Easy wins for Chennai, Mumbai | Pakistan Today

Easy wins for Chennai, Mumbai

Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina hit impressive half-centuries as Chennai Super Kings thrashed Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets for their fourth victory in a row in the Indian Premier League. In the other match of the day, Pune slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat, going down by 21 runs to Mumbai Indians to bow out of contention for a place in the playoffs.
Hussey cracked 79 not out and shared 137 runs for the second wicket with Raina (61) to help Chennai overhaul Rajasthan’s 147-6 with eight balls to spare in hot and humid conditions at the Chidambaram Stadium. The victory propelled Chennai to third spot in the points table while Shane Warne-led Rajasthan suffered their fourth defeat from 10 outings to slip to fourth place.
Chennai lost opener Murali Vijay early in their chase but Raina and the dependable Australian middle-order batsman Hussey ensured an easy victory for the defending champions. Hussey hit eight fours and a six in his 55-ball knock to upstage a fine 66-run effort by Rajasthan’s Rahul Dravid. Dravid gave Rajasthan a steady start, sharing 86 runs with opening partner Shane Watson off 10 overs to set the platform for a good total after Warne won the toss and elected to bat in sweltering heat.
The veteran right-hander appeared in supreme touch during his 51-ball knock, unleashing classic as well as improvised shots on either sides of the wicket against both spinners and pace bowlers. The former Indian captain even outscored the in-form Watson, who hit five fours before being caught brilliantly by left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati off his own bowling for a 26-ball 32.
Watson’s dismissal triggered a collapse with Rajasthan losing the next five wickets, including that of Dravid, for the addition of 53 runs. Dravid perished while attempting to pull a short ball to midwicket off Sri Lankan off-spinner Suraj Randiv, whom he hit for three fours in an over. In Mumbai, the hosts were tottering at 96-4 before late cameos by Tirumalasetti Suman (36) and West Indies’ Kieron Pollard (30) lifted them to a competitive 160-7.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar, the highest run-getter in the tournament, made a run-a-ball 24 while leg-spinner Rahul Sharma was the standout bowler, picking up two wickets for just seven runs off his four overs. Pune were hardly ever in the contest after losing Jesse Ryder to the first ball of the innings by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, and Graeme Smith in the fourth over. Mumbai are now sitting pretty atop the league standings with 14 points from nine games.
Brief scores:
Rajasthan Royals 147-6 in 20 overs (R. Dravid 66, S. Watson 32; S. Jakati 2-22, A. Morkel 2-24) lost to Chennai Super Kings 149-2 in 18.4 overs (M. Hussey 79 not out, S. Raina 61) by eight wickets.
Mumbai Indians 160-7 in 20 overs (T. Suman 36, K. Pollard 30; R. Sharma 2-7, Yuvraj Singh 2-22, J. Taylor 2-34) beat Pune Warriors 139-7 in 20 overs (M. Pandey 59, R. Uthappa 34 not out; L. Malinga 3-25) by 21 runs.

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