Michael Hussey, Vijay notch up half-centuries after KXIP batsmen come a cropper
Those who live by the sword, perish by it. The wisdom behind the proverb could do some good to Kings XI Punjab in the matches ahead, especially after the way it capitulated to Chennai Super Kings in its first home game of the Indian Premier League.
After CSK chose to field, trading wickets for quick runs proved a bad bargain for the host. It lost seven wickets in the space of 32 runs to be bowled out for 138.
CSK’s professional approach, in sharp contrast to the one seen from KXIP on this day, made it into a hopelessly one-sided contest. Openers M. Vijay and Man-of-the-Match Michael Hussey set up the 10-wicket victory, with 16 deliveries to spare to ensure the former champion opened its account in great style.
Pacing the innings
Given the fast outfield, CSK showed the host the importance of finding the gaps instead of looking for the aerial route. Vijay and Hussey paced the innings wonderfully well. They never allowed the asking rate to assume threatening proportions. They rotated the strike well and stepped on the accelerator only towards the closing stages of the chase.
Unlike the Punjab frontline batsmen, Vijay and Hussey cut down on high-risk shots for the better part of the chase. In frustration, the Punjab bowlers erred in line and length and the men in yellow wasted no opportunity to send the ball across the ropes.
Michael Hussey, after younger brother David Hussey had top-scored for KXIP, smashed a 54-ball 86 even after facing 11 dot balls. His calculated assault was dotted with two sixes and 11 boundaries.
Running into form
In comparison, Vijay’s run-a-ball 50, including a six and just three hits to the fence reflected the batsman’s determination to get into form early in the competition.
Before the CSK openers turned the match into a mismatch, KXIP had come up with a poor batting performance. Most of its batsmen tried to hit the ball out of the park and ended up testing the ability of the fielders to take the catches.
The loss of openers Adam Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh in the third over did not bring any change in the host’s approach. Young talent Manan Vohra paid the price for being impetuous. David Hussey was the one who looked like steadying KXIP’s ship with young Gurkeerat Singh Mann providing able support.
Till 106 for four after 14 overs, the host looked good to post a challenging total. But off the very next delivery, David Hussey fell and that triggered off the procession. Thereafter, it was CSK all the way.
Kings XI Punjab: Mandeep Singh c Dwayne Bravo b Nannes 9 (10b, 1x4), Adam Gilchrist c Michael Hussey b Nannes 9 (6b, 2x4), Manan Vohra c Michael Hussey b Jadeja 16 (11b, 3x4), David Hussey c Dwayne Bravo b Ashwin 41 (36b, 4x4, 1x6), Gurkeerat Singh Mann c Nannes b Bravo 31 (26b 3x4), Azhar Mahmood c Ashwin b Morris 8 (7b), R. Sathish c Morris b Bravo 8 (6b, 1x4), Piyush Chawla c M. Vijay b Bravo 4 (5b, 1x4), Ryan Harris c Bravo b Morris 0 (2b), Praveen Kumar (run out) 3 (5b), Parvinder Awana (not out) 1 (5b); Extras (lb-6, w-2): 8; Total (in 19.5 overs): 138.
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Gilchrist), 2-20 (Mandeep), 3-50 (Manan), 4-106 (Hussey), 5-116 (Gurkeerat), 6-127 (Azhar), 7-133 (Sathish), 8-133 (Chawla), 9-134 (Harris).
Chennai Super Kings bowling: Dirk Nannes 3.5-0-17-2, Ankit Rajpoot 1-0-10-0, Chris Harris 4-0-27-2, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-29-1, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-27-3, R. Ashwin 3-0-22-1.
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay (not out) 50 (50b, 3x4, 1x6), Michael Hussey (not out) 86 (54b, 11x4, 2x6); Extras (b-1, w-2): 3; Total (for no loss in 17.2 overs): 139.
Kings XI Punjab bowling: Praveen Kumar 2.2-0-18-0, Ryan Harris 4-0-30-0, Azhar Mahmood 4-0-34-0, Parvinder Awana 2-0-20-0, Piyush Chawla 4-0-21-0, R. Sathish 1-0-15-0.
Man-of-the-match: Michael Hussey.