Chennai’s game lacked urgency

2012-10-23 00:00

YORKSHIRE’S African connection of Zimbabwean Gary Balance and Pietermaritzburg-born David Miller shared a fourth wicket stand of 78 to get their side to 140/6 in the Champions League T20 clash at Kingsmead yesterday.

As the sun broke through the clouds, it was encouraging to see the Durban cricketing public appreciate the moment and begin to fill the ground, despite the match being of no major importance with the semi-finalists already decided.

Still, T20 cricket proved its point by drawing the crowds as the grass banks and open stands were chosen as choice viewing spots.

On the field, there was a spark of interest before a ball was bowled when Suresh Raina joined Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale at the toss, instead of the familiar Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

This was the first time in 92 matches Dhoni had not captained the side and the plot thickened when he relinquished the ’keeping gloves to Wridhhiman Saha. This time around, Dhoni was a regular fielder and he even tried his hand at bowling his unique brand of seam-up bowling, although after going for 25 in two overs — which included 18 in his second over thanks to Balance smashing two sixes — it’s fair to say he should remain behind the stumps.

Chennai asked Yorkshire to have first dig and after the powerplay, the English side were 36/1 and making steady progress.

Two quick wickets put the skids on and after the fifty was brought up after 10 overs it was a matter of what Yorkshire could do in the home straight sprint.

Miller and Balance, both left handers, combined well, working the ball to all parts of the ground, their partnership a much-needed boost for a side that has experienced a bumpy ride in the tournament and battled against the sides filled with international players.

Their partnership ended when Miller holed out to cover for 28, leaving Balance to steer the ship.

The Zimbabwean brought up his fifty with a six over square leg off Ben Hilfenhaus and added another over cover a few balls later. Sadly, Balance was run out for 58 (1x4, 5x6) pushing for a quick single to get on strike, Saha throwing down the stumps.

Three more runs were added for Yorkshire to finish on 140/6, Dan Hodgson out off the final ball of the innings for a single. Best of the bowlers was Doug Bollinger (2/16) and Albie Morkel (2/12).

With nothing in the game, Chennai went through the motions, keeping a steady run rate and picking off the Yorkshire bowlers with ease. After the powerplay they were 37/2 and the fifty was up in the eighth over. There was no real urgency and at times, it was tough to keep an interest in the match. Always ahead of what was needed, Chennai won by four wickets with an over to spare.

Raina and Dhoni each got 31 and man of the match Subramaniam Badrinath 47. Iain Wardlaw, Steven Patterson and Oliver Hannon-Dalby each took two wickets.

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