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IPL 6: Pune's Warriors breach Chennai Super Kings' fortress

Pune Warriors bowlers kept their cool during slog overs as they shocked title contenders Chennai Super Kings comprehensively beating them by 24 runs in the Pepsi Indian Premier League, here on Monday.

Having managed 159 for five in 20 overs, courtesy Aaron Finch`s 67 and Steven Smith`s late surge, the Pune bowlers put up a commendable show keeping tight leash on a formidable CSK batting line-up restricting them to 135 for eight.

While this Pune`s second win in five matches, CSK tasted their second defeat at home, having lost to Mumbai Indians in their lung opener.

While Rahul Sharma (1/24) was brilliant in the middle overs, speedster Ashoke Dinda (2/34) bowled a brilliant 18th over in which he not only gave away only four runs but also removed Mahendra Singh Dhoni out of the equation.

Having given 63 in the last match, it was a good comeback from Dinda.

Ashok Dinda
Ashok Dinda.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, too, was on the mark, striking twice while giving away just 12 runs in four overs.

Catching in the outfield was brilliant with Smith taking three catches and Finch also pulling off a stunner.

It all started when, Aniruddha Srikkanth, predictably looking out of place, couldn`t even get his bat down to a sharp incutter from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/12). The UP seamer was again splendid with new ball.

Suresh Raina (8) didn`t fire today, as his mistimed swat was taken by Tiru Suman at mid-on.

Vijay (24) was playing well but mistimed a lofted shot off Abhishek Nayar`s bowling to get out.

Domestic `run-machine` Subramanium Badrinath (34, 26 balls, 4x4) added 46 with Ravindra Jadeja before he was caught in the deep off Mitchell Marsh`s bowling.

With 70-odd to get, the stage was perfect for skipper Dhoni to launch his signature assault at the death.

But the skipper lost a set partner in Ravindra Jadeja (27), who was caught at short fine-leg to give Marsh his second wicket.

From 98 for five, it soon became 104 for six as Dwayne Bravo was sent back by Sharma caught in the deep. Dhoni never got going and once he was out for 10, the match was as good as over.

Earlier, CSK bowlers made an impressive comeback despite Finch's swashbuckling innings as Pune Warriors frittered away a good start to manage only 159 for five.

The burly Victorian clobbered 67 off 45 balls with 10 fours and two sixes, but the momentum provided by him was gone with his dismissal having added 96 for the opening stand with Robin Uthappa (26).

However Steven Smith tried his bit with a brilliant cameo smashing 39 off only 16 balls (3x4, 3x6) with a breathtaking reverse swept six off Dwayne Bravo's bowling.

But lack of support from other batsmen meant that Warriors scored only 81 runs from last 10 overs having scored 78 of the first 10.

Chris Morris was the pick of the CSK bowlers with 2 for 25 from four overs.

Finch, who has been the chief architect of Pune's victory against Rajasthan, was in red-hot form as he got 13 runs from Dirk Nannes' opening over which included three boundaries.

When left-arm spinner Jadeja bowled short and wide outside off-stump, he was in position to play the cut shot as well as backfoot cover drive. Similary when Nannes or Morris bowled short-pitched stuff, Finch was quickly in a position to play the pull-shot.

The first of his two sixes was a over long-off from Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling.

He completed his 50 off 32 balls with a top-edged pull-shot off Morris that went to the fine leg boundary.

His 45-ball mayhem finally ended when he gave Jadeja the charge having hit the previous delivery deep into the cow-corner stand for his second six. The ball skidded through him and Mahendra Singh Dhoni completed an easy stumping.

Such was Finch's dominance that the normally aggressive Uthappa remained content in taking the singles and giving bulk of the strike to the Aussie opener.

Finch's dismissal certainly disturbed the momentum as Uthappa was holed in the deep of Morris' bowling. The likes of stand-in skipper Ross Taylor, Mitchell Marsh also failed with the bat to undo the good start provided by Finch.  

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