Finch, Smith star in Pune's vital win over CSK

Toss: Pune Warriors India won the toss and chose too bat

Result: Pune Warriors India beat Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs.

For the full scorecard, click here.

Pune Warriors: 160/5 (Finch 67, Smith 39*, Morris 2-25)

Pune Warriors were without their captain - Angelo Mathews - because of the ban on Sri Lankan players playing in Chennai, but Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa gave Warriors an excellent platform by adding 96 runs together. Steven Smith, playing his first game, then turned it on at the end with 39 from 16 balls. Finch was aggressive from the start, smashing Dirk Nannes for three fours in the very first over to set the tempo. He added two more fours off Jadeja in second over, and lofted Ashwin for a huge six for good measure. Uthappa was content to play second fiddle, taking mostly ones and twos.

Steven Smith reverse-sweeps Dwayne Bravo for six. BCCI

Steven Smith reverse-sweeps Dwayne Bravo for six. BCCI

Finch was eventually stumped off Jadeja after hitting him for six and Warriors then lost a few quick wickets as they tried to press the accelerator. Ross Taylor, Mitchell Marsh and Manish Pandey all failed to reach double figures, but Smith was in a belligerent mood. He thumped Chris Morris for consecutive fours, lofted Bravo for six and did the same to Nannes, sweeping an overpitched ball outside leg stump over deep backward square. The most audacious stroke was yet to come though – a reverse sweep off Bravo that sailed over third man for another six.

Chennai Super Kings: 135/8 (Badrinath 34, Kumar 2-12, Dinda 2-34)

The two-time champions must have thought Warriors would be an easy win after their heorics against RCB, but their chase got off to a terrible start with Anirudha Srikanth falling for a duck second ball to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Suresh Raina followed soon after as Super Kings stumbled to 23/2. T Suman dropped Murali Vijay in the second over, and it looked like it might prove costly when he hit Marsh for six, but he was undone by Abhishek Nayar.

S Badrinath and Ravindra Jadeja managed to steady things for Chennai, adding 46 for the fourth wicket, but the asking rate kept climbing. Badrinath eventually fell trying to hit Marsh over long-off – one of three catches for Smith on the night. The dangerous possibility of a partnership between Jadeja and Dhoni never materialised as Jadeja turned a legside delivery from Marsh round the corner only to see Dinda take a sharp catch at short fine leg to leave CSK 98/5 after 14.4 overs. Dhoni was Super Kings’ last hope but with 12 an over needed by then, he had to take risks and holed out to Smith at long-off trying to hit Dinda for six.

From there it was just a question of Warriors bowling out the remaining 2.3 overs to claim victory.

Turning Point

Taylor and Marsh had fallen in quick succession and Warriors looked to have lost the momentum with 2.5 overs to go. Dhoni brought back his strike-bowler Nannes to bowl the 19th over but Smith took a fancy to him. He managed a couple of the second ball before swiping Nannes over square leg for six, then slashing him over point for four. Sixteen in all came off the over and Pune Warriors would not relinquish the momentum again.

Man of the Match: Steven Smith

Updated Date: Apr 16, 2013 08:35 AM

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