By CricketCountry Staff
Bangalore: May 23, 2012
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a whirlwind 20-ball 51 down the order to catapult Chennai Super Kings to a challenging 187 for 5 against Mumbai Indians in the IPL eliminator in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 51 off 20 balls and shared an unfinished 73-run stand off 29 balls for the sixth wicket with Dwayne Bravo (33 off 14) to take Chennai close to the 200-mark at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Earlier, S Badrinath (47) and Michael Hussey (49) shared a 94-run stand to help Chennai Super Kings recover from a disastrous start when they were 1-2 in 1.2 overs, courtesy a double strike by Dhawal Kulkarni (3/46).
Invited to bat, Chennai were 47 after nine overs but the defending champions amassed 140 runs off the last 11 overs to set Mumbai a stiff target.
Electing to bowl, skipper Harbhajan Singh led from the front giving away just one run in his first two overs but it was Kulkarni who provided the early breakthrough, removing Murali Vijay (1) and Suresh Raina (0) in his first two balls.
First he had Vijay (1) caught by Rohit Sharma in the first slip and then had Raina edging onto his middle stump for a golden duck.
S Badrinath and Mike Hussey rescued Chennai after the early blows but lost some wickets in the middle overs. They were 118-5 in the 16th over.
But Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned the screws on and showed some urgency making 32 runs in 12 balls.
Bravo was giving him able support at the other end scoring briskly.
Dhoni started his innings in inimitable style by whipping Pollard over the infield to deep mid wicket fence. Dhoni also hit a mammoth six off Franklin, sending the ball out of the stadium.
Ravindra Jadeja (1) could not last long as Rohit Sharma brought up a good catch running backwards off Kulkarni's bowling in the 16th over. Watching the loss of two quick wickets, Dhoni cut loose smacking three boundaries and getting 14 useful runs in the same over.
In 17th over, Bravo and Dhoni plundered strokeful 13 runs off Malinga. After smacking a beautiful four off RP Singh, Bravo brought up Chennai total to 150 in the 18th over with a single to deep midwicket. Bravo again drove past extra cover for a boundary in the 18th over off RP Singh.
Dhoni and Bravo took Malinga to the cleaners hitting one six and two boundaries and getting 18 runs in the crucial 19th over en route to their 50-run partnership in the over.
In the 20th over, Bravo blasted two more sixes to swell the total further.
Earlier, Badrinath cracked two boundaries, scoring ten runs off Kulkarni in the fourth over. Mike Hussey came to the party in RP Singh's over belting a couple of boundaries posting the total to 22 for 2 at the end of five overs.
Chennai posted 30 for two at the end of the power play after Malinga conceded eight runs in his first over. Hussey welcomed Malinga with an exquisite cover drive to the fence.
In the next three overs, Chennai got two boundaries and managed to score 17 runs off the nagging bowling line of Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard and RP Singh. Chennai reached 47 for two in first nine overs.
Soon after the first timeout, Hussey and Badrinath raised the tempo by taking Harbhajan and Pollard apart, making 33 runs in the 10th and 11th over.
Hussey and Badrinath clobbered a couple of sixes and a boundary in the 11th over off Harbhajan who conceded 19 runs.
The score at the end of the over read 80 for 2.
Observing from the other end, Mumbai captain tossed the ball to Malinga who did a wonderful job to give just two runs to Chennai bringing down the runrate considerably.
But Hussey whacked RP Singh for two consecutive pull shots to the midwicket fence, smacking 12 runs in the 13th over.
Pollard, however, brought some cheers for Mumbai fans after he broke the 94-run partnership between Badrinath and Hussey for the third wicket. He had the Chennai lad caught at long on by Rohit Sharma.
James Franklin in 15th over removed Hussey, who looking to get a big one under his belt, succumbed hitting straight into the hands of waiting Kulkarni in the deep. (PTI)
Brief Score: CSK 187 for 5 from 20 overs (MS Dhoni 51*, Michael Hussey 49, Subramaniam Badrinath 47, Dhawal Kulkarni 3 for 46) in 20 overs vs MI