Bushrangers secure stunning Super Over victory
The Victorian Bushrangers held on to record a thrilling win against the Chennai Super Kings to strengthen their chances of reaching the knock out stages of the Twenty20 Champions League after claiming a Super Over victory.
Faced with a tricky run chase the Bushrangers got off to an excellent start with Aaron Finch and Brad Hodges enjoying an opening stand of 43 but the Australianís lost wickets at regular intervals to set up a thrilling final which saw 6 wickets fall during the final 16 deliveries to set up a Super Over.
With so much riding on the game Dhoni took the decision to use Ravichandran Ashwin during the Super Over but the move backfield as David Hussey smashed 22 runs from 5 deliveries to leave the IPL champions needing 24 runs.
The Bushrangers threw the ball to Clint McKay unlike Ashwin he held his nerve to deny Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni the runs required to seal the victory much to the delight of the Bushrangers.
Having been set a total of 163 for victory Finch wasted little time getting the innings going dispatching two boundaries during the first over bowled by Doug Bollinger before smashing Ashwin for two huge sixes in the second over.
Hodge watched on from the non strikers end as Finch continued his blitz with two more boundaries off the bowling of Bollinger before Ashwin was once again treated with contempt as his first delivery of the 4th over went sailing over cow corner for another six.
To his credit Ashwin struck back with the very next delivery which was bowled half way down the wicket causing Finch to balloon his shot into the air giving the bowler a simple caught and bowled opportunity.
Hodge (6) quickly followed to leave the Bushrangers 49-2 but David Hussey and Matthew Wade hit back smashing 17 runs of Lakshmipathy Balajiís first over to give the KFC Big Bash champs the slight advantage before play was held up for 10 minutes because of rain.
Once the showers had past over St George's Park the action got back under way with the Bushrangers looking to press home their advantage but the Super Kings struck back thanks to Muttiah Muralitharan who picked up two wickets.
Muralitharan picked up the key wicket of Wade (31) who was caught by MS Dhoni behind the stumps before Andrew McDonald was trapped LBW by the Sri Lankanís next delivery to leave the Bushrangers 104-4.
After starting off positively the Bushrangers innings was in danger of getting bogged down with another 59 runs still needed from 48 deliveries; but with Hussey still at the crease they held the advantage.
The Bushrangers skipper kept the score ticking over by working the ball into the gaps and picking up a boundary every over as the Australians slowly inched their way towards victory.
With Hussey and Rob Quiney in control the rain came back but luckily even though play was only delayed for a few minutes the Super Kings took advantage thanks to Raina who picked up the wicket of Quiney (10) in the 18th over.
Despite the lose Hussy completed a well deserved half century before John Hastings was stumped by Dhoni to give Raina his second wicket of the over to leave the Bushrangers 142-6.
With the tension building the Bushrangers now needed 20 runs from the final two overs but their hopes of securing a vital victory looked to be over when Hussey was caught by Justin Kemp out on the long-off boundary to give Bollinger his second wicket of the innings.
But Peter Siddle gave the KFC Big Bash champions some hope with a boundary from the first ball he faced but the Bushrangers still needed 12 runs from the final 6 deliveries.
With a place in the knock out stages of the Twenty20 Champions League up for grabs the tension started to mount as, unbelievable McKay smashed Rainaís first delivery for a massive six straight down the ground.
Raina hit back instantly to remove McKay (10) and Dirk Nannes (0) before Siddle found the boundary again to leave the Bushrangers needing 2 runs from the last 2 deliveries.
A single was taken from the next delivery before Bryce McGain was run out from the final delivery of the game with the scores tied to send the match into a Super Over.
Having won the toss the Super Kings decided to bat first with Michael Hussey coming into the line up; replacing the out of form Matthew Hayden, to open the batting with Vijay.
The pair started off slowly but once they saw off an aggressive opening spell by Dirk Nannes they started to lay the foundations of an important opening stand for the Super Kings.
Having survived a number of early run out opportunities the pair started to attack the Bushrangers bowlers with Vijay leading the way dispatching Clint McKay for an effortless six over the long-on boundary at the start of the 6th over.
He repeated the shot with the same result against Andrew McDonald two overs later before the Bushrangers struck back.
The partnership reached 68 before Hussey (25) was caught by Aaron Finch out on the deep extra cover boundary after he tried to smash McKay into the stands.
Despite the lose Vijay continued his impressive innings recording a well deserved half century in the 13th over with a boundary through midwicket before Suresh Raina (10) short time at the crease was ended after he was bowled by McKay to leave the Super Kings 94-2.
Vijay was joined at the crease by MS Dhoni and the pair built a 3rd wicket partnership of 41 which put the Super Kings in control, their partnership included 19 runs of the bowling of Peter Siddle who was removed from the bowling attack having bowled 3 waists high no balls in the 16th over.
Vijayís (73) excellent innings was brought to an end though by John Hastings an over later as the Bushrangers fought their way back into the game thanks to an excellent catch by Rob Quiney out on the long-on boundary.
Srikkanth Anirudha (2), Dhoni (22) and Subramaniam Badrinath (1) quickly followed to leave the Super Kings 150-6 but Justin Kemp and Ravichandran Ashwin added 12 vital runs to give the batting team the slight advantage.