Champions League T-20: Dhoni steals Raina’s thunder – Steyn stands Tall

In a match that was expected to be a cake walk for the CSK, it is commendable on the part of SRH and particularly Darren Sammy to put up a great show and make the match even more interesting. Chasing 202 Sammy gave CSK a scare.

Earlier in the evening the CSK were put into bat by SRH. Steyn striked as early as the 2nd ball when he got Murali Vijay to nick an away swinging ball to Shikhar Dhawan in first slip. Suresh Raina, then walked in and opened his account with 2 crisp boundaries off Steyn. The partnership between Mike Hussey and Raina ended When Hussey nicked one off Duminy to Parthiv. Badrinath and Raina further consolidated the innings by adding another 70 runs to the tally. Badrinath later fell to Duminy.

Dhoni walked into the park in the 15th over when CSK were 115 for 3. The second ball he faced was dispatched into the stands. Very few people might have imagined that this was the beginning of one of the most brutal cold blooded massacres in T-20 history. The fans of Slam – Slog cricket have not come out of the hangover of Nathan Broom and Ron Ten Deskote’s innings yesterday and Bam……. Dhoni strikes. The innings would appear more polite and less brutal for people who just watched the super fours in the post innings detail on TV, as Dhoni just scored one four in his entire innings. When someone can clear the park with such great consistency what is the need to score fours?  8 monster hits that cleared the park, in that innings. The turning point of the match was the eighteenth over where Dhoni scored 34 off Perera. Thisara Perera who took all the accolades for his all-round performance in the previous match knew very little that he would have to pay back for his “sins” in this match. Dhoni smashed Perera for 5 sixes and a four in the over and reached his half century in just 16 balls, the fastest in the history of CLT20. The previous record was held by Pollard, who reached the milestone in 18 balls. Raina departed for 84 and Dhoni completed the final rites.

Steyn was unconditionally the best bowler of the day. He stood tall amongst the Massacre that was happening around by just conceiving 23 runs of his four Overs. That would be a terrific effort by him which might go unnoticed.

Later in the match Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel gave SRH the start they would have required to get anywhere near the total of 202. They scored the first 80 runs at 10 runs an over when a misjudgement and some  brilliant presence of mind from Suresh Raina led to the run out of Parthiv Patel, probably the wicket with which SRH lost the momentum. Quick wickets fell in the form of Dhawan, Duminy and Perera. Sammy came in a position where almost 14 runs were required per over for atleast 9 overs. From there with the support of Karan Sharma he took SRH to within sniffing distance of Victory. As Sammy fell, so did the hopes of SRH. With 24 required of the last over and Hanuma Vihari and Dale Steyn at the crease the game looked obvious. SRH can take pride from the way they fought with every one chipping in and dragging the match to the very end.

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