-up, stopped and then started again only to see Raina back off. He gazed at the batsman and asked, what happened.
The bowler may have returned in the morning from testifying on 'slapgate' but he seemed in no hurry to learn to stick to his task.
Mohali had Chennai on the mat for about half-an-hour but Badrinath and Dhoni cut loose after eight overs. Badrinath, who began slowly, showed good temperament. He started with singles but when he saw Dhoni shifting gears, he too stepped on the gas.
Dhoni singled out leg-spinner Piyush Chawla to set right his record against spinners after failures against Warne and Pragyan Ojha.
He sent Chawla flying over the ropes thrice. The first one went over wide long-on, the second over deep mid-wicket and third over the bowler’s head.
Badrinath, as if taking the cue, launched into attack hitting Irfan for two sixes — one over mid-on and the other a flat pull over the deep mid-wicket boundary. Badrinath reached his 50 in the 14th over five overs before Dhoni got there.