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CLT20 2014 – CSK vs PER: Super Kings Move Closer To Semifinals With 13-run Win

By on September 28, 2014

Chennai Super Kings 155 for 6 (Jadeja 44*, Dhoni 35) beat Perth Scorchers 142 for 7 (Coulter-Nile 30, Ashwin 3-20) by 13 runs…

Having made a slow start on a slow Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, a late-overs blitz from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni muscled Chennai Super Kings to what proved an amply defendable target, and moved the team a step closer to a semifinal spot.

CLT20 2014 - CSK vs PER: Ravindra JadejaFrom 69 for 4 at the end of the 14th over, Super Kings more than doubled their score, clouting 86 runs off a ragged Perth Scorchers attack in their last six overs.

That point on, there were no more swings in momentum. From the moment Craig Simmons under-edged a slog into Dhoni’s gloves in the third over of Scorchers’ chase, wickets fell regularly.

With dew barely making an appearance under the lights, the pitch remained sluggish, and the scoring rate was somnolent.

Scorchers made 35 in the Powerplay overs, and were still going along at under six an over at the 10-over mark. By then, they had lost Mitchell Marsh, probably the batsman Super Kings feared the most in the line-up.

Having been caught behind off a no-ball in the ninth over, he top-edged a sweep against R Ashwin in the tenth, holing out at deep square leg.

Scorchers had beaten Dolphins in their first match of the tournament courtesy Marsh, who had struck back-to-back sixes when 12 had been required off the last two balls of their run-chase.

The only glimmer that Scorchers would be able to force a similar finish came when Ashton Turner and Nathan Coulter-Nile added 50 for the sixth wicket in 33 balls, leaving them needing 33 from 13 balls, but Turner was run-out trying to sneak a bye, and Mohit Sharma and Dwayne Bravo sealed a comfortable win for Super Kings with their slower balls in the last two overs.

For most part, Super Kings’ batsmen had struggled just as much after they were sent in by Adam Voges, the Scorchers captain.

The dismissals of their openers – Brendon McCullum chopping Joel Paris on, Dwayne Smith slogging across the line of a slower ball – spoke of their difficulty in coming to terms with the pitch, and the loss of Suresh Raina to a run-out sucked out even more momentum.

The spinners tied down Mithun Manhas and Dwayne Bravo, and Brad Hogg looked particularly difficult to get away, with the batsmen straining to pick his variations, and the pair added 23 in 34 painstaking deliveries.

Jadeja’s entry, following Manhas’ dismissal in the 12th over, didn’t immediately spark Super Kings to life: their boundary drought, which began early in the sixth over, lasted till Bravo swung Turner away over the midwicket boundary off the first ball of the 15th over.

He lofted him down the ground for four and was bowled immediately after, but those two big blows signaled the start of Super Kings’ revival.

Dhoni swatted an Arafat full-toss away for a big six over the leg side in the 17th over and Hogg, who had seemed unhittable till then, went for 14 in his final over, as Jadeja charged him and swung him over long-off and wide of long-on for a four and a six.

Super Kings’ run-rate, though, was still under six an over, and it took a truly gargantuan over for 150 to even become a speck on the horizon.

It came off the bowling of Arafat, who lost his length and lost the plot. Twenty six came off the over, the last three balls of which Dhoni sent sailing over the leg side boundary. The second of these sixes disappeared over the roof of the stadium and the word ‘immeasurable’ appeared on the big screen.

The person keying in the text was referring to the distance of the hit; he or she might as well have been talking about its game-changing impact.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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