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Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI punjab: Hayden And Raina Clinch Thriller

By on May 8, 2009

chennai super kings matthew hayden

Chennai Super Kings (Hayden 89, Dhoni 56*) beat Kings XI Punjab 174 for 3 (Yuvraj 58*, Katich 50, Jayawardene 44*) by 12 runs (D/L method)…

Kings XI Punjab made Chennai Super Kings really sweat in a spirited chase towards a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 187, but when it mattered most tactical nuance won it for Chennai. Simon Katich had set the tone for Punjab’s bravado and Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene batted superbly in the face of adversity, adding 90 in just 8.5 overs under lights. Then, with 30 left to defend off 12 balls, MS Dhoni took pace off the ball by calling on Suresh Raina’s part-time offspin, and that six-run over provide definitive.

Chennai’s big total was set up by Matthew Hayden’s belligerent 89, either side of an hour-and-half’s rain delay, and Dhoni’s sparky 56 from 27 balls. Up against the strongest batting line-up in the tournament, they were pummeled into submission for the second match running.

Chennai Super Kings (Hayden 89, Dhoni 56*) v Kings XI Punjab…

Either side of an hour-and-half’s rain delay, Matthew Hayden bludgeoned his third and most dismissive half-century of the IPL to biff Chennai Super Kings to 185 in 18 overs. Hayden was rude to Kings XI Punjab’s bowlers from the time MS Dhoni opted to bat, but his assault after the rain hold-up was stunning, with Sreesanth feeling the brunt of his power. Punjab may have thought they’d done damage control by getting Suresh Raina shortly after play resumed, but Hayden and Dhoni, who walked in and smacked an unbeaten 56 from 27 balls, compounded their woes and then some. Pace has been Punjab’s main bowling weapon, but the bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Rajasthan Royals last game. Up against the strongest batting line-up in the tournament, they were pummeled into submission.

Chennai’s decision to use S Badrinath as opener flopped. One of two changes in the team, Badrinath uppercut the first ball of the match straight to VRV Singh at third man. But it ended up being bad news for Punjab because the two highest run-getters this season, Hayden and Suresh Raina, came together for a bruising.

Sreesanth, after taking a pasting in his last two overs of Punjab’s miserable loss to Rajasthan Royals, wasn’t allowed to settle. Hayden muscled him for four and though his attempts to swing away didn’t always come off, the intent was clear. Hayden constantly shuffled around his crease or walked down, opening his shoulders repeatedly.

Both batsmen gave chances – a hard smack by Raina being palmed off point’s fingertips and a leaping Yuvraj Singh from mid-off just failing to latch on to a chip over Sreesanth’s head. Raina continued to smack anything even marginally astray outside off stump. One cut off Yusuf Abdulla bisected two close fielders and sped past the sweeper in the deep. A length ball was drilled past mid-off.

Another force then struck. Dark clouds had loomed from before the toss and it was only a matter of time before play was held up. Three balls into the eighth over and the covers were rushed on, and it after that extended delay Hayden and Raina resumed on a sluggish track. The match was now 18 overs.

Raina didn’t last long, lofting Piyush Chawla’s first delivery to deep midwicket. At this stage Hayden was 43 from 34 balls. With the advantage clearly Chennai’s way, Hayden turned belligerent. Chawla’s second over cost 16 as Hayden slammed sixes either side of the ground.

Dhoni came out and was immediately busy with flat-batted swipes and superb use of the feet, smacking VRV for 24 in the 15th over. Each shot just improved on the last in those six balls as Dhoni pinged long, square leg and midwicket.

The penultimate over, bowled by Sreesanth, cost 22. First Hayden walked across to Sreesanth and hooked him, one hand, for six over fine leg. Then he swung two more sixes with ferocity, both balls landing well over the ropes. Hayden was 89 from 57 balls when he lofted the last ball to long-on.

Dhoni needed just 24 balls to raise a hyper fifty, his second outstanding innings of the tournament. The target for Punjab will be 187, adjusted upwards by two runs because of the loss of two overs.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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