Mike Hussey helps lift Chennai to the top of the table while at the opposite end Pune Warriors fade to the bottom.
IPL: Pune fades to the bottom as Chennai rises to the top
Delhi 164-5 (20 ov)
Pune 165-4 (20 ov)
Delhi Warner 51, Sehwag 28;
Yadav 2-24, Pathan 2-29
Pune Uthappa 37, Finch 37;
Man of the match
David Warner (Delhi)
A little over 45,000 people, most of whom had travelled the best part of 45 kilometres, set up the perfect atmosphere for an Indian Premier League match at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh Stadium in Raipur on Sunday night.
It was Delhi who prevailed, by 15 runs, keeping their campaign in the tournament alive.
Having lost seven of their eight games so far, Delhi understandably rang in the changes.
This did not really help at the start, though, as Mahela Jayawardene fell with the team score on 20, yet another poor start from the openers.
Virender Sehwag got going, but gloved an Ashok Dinda bouncer to the wicketkeeper just when he was getting warmed up.
At 68 for three, with Unmukt Chand failing to shine once more, Delhi were in danger of messing up.
David Warner, who was shifted down to No 4 in the batting order to ensure that the Delhi batting was not excessively top-heavy, played his part to perfection.
Cautious to begin with, the Australian stuck to his game plan, swinging hard only when the ball was in his arc, and pounded four fours and as many sixes in an unbeaten 51 off only 25 balls to lift Delhi to 164. As many as 96 runs had come from the second half of the innings, and gave Delhi's bowlers enough runs to work with.
Pune, who had no doubt attentively watched Delhi's progress in the first half, laid a platform through the industrious Aaron Finch and an unusually subdued Robin Uthappa.
Delhi's bowlers were guilty of drifting onto the pads too often, and Uthappa and Finch added 76 before a brace of blows against the run of play restored parity.
Uthappa (37) hit a terrible delivery down leg to fine-leg where Chand took an excellent tumbling catch. Irfan Pathan sent another ball down leg, and was again rewarded as Finch (37) was adjudged caught behind when the ball had merely brushed his hip on the way to the keeper.
Yuvraj Singh got warmed up with a tickle past the gloveman for four and soon was in his element, sending the ball sizzling across the turf on the off side against the quick bowlers.
Yuvraj, who has always enjoyed the feel of the ball coming onto bat nicely, took Pune within kissing distance of the target, but holed out trying to play a big pull shot.
From there on, the Pune challenge fizzled out.
– Anand Vasu is the managing editor of Wisden India
MICHAEL HUSSEY LIFTS CHENNAI TO TOP OF TABLE
Chennai 200-3 (20 ov)
Kolkata 186-4 (20 ov)
Chennai M Hussey 82, Raina 44; Mohit 1-23, Morris 1-29
Kolkata Bisla 92, Morgan 32; Narine 1-35
Man of the match
Michael Hussey (Chennai)
Michael Hussey and the newcomer Wriddhiman Saha stunned the visitors with a 103-run opening stand, with Hussey missing out on a century by five runs.
Hussey reached his 50 as early as the eighth over, and despite the oppressive heat, he kept converting every one-and-a-half into two.
The Australian batsman had set the visitors a daunting task, however, who had asked the hosts to bat first.
Sunil Narine and Jacques Kallis both registered their second-worst bowling statistics in their IPL careers, going for 35 and 51 respectively.
Like in the final of the last IPL at the same MA Chidambaram Stadium, Manvinder Bisla scored 92 - he was out on 43 but not given - which kept Kolkata fighting, but the target was too big, especially with next-to-little support from the other end.
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