Convincing win for top-class Chennai

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Pune: MS Dhoni and Mohit Sharma starred as the Chennai Super Kings beat Pune Warriors by 37 runs, to register their eighth win in IPL 2013 at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing 165 for victory, Pune openers Uthappa and Finch began aggressively before Finch was caught behind by counterpart Dhoni off Mohit Sharma. Their troubles would double, as No.3 Tirumalasetti Suman would fall leg-before-wicket to Sharma off the very next delivery. Robin Uthappa’s run out reduced them to 29/3.

Steve Smith counter-attacked by hitting two fours in the next four deliveries, but could only watch as Sharma (3/21) picked up his third wicket by dismissing Yuvraj Singh for four. The Aussie could only scream in frustration, as he drove the ball down the ground, only to find the ball hitting Albie Morkel’s boot, and the stumps.

Luke Wright was outside the crease at the non-striker’s end.

Smith fell for 35, after being caught and bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. Kane Richardson and Bhuvneshwar Kumar managed some lusty hits, but Chennai continued to chip away. In the end they would finish with 127/9, to bring up their eighth loss of the tournament.

Earlier, Chennai Super Kings won the toss and elected to bat first.

Michael Hussey began by driving a wide delivery for four off the very first delivery. It would be his last boundary of the evening, after first change Kane Richardson however, sent the left-hander’s off-stump for a walk. Saha struck a four and a six, before falling leg-before-wicket to Rahul Sharma. Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath then put together a 75-run partnership for the third wicket. Both batsmen dealt mostly in ones and twos, making sure that they rotated the strike, bringing up the odd boundary when the opportunity presented itself.

At the start of over no.15, they were 102/2.

Badrinath fell while trying to accelerate, holing out to Steve Smith at long off, off Luke Wright. Raina crossed over, and he took a single to give the strike to Dhoni. The CSK skipper began by smashing a four and a six. The momentum would change.

While Raina brought up his half-century, Dhoni went after Dinda, paddling him for a four, before smashing him for a six over long on. The left-right duo milked 12 off the penultimate over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and got ready to face Ashok Dinda one last time in the match. Dhoni missed the first ball, traded strike with Raina off the next two, before running two off the fourth.  Dinda sent one in full, which was promptly dispatched to deep midwicket for four. He repeated the routine in the last delivery, only to be hit for six.

Thanks to their skipper’s knock of 45 from 16, Chennai finished with 164/3. 62 runs came off the final five overs. A top performance that would see them hold on to the No.1 spot in the points table.