IPL 6: In battle of Kings, Chennai emerges triumphant over Punjab
A superlative display by Super Kings combined with a shoddy performance by Punjab saw Chennai thrash Kings XI, in their backyard, by 10 wickets in Mohali on Wednesday.
It was supposed to be the 'Battle of the Kings', but Punjab's dismal display in the middle meant Chennai was the only royalty in the most-one-sided encounter of IPL 2013. Chennais Super Kings openers' 139 run partnership meant they won their in their Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) match by 10 wickets at the PCA stadium in Mohali on Wednesday.
Chennai Super Kings openers Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay were simply too good for the Punjab bowlers who also suffered due to some bad fielding.
The visitors achieved their target with 16 balls remaining.
Man-of-the-match Hussey slammed a blistering 54-ball 86 as Chennai Super Kings produced an aggressive brand of cricket to roll over Kings XI Punjab.
Chasing 139 for victory after opting to field, Chennai rode on Hussey's knock and Vijay's run-a-ball 50 to open their account in this edition of the T20 league. The two-time former champions had lost their opening match to Mumbai Indians.
Steady to start with, Hussey upped the ante as the innings progressed, eventually leading his side to a commanding victory with 16 balls to spare. There were a flurry of fours and sixes in the second half of the innings as Chennai raced to the target with ease.
While he was at his best towards the end, Hussey did not miss out on the opportunities to spank the loose balls for runs initially too. Vijay was not at his fluent best but gave Hussey the support he needed at the other end.
Unlike Punjab, Chennai knew they had the depth and experience in their batting, paving the way for the opening combo to milk runs instead of going hammer and tongs.
At the end of the end of the 10th over, Chennai were 65 for no loss, needing another 74 runs. Punjab had their opportunities to dismiss the Chennai openers but Piyush Chawla dropped Hussey off his own bowling before Adam Gilchrist missed a stumping against Vijay in the eighth over.
Hussey capitalised on the life he got, cutting medium pacer Parvinder Awana for two fours through the point region as Chennai upped the scoring rate.
In the process, the two recorded the best first-wicket partnership for Chennai against Punjab in IPL, before taking it a notch higher to post the best partnership for any wicket on this ground.
Earlier, Dwayne Bravo produced a couple of late strikes as Chennai Super Kings took seven wickets for just 32 runs to bowl out Kings XI Punjab for 138 in their Pepsi Indian Premier League match at Mohali on Wednesday.
Sent into bat, Punjab were fairly well placed at 106 for three at the start of 15th over, when top-scorer David Hussey's dismissal for a 36-ball 41 triggered a collapse from which the hosts could never recover.
Some mindless batting by the hosts only made the task easier for Chennai, who showed discipline on the field.
Punjab relied on Hussey's knock and his 56-run stand for the fourth wicket with Gurkeerat Singh after suffering three early blows at the PCA Stadium.
Mandeep Singh launched Punjab's innings with a boundary off the first ball of the match, punching one fluently through extra cover off Dirk Nannes. Adam Gilchrist found the fence twice in the next over, an outside edge to the third man boundary followed by a cover drive that was a connoisseur's delight.
But Punjab could not sustain the tempo for long, as Nannes gave Chennai their first breakthrough in the form of Gilchrist in the third over.
Even though he was talking to the TV commentators, Hussey was focussed enough to dive to his left and get hold of Gilchrist's whip off the pads. Two balls later Nannes struck again, sending back Mandeep who was caught at square leg by an agile Dwayne Bravo, who nearly pulled off what would have been a blinder of a catch had he latched onto Gurkeerat's lofted shot towards long-off in the 15th over of the innings.
Ravindra Jadeja had Manan Vohra after the batsman helped himself to three boundaries for an 11-ball 16.
There was a 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket between David Hussey and Gurkeerat Singh, before the Aussie was snared by off-spinner Ravichandran Aswhin.
Gurkeerat followed after the addition of 10 runs, falling prey to Bravo. Bravo got three wickets while Nannes and South African all-rounder Chris Morris took two each.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl against Kings XI Punjab in their IPL match at Mohali on Wednesday.
Chennai have made one change to their side, bringing in Morris for Australian bowler Ben Laughlin.
Kings XI Punjab: 138 all out in 19.5 overs (David Hussey 41, Gurkeerat Singh 31; Dwayne Bravo 3/27, Chris Morris 2/27, Dirk Nannes 2/17 ).
Chennai Super Kings: 139 for no loss in 17.2 overs (Mike Hussey 86 not out, Murali Vijay 50 not out).
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C), Mandeep Singh, David Hussey, Azhar Mahmood, Gurkeerat Singh, Manan Vohra, Rajgopal Sathish, Piyush Chawla, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar and Ryan Harris.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Murali Vijay, Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, R Ashwin, Dirk Nannes, Chris Morris and Ankit Rajpoot.