Millennium Post

Walk in the park for CSK

Opener Michael Hussey slammed a blistering 54-ball 86 as Chennai Super Kings produced an aggressive brand of cricket  to roll over Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets in their IPL match on Wednesday. Chasing 139 for victory after opting to field, Chennai rode on Hussey’s knock and Murali Vijay’s 50 off as many balls to thump the hosts at the PCA Stadium, and open their account in this edition of the cash-rich T20 league.

The two-time former champions had lost their opening match to Mumbai Indians. Steady to start with, Hussey upped the ante as the innings progressed, eventually leading his side to a commanding victory with 16 balls to spare.

There were a flurry of fours and sixes in the second half of the innings as Chennai raced to the target with ease. While he was at his best towards the end, Hussey did not miss out on the opportunities to spank the loose balls for runs initially too.

Vijay was not at his fluent best but gave Hussey the support he needed at the other end. Unlike Punjab, Chennai knew they had the depth and experience in their batting, paving the way for the opening combo to milk runs instead of going hammer and tongs.

At the end of the end of the 10th over, Chennai were 65 for no loss, needing another 74 runs. Punjab had their opportunities to dismiss the Chennai openers but Piyush Chawla dropped Hussey off his own bowling before Adam Gilchrist missed a stumping against Vijay in the eighth over.

Hussey capitalised on the life he got, cutting medium pacer Parvinder Awana for two fours through the point region as Chennai upped the scoring rate. In the process, the two recorded the best first-wicket partnership for Chennai against Punjab in IPL, before taking it a notch higher to post the best partnership for any wicket on this ground.

After hitting just one boundary in the first 12 overs, Vijay got into the act by glancing Harris towards fine-leg. Hussey meanwhile got to his half-century off 36 balls. After a couple of fours by the Aussie, Vijay smashed Rajagopal Sathish over long-off for six to bring the margin down to 20 off 24.

Hussey smashed Azhar Mahmood for a four and a six to help Chennai inch closer to victory. He then carted Praveen Kumar over the square-leg boundary before taking a single to complete the formality.

Earlier, Dwayne Bravo produced a couple of late strikes as Chennai took seven wickets for just 32 runs to bowl out Punjab. Punjab were fairly well placed at 106 for three at the start of 15th over, when top-scorer David Hussey’s dismissal for a 36-ball 41 triggered a collapse. Some mindless batting by the hosts only made the task easier for Chennai, who showed great discipline on the field.
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