Fri, May 06, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Chennai, Mumbai post easy wins over Rajasthan, Pune

AFP, CHENNAI, INDIA

Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina hit impressive half--centuries as the Chennai Super Kings thrashed the Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets for their fourth victory in a row in the Indian Premier League.

In the other match of the day, Pune slumped to their seventh consecutive defeat, going down by 21 runs to the Mumbai Indians to bow out of contention for a place in the playoffs.

Hussey cracked 79 not out and shared 137 runs for the second wicket with Raina (61) to help Chennai overhaul Rajasthan’s 147-6 with eight balls to spare in hot and humid conditions at the Chidambaram Stadium.

The victory propelled Chennai to third spot in the points table, while Shane Warne-led Rajasthan suffered their fourth defeat from 10 outings to slip to fourth place.

Chennai lost opener Murali Vijay early in their chase, but Raina and the dependable Australian middle-order batsman Hussey ensured an easy victory for the defending champions.

Hussey hit eight fours and a six in his 55-ball knock to upstage a fine 66-run effort by Rajasthan’s Rahul Dravid.

Dravid gave Rajasthan a steady start, sharing 86 runs with opening partner Shane Watson off 10 overs to set the platform for a good total after Warne won the toss and elected to bat in sweltering heat.

The veteran right-hander appeared in supreme touch during his 51-ball knock, unleashing classic as well as improvised shots on either sides of the wicket against both spinners and pace bowlers.

The former Indian captain even outscored the in-form Watson, who hit five fours before being caught brilliantly by left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati off his own bowling for a 26-ball 32.

Watson’s dismissal triggered a collapse, with Rajasthan losing the next five wickets, including that of Dravid, for the addition of 53 runs.

Dravid perished while attempting to pull a short ball to midwicket off Sri Lankan off-spinner Suraj Randiv, whom he hit for three fours in an over.

In Mumbai, the hosts were tottering at 96-4 before late cameos by Tirumalasetti Suman (36) and the West Indies’ Kieron Pollard (30) lifted them to a competitive 160-7.

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