A swashbuckling 65 by Matthew Hayden set up a convincing 92-run victory for Chennai in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and even the miserly Anil Kumble felt the brunt of Hayden’s blade as he smashed Bangalore to all corners. Hayden took just 22 balls to reach his 50 and together with Parthiv Patel lifted the Super Kings to 105-0 after just 10 overs.
Bangalore skipper Kevin Pietersen put the skids on the scoring by introducing himself after the tactical time-out, picking up the wicket of Patel with his first ball. Hayden followed the very next delivery when he was run out by a direct hit.
This period of play showcased Bangalore’s perseverance, but it also showed why the time-outs are detrimental to the batting team’s momentum. Hayden and Patel looked unstoppable before the time-out, but the break seemed to break their concentration.
Some clean hitting by Freddie Flintoff and Suresh Raina kept the scoreboard going and ensured the Super Kings ended with a formidable total. However, if they had retained one of their openers they may well have surpassed the 200-mark.
Steyn went for nearly nine-an-over in his allotted spell with only the wicket of Proteas team-mate Albie Morkel to show for it. Kallis was even worse, conceding 28 off his two overs.
Morkel had the last laugh though, trapping an in-form Kallis plumb in front to halt the Bangalore run chase. The Royal Challengers suffered a further setback when Pietersen and Robin Uthappa were removed by Muttiah Muralitharan in the same over.
At 50-5 and requiring nearly 11-an-over, Bangalore were dead and buried. Muralitharan continued to apply the pressure and picked up another scalp to cap a superb bowling effort.
Chennai Super Kings – 179-5 in 20 overs
Matthew Hayden 65, Parthiv Patel 30, Praveen Kumar 2-37.
Bangalore Royal Challengers – 87 all out in 15.2 overs
Jacques Kallis 24, Muttiah Muralitharan 3-11.
Chennai won by 92 runs
For the full scorecard click here
By Jon Cardinelli