Shaun Marsh

Shaun Marsh scored 50-ball 73 which was not quite enough for Punjab to register a win against Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai © AFP

By Sarang Bhalerao

Chennai: May 2, 2013

Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs in the 45th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. They have now ensured their entry in the IPL playoffs. They have equalled the IPL record of winning seven consecutive games, a record they share with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Punjab’s chase was powered by Shaun Marsh (73) and David Miller (51 not out) . The third wicket stand of 95 between between Marsh and Miller gave Punjab a realistic chance. The southpaws were matching each other shot-per-shot. Punjab needed 30 off the final two overs. Christopher Morris conceded only 11 off the penultimate over. Nineteen runs were needed off the final over.

Dwayne Bravo dismissed Marsh off the first ball and then Gurkeerat Singh off the next delivery. Rajagopal Sathish was out leg before for naught off the first delivery. The three-wicket spree from Bravo made the contest lopsided in the end. Bravo won the Purple Cap (he has 19 wickets in the tournament so far).

Mohit Sharma dismissed Punjab openers cheaply. Luke Pomersbach (7) tried to play the agricultural shot and was bowled neck and crop while Mandeep (15) went for an expansive on-the-up shot which was caught at covers by Suresh Raina. Sharma bowled four overs upfront and finished with the spell of 4-0-31-2.

David Hussey walked in at No 4 and tried to force the pace. He slammed Ravichandran Ashwin and was caught at long-on by Ravindra Jadeja but he couldn’t keep the balance and went past the boundary rope. Hussey was caught two balls later at long-off by Dwayne Bravo.

Earlier, Suresh Raina scored the third century of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) off 53 deliveries which helped Chennai Super Kings post 186 for four in 20 overs.

The feature of Raina’s batting was his clean hitting, the straight hits over the bowlers head, the cover drives and the exquisite pull shots in front of square-leg; all hit with consummate ease. He hit seven boundaries and six sixes.

Raina’s century was a measured knock. He was always in control of the innings. Batting at naught, Raina got a full-toss from Punjab’s part time bowler; skipper David Hussey, who opened the bowling along with Praveen Kumar. Raina hit that for a boundary and got himself going. He never looked back since then.

The Chennai No. 3 stitched two important alliances – 55 with Michael Hussey off 44 deliveries and 74 with Albie Morkel in 38 deliveries to give impetus to Chennai’s total. Raina batted through the innings finishing on an unbeaten 100, an innings that was punctuated by seven boundaries and six sixes. In the end Raina’s innings proved to be the difference on the night when southpaws from both the teams exhibited some top-notch hitting.

Brief Scores:

Chennai Super Kings 186 for 4 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 100 not out; Parvinder Awana  2 for 29) beat  Kings XI Punjab 171 for 6 (Shaun Marsh 73, David Miller 51* ; Mohit Sharma 2 for 31) by 15 runs.

Man of the Match: Suresh Raina

Full Scorecard

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(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)