In a match that turned out to be a nightmare for the bowlers, Chennai Super Kings, chasing 186 runs to win, emerged triumphant against Titans.
Winning the toss, MS Dhoni opted to field, expecting the dew to play a major role in deciding the fate of the match. Quite surprisingly, Chris Morris was left out for Jason Holder from the CSK line-up.
Mohit Sharma was able to find the swing, that made him such a useful addition to the CSK line-up in the last IPL season, to trouble the batsmen and keep them on check. But as soon as Jacques Rudolph was run out by a bullet throw from Dwayne Bravo stationed at midwicket, the match was turned on its head.
AB de Villiers promoted himself to number three and in combination with Henry Davids, the pair scored 76 runs in 6.1 overs, sparing no opposition bowlers. Ashwin broke the partnership by darting one wide down the off-side on seeing Davids advancing down the track, for a 43-ball 52.
Ab de Villiers showed no signs of slowing down as he went on to score a 36-ball 77, thereby taking his team to a total of 185 in 20 overs. Bravo, employed cleverly by MSD again, picked up couple of valuable wickets down the order to keep down the scoring rate, which could have been worse otherwise.
In reply, CSK lost Murali Vijay for a duck to Roelof van der Merwe in the very first over. However, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina demolished the Titans’ bowlers to swing the match completely in favour of CSK. The pair took special liking for Morne Morkel who conceded 29 runs in his first two overs.
Together the southpaws combined to score 89 runs in 7.2 overs which meant by the time Raina was dismissed for 28-ball 47, CSK needed only 91 runs in 12.1 overs. Badrinath, who was promoted up the order to everyone’s surprise, remained unbeaten with a run-a-ball 20 by the end of the innings.
Hussey scored a 26-ball 47 before getting out caught at mid-off of a miscued shot to Morne Morkel. Bravo made sure CSK did not entertain any hopes for a possible comeback from Titans with a 28-ball 36. Despite the wickets of Dhoni and Jadeja in the penultimate over, CSK won the match with 1.1 overs to spare.