Russel Arnold hit a fluent half-century (66 off 40balls) to guide Chennai Superstars to A thrilling four-wicket win in the last over against Kolkata Tigers in the ninth match of the Indian Cricket League Twenty20 Championship being played at Hyderabad on Monday.
Chasing a stiff target of 186 runs in 20 overs, Chennai Superstars were off to a flying start as openers Ian Harvey and G Vignesh were associated in a 49-runs stand in 5 overs. Vignesh was more into attacking mode as he smashed five fours and one six in 13 balls to take his individual score to 29 before he was clean bowled by Nantie Haywards in the fifth over. Rusell Arnold then joined Ian Harvey who continued his dominance over the Tigers’ bowlers as he hit them all around the park. He hit four boundaries and three boundaries in his knock of 49 before he was bowled by P L Das in the tenth over with Superstars’ score being 92 for 2. Hemang Badani too departed while trying to step up the tempo as he gave a simple catch to Jhunjhunwala off the bowling of Andre Adams in the 11th over. Skipper R Sathish and Arnold were then associated in a 31 run stand for the fourth wicket before Sathsh was bowled by McMillan in the 15th over. With Superstars needing 53 runs off 30 balls, it was upto Arnold, who completed his fifty in 33 balls and Saravanan to deliver the goods for Superstars.
And with Superstars needing 17 runs off the last two overs, Nantie Haywards removed Saravanan in the penultimate to peg down Superstars’ hopes back with Superstars’ poised at 170 for 5 in 18.3 overs. And when J Syed was run out in the last over, Superstars needed eight runs off four balls, but Arnold guided Superstars home hitting two boundaries in last over. He scored 66 runs off 40 balls including six boundaries and two sixes.
Earlier Tigers’ skipper McMillan won the toss and elected to bat first. Kolkata Tigers were off to a bad start as they lost both of their openers cheaply. SG Das (2) was the first one to depart after he was caught by Vignesh off the bowling of Shabbir Ahmed in the first over of the Tigers’ innings. Vignesh struck in the next over picking up the wicket of danger man Lance Klusener who gave a simple catch to Sathish after contributing only two runs from four balls. Tigers were
more into trouble in the next over as Deep Dasgupta (8) was run out while attempting a second run off the bowling of Shabbitr Ahmed with Vignesh shattering the stumps with a direct throw from covers. Tigers’ score at that time read 14 for 3 and it was then that Skipper Craig Mcmillan and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala took up the challenge for Tigers.
McMillan took no time to settle and soon started dealing in boundaries and sixes. In the process he hit five boundaries and four sixes as he and Jhunjhunwala started the repair work for Tigers. Jhunjhunwala played the prefect fold to Mcmillan as he rotated the strike carefully and dealt in singles and occasional boundaries. They both took the Tigers’ score to 113 before McMillan was run out from a direct throw from Sathish in the 14th over after playing a knock of 69 runs off 41 balls. Andre Adams then joined Jhunjhunwala as Jhunjhunwala continued his fine form. They both were associated in a 22-run partnership for
the fifth wicket before Adams (12) gave a simple catch to Sathish off the bowling of Ian Harvey in the 17th over. S Singh came to the crease thereafter and played a shot innings of 11 runs before Jhunjhunwala was joined by Rohan Gawaskar.Jhunjhunwala meanwhile completed his fifty as he and Gawaskar took the Tigers’ score to 185 for 6 in 20 overs. Jhunjhunwala remained unbeaten on 50 while Rohan Gawaskar made 23 off 8 balls with three fours and a huge six. For Chennai Superstars, Vignesh picked up two wickets giving away 18 runs.