Aaron Moores | cricket20
The defending Indian Premier League champions the Deccan Chargers hold the advantage over the Chennai Super Kings in the second IPL semi final after restricting MS Dhoni’s team to a total of just 142-7.
The Super Kings won the toss and elected to bat but it was the Chargers who got off to the better start picking up the wicket of Matthew Hayden at the end of the second over.
Hayden (8), had already enjoyed a charmed life before he was caught by Andrew Symonds in the covers. The Aussie was dropped in the first over by RP Singh before Bodapati Sumanth put down an easier catch at the start of the second over.
After suffering a disappointing tournament with the bat the dropped catches were the double slice of luck Hayden needed but the Chargers finally struck from the last ball of the second over.
Hayden tried a forward drive but he could only pick out Symonds who took the easy catch to give Ryan Harris the big break through.
Murali Vijay (15) responded in fine fashion smashing RP Singh for a huge six and a four before Harris returned in his next over to trap the Indian international LBW leaving the Super Kings 25-2.
With the Super Kings in deep trouble the Chargers could have struck a further blow but their inability to hold on to catches haunted them again as Tirumalasetti Suman dropped Suresh Raina in the gully to.
It could have been a costly mistake, but Symonds spared Tirumalasetti’s blushes when he dismissed Rainia (2) in the next over to leave the slumping Super Kings 29-3.
In deep trouble with 5 over gone the Super Kings need another man of the match performance from their skipper MS Dhoni to keep this hopes of reaching the IPL final alive.
Dhoni built an important 50 run partnership with Subramaniam Badrinath to give the Super Kings a solid foundation to attack the Chargers bowlers in the last 7 overs but, in another twist to a thrilling semi final the Chargers struck back.
With Dhoni still at the crease the Super Kings would have been looking at total of around 150 but the impressive Harmeet Singh struck to remove Dhoni (30) to put the Chargers in control.
With Dhoni gone the pressure was on Albie Morkel (4) to remain at the crease to help Badrinath keep the Super Kings in the hunt but the South African threw away his wicket with an ill advised attempt at smashing Pragyan Ojha for a six which was caught by Symonds out on the boundary.
With only five overs to go the Super Kings found themselves 96-5, Badrinath and Srikkanth Anirudha added another 21 runs before Badrinath (37) was run out at the start of the 18th over which left Anirudha and Ravichandran Ashwin to mount a re-guard action to help set the Chargers a run chase of 143.
After winning the toss the Super Kings will be disappointed to have scored such a low total on a wicket which got easier to bat on as the innings went on.