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Chennai Pip Warriors By 10 Runs, Qualify For Semis

Port Elizabeth: Chennai Super Kings defeated Warriors by 10 runs in a crucial Group A match and qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament here on Wednesday.  Electing to bat, Mike
PTI September 23, 2010 10:34 IST
PTI
Port Elizabeth: Chennai Super Kings defeated Warriors by 10 runs in a crucial Group A match and qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament here on Wednesday. 

Electing to bat, Mike Hussey (50 off 39) and Murali Vijay (35 off 27) shared a 63-run opening stand before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni came up with a late 21-ball 31 to guide Chennai to 136 for six in their alloted 20 overs.

Chennai bowlers then rose to the occasion and restricted the Warriors to 126 for eight.

With this victory, Chennai have secured a place in the first semifinal against fellow Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore in Durban on Friday. 

Even though Warriors lost the match, they too have qualified for the last four stage, pipping Victoria Bushrangers on net run rate. 

Chasing the modest 137, Warriors needed 109 to book their their place in the semis and they finally went on to score 126 for eight. 

Warriors will face South Australia Redbacks in the second semifinal on Saturday. 

For Warriors, Justin Kreusch turned out to be the hero as he first picked up three wickets for 19 and then scored valuable 25 with the bat to help his side's cause at the St George's Park here. 

Warriors' chase never got going as they were dealt with the first blow in the fourth over in the form of Ashwell Prince. 

Prince fell to a one-handed blinder from Justin Kemp in the slip off off-spinner R Aswin.

From there on, the home team found runs hard to come by against the Chennai slow bowlers, which eventually resulted in the dismissal of Warriors captain Davey Jacobs (32). 

Jacobs was pounced by Hussey at deep midwicket off left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati as the right-hander went for a slog-sweep. 

The slow bowlers again came to the party as part-time spinner Suresh Raina had Colin Ingram caught by S Badrinath at the midwicket boundary. 

But after a fine showing with the ball, Kreusch also shone with the bat with a valuable 26-ball 25 and together with Mark Boucher (25) added 44 runs to guide Warriors into the semifinals even though the South African side lost the encounter. 

Needing, 46 off the last four overs, Boucher relived the pressure with two sixes off Jakati. 

But just when it seemed the Warriors will cruise home, Chennai picked up two wickets in a span of three balls to bring the match into balance. 

First Kreusch departed, stumped by Dhoni off Ashwin and then three balls later Boucher was caught at long-on by Kemp. 

New man in Johan Botha, somewhat, changed the complexion of the match when he struck Doug Bollinger for two boundaries in the penultimate over, but it was not to be Warriors' day as he perished in search of a non-existent double.  

Champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan then finished off the proceedings with two wickets -- Nicky Boje and Rusty Theron -- in the final over, giving away just four runs out of the 15 needed by the Warriors. 

Earlier, Warriors produced a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Chennai Super Kings to a modest 136 for six. 

Hussey and Vijay gave a decent start to the Chennai innings with their opening partnership and then Dhoni remained did the acceleration job towards the end. 

But Dhoni's decision to bat first backfired as Chennai could  manage 65 runs off the last 10 overs even though they had fours wickets at hand in the end. 

Chennai started on a cautious note as Vijay and Hussey mixed caution with aggression to score 37 runs off the first six overs. 

Chennai finally cut loose in the seventh over when Vijay and Hussey picked up 16 runs off Boje. 

Vijay started the proceedings with a thumping six over deep midwicket and then Hussey followed it up with a cheeky reverse sweep after which the Tamil Nadu batsman finished off the over with a boundary over square-leg. 

Vijay's hardwork went in vain as he was cleaned up by Kreusch in the ninth over but not before the right-hander made  35, which was studded with three fours and two sixes. 

Hussey, however, shouldered the Chennai innings and hit Botha for a six and a four to score 13 runs of the the 12th over. 

On the other hand, Raina's stay at the crease was a struggle and the left-hander's 12-ball six run agony finally came to an end when he was brilliantly caught by Ingram at long-on off Kreusch. 

If that was not enough, a settled Hussey departed in the first ball of the next over, clean bowled by Botha as the left-hander went for a slog sweep. 

Piling up more misery for the Indian Premier League side,  Kreusch got his third victim of the day in the form of S Badrinath, whose timbers went for a toss as he went for huge hit over square-leg. 

Dhoni took the responsibility on his own shoulders to guide Chennai to a respectable score as he finally broke free in the 19th over. 

He struck Lonwabo Tsotsobe for two  boundaries and a massive six to pick up 17 runs off the  penultimate over. 

But it was not to be Chennai's day today, as Srikkanth Anirudha fell to a gem of an yorker from Rusty Theron and then  new man in Justin Kemp sacrificed his wicket for Dhoni in the  last over, in which the IPL side could only score five runs. PTI