A half-century from Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance was not enough to stop his side slipping to defeat against Chennai Super Kings as the Jason Gillespie-coached side exited the Champions League Twenty20 competition without registering a victory.
The four-wicket win for the Indian Premier League side came in a dead-rubber as neither team could qualify from Group B following disappointing tournaments.
Ballance’s knock looked like it would be good enough to inspire Yorkshire to their maiden victory in the competition as he made 58 from 44 balls, smashing five sixes in the process. The 22-year-old came to the crease with the White Rose county struggling on 43 for three, but hung around until the final over when he was stumped, trying to steal a single from a wide delivery.
Captain Andrew Gale (23) and David Miller (28) also made decent contributions with the latter racking up a 78-run partnership with Ballance as Yorkshire closed on 140 for six.
Chennai’s reply started badly as Francois du Plessis, the fifth-highest run scorer in the competition to date, was caught off the bowling of Steven Patterson in the second over with only a single run to his name.
Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina both scored at just over a run-a-ball but were both snared by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, although captain Raina managed to score 31.
The Indian Premier League runners-up then turned up the heat on the Yorkshire bowling attack.
Subramaniam Badrinath and MS Dhoni were determined to lead Chennai to their second victory in the competition and started to score runs quickly.
Badrinath cracked 48 runs from 38 balls before being clean-bowled by Iain Wardlaw in the 16th over.
Dhoni had entered the fray with Chennai on 74 for three and with the outcome of the match still hanging in the balance. The India skipper’s calm but quick-scoring 31 swung the game in favour of the Super Kings. He was then bowled by Wardlaw as he tried to win the match in style, leaving it to Wriddhiman Saha to pick up the winning run off the next ball.