Chennai: Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) incredible run at home continued as the defending champions defeated Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) by 11 runs in their penultimate encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Chepauk on Wednesday.
Bengal glovesman Wriddhiman Saha’s gutsy unbeaten 46 helped CSK to a competitive 152 for five on a slow Chepauk track.
Also See | IPL IV ( Full coverage )
The score was good enough for the bowlers who restricted Kochi to 141 for five despite Brad Hodge’s impressive effort (51 in 42 balls, 3x4, 3x6) to notch up their ninth win in the tourney to move to the top of the table with 18 points.
The IPL debutants Tuskers finished their campaign with 12 points from 14 outings.
The CSK juggernaut at home keeps on rolling as it was their seventh victory. Ravichandran Ashwin was again the best bowler with miserly figures of one for 16 from four overs.
It was Ashwin who kept the dangerous Brendon McCullum (33, 37 balls, 3x4) under wraps.
McCullum was key to Kochi making a match of it and the Black Caps glovesman being kept quiet was half the job done.
McCullum was finally out when he tried to give Shadab Jakati the charge but played all over it to get bowled. Tuskers’ chance went out of the window after that although Hodge tried his best which was too little too late.
Earlier, Wriddhiman cashed in on the missed stumping from Parthiv Patel to guide Chennai Super Kings to a competitive 152 for five against Kochi Tuskers Kerala on a slow Chepauk track. Having not lost a single match at home, Dhoni’s men would like to keep the record intact.
On a day when most of the CSK batsmen frittered away good starts, young Wriddhiman (46 not out, 33 balls, 1x4, 3x6) answered the critics who questioned his selection for the tour of West Indies with a responsible knock.
Along with Albie Morkel (13 not out), he added 36 runs in 3.4 overs to take the score past 150.
For Murali Vijay (16, 11 balls, 3x4), this tournament has been about hitting some good shots, promising a lot but delivering very little in the end.
In the third over from RP Singh, Vijay first hit a tennis bat like jab through mid-off, followed it with a deft flick past fine-leg and a lofted shot over mid-on. However RP came back with vengeance as he came round the wicket and fired in a yorker that uprooted his off-stump.
Suresh Raina (19,13 balls, 1x4, 2x6) hit Sreesanth over deep mid-wicket region for couple of sixes before an ugly hoick off a full-toss saw a simple catch being taken by RP.
However RP will be remembered for taking one of the finest catches of the tourney to dismiss the in-form S Badrinath (13, 10 balls, 1x6) as he dived full length at the deep mid-wicket boundary to scoop the ball inches above the ground. Brad Hodge was the bowler.