Chennai Super Kings constrict Pune Warriors India
Presumably having learnt from Mumbai’s performance in the field last week, the Chennai Super Kings threw themselves on the field with determination against the Pune Warriors India at the Chepauk to convincingly defend a modest total.
CSK brought in Jakati for Joginder while PWI brought in Jerome Taylor, Nathan McCullum and Manish Pandey. Yuvi put CSK in to bat and Murali Vijay immediately played a Tendulkar like innings. By that I specifically mean the WC semi final innings where he survived a lot of chances thanks to poor fielding. Vijay being no Tendulkar didn’t make as many runs before finally being dismissed (short ball, bleddy Indian batsman) in the 10th over with the score on 64. Michael Hussey did his robotic run accumulation routine at the other end.
I missed the match from here until when PWI started batting but here’s how it went: Raina flopped immediately, Dhoni hit a few and got out, Hussey got to 60, tried to hit and got out, Albie Morkel mega flopped (duck!), Badri and Aniruddha scored whatever they could coming in so late. Takes a lot to defend142 and PWI could have easily done it.
The experiments on Mohnish Mishra continued and he opened the batting with Jesse Ryder. To the joy of DC fans, all he did was redirect an Albie Morkel delivery on to his stumps. Ryder looked as dangerous as a Talli Tubby can when he hit a straight six beyond the sightscreen off Ashwin. Next delivery an arm ball skidded into his stumps as he made room to cut it square. Manish Pandey was at the other end, settling down in his first game after serving a 4 match ban for seeking a higher pay instead of shutting up and signing on for servitude at RCB. He too was early into a shot trying to guide it down to third man; managing only to guide it as far as his stumps. In walked Captain Yuvraj, who had hit a century at the MAC last month against WI in the World Cup in between cramping up, throwing up and fighting delirium. Uthappa immediately deserted him, attempting a rather gymnastic sweep only to be bowled round his legs, leaving PWI at 40/4 and Ashwin with a wicket maiden over.
The choke applied was rather vintage CSK and it was heart warming to see. Ashwin and Randiv were lovely, flighting the ball, making the batsmen check themselves and spend their energy trying to hit the ball past the inner circle. The fielding made sure that Yuvraj and Manhas didn’t get any boundaries in the first three overs they were in, escalating the RRR. What they did fail at was getting direct hits, giving Yuvraj a reprieve early on.
Their partnership of 38 saw just one four and a six; the pressure piled on and Manhas was out trying to steal runs using the pace of Bollinger. Nathan McCullum came in and rotated the strike waiting for Yuvraj to explode but it never came. Yuvraj looked very tired, turning down easy runs and that he could barely middle anything didn’t help. A tired mistimed slash over cover saw Jakati pull off a brilliant catch mid air in the 19thover and PWI were as good as out. Yuvraj Singh, 34 off 43b, 2×4, 0x6, SR: 79.06 was where the game was won.
The RRR was beyond possible and PWI lost more wickets as CSK’s bowling and fielding remained relentless. Nathan McCullum top edged a bouncer while Jerome Taylor and Rahul Sharma were run out as Morkel and Bollinger returned to finish with brilliant, accurate spells. PWI ended the night on 117/9, CSK winning by 25 runs.
Abhinav Mukund put in a contribution with a direct hit from long on to run out Taylor. I don’t know how he’s done in the domestic T20s but it would be worth to give him a go in place of Aniruddha. Although he will have to bat in the middle order, no accommodations there.
PWI have been screwed badly by Ashish Nehra’s injury, they had can’t take Smith/Paine until the bowling gets more consistent contributions from the local bunch. CSK are closer to their best combination but still too dependent on the spinners and that’s been their bane in away games where the pitches haven’t been as helpful as the MAC one.
We just avoided the wooden spoon thanks to Punjab’s spirited response to Delhi’s 221. This win gives us some breathing space before facing Pune again on Wednesday, this time at the DY Patil Stadium, Pune’s ‘home ground’. Hopefully we overcome the away game jitters, win this one and get on a roll!
Paul Valthaty Update:
His middle name is Chandrashekhar, his complete name is Paul Chandrashekhar Valthaty and his friends probably call him PC. He is no longer the Orange Cap wearer (should be wearer not holder IMO) in IPL 2011 because Sachin is now 8 runs clear of him and will probably widen the gap in his MI’s next match vs Rajasthan against that guy whose nightmares he allegedly appears. Paul Valthaty might have a mountain to climb to win back a ridiculous looking trophy.