Pune: Table-toppers Chennai Super kings defeated bottom-dwellers Pune Warrriors comfortably by 37 runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Tuesday.
Electing to bat first, Chennai posted a strong total of 164/3 courtesy a fine unbeaten 50-ball 63 by Suresh Raina and a 16-ball 45 blitzkrieg by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, then sucessfully defended their total restricted Pune to 127/9.
The Pune run-chase began on a wrong note as they were quickly reduced to 43/4 with young medium pacer Mohit Sharma taking three wickets.
From then on it was an uphill struggle for Pune to chase down the big target and they lost wickets at regular intervals to get reduced to 61/6 inside 10 overs, managing to reach a mere 127/9 as none of the Pune batsmen could put up any resistance.
Earlier, Suresh Raina worked his way to a superb unbeaten 63 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a blistering 16-ball 45 as Chennai Super Kings overcame a poor start to post a challenging 164 for three against Pune Warriors in their IPL match, here today.
Raina showed a lot of maturity while batting as he did the spade work along with S Badrinath while Dhoni provided the late fireworks in side's remarkable recovery.
After losing Michael Hussey (5) and Wriddhiman Saha (13) early, Raina and Badrinath (34) steadied the ship with a 75-run stand for the third wicket.
But it was 61-run unbeaten partnership between Raina and Dhoni for the fourth wicket that spoiled all the good work Pune bowlers had done earlier.
It rained fours and sixes when Dhoni batted as Chennai collected 50 runs in the last four overs. Dhoni punished hapless bowlers with seven boundaries including three sixes, the last one coming off the last ball.
Young Australian paceman Kane Richardson and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar bowled a fiery spell in the beginning to subdue the dangerous visitors. Richardson knocked over Hussey in his third ball to give his side a rousing start.
Such ferocious was the attack that it took other opener Saha nine balls to get off the mark. The stumper though hit Richardson for a straight six and a four through cover region in the fifth over to break the shackles.
Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, too was impressive, as he was not only economical but also trapped Saha (13) to give Chennai the second blow. The visitors were 29 for 2 in six overs.
Encouraged by the pace-friendly pitch, skipper Aaron Finch smartly rotated Ashok Dinda, Abhishek Nayar and Kumar as Raina and Badrinath took some time to settle.