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Kings XI Punjab finally open account via dramatic Super Over Win!

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Yuvraj Singh ChennaiIt looked like a scripted match at its best with Chennai Super Kings despite chasing an ordinary target of 137 making heavy weather of it and the match ending in a Tie infront of a huge crowd! This match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kings XI Punjab was a nice marketing tool for T20 and the IPL as the winner of the tied contest was going to be decided via the Super Over. It was the Kings XI Punjab who held the nerve to register their first win after three successive losses in this edition.

Kings XI Punjab looked on course for a fourth straight defeat after putting on just 136 for 8 after being asked to bat first. Yuvraj Singh appeared to get back into red hot form before holing out in the deep after a 28-ball 43 (with 4 fours and 2 sixes). Irfan Pathan, who got promoted as the opener started well but slowed down in his 32-ball 39. Muttiah Muralitharan was at his best for the CSK taking the vital wickets of fellow Sri Lankans – Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Murali finished with 3 for 16 in his 4 overs and got the ball to turn sharply.

The Chennai Super Kings were off to a good start of 65 though it was not an explosive one from Hayden (33 from 24 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes). After the first half of their chase, the CSK innings started to stutter with wickets falling regularly yet the target being very manageable. Opener Parthiv Patel (57 from 58 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes) stuck to his end, scoring nothing more than run-a-ball and when he was dismissed in the 18th over with CSK at 121 for 5, the match became wide open.

Chennai missed the services of the big hitting Justin Kemp who had to leave the park abruptly because of a back spasm while bowling his first over. With Kemp not available, the onus was on Albie Morkel to finish things off with 10 needed to win from the final over from the lackluster Irfan Pathan. The first ball got slashed away for a boundary by Morkel and the fourth ball was taken for a couple of runs to level the scores. However, Ashwin missed a wide yorker in the fifth ball and drove the final ball uppishly to mid off to end the match in a senseless tie! CSK were supposed to wrap up the match with atleast four overs to spare but strangely ended up taking it into the Super Over!

CSK batted first in the Super Over and was bowled out for just 9 runs. Mahela Jayawardene hit a towering six in the first ball for Kings XI in the chase and got out in the second ball from Muralitharan. That put Yuvraj Singh under enormous pressure as there was just the one wicket in hand but if he was sensible, then it was a matter of only scoring 4 from 4 balls! Yuvraj held his nerve and came up with a well struck reverse sweep in the fourth ball for the winning boundary.

The Man of the Match went to IPL debutant Juan Theron, a 24-year-old fast bowler from South Africa. Theron though with a shortish run up has a quick arm action which hurries batsmen into their shots. Though his radar wasn’t all that good, he still finished with 2 for 17 in 4 overs and was also instrumental in keeping CSK down to 9 runs in the Super Over.

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