Brutal Dhoni seals semi-final spot for Chennai
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharmasala
Scorecard:Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings
Player:MS Dhoni, SE Marsh
Event:Indian Premier League 2009/10

DateLine: 18th April 2010


The Chennai Super Kings needed a special innings to seal a spot in the semi-finals and Dhoni reserved his special for a crucial game. Chasing a stiff target of 193 to reach the semis the visitors seemed to have lost their way before Dhoni took charge of the course of the match.


Dhoni opted to field first as it seemed that the pitch will not change its nature. The hosts were off to a flier as Jayawardene and Marsh went about their job with aggressive streak. Jayawardene (21, 8b, 2x6, 2x4) fell as Tyagi plucked a brilliant catch. Sangakkara (33, 24b, 5x4) continued to dazzle before he went for an ill-advised sweep against Ashwin. Yuvraj (1, 4b) did nothing of sorts before Pathan joined Marsh in the middle.


The left-handed pair tore in the toothless Chennai bowlers with such ferocity that the visitors looked dazed. The pair found the boundary ropes as well as cleared it with ease as the pair added unbeaten 99 in 8 overs. Marsh scored a scintillating 88 in 57 balls with eight hits to the fence and five over the ropes while Pathan was unbeaten on 44 in 27 balls with four hits to the fence and one huge six.


Chennai in reply continued did not get an ideal start. Hayden (5, 8b, 1x4) and Vijay (13, 11b, 2x4) were dismissed in the powerplay overs. Raina and Badrinath repaired the innings as they added 62 in 5.4 overs as they took the home side. The spinners did well but the pace contingent consisting of Pathan, VRV Singh and Theron could not stem the flow of the runs.


Raina (46, 27b, 3x6, 5x4) fell at a crucial juncture and in came Dhoni. While Dhoni looked to get himself in Badrinath took the mantle of scoring runs. The right-hander from Tamil Nadu was in a belligerent mood as he completed a well paced half-century. Badrinath (53, 36b, 2x6, 7x4) got out just after reaching his half-century and the heat was on Dhoni who so far has had a quiet IPL.


The Indian skipper who looked to be in shackles finally broke free in th penultimate over bowled by Theron. He collected two boundaries and in the process was dropped by Sangakkara. Chennai needed 16 in the final over bowled by Pathan. Dhoni (54 not out, 29b, 2x6, 5x4) smashed the required runs in four balls as Chennai qualified for the semi-finals.