All-round Pune Warriors thrash Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs

Pune restricted the Super Kings to 135 for eight from their allotted 20 overs © PTI

By Devarchit Varma

Chennai: Apr 15, 2013

Pune Warriors India produced an inspired all-round show to beat a formidable Chennai Super Kings in their fortress, MA Chidambaram Stadium, by 24 runs in the 19th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 tournament on Monday.

After setting a daunting target of 160, Pune restricted the Super Kings to 135 for eight from their allotted 20 overs to register their second win in the tournament.

While Aaron Finch and Steven Smith contributed with the bat, Indian seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a dream spell of 4-1-12-2 and Mitchell Marsh’s 2-35 sealed an impressive win for the Pune Warriors.

In their chase of 160, Chennai Super Kings had a poor start as Aniruddha Srikkanth, who was drafted in for Michael Hussey; fell on the second ball of the innings for a duck off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Chennai Super Kings will indeed rue the absence of Hussey, who is in a splendid form and played a key role in their crushing win over the Kings XI Punjab.

On the other hand, Murali Vijay was given a reprieve by T Suman, who dropped a regulation catch off Ashok Dinda.

Suresh Raina, who started off on a scratchy note surviving a leg-before appeal in the second over, cracked a boundary off Ashok Dinda’s second over of the innings to get the scoreboard ticking.

However, Bhuvneshwar had other plans as he removed his Uttar Pradesh captain in the fifth over of the innings, getting the left-handed batsman caught by Suman at mid-on to provide Pune Warriors an edge over the home side.

Subramaniam Badrinath walked in after Raina’s dismissal, and after a careful start, cracked a boundary off Mitchell Marsh to get into the rhythm. Vijay soon joined the party as he sent the ball past the long-on boundary to take the run count from the sixth over to 13 runs.

Chennai reached 38 for two after the end of six overs.

Chennai’s hope was pinned on Badrinath and Vijay for a good partnership, but it was dashed soon by the Pune Warriors all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who got rid of Vijay to leave the hosts reeling at 44 for three after seven overs.

Ravindra Jadeja joined Badrinath in the middle and the stabilised Chennai’s innings adding 46 runs for the fourth wicket to keep their side afloat.

Both Jadeja and Badrinath rotated the strike at ease and collected boundaries on lose balls.

Badrinath batted fluently for his 34, which came from 26 balls and hit four boundaries. However, as the required run rate kept moving up and looking to clear the long-off boundary, the Chennai middle-order batsman made room to loft a Mitchell Marsh deliver, only to find Steven Smith, who took a fine catch to end his stay at the crease.

Star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja scored 27 off 22 balls hitting a boundary and a six, while the dangerous Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked back to the pavilion after giving a simple catch to Smith off Dinda.

Earlier in the first half, Aaron Finch cracked a quickfire half-century and Steven Smith scored 16-ball 39 not out as Pune Warriors India set a target of 160 runs against Chennai Super Kings.

Pune produced an inspired batting show led by Finch and Smith to score 159 for five from their allotted 20 overs, after skipper Ross Taylor won the toss and elected to bat first at Chennai’s fortress, MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Finch scored a 45-ball 67 to give Pune Warriors a rollicking start while towards the end, Smith smashed three sixes and as many boundaries from just 16 balls to race to 39 not out.

Finch, who disappointed with the bat in Pune’s previous match, showed aggressive intent right from the word go and cracked three boundaries off Dirk Nannes in the first over of the innings to set the tone early on.

The Australian batsmen looked in terrific touch in the beginning as he punished Ravindra Jadeja as well in his second over, and the Chennai Super Kings had no answer.

While Finch continued playing strokes all over the park, Robin Uthappa hung around to give stability and opportunity to Finch to play his game.

The misfiring Pune Warriors got a splendid start and after the end of the first powerplay, they had garnered 48 runs without losing a wicket. 

Finch raced to his half-century in just 32 balls, which included nine boundaries and a six. The right-handed batsman had a special liking for Nannes, off whom he scored five boundaries in the first two overs.

Both Finch and Uthappa looked at ease against the Chennai bowling attack and picked up a boundary almost every over to keep up the scoring rate high.

Brief Scores: Pune Warriors India 159 for 5 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 67, Steven Smith 39*, Robin Uthappa 26; Chris Morris 2 for 25, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 35) beat Chennai Super Kings 135 for 8 in 20 overs (S Badrinath 34, Ravindra Jadeja 27; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 12, Mitchell Marsh 2 for 35) by 24 runs.

Man of the Match: Steven Smith

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(Devarchit Varma is a cricket fanatic who finds nothing more exciting to do than to write, watch or talk about the sport. Having played the game at club and college level, he now pursues his passion as a scribe)