A match that was affected by rain, it lacked no drama. Chennai won it in the end, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni had his heart stopping moments as Kings XI Punjab came very close to shutting them out at Supersport Park, Centurion.
Chennai boasted of a rambunctious batting line up that came to the party despite the rain that threatened to mar the game at regular intervals. Matthew Hayden was the chief protagonist on the day, wrecking eighty-nine runs from just fifty-eight balls, with eight thundering boundaries and six glorious sixes. The Kings XI Punjab struggled to maintain line and length as Hayden was in full exploding form. The destruction and damage kept piling as his partner Suresh Raina also got going. But it was the Chennai captain who provided the late flourish with a half century off just twenty-seven balls.
Scoring 185 runs in only eighteen overs seemed like heroics that could not be repeated. But the Chennai team nearly tasted the dose of their own medicine as the Mohali team got stuck into the Chennai attack as well. Sudeep Tyagi and Shadab Jakati who spelt trouble for the opposition in previous games failed to pick wickets with the same alacrity. Chennai’s rather lackadaisical fielding also gave lifelines to the Kings XI Punjab team.
Preity Zinta with Niranjan Shah after the match
Simon Katich, opening the bat, made a meaningful half century off twenty-five balls to pave the way for another crucial partnership that nearly won them the match. Kings XI captain Yuvraj Singh and Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene built on a partnership that nearly had Chennai paying for their lapses in the field.
Yuvraj’s fifty-eight from thirty-six balls and Jaywardene’s forty-four off seventy-five meant that Kings XI Punjab was chasing down the target with the same gusto with which Chennai set the target. But within touching distance, Chennai rose to the job, tightened their game with win the runs by twelve runs by the Duckworth Lewis Method.