CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Match Report: M7 - Chennai Super Kings vs Highveld Lions
Lions maul Super Kings by six-wickets
The Lions lost the wickets of skipper Alviro Petersen and Quinton de Kock very early in the run-chase. Ghulam Bodi then played one of the finest innings witnessed in the tournament thus far; he hit some powerful strokes in his 46-ball knock and took a special liking for CSK’s premier spinner R Ashwin, who he hit for three boundaries and a six.
While Bodi went hammer and tongs, the 36-year-old Neil McKenzie played the perfect foil at the other end, silently accumulating runs and turning the strike over. The third wicket pair added 93 from 10.4 overs to keep their team in the hunt.
Bodi, whose preferred scoring area was the leg side, scored 64 before he threw his bat at a wide one from Albie Morkel only for MS Dhoni to complete a regulation take behind the stumps. It took a sensational running catch from Suresh Raina to cut short McKenzie’s innings; the 36-year-old had scored a run-a-ball 33, aided with three boundaries.
With the match still in the balance, Jean Symes together with Chris Morris, threw their bats around to take their team past the finish line. Symes scored 39 from 23 balls, aided with five boundaries, while Morris scored 12.
Doug Bollinger was the pick of the CSK bowlers; the left-arm pacer returned with figures of 2 for 18 from his four overs, while his compatriot Ben Hilfenhaus bowled his four overs economically but without any success. R Ashwin, who picked up the wicket of McKenzie, had an off-day, conceding 42 runs in his four overs. Morkel too was expensive, conceding 35 runs in 3.3 overs, while Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis made up the fifth bowler’s quota of four overs.
Earlier in the evening, CSK made two changes to XI that lost to the Sydney Sixers; Michael Hussey and Yo Mahesh made way for Albie Morkel and Wriddhiman Saha. The team got off to a flourish with Faf du Plessis and Murali Vijay scoring 43 runs in four overs. With both openers going great guns, it needed a special effort to break the partnership; Aaron Phangiso came up with just that as he pulled off a spectacular catch to curtail du Plessis’ innings.
The run-rate dropped a bit over the next couple of overs as Suresh Raina, who walked in to bat at No.3, took his time to get his eye in. After hitting Phangiso for a six straight back over his head, Raina survived a few anxious moments when the third umpire reviewed videos to answer a caught and bowled appeal, eventually decided in his favour. He then hit two boundaries in the following over before holing out to the man at mid-off. The left-hander made 20 from 16 balls.
MS Dhoni, who walked out to bat at No.4, and Ravindra Jadeja then added 32 runs in quick time to give the innings some impetus. However, when Jadeja (21 off 16 balls) and Albie Morkel were dismissed in the space of six balls; the innings had derailed again. Dhoni and Badrinath, who played a smart cameo, helped their team finish on a high with a 50-run partnership. Badrinath played an uncharacteristic innings today; for someone who is generally regarded as a busy cricketer, he hit Dirk Nannes for two sixes through the leg side in his 14-ball 27. Dhoni, who was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the innings, finished as the innings top-scorer with 34.
Aaron Phangiso was the best performer with the ball among the Highveld Lions bowlers; the 28-year-old excelled against an IPL team yet again to finish with figures of 2 for 17 from his four overs.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 158-6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 25, MS Dhoni 34, S Badrinath 27, Aaron Phangiso 2-17) lost to Highveld Lions 159-4 in 19.3 overs (Gulam Bodi 64, Neil McKenzie 32, Jean Symes 39*, Doug Bollinger 2-18) by six wickets.
Man of the Match: Aaron Phangiso, for his spell of 4-0-17-2 on a batsman-friendly track.