May 23, 2008

Inconsistent Chennai Super Kings

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Chennai Super Kings were consistently inconsistent throughout this tournament. They started off as the favourites to win this tournament when Mathew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Jacob Oram helped them to post 4 consecutive victories. Since the departure of these three, Chennai has just managed 3 wins out of 8 games.

Disappointing Royal Challengers
Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision that raised eyebrows. The Chennai Super Kings’ opening bowlers, Makhaya Ntini and Gony, bowled excellent line and length to trouble the Royal Challengers. Dravid’s team was immediately in trouble and they were reduced to a meagre score of 41 for 4 at the end of 10 overs. Responsible and intelligent batting by Rahul Dravid, Mark Boucher and Praveen Kumar helped them to reach a paltry score of 126 for 8 in the allotted 20 overs.

Sleepy Chennai Super Kings
The match seemed to have been sealed even before the Chennai team went out to bat. The score was so low and not even thought to be competitive. The opening pair proved everyone right. They raced to 40 runs in the first four overs. Chennai were already celebrating their victory and this is where they lost the game. The scoring was slowed down by clever bowling from Anil Kumble. At the end of 11 overs, Chennai were 65 for 2. Only 25 runs were added in 7 overs, from over number 5 to 11. A casual shot from Dhoni ended in the hands of Kumble. The slide started in the 14th over when Fleming was dismissed. Raina stayed until the end but cannot do anything. The last over, bowled by Praveen Kumar, fetched just one run.

Where do we go from here?
Finally, Bangalore Royal Challengers won a match and they had all reasons to smile and celebrate. They have earned their victory here. Well done Dravid and Kumble! Kumble was declared the man of the match, for his three wickets spell. Chennai made its path to semi-finals much tougher. They have a game against the leaders Rajasthan Royals and a game against the bottom of the table Deccan Chargers. If they could win at least one of them, they should be able to go through to the next stage. Can they do it?

Their record of the 12 games shows Win-Win-Win-Win-Loss-Loss-Loss-Win-Win-Loss-Win-Loss. You can see how inconsistent they were. Even the three wins were secured out of tight finishes. They beat Delhi Daredevils off the last delivery of the innings. A good partnership between Badrinath and Dhoni helped them to win against Kings XI Punjab. They were marginally ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis chart against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

In the next article, we will the result of the game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils.

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