Jadeja lives up to price tag, Chennai thrash Deccan

All-rounder scores a brisk 48, then takes 5-16 in a big win for the title holders.

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Bravo's blazing 43 lifted Chennai to 193-6. VIZAG: Chennai Super Kings trounced Deccan Chargers by 74 runs to get their first points of IPL-2012 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here, on Saturday, as the $2 million Ravindra Jadeja justified his price tag with an all-round show.

The 23-year-old scored a brisk 48 (29b, 3x4, 3x6) to help Chennai to 193-6 and then spun out five wickets when Chargers went about their chase. The home team never recovered from the Jadeja double whammy – it only made it worse that Faf du Plessis (39, 25b, 1x4, 4x6) and a rampaging Dwayne Bravo (43 not out, 18b, 5x6) had also drawn their fair share of Deccan blood in the first innings. Although Chennai’s tweakers bowled tightly and to a plan, it was really the sky-high asking-rate that played on the minds of Chargers’ batsmen.

The top four all got starts, but were dismissed trying to force the pace against a predominantly spin attack, and in the end lost the battle against a spiralling asking rate. Chargers appeared likely to make a fist of it when they were 77 for two in the 11th over – with Parthiv Patel and skipper Cameron White in the middle – but once Jadeja and Shadab Jakati got rid of the pair, it was only a matter of time. Jadeja – five for 16- hogged the limelight, but it was R. Ashwin – none for 12 in three overs – who opened the bowling and set the defending champion on the right course.

Earlier, Chennai was asked to bat and made good the opportunity by adhering to a frenetic rate through the innings. They didn’t let up after M. Vijay was bowled in the opening over, the innings bolstered, first, by du Plessis and Jadeja, and later by a rampaging Bravo.

Suresh Raina got things moving with fours off Dale Steyn and Manpreet Gony, but it was when the latter ran in for the fifth over that the innings shifted into high gear. du Plessis took 18 – including two towering sixes – from Gony’s erratic offerings and ended the over with another huge strike that went sailing over long-off and into the first tier.

Chennai suffered a setback when Raina was caught-and-bowled by Daniel Christian, but du Plessis was finished just yet. He smacked one more maximum off Harris - again over long-off - and walloped Ankit Sharma into the stands, as the defending champion crossed 50 in the seventh over.

The young South African prospect was caught trying to clear long-on against seamer T.P Sudhindra, leaving the stage clear for Jadeja – Chennai’s only acquisition in the latest player auction – to ply his trade. Jadeja looked rather sedate as he played second fiddle to S. Badrinath (25, 20b), but revved into action once his senior partner left the scene.

He plundered 18 off Ankit – taking Chennai past the 100 mark in the 14th over – and maintained the tempo by hammering boundaries as Christian and Sudhindra shared bowling duties for Chargers. Jadeja was out hit-wicket to Steyn in the 18th over, and then it was time for Bravo to assume centre stage.

The West Indian mauled the attack for five sixes as he raced to an unbeaten 43 in just 18 balls. The last five overs of Chennai’s innings yielded 72 runs and the last over – bowled by Gony – 23, as Bravo bludgeoned three maximums – each hit soaring well and truly over the boundary line. Such was Bravo’s dominance that of the 46 runs (in 15 balls) that he added with Albie Morkel, just two were contributed by the South African.