20 overs Chennai Super Kings 158 for 6 (Dhoni 34, Badri 27*, Phangiso 2-17) v Lions
Faf du Plessis was fluent, but didn't stay in long enough © Getty Images
Six of Chennai Super Kings' batsmen crossed 20, but only MS Dhoni went past 30. Dhoni finally came in to bat at No. 4, giving himself enough time to bat like a proper batsman, and it was his partnership with S Badrinath, worth 50 off 26, that took Super Kings to 158 after they had threatened to end with a middling total. The target was one more than what Lions chased comfortably against Mumbai Indians in their previous match.
Dhoni scored 34 off 26, but Badrinath provided the impactful blows with 27 off 14. Aaron Phangiso continued to star in the field, with two wickets for 17 runs, and a special catch to send back the danger man Faf du Plessis. Du Plessis began in the same dream form that had knocked Dhoni's team out of the World Twenty20, but his departure for 25 off 20 set a trend Super Kings couldn't buck until Dhoni and Badrinath began their partnership. Suresh Raina continued similarly but he fell for 20 off 16. Ditto with Ravindra Jadeja, who scored 21 off 16.
Jadeja's wicket left Super Kings at 102 for 4, and the early fall of Albie Morkel made it 106 for 5 in the 16th over. The bowling hadn't been unplayable, but they were doing enough to keep Super Kings honest, and the fielding made it tougher for them. They needed a big finish, and the last recognised pair was in.
Badrinath began cautiously, but Dhoni made up for it by hitting the fast but erratic Chris Morris for six and four in the 17th over. Just when it seemed like Dhoni, 22 off 16 now, might play an explosive innings of the old, he struggled to get the big hits towards the end. That was when Badrinath pitched in with two sixes in the 19th over, bowled by Dirk Nannes, who went for 46 in his four overs.
Sohail Tanvir, though, controlled damage with just eight off the last over.
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