Champions Chennai Super Kings, after suffering two consecutive defeats, bounced back to beat cellar dwellers Deccan Chargers by 10 runs to move up to fourth spot on the leaderboard in the Indian Premier League at the Chepauk Stadium here Friday.
Batting first on winning the toss, the Super Kings scrambled to 160 for six, thanks in the main to some big hitting in the last over by Dwayne Bravo (12 off four balls) and then restricted the Chargers to 150 for five with Cameron White, dropped off the first ball he faced, making 77 off 53 balls.
The fifth win took the Super Kings tally to 11 points from as many matches while the Chargers, crashing to their seventh defeat in 10 matches, remain at the bottom with five points.
The Chargers had their chances after their bowlers kept the Super Kings batsmen on a leash, but the hosts boasting of great depth, put sufficient runs on the board through opener Francois du Plessis (42), Suresh Raina (32) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34) before Bravo’s blitz in the last over.
The chase was never really on after the early dismissal of opener Parthiv Patel (1) in the second over by Albie Morkel who should have had White the next ball, but dropped a return catch and the lapse proved rather costly.
White and Shikhar Dhawan (36) put on 68 runs for the second wicket, but the Chargers suffered a double blow, losing two wickets in 10 balls.
Dhawan was run out backing up as White’s firm drive struck bowler Bravo and deflected on to the stumps. In the next over, Raina removed Kumar Sangakkara accepting a sharp return catch diving to his right in a brilliant effort.
White, in the company of Daniel Christian, continued unfazed and after a few quiet overs, unleashed a barrage of shots, as Chargers fought back, taking 18 off the 18th over bowled by Jadeja.
With 29 runs need off the last two overs, the Chargers were under pressure and the decisive moment came when White was run out attempting a second run and the visitors slumped to 135 for four, still requiring another 26 off nine deliveries.
Going into the last over bowled by debutant Ben Hilfenhaus, the Chargers needed 20, but the target proved beyond their reach as they managed just nine while losing the wicket of Ashish Reddy to the fourth delivery.
The Super Kings innings did not have the best of starts with Murali Vijay (15), back in the opener’s slot after a long break, failed yet again after promising much in his short stay at the wicket.
However, the in-form du Plessis and Raina forged a partnership to add 64 runs for the second wicket in quick time. Raina looked particularly in good touch but was dismissed in the very first over after time-out in the 10th over, caught in the deep.
South African du Plessis, who had hitherto lived dangerously, followed soon after, also caught in the deep attempting a big shot off leg-spinner Amit Mishra who thus atoned for dropping the opener earlier on.
Thereafter, it was a bit of a struggle for the Super Kings and though Dhoni promoted himself, he could not get on top of the bowling that was restrictive on a pitch of inconsistent bounce.
While wickets tumbled at the other end with Morkel (13) and Jadeja (4) unable to make an impact, a desperate Dhoni fell in the last over, bowled by Daniel Christian.
Super Kings should have lost another wicket, but Bravo was dropped and he made profit by slamming 10 runs, including a massive six, off the last three deliveries to give his side a competitive total.