Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chennai beat Kolkata in thrilling start to IPL 4

Chennai: New captain, new team, same old result. Kolkata Knight Riders
dropped three catches, then allowed Chennai Super Kings' spinners to
get on top of them and eventually finished two runs short chasing a
moderately challenging 154. Earlier, the fourth season of the Indian
Premier League kicked off here at the Chidambaram Stadium accompanied
with the usual colour and music.

MS Dhoni's Chennai were tactically ahead than the Gautam Gambhir-led
Kolkata. The Knights appeared unreasonably edgy despite a good start
to the chase with Jacques Kallis' 54. The South African veteran added
64 with Mavindar Bisla. But all it took to spook Kolkata was some turn
and bounce.

Dhoni shuffled his spinners, clawed back into the game, and eventually
Tim Southee denied Rajat Bhatia the last-ball four needed for the win.
Gambhir oddly came out to bat in the 18th over, a move which failed
which his second-ball run-out.

It was a two-paced wicket. Srikkanth Anirudha set up the Chennai
charge with his fifty IPL fifty. The opener outpaced Suresh Raina in
making 64 after Murali Vijay had fallen for four in the first over.
Chennai had earlier elected to bat.

Anirudha was dropped twice, once by Yusuf Pathan on 11 and then by
Eoin Morgan on 32. Yusuf also put down Raina on 14. In a game of fine
balances, the drops cost Kolkata the match. Raina made 33 and Dhoni
29. Chennai looked good for 170, but had a slow finish to the innings.

After a sturdy start of 64, Shadab Jakati teased Bisla out of his
crease for a stumping. Yusuf walked out to finish off things quickly.
He powered Jakati down the ground for a six. But the game turned in
the 13th over by Suraj Randiv.

The Sri Lankan off-spinner with the ridiculously simple run-up and
action kept the ball up to the bat and slipped in the odd doosra that
kept Kolkata's batsmen guessing. Yusuf survived a stumping in that
over, but ran himself out, courtesy a Dhoni direct hit, trying to
steal a single that would have given Kallis his fifty. Despite
admitting later that he was tentative with the new team, Dhoni looked
like he thoroughly enjoyed the day; that run out in particular.

Ravichandran Ashwin continued to impress. In four overs, he gave away
just 26 and dismissed Kallis, who swept a simple catch to fine leg.
Suresh Raina then slipped in a decisive over in which he dismissed
Morgan while Gambhir was run out.

Morgan charged Raina, who saw the left-hander coming and fired in a
quicker ball. Dhoni finished the easy stumping. Raina has in the past
proven himself incredibly useful as a bowler for Chennai. Today was
one more of those occasions.

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