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Chennai too good for Hyderabad

By Rediff cricket
Last updated on: May 04, 2009 23:23 IST
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A superb spell by Shadab Jakati (four for 22) helped Chennai Super Kings thrash Deccan Chargers by 78 runs in their Indian Premier League match at Buffalo Park, East London, on Monday.

The victory moved last season's losing finalists to the top of the table with what was their fourth win in eight matches, their third on the trot.

Chasing an improbable 179 to win, the Hyderabad side stumbled to 100 all out in 14.4 overs.

Earlier, an unbeaten 58 off 37 balls by man of the match Mahendra Singh Dhoni and a quickfire 43 (26 balls) from Matthew Hayden helped Chennai post a formidable 178 for three after electing to bat.

Chennai had lost their first match against Hyderabad, who ended the first season with the proverbial wooden spoon. And though the latter began Season 2 with four straight wins to take top place in the table (going into the match), they lost their last their last three matches.

Chennai innings:

Dhoni ensured an auspicious start by calling correctly, and both the openers, Matthew Hayden and Murali Vijay, justified his decision to bat first.

The Hyderabad bowling had been weakened to a certain extent following the departure of the in-form Caribbean player Fidel Edwards, and Hayden was quick to pounce on that weakness.

The Australian opener, the holder of the Orange cap for the most runs in the tournament (246) going into the match, did enough to ensure the cap remains on his head for some more time.

Edward's replacement, Ryan Harris, went for 10 in his opening over, with both Hayden and Vijay finding the fence.

Hayden then stepped up gear in RP Singh's second over, first with a boundary over covers and then getting a thick top edge over the third man fence for the maximum.

The first bowling change, Dwayne Smith, brought Hyderabad no succour, Hayden smashing his third ball over the long-on fence. Another maximum, albeit not a convincing one.

The Chennai charge forced Hyderabad captain Adam Gilchrist to introduce Rohit Sharma inside the Powerplay. Not that it mattered much.

Hayden smashed him over wide long-off for yet another maximum.

The seventh over witnessed Gilchrist making a third bowling change in three overs, bringing in Shoaib Maqsusi to replace Smith.

Hayden smashed his first delivery through the cover boundary and repeated the act three balls later, this time walking down the fence and dispatching over the bowler's head with utter disdain.

However, Gilchrist's persistence was finally rewarded with the next ball, thanks to some impatience on part of his compatriot.

Hayden, in all his aggression, forgot to be cautious and cut straight to RP Singh at short third man.

The opener made 43 off just 26 balls (5x4, 2x6) and his dismissal reduced Chennai to 61 for three after seven.

Chennai captain Dhoni came in at number three, and along with the other opener, ensured his side went into the strategic time out comfortably placed at 84 for one.

The first ball of the second over after resumption secured Hyderabad their second breakthrough, Vijay (31/33) hitting T Suman straight to Herschelle Gibbs at the long-off fence.

In the next couple of overs there was a lull, and what followed was a tempest.

The in-form Raina went rampant off the so-far-so-effective Suman, smashing him first to the midwicket fence and following it up with successive sixes, both over the midwicket.

That over cost Hyderabad 19 runs and Chennai were breathing easy again.

Dhoni got two boundaries in one over (the 17th) off Harris to add to Hyderabad's woes and repeated the feat in the bowler's next -- the innings 19th.

In the over in-between, RP Singh had Raina (32/19) caught by Smith at long-on.

Dhoni brought about his half-century off the third ball of the final over, hitting RP Singh to the deep square leg fence.

And a second successive boundary, this time to fine leg, ensured Chennai posted a target that was competitive, perhaps match-winning.

Hyderabad innings:

Deccan Chargers had a disastrous start. Their in-form captain Gilchrist was out first ball, trapped in front by Albie Morkel.

His opening partner Gibbs (0) followed suit in Sudeep Tyagi's next over, his stumps producing a distinct rattle that signifies a wicket.

And when former captain VVS Laxman (0/7) hit Morkel straight to Jakati in the third over, Hyderabad were tottering at seven for three.

It seemed a lost cause. But this format of the game is eminent for springing manifold surprises, and a 70-run fourth wicket partnership between Smith and Sharma gave Hyderabad a fresh leash of life and Chennai their first woes in the innings.

The West Indies all-rounder, in particular, was at his belligerent best. He began with a big six over mid-off in Tyagi's second over and followed it up by taking a whopping 19 in the fifth over, Morkel's third.

Successive maximums, both over the midwicket fence, were followed by a boundary over the bowler's head and that gave Hyderabad the lifeline they desperately needed.

Sharma joined the party hitting first change Lakshmipathy Balaji's first ball over the mid-on for the maximum and followed it up with a boundary to deep backward square leg.

And when Smith secured another maximum it ensured that the Tamil Nadu pacer gave away 18 runs in his first over.

Hyderabad had hit back well and were well-placed at 52 for three at the end of Powerplay.

As the field restrictions eased, Dhoni handed the ball to spinner Jakati. Smith responded by smashing his third delivery over the midwicket boundary. Yet another maximum.

However, Jakati had the last laugh, his second over ensuring Chennai a double breakthrough besides ample drama.

Sharma was the first to go, holing out to S Badrinath at midwicket. He made 21 of 20 (2x4, 1x6).

Off the next ball, Chennai fumbled and made a mess of what seemed like a simple run-out opportunity.

On second thoughts, there were at least four chances, Jakati, Badrinath, Suman and Jakati again missing successive chances.

The batsman to benefit from the fumble was the dangerous Smith.

However, Jakati to his credit, atoned for his blemish just three balls later, trapping the West Indian plumb in front.

Smith made 49 of just 23 balls (2x4, 5x6) and with his dismissal, Hyderabad's last realistic chance of making a match of it went up in smoke.

It was anti-climax.

Hyderabad went into the strategic break up down and out on 79 for five.

Jakati had Venugopal Rao (2/5) caught by Murali at long-on to compound Hyderabad's problems in the first over after resumption.

The usually reliable Raina was generous enough to drop Suman in the second ball of next over -- a straightforward caught and bowled opportunity. And in the next ball, Badrinath repeated the generosity at mid-off.

Suman expressed his gratitude with a boundary over the bowler's head.

However, Jakati cleaned up Harris (1/4) in the next to hit another nail in Hyderabad's coffin.

Murali added two wickets to his resume in successive balls, first having RP Singh (2/6) caught by Vijay at midwicket and the bowler-fielder repeating the act this time getting Suman (17/17).

And when Pragyan Ojha (0/2) was caught by Jakati at midwicket of Raina, it was all over for Hyderabad two balls short of what was the 15th over of their innings.

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