A masterful innings by Mike Hussey gave Chennai Super Kings their first victory of IPL 6 as they demolished Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday.
Hussey, who made an unbeaten 86 off 54 balls, once again showed how useful a player he is for Chennai. First he held onto a tough catch of Adam Gilchrist in Punjab's innings and then he, along with Murali Vijay (50*), chased the mediocre 139-run target without breaking a sweat.
But he too had the rub of the green going in his favour as he was given not out by the third umpire when he looked a little short of the crease while taking a quick single. Piyush Chawla then dropped him on his own bowling when he was batting on 25.
Hussey and Vijay came out with a simple strategy of not losing an early wicket and stuck to it, playing out the initial overs with caution and attacked when the situation demanded .
Hussey played some cracking shots, especially the drives and short arm pulls off the front foot were mesmerising. Vijay too played his part, having thrown his wicket away in the previous game against Mumbai Indians. He played with caution initially, but played his shots after getting his eye in.
Gilchrist tried all his resources but nothing worked for him as Chennai reached the target in 17.2 overs.
Earlier, Dirk Nannes was exceptional with the ball for Chennai as he picked up two wickets for just 17. Dwayne Bravo was slightly expensive early on in his spell but came back strongly to end up with 3 for 27. South African import Chris Morris, playing his first IPL game for Chennai, also chipped in with two wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja got one wicket each.
Adam Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh although began Punjab's innings with a couple of boundaries, but both couldn't stay long at the wicket, departing one after another. Gilchrist was caught exceptionally by Hussey at short fine leg, while Mandeep couldn't control his hook, getting caught by Dwayne Bravo at midwicket.
Manan Vohra showed glimpses of his previous innings against Pune Warriors where he made an unbeaten 43*, hitting few crisp boundaries. But he got out on a Jadeja long hop, sending it straight to Hussey at deep midwicket.
David Hussey and Gurkeerat Singh then strung a valuable stand of 56 for the fourth wicket, with the junior Hussey showing why he is regarded as the Twenty20 specialist. He rotated the strike regularly, hitting boundaries in between and giving Gurkeerat confidence to go on from the other end.
But when it looked that the two would take Punjab to a good score, Hussey lofted R Ashwin's carrom ball to Bravo at long-off. Gurkeerat fell soon after, mis-hitting a pull shot, getting caught by Nannes at fine leg.
Much was expected from Azhar Mahmood, but he was caught by Ashwin at short midwicket to give Morris his first IPL wicket. Rajagopal Sathish played a hoick to get caught at square leg by Morris off Bravo.
Wickets continued to fall for Punjab as Chawla (4) and Ryan Harris (0) went quickly with Punjab innings folding up for just 138.