Visakhapatnam: After an awful performance in the IPL 5 opener, defending champions Chennai Super Kings roared back into the competition on the back of a brilliant all-round display from their $20-million acquisition, Ravindra Jadeja. The allrounder's 48 off 29 balls was the highest score of Chennai's match-winning 193, and a career-best 5 for 16 with the ball helped deliver a whopping win over Deccan Chargers. Given the daunting task of overhauling the highest target of IPL 5, Deccan never came close to challenging Chennai, instead bowled out for 119 in 17.1 overs.
Put in to bat, Chennai suffered an early loss when Murali Vijay was bowled by slow left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma in the first over, but a 40-run stand between Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina gave the team some momentum. Having scored seven runs from 13 balls, du Plessis picked up his first boundary with a deft dab to third man off Manpreet Gony in the fifth over. The caress was followed by the crash, as du Plessis spotted the shortening of length and pulled the next delivery for big six over midwicket. The next ball was an even bigger hit, du Plessis drilling Gony over long-off and into the second tier of the stadium.
Raina attempted to use the final Powerplay over to the maximum, smacking the first ball from Daniel Christian for four; but on the third his aggression proved his undoing and a top-edged skier was pouched by the bowler. As for du Plessis, he continued on his merry way, smacking two huge sixes off Daniel Harris and Sharma. Attempting a fourth, he found Christian just inside the long-on boundary to give TP Sudhindra a wicket first ball on IPL debut. His 25-ball 39 had helped give CSK a run rate of 7.87.
Jadeja top-scored with 48 and took 5 for 16 to give Chennai their first win of the tournament.
Chennai slumped a little after that wicket, with 34 runs coming from the next five overs and S Badrinath (25) falling to Christian. The sight of MS Dhoni inspired Jadeja to open his shoulders, and he crashed Sharma for a two sixes and a four in an 18-run 14th over. Though Dhoni could only manage 7, Jadeja lifted the mood by hitting Christian for two fours and Sudhindra for six before he was out hit-wicket, his back foot hitting the stumps.
If Deccan thought they had controlled the damage, they had another thing coming. Striding out to the crease with 16 legal deliveries left in the innings, Dwayne Bravo larruped five of them for sixes in an unbeaten 18-ball 43. His first six was a leading edge that somehow flew over long-off, but thereon Bravo struck the ball off the middle of the bat. Sudhindra was swung way over midwicket, and in the final over Gony conceded three more sixes, the last one coming off the final ball of the innings as Bravo launched over extra cover. The 40 that Chennai looted off the last two overs turned a middling total into a challenging one; the 130 that du Plessis, Jadeja and Bravo contributed to the total gave Chennai’s bowlers plenty to work with.
Deccan's lack of batting firepower was highlighted by their batting card in which there were just four sixes – two from Sharma, batting at No. 9 - as compared to Chennai’s 12. Each of their top four batsmen got starts, but none was able to convert. Deccan captain Cameron White's 23 was the best individual score the home team could muster, with four batsmen falling to mistimed shots into the deep. Spin reaped the most rewards for CSK, as Jadeja, Shadab Jakati (2 for 14) and Raina (1 for 10) shared eight wickets. Jadeja was the pick of the lot, taking the wickets of White and Bharat Chipli and then mopping up the tail to finish with a Twenty20 best haul.