By BV Swagath
Fiery knocks from Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey made short work of Titans’ high score of 185 in the Group B Match at Ranchi. Chennai Super Kings thanks to the two left-handers went onto win their opening match of CLT20 2013 by 4 wickets with 7 balls to spare.
Raina gave a pulsating start smashing 47 from 28 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. The 26-year-old got the Man of the Match for providing the impetus to his team in the chase. Veteran Michael Hussey picked up the tempo from his partner to score 47 from 26 balls with 7 fours and a six. The two batsmen added 89 runs for the second wicket in just 7.2 overs to make the run chase very easy for CSK.
Both Raina and Hussey got out in succession to give a slight opening for Titans to come back in the game. The left-handers got together in the first over itself when Murali Vijay was dismissed for a first ball duck, getting cleaned up by an arm ball from Roelof van der Merwe.
CSK were 114 for 3 in 10 overs when Hussey got out which was a great position to be in chasing 186. With the required run rate under control, the remaining batsmen had an easy job to complete the run chase. Dwayne Bravo played an important part scoring 38 from 26 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes to take away any slim chances the Titans had in winning the game.
S Badrinath anchored one end to score 20* in as many balls to secure the game for CSK. There was a slight delay in the victory as CSK had lost three wickets in quick time to left-arm quick Rowan Richards. The Titans bowlers made it easy for the chasing team by spraying as many as 24 wides!
In the first half, Titans were powered to a superb total of 185 for 5 with Skipper Henry Davids and in particular AB de Villiers taking the bowlers to the cleaners. After a modest start of 46 for 1 in 7 overs, AB de Villiers walked in to up the ante without wasting any time. De Villiers ran away with a blinder of 77 from just 36 balls with 3 fours and as many as 7 sixes! Henry Davids did his part in sustaining the momentum with his 52 from 43 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes.
For CSK, opening bowlers – Mohit Sharma and Jason Holder bowled economically well. Bowlers from both the teams had a bad day in general because of the excessive dew conditions. Titans suffered the most and despite having two giant fast bowlers in Morne Morkel and Marchant de Lange, the South African team struggled to defend a high score of 185.
Toss and Teams: Chennai Super Kings have won the toss and invited Titans, the team from South Africa, to bat first at Ranchi. The pitch is expected to stay good for batting but there should be some assistance for the seam bowlers under the lights.
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Jason Holder, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma
Titans: Henry Davids (C), Jacques Rudolph, Heino Kuhn, Roelof van der Merwe, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, David Wiese, Mangaliso Mosehle (WK), Morne Morkel, Marchant de Lange, Rowan Richards