A. Joseph Antony
HYDERABAD: Chennai Superstars cruised to a 35-run victory over Ahmedabad Rockets in a truncated Indian Cricket League match at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Tuesday night.
The Rockets’ quest for the revised target of 143 ran out of steam, folding up at 107 in the allotted 16 overs.
When Parvez Aziz perished, caught behind by Hemanth Kumar off Shabbir Ahmed, without a boundary on the board, things looked ominous for the western side. Fellow opener Ryan Campbell departed soon after, his pull picked up by Ian Harvey.
The duo of Damien Martyn and Reetinder Sodhi then posted a 71-run, third-wicket stand. Between them, the two thumped 10 boundaries and a six in a brief, but breezy, partnership.
Sodhi’s exit when going for a second run proved to be the turning point, Nantie Hayward’s long arm from long-on heading straight to the keeper with the batsman yards outside.
Martyn quit next, caught at mid-wicket off Jesuraj, the Aussie’s knock studded with a six and seven boundaries.
Earlier, the curtains came down on the Superstars innings after two floodlight towers failed. The Rockets had taken the field on winning the toss.
It was a shaky start by the Superstars too, Harvey’s attempted single proving suicidal, Aziz’s direct hit from short-third man bang on target. Disaster struck again soon non-striker J. Hariesh backing up too far and Murray Goodwin’s throw knocking down a stump.
Stability returned thanks to some lusty hitting by Ganapathi Vignesh (38, 2x4, 3x6).
Fielding by the Rockets was extraordinary, three of the five dismissals coming through run-outs. Leaping to his left, Goodwin at backward point stopped Rajamani Jesuraj’s cut, as the latter set off for a single. Still lying on the ground, the Zimbabwean found the mark with perhaps just two sticks in his sights.
Russel Arnold (46, 4x4, 1x6), adjudged man of the match, had begun to look really threatening but his skier to the point region was safely pouched by stumper Ryan Campbell.
The scores: Chennai Superstars 135 for five in 16 overs (G. Vignesh 38, Russel Arnold 46) bt Ahmedabad Rockets 107 for eight in 16 overs (Damien Martyn 52; Shabbir Ahmed three for 20).