The Chennai Super Kings took one step closer to progressing to the semi-finals of the Oppo CLT20 2014 after they defeated the Perth Scorchers by 13 runs in their final group stage match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Despite starting poorly, CSK recovered through a rearguard partnership between skipper MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to set a competitive target, and then bowled and fielded with a high degree of intensity to restrict the Scorchers to 142 for 7. (Also Read: QUICK STATS: M15 - PERTH SCORCHERS V CHENNAI SUPER KINGS)
Earlier in the evening, a stunning rescue-from-the-dumps kind of an association between Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni powered the Chennai Super Kings, who were put in to bat, to a respectable 155. On a sticky surface where the spinners got plenty of purchase, where the ball kept low many a times and didn’t offer the batsmen too much pace, CSK – courtesy some poor shot selection - found themselves in a miserable situation at 82 for 5 heading into the last five overs of the innings. That’s when Jadeja, who batted at number six, and Dhoni, batting at seven, decided to take things into their hands. And they delivered in style.
The left-hander put away the last ball of the sixteenth over for a boundary, immediately after which the CSK skipper deposited a low full toss from Yasir Arafat into the stands at midwicket to signal the beginning of the charge.
In the following over, Jadeja picked up a boundary and a six off Brad Hogg. The 19th over – bowled by Yasir Arafat – titled the momentum in favour of the IPL team; after Jadeja had picked up a boundary off the third ball of the over, Dhoni hit three consecutive sixes – including one which landed on the roof of the stadium, as 27 runs were added to the CSK score.
Though Dhoni was dismissed with three balls remaining in the innings – after a 16-ball blitz during which he scored 35, Jadeja ensured his team would finish on a high. The southpaw hit Nathan Coulter-Nile for a boundary and a six off the final two deliveries of the innings; he had consumed 28 deliveries, and struck four fours and two sixes to remain unbeaten on 44. The partnership between Jadeja and Dhoni was worth 64 runs and came over a period of five overs.
CSK needed 9.2 overs to get to 50 and a further 7.3 overs to get to 100. The last 55 runs were scored in a mere 3.1 overs. Mithun Manhas (18), who was drafted into the side in place of Ishwar Pandey, and Dwayne Bravo (27) were the other noteworthy contributors in the CSK innings.
Given the prevalent conditions, the Perth Scorchers bolstered their spin bowling resources by calling in Michael Beer in place of Jason Behrendorff. The move paid rich dividends as the left-arm spinner Beer finished the most economical bowler of the night with figures of 4-0-16-0. Brad Hogg, despite conceding 14 runs in his final over, still ended up with impressive figures of 4-0-25-1.
The Perth Scorchers began their chase in style, with Craig Simmons punishing Ashish Nehra for a boundary and a six in the opening over. But the bowler had the final laugh when he had the batsman nicking one to the wicket-keeper. MS Dhoni’s decision to bowl-out R Ashwin early reaped rewards as the off-spinner picked three wickets to reduce the Australian side to 70 for 4 at the end of twelve overs.
Captain Adam Voges’ vigil came to an end in the 13th over when he played around a Nehra in swinger and was rapped in front of middle stump; he made 27 from 24 balls and hit three boundaries. With the CSK bowlers hitting the right lines and lengths, the Scorchers middle-order and tail found it difficult to get the ball away. Despite Nathan Coulter-Nile’s contribution with the bat, the team from Down Under could only muster 142-7 on the board.
R Ashwin (3-20) was the most successful bowler for CSK, and he was ably supported by Ashish Nehra (2-27) and Mohit Sharma (1-17).
The 13-run defeat – the Scorchers’ second in the competition – now rules out their progression to the semi-finals. CSK, who have ten points and a net run rate of 0.945, will await the result of the match between the Lahore Lions and Scorchers to know their fate. Prior to their final match, the Lahore Lions have six points and a net run rate of 0.255. For the Lions to qualify for the semis, they need to defeat the Scorchers, and beat them convincingly so their net run rate betters CSK’s numbers.
Chennai Super Kings win by 13 runs
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 155-6 in 20.0 Overs (Dwayne Bravo 27, Ravindra Jadeja 44*, MS Dhoni 35) defeated Perth Scorchers 142-7 in 20.0 Overs (Adam Voges 27, Nathan Coulter-Nile 30, Ashish Nehra 2-27, R Ashwin 3-20)
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja, for his unbeaten 28-ball 44, and tidy bowling figures of 4-0-26-0.
Dhoni: "We made a mistake how we started, we wanted to hit the ball hard but it was not easy on this wicket. Jadeja's innings made the difference, it was important we rotated the strike. It was a fantastic bowling performance and important not to give too many in the first six overs, it was a great start."
Voges: "The last three overs of their innings took the game away from us. They were unbelievable. It's a fantastic atmosphere here and we will be trying to influence the group"