Chennai beat Kings XI in thriller
Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by 12 runs according to the Duckworth Lewis method to win the 34th match of the second edition of the Indian Premier League at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
Chasing a victory target of 187 runs, Punjab managed 174/3 in 18 overs as Chennai climbed to the top of the points table. Matthew Hayden was adjudged the Man of the Match for his superb knock.
Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh and Mahela Jayawardene put up an unbeaten 90-run partnership for the fourth wicket and they could have led to their team to victory had Yuvraj not been dropped by Manpreet Gony, if Muttiah Muralitharan had taken the catch to dismiss Jayawardene and if Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni not asked Suresh Raina to bowl two overs.
Those two overs were decisive as Raina gave away only 8 runs.
Yuvraj's unbeaten 58-run knock came off 36 balls and was studded with 2 sixes and 5 fours, while Jayawardene hit 2 sixes and 3 fours in his 25-ball 44.
Punjab got off to a poor start with Sunny Sohal getting dismissed on the second ball of the run chase by Albie Morkel.
Shadab Jakati took the second wicket when he had Karan Goel (14) caught at long-on by Manpreet Gony.
Simon Katich hit 4 sixes and 3 fours in his 25-ball 50 before he was dismissed by Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Earlier, riding on blitzkrieg knocks by Hayden and Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings scored 185/3 in 18 overs.
The victory target was revised due to the two-over reduction and Kings XI Punjab need 187 runs to win in 18 overs at 10.39 runs per over.
Hayden set the SuperSport Park on fire with his fiery strokeplay after the match was resumed after a 90-minute rain interruption.
Hayden's 58-ball 89 was studded with 6 sixes and 8 fours, while Dhoni remained unbeaten after a 27-ball 56 that came with the help of 2 sixes and 7 fours.
Hayden's blistering knock ended when he mistimed a hit off S Sreesanth to long-on for Mahela Jayawardene to take the catch.
Suresh Raina hit a six and 4 fours in his 20-ball 32 before Piyush Chawla struck with his first delivery by having him caught at deep mid-wicket by Karan Goel.
Chennai Super Kings resumed their innings at 68/1 in 7.3 overs after a 90-minute rain interruption.
According to revised playing conditions, the match has been reduced to 18 overs per side, there will be no strategy breaks and the powerplays have been reduced to 5 overs.
Batting first after winning the toss, Chennai Super Kings got off to the worst start by losing Subramaniam Badrinath on the first ball of the match. Badrinath cut a Irfan Pathan delivery to third man for VRV Singh to take the catch to register a first ball duck.
But Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina exhibited some scintillating strokeplay to prevent Punjab to exert more pressure.
Hayden hit a six and 5 fours in his 28-ball 37, while Raina's 30 came off just 16 balls and was studded with a six and 4 fours, before the rain interruption.
When he reached 15, Raina became the first player to score 700 runs in IPL.
Chennai have replaced the unfit Jacob Oram with George Bailey and Murali Vijay has been replaced by Manpreet Gony.
Punjab have made only one change, replacing Ramesh Powar with VRV Singh.