It was nothing short of a massacre at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The Chennai Super Kings rewrote the history books by posting 242 – the highest total in the Champions League T20 – and then restricted their opponents Dolphins to 188 to register a resounding 54-run victory in the Oppo CLT20 2014. (Also Read: QUICK STATS: M8 - DOLPHINS V CHENNAI SUPER KINGS)
CSK put the Dolphins bowling attack to the sword as Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja lit up the evening skies with some of the cleanest hitting. Dwayne Smith deposited the fourth ball of the match into the stands but departed next ball when he holed out to the man at long-off, leaving the stage to McCullum and Raina.
McCullum, who gave the Indian Premier League a rousing launch with his spectacular 158 at this very venue six years ago, appeared to be in similar punishing mood as he hit five boundaries and three sixes in his 29-ball 49. Raina, who matched his Kiwi partner stroke-for-stroke, was unforgiving and punished everything that came his way. Length deliveries were put away and full deliveries were deposited into orbit quicker than they were delivered by the bowler. Even back of a length deliveries the left-hander is perceived as being uncomfortable against, were not spared. The second-wicket partnership yielded 91 runs in 7.3 overs, with McCullum contributing 48 to Raina’s 37. The partnership was broken in the ninth over when McCullum picked the man patrolling the midwicket boundary.
Raina would carry on, showcasing good footwork, timing and his ability to muscle the ball, before he perished in the 15th over for a well-compiled 90; he hit four boundaries and eight sixes in his 43-ball outing. The southpaw dominated the 65-run third wicket partnership with Faf du Plessis, contributing 53 runs to the association. During the course of his blitz, Raina became the first Indian batsman to breach the 5000 runs mark in T20 cricket.
The Dolphins pulled things back briefly after Raina’s dismissal when they dismissed MS Dhoni (first ball duck) and du Plessis in the space of seven balls. But Ravindra Jadeja ensured CSK would finish on a high as he scored 40 from 14 balls. The southpaw got stuck into the left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and hit him for three sixes and a boundary in the 17th over before adding two more boundaries to his tally in the 19th over. CSK finished their 20 overs at 242 for 6.
Robbie Frylinck, who conceded 52 runs in his four overs, returned the most successful bowler for the Dolphins with two wickets.
Cut to the chase, the Dolphins, leaving behind the poor first half, gave it their all in pursuit of 243. Skipper Morne van Wyk raced to 17 from 6 balls before he was adjudged leg before to an R Ashwin delivery bowled from round the wicket. Cameron Delport entertained briefly; the left-hand opener picked his spot when he attempted to hit over the fielders, or bisected the gap to perfection when he attempted to hit along the carpet. The Dolphins had 50 on the board in 2.3 overs.
Delport was then deceived by a back of the hand slower delivery from Mohit Sharma and had the leg stump bail knocked back; he scored 34 from 9 balls and hit five fours and two sixes.
The Dolphins were very much in the contest when the 100 came up in the ninth over. But once Cody Chetty (37 from 28 balls) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (30) perished in pursuit of quick runs, it was only a matter of how long before CSK would complete the formalities. The Dolphins middle and lower order resisted and ensured their batted out the entire 20 overs, but they would only manage 188 runs.
With the benefit of having a mountain of runs behind them, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma and Dwayne Bravo used their variations to good effect to unsettle the Dolphins batsmen. Sharma returned the most successful bowler of the match with four wickets while Bravo and Nehra chipped in with two wickets each.
CSK win by 54 runs
Brief Scores:Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 242-6 in 20.0 Overs (Brendon McCullum 49, Suresh Raina 90, Faf du Plessis 30, Ravindra Jadeja 40*, Robbie Frylinck 2-52) defeated Dolphins 188 in 20.0 Overs (Cameron Delport 34, Cody Chetty 37, Vaughn van Jaarsveld 30, Ashish Nehra 2-42, Mohit Sharma 4-41, Dwayne Bravo 2-17)
Man of the Match:Man of the Match: Suresh Raina, for his 43-ball 90.
Dhoni: "I think we batted really well. This is one of the high scoring grounds, but Raina and McCullum did a fantastic job early front. We said that all our batters should go hard, and with our bowling struggling, we wanted to get 15-20 runs extra. If we want to win tournaments, we can't just rely on our batters. We could have restricted them to 10-15 runs less, but I'm pleased with the win."
van Wyk: "Obviously, Bravo's bowling was the game breaker. I thought we were still in it after 10 and 11 overs. It wasn't just the pace, it was the areas he was hitting. I don't think we could have changed things, so it just came down to the side who played the best of two halves."