Chennai: An out of sorts Yuvraj Singh found difficulty in middling the ball as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were successful in defending a mediocre score of 142 defeating Pune Warriors India by 25 runs, in an IPL match, on Monday.
The CSK bowlers used the conditions to good effect and their fielders saved at least 20 runs as the Warriors could manage only 117 for nine in 20 overs. CSK now have six points from an equal number of matches and moved upto the sixth place while Pune Warriors with their third loss are now on eighth position.
Touch seemed to have completely deserted India’s World Cup hero as he scratched around for his 34 (43 balls, 2x4) before an inspirational catch by Shadab Jakati at extra cover ended his agony. During his stay, Singh failed to clear the fielders and at times he even failed to connect.
Having lost first four wickets for 40 runs, the team depended a lot on the captain but sapping Chennai heat seemed to have taken its toll.
Ravichandran Ashwin who is now India’s premier T20 bowler did his reputation no harm as he castled the dangerous Jesse Ryder (11). This was after Albie Morkel started the slide getting Mohnish Mishra to drag one back onto the stumps.
Manish Pandey (12, 2x4) coming back after serving four-match ban was also out in an identical fashion as he played on to a Morkel delivery trying to guide it to the third man region.
With the ball not coming onto the bat, Robin Uthappa’s (0) pre-meditated sweep shot off Ashwin saw his stumps go for a walk. The ball pitched outside left-stump and turned enough to beat Uthappa’s bat.
Precariously placed at 40 for four, things were looking downhill for Pune Warriors when Mithun Manhas (20) joined skipper Singh. The duo added 38 runs before Manhas was done in by extra bounce as he edged one off Doug Bollinger to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind stumps.
Earlier, put into bat on a tricky pitch, Chennai openers Mike Hussey (61, 48 balls, 5x4, 1x6) and Murali Vijay (31, 29 balls, 2x4, 1x6) added 64 runs for the opening wicket. After scoring 63 off the first nine overs without losing a wicket, the CSK managed only 79 off the back 11 losing six wickets in the process.
West Indian speedster Jerome Taylor was the most successful bowler grabbing three for 30 while Alfonso Thomas chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Put into bat, CSK openers Vijay and Hussey started off in a confident note. Although they didn’t start hitting the bowlers from the outset, the duo found the gaps and the hittable deliveries were dispatched to the boundary.
Hussey was the first one who opened his shoulders giving Nathan McCullum the charge hitting the offie over mid-off for a six. The Australian batsman got a couple of streaky boundaries off Murali Karthik.