Chennai Super Kings put up one of its best batting displays to overhaul what looked like a stiff target and beat Titans by four wickets in a high-scoring Group ‘B’ league match at the JSCA Stadium here on Sunday.

Solid batting by Michael Hussey (47), man-of-the-match Suresh Raina (47) and Dwayne Bravo (38) enabled CSK to reach 187 in 18.5 overs after Titans had posted 185 for five in 20 overs.

Needing 9.3 runs per over to win the game, CSK began disastrously, losing Murali Vijay to a sharp arm ball from left-arm spinner Reolof van der Merwe.

Immediately the light tower on the South Western side went off forcing the teams to the dugout. The North Western tower had blinked during the earlier match and the organisers had blamed the generators for tripping.

Onslaught

The arrival of Raina to the middle started off the fireworks as he and Hussey waded into the Titans’ attack with good cricketing shots. The duo added 89 runs in7.2 overs before Raina was caught by Morne Morkel for 47 (28 balls, 5x4, 2x6). This partnership put CSK firmly on its way to chasing the target.

Hussey took charge in the company of S. Badrinath. The pair took the score past 100 in 8.6 overs before A.B. de Villiers accepted Hussey’s offering off Morkel when the Aussie left-hander tried to hit the bowler over for a boundary. Hussey’s 47 came off 26 balls with seven delightful hits to the ropes and one six.

Bravo and Badrinath had complete control over the run-rate and batted with élan. The two added 58 runs in 6.2 overs to take the former champion to the threshold of a fine victory.

de Villiers delights

Earlier, asked to bat, Titans produced a marvellous batting display. A scintillating 77 off just 36 balls, with three hits to the fence and seven sixes, by de Villiers and a belligerent 52 by captain Henry Davids powered the South African side Titans to a solid total. De Villiers is known for his batting prowess. His knowledge of Indian conditions helped him score freely and come up with an innings of very high order. He was severe on left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, hoisting him for four sixes. He also hit Bravo twice over the fence and Jason Holder once.

After Davids and Jacques Rudolph had added 46 runs in seven overs for the opening wicket, de Villiers joined Davids to hammer the CSK bowlers to all parts of the ground. The two added 76 runs off 37 balls to lay a solid foundation. Bravo brought this team back with two quick wickets of Farhaan Behardien and David Wiese in the 18th over, but de Villiers reserved his onslaught as 1.3 overs yielded 25 runs before he was taken at long-off by Bravo off Jadeja.

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