Kochi: A solid all-round performance by Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) helped the IPL debutants comfortably beat defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by seven wickets with two overs to spare in an IPL match here on Monday.
This was their second win four matches after defeating last year’s runners-up Mumbai Indians in the last match.
After consistent drizzle for an hour curtailed the match to 17-overs-side affair, KTK bowlers restricted CSK to 131 for four. Chasing 135 to win courtesy Duckworth-Lewis rain rule, Brendon McCullum (47, 33 balls, 4x4, 3x6), Parthiv Patel (34, 26 balls, 4x4, 1x6) batted in a cavalier fashion to set up the win.
It was left to Brad Hodge (19 not out, 14 balls, 2x4) and Ravindra Jadeja (16 not out, 6 balls, 2x6) finished with a flourish. It was Jadeja who again did a splendid finishing job with a six each off Southee and Ashwin to finish the issue.
McCullum was in a mood to belt everything out of the park. Whether it was Albie Morkel or Shadab Jakati, everyone suffered at the hands of the Black Caps opener. Each of his three sixes were clean hits that landed into the stands.
With an able ally in Parthiv, he took the ‘Orange Brigade’ close to the target before his miscued hoick was taken by Morkel in the deep off Ashwin. They put on 51 runs in six overs. Patel continued to smack the bowlers as he smashed left-arm spinner Jakati over mid-wicket for a six.
Finally, it was Aniruddha who got a simple catch off Bollinger’s bowling when Patel wanted to pull him.
Mahela Jayawardene and McCullum started from where they left against Mumbai Indians the other day as they added 39 runs in 4.2 overs. Jayawardene (16) hit a four and six off Ravichandran Ashwin before he was holed out in the covers with Shrikant Aniruddha taking the catch.
Earlier, Suresh Raina scored a 40-ball 50 as Chennai Super Kings could only manage 131 for four.
The rain stoppage helped KTK as CSK failed to get the momentum going in their favour until Albie Morkel (9 not out) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (14 not out) hit a six each off Ravindra Jadeja’s final over.
Put in to bat, CSK started on a positive fashion with Michael Hussey (8, 2x4) hitting a couple of boundaries off R P Singh’s first over. R P however had the last laugh when Hussey edged one to Parthiv Patel behind stumps.
Murali Vijay (28, 18, 6x4) started on a whirlwind fashion as he hit both Vinay Kumar and R P for some well-timed boundaries. In between a few inside edges also fetched him few lucky runs. It was a Thisara Perera delivery that got Vijay.
The ball came in after pitching and also kept low catching the Tamil Nadu opener plumb in-front.
Raina (50, 40 balls, 5x4, 1x6) who has had a quiet tournament by his standards till now, showed signs coming back to form. But just when one was expecting Raina to fire all cylinders, rain stopped proceedings with CSK reaching 65 for two in nine overs.
When play resumed, Raina and Subramanium Badrinath (19, 17 balls, 1x4) failed to up the ante although both tried to hit the big shots. After 48 runs were added for the third wicket, Badrinath in a bid to improvise was adjudged leg-before to a Raiphi Gomez delivery that looked pretty adjacent.
Although Gomez accounted for Badrinath, Raina hit his trademark lofted shot over deep mid-wicket and then got a streaky four to move to 49. He completed his 50 off 39 deliveries.
For Kochi, R P bowled a brilliant 15th over where CSK could score only two runs as skipper Dhoni could hardly negotiate with the short balls.