Each of Chennai Super Kings’ big-name foreign players did their bit to get the campaign back on track after the opening-day reverse against Mumbai Indians. Matthew Hayden rolled back the years to crack a quick half-century, Muttiah Muralitharan put another nail in the coffin of the spinners-have-no-place-in-Twenty20 theory, Andrew Flintoff sparkled with bat and ball, and Albie Morkel provided a crucial early breakthrough to sink Bangalore Royal Challengers.
Bangalore may have revamped their side this year, but turned in a performance reminiscent of their dire showings last season. The batting has yet to fire in two games, and the bowling was clueless against the initial onslaught from Chennai’s openers.
Full report to follow
20 overs Chennai Super Kings 179 for 5 (Hayden 65) against Bangalore Royal Challengers
After a weekend when the bowlers mostly held sway, the batsmen took over at Port Elizabeth. Led by Matthew Hayden’s blistering start, the Chennai Super Kings’ imposing batting machine piled on 179 in overcast conditions. Kevin Pietersen may have been paid the big bucks for his batting and captaincy, but it was his amiable offspin which kept Chennai from putting on even more.
Hayden and Parthiv Patel provided just the start MS Dhoni would have wanted after he won the toss, sprinting to 106 in 10 overs. Hayden was at his bullying best, and the hallmarks of his batting were on view: the walk-down-the-track to club the quicks, the muscular sweeps against the spinners. There was plenty of finesse among the fireworks as well, gentle glides to third man, and some caressed drives through cover.
Jacques Kallis, surprisingly picked ahead of Jesse Ryder, bore the brunt of Hayden’s hitting. His first three deliveries disappeared for boundaries, and Hayden rounded off the over with a blast over long-off for six, 20 runs in that fifth over had Chennai flying at 56 for 0.
Pietersen rang in the changes but they were to no avail. Vinay Kumar was taken for two fours in the next over, and part-timer Virat Kohli gifted a couple of fours in the seventh, which had Hayden racing to his half-century.
Parthiv was not quite as fluent, always keen to throw his bat and loft towards midwicket. There were plenty of mishits while he attempted that stroke, but there was one glorious pull off Dale Steyn which sailed over the square-leg boundary. By the time the tactical time-out came around, 200 was a distinct possibility.
Much has been made of the extended mid-innings break, but it worked wonders for Bangalore Royal Challengers. Parthiv made a meal of a slog-sweep to be bowled off Pietersen’s first ball after the interval, and Hayden was run out by a direct hit from Rahul Dravid at point off the next delivery. Only eight runs came off the next three overs.
Suresh Raina and Dhoni slammed a six each, but there were too many singles and dot balls to keep the run-rate at the stratospheric levels set by the openers. It was left to Andrew Flintoff to make a 13-ball 22, including a flat six over square-leg off Steyn, to push the scoring in the final overs.
The boundaries are short in Port Elizabeth, but with the track expected to assist spin under the lights and with Muttiah Muralitharan in the Chennai ranks, Bangalore have a tough task ahead.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 and is filed under Cricket.
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