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You are here: Cricket CLT20 Super Bravo takes Chennai past the finish line against the Cobras

Super Bravo takes Chennai past the finish line against the Cobras

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A splendid, undefeated 46 off 25 balls and an impressive 2-23 from 'Caribbean Super King' Dwayne Bravo powered Chennai to their first triumph in the 2011 edition of CLT20. Bravo soaked up the pressure after Captain Cool, Dhoni's exit to enable Chennai to loot 23 runs from their final 10 balls to steer the Super Kings to a fabulous win on a nail-biting night at Chepaulk. It was Sheer Bravado from CSK, who recovered from 77-5 to sail home by 4 wickets. Earlier, the Cobras slumped to 145-7 after making hay in the middle overs and their inability to construct sky-scrapers at the death cost them the match.

An epic clash was in the offing as the bulwarks of T20 Cricket, the Chennai Super Kings went head to head against the South African T20 champions, the Cape Cobras, in front of a frantic and vociferous crowd at the M.A.Chidambaram stadium in a crucial Group-A contest. The home team seeking to register their first win in the lucrative tournament went in with an unchanged side from their loss to Mumbai. The venomous Cobras also made no changes and stuck to their winning eleven. Former Chennai man and current Cobra skipper Justin Kemp won the toss on a wicket likely to aid the slower bowlers and expectedly decided to bat first. CSK captain Dhoni believed that the dew may lend a helping hand to his star-studded side.The 4pm game between T&T and NSW demanded a super over to determine the result owing to which this match was delayed by 10 minutes.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's ace spinner, R.Ashwin who opened the bowling with Albie Morkel struck with his first delivery to trap Richard Levi plumb in front of the wicket for 6. An unflustered Herschelle Gibbs silenced the Chennai crowd by lofting the ball over Ashwin's head in the same over and was living dangerously. Albie Morkel at the other end paid the price for his ill-disciplined bowling as he leaked 20 runs in his spell. The burly Bollinger who replaced Morkel ended Gibbs' opening charge in the 5th over. Then, English star, Owais Shah joined keeper Vilas to resurrect the innings. The Super Kings tasted the venom of the Cobras batsmen and made early inroads as the Cape Cobras made 48 for the loss of their openers at the end of the powerplay.

As soon as the fielding restrictions concluded, Dhoni introduced his slower men. Dane Vilas thrashed Raina over square leg for a 85 metre six to keep the scoring rate flowing while Owais Shah also got his eye in. It was obvious that their plan was not to allow the slower bowlers settle down. But, in the 9th over, a gem of an offcutter from Dwayne Bravo consumed Vilas for 18. Jean Paul Duminy, the new man, who has been a busy bee in the IPL kept the strike rotating. Owais Shah showed intentions of shifting gears, a testament to which was his power packed six over long on against Jakati. Raina's bowling was ineffective and ordinary as the Cobras set up a brilliant platform from where they would be hoping to kick on in the death overs. The Cobras were 108 -3 in 14 overs.

R.Ashwin finished off his his spell with good figures of 1-26 in 4 overs to keep things tight. Chennai, who pride themselves on their fielding, let themselves down as Jakati dropped a dolly in the 15th over to provide Duminy a life. But the lost opportunity didn't prove to be costly and Jakati made amends by pulling off a stunning catch off Morkel to see the back of Duminy the following over.

Morkel, came back strongly and delivered another knock out blow as Hussey completed a smart catch to send back Owais Shah for an impressive 45 off 38. The mini-collapse continued as Bollinger joined the party which left the Cobras struggling at 133-6 in 18. The CSK bowlers, who were off-color on Saturday came to the fore to restrict the Cape Cobras to 145-7 in 20 overs ,who lost their way in the death overs after a super start.

The Super Kings, who walked out to chase down 145 cantered to a wonderful beginning. Michael Hussey, the Aussie giant essayed an amazing pull to post Chennai's 1st boundary. Charl Langerveldt's off-target 2nd over witnessed CSK notch up 15 runs. The southpaw, who was in full flow drove the ball with exquisite timing and pierced the gaps at will. Murali Vijay's wristy four of spinner Peterson through square leg was stamped with elegance. Vijay though missed out yet again, falling prey to Vernon Philander soon after. Justin Kemp, then pulled a rabbit out of his hat by throwing the ball over to Duminy who had Hussey stumped off his 5th ball to steal the momentum from Chennai. The Super Kings were 47-2 in 6 overs.

Duminy and Ontong bowled well in tandem to choke the the CSK batsmen. In a desperate bid to keep the asking rate under check Badrinath threw his wicket away to Duminy in the 9th over as CSK found themselves in choppy waters. Dhoni,opting to hold himself back, decided to promote Saha up the order, who spruced up the running between the wickets. Raina then broke the shackles as an excellent sweep shot fetched the Super Kings a boundary after a long hiatus. Unfortunately Saha failed miserably and Raina also followed him for 20 as Duminy stung the defending Champions with figures of 4-20. Dhoni and Bravo had a stiff task ahead as Chennai were reeling at  89-5 at the end of the 13th over.

Bravo and Dhoni churned out 9 runs off Captain Kemp's first over. The next over, Bravo opened the floodgates with a delicate boundary to short fine leg. Chennai required 38 runs from 23 balls. Duminy slid from hero to hero after flooring a mishit from Dhoni in the 17th. Bravo's extra cover drive for half a dozen off Philander had the Caribbean flourish written all over it. The same over Dhoni chopped a slower ball on the stumps for less than a run-a- ball 15 to trigger the panic button as Duminy heaved a sigh of relief. Bravo calmed the nerves in the Chennai dressing room as he plundered a massive six and two fours off the penultimate over from Steyn amidst mounting pressure. BRAVO BRAVO! Needing 6 to win off 6 balls, the Men in Yellow pocketed the game with ease to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

Chennai are renowned for pulling off incredible wins in games that ought to have been lost. Tonight was no different as the Defending Champions conjured up magic to guide CSK to 3rd place in the group. Chennai who lock horns with Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday will be burning with desire to keep the momentum going and inch closer to the semis. The Cobras whose clinical performance in their first game impressed the cricketing fraternity faltered in the death overs both with the bat and the ball. They will have to hone their fielding skills when the chips are down and be up and ready for the rampaging Mumbai Indians at Bangalore on Friday.


Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, S.Badrinath,Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(captain & keeper),Wriddhiman Saha, Doug Bollinger, Shadab Jakati, R.Ashwin.

Cape Cobras: Richard Levi, Herchelle Gibbs, Jean Paul Dumminy, Owais Shah, Justin Kemp(captain), Dane Vilas(keeper), Vernon Philander, Justin Ontong, Dale Steyn, Robin Peterson, Charl Langerveldt.

Mini Scorecard:

Cape Cobras 145/7 (20 over, 7.25rpo)
O Shah 45(38) D Bravo 4- 23/2
J P Duminy 29(24) D Bollinger 4- 25/2

Chennai Super Kings: 146-6 (19.4 overs, 7.42 rpo)
D Bravo 46*(25) JP Duminy 4-20
M Hussey 29(24) V Philander 2-36

Chennai Super Kings win by 4 wickets.