Sunday, May 11, 2008

Balaji’s hat-trick makes Chennai beat Punjab by 18 runs

Right-arm medium-fast bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji’s hat-trick in the final over got Chennai Super Kings a 18-run thrilling win over the Kings XI Punjab here on Saturday in the 31st match of the Indian Premier League, played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk.

The Chennai Super Kings set a rather difficult target of 182 runs and the Kings XI Punjab made a brave effort to chase it but Balaji’s hat-trick, the first of the IPL, turned the tables in the final over.

Needing 25 runs in the final over, Irfan Pathan got eight runs off the first two balls from Balaji but on the next ball he was out caught by Suresh Raina at deep square-leg. Then Balaji struck two more wickets to get the hat-trick and also to get victory for his team and win the man-of-the-match award for his five for 24.

Opener Shaun Marsh was the top scorer from the Kings XI Punjab, making 58 off 38 balls with four sixes and three fours.

Later, all-rounder Irfan Pathan smashed 40 off just 18 balls with three sixes and three fours and he brought his team close to win when Balaji dismissed him.

Earlier put into batting by Punjab captain Yuvraj Sing, the Chennai Super Kings after losing two early wickets succeeded in making 181 runs for four wickets in the allotted 20 overs.

This was all due to a fourth wicket stand of 90 runs between Subramaniam Badrinath and captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni.

Badrinath made 64 runs off 47 balls with six fours and three sixes while Dhoni scored an unbeaten 60 off 43 balls with four sixes and two fours.

Suresh Raina contributed 26 off 17 balls with four boundaries.

Sreesanth claimed two wickets for 29 runs and Pyush Chawla took one wicket.

Punjab made one change, bringing in Karan Goel for the bowler Gagandeep Singh. Sangakkara is not fit and according to Yuvraj he will take another four-five days to recover so Uday Kaul kept wicket once again.

Chennai fielded an unchanged eleven from the game against Delhi.

Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, James Hopes, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Yuvraj Singh (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Karan Goel, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Uday Kaul (wk), Sreesanth, VRV Singh.

Chennai Super Kings: S Vidyut, Stephen Fleming, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wk), Suresh Rania, Albie Morkel, Chamara Kapugedera, S Badrinath, Manpreet Gony, Palani Amarnath, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lakshmipathy Balaji.

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