An out of sorts Yuvraj Singh found difficulty in middling the ball as Chennai Super Kings were successful in defending a mediocre score of 142 defeating Pune Warriors India by 25 runs in an IPL match at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Monday.
The CSK bowlers used the conditions to good effect and their fielders saved atleast 20 runs as the Warriors could manage only 117 for nine in 20 overs. CSK now have six points from six matches and moved upto the sixth place while Pune
Warriors with their third loss are now on eighth position.
Touch seemed to have completely deserted India's World Cup hero as he scratched around for his 34 (43 balls, 2x4) before an inspirational catch by Shadab Jakati at extra cover ended his agony. During his stay, Yuvraj failed to clear the fielders and at times he even failed to connect.
Having lost first four wickets for 40 runs, the team depended a lot on Yuvraj but sapping Chennai heat seemed to have taken its toll.
Ravichandran Ashwin who is now India's premier T20 bowler did his reputation no harm as he castled the dangerous Jesse
Ryder (11). This was after Albie Morkel started the slide getting Mohnish Mishra to drag one back onto the stumps.
Manish Pandey (12, 2x4) coming back after serving four-match ban was also out in an identical fashion as he played on to a Morkel delivery trying to guide it to the third man region. With the ball not coming onto the bat, Robin Uthappa's (0) pre-meditated sweep shot off Ashwin saw his stumps go for a walk. The ball pitched outside lef-stump and turned enough to beat Uthappa's bat.
Precariously placed at 40 for four, things were looking downhill for Pune Warriors when Mithun Manhas (20) joined skipper Yuvraj. The duo added 38 runs before Manhas was done in by extra bounce as he edged one off Doug Bollinger to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind stumps.
Earlier, Pune Warriors India bowlers came back well during the second part of the Chennai Super Kings innings to restrict the defending champions to 142 for six despite a sensible half century from Michael Hussey.
On a tricky pitch, Chennai openers Hussey (61, 48 balls, 5x4, 1x6) and Murali Vijay (31, 29 balls, 2x4, 1x6) added 64 runs for the opening wicket. After scoring 63 off the first nine overs without losing a wicket, the CSK managed only 79 off the back 11 losing six wickets in the process.
West Indian speedster Jerome Taylor was the most successful bowler grabbing three for 30 while Alfonso Thomas
chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Put into bat, CSK openers Vijay and Hussey started off in a confident note. Although they didn't start tonking the
bowlers from the outset, the duo found the gaps and the hittable deliveries were dispatched to the boundary.
Hussey was the first one who opened his shoulders giving Nathan McCullum the charge hitting the offie over mid-off for
a six. The Australian batsman got a couple of streaky boundaries off Murali Karthik.
His partner Vijay was lucky to survive couple of run-outs. Although he hit a couple of fours and a straight six off Karthik, he wasn't exactly in his explosive self.
The 50 came off only 43 deliveries. It was the 10th over of the innings where seamer Alfonso Thomas struck twin blows when it looked as if that CSK openers were trying to bat the opposition out of the game. Thomas dug one short and McCullum didn't have any problems in gobbling up Vijay's mistimed pull-shot.
Suresh Raina (2)'s first shot was another mistimed pull that fetched him a couple. Couple of deliveries later he moved towards the leg-stump trying to make room for a big hit only to find his stumps uprooted.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26, 21 balls, 2x4, 1x6) announced his arrival with a six over sight screen off his
counterpart Yuvraj Singh. Hussey brought up his half-century off 42 balls with a drive through extra cover. The bowler was Thomas.
Dhoni who was dealing in singles after that mighty six got couple of boundaries in the 17th over bowled by Rahul
Sharma before he was stumped. First it was an inside edge that went for a boundary before the Indian captain launched into Sharma hitting straight back for a one bounce four.
In his bid to up the ante, he tried another mighty heave but the leg-break turned enough to beat his bat as Uthappa did
the needful behind the stumps. Hussey was out when he tried to loft Jerome Taylor over long-on but Manish Pandey judged it nicely at the boundary line.