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Pune Warriors dump Super Kings







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Steven Smith showed his side Pune Warriors what they’ve been missing with a tremendous display of death-overs batting and catching in the deep to help his side grab a stunning 24-run upset victory over Chennai Super Kings.

Some superb rear-guard action from the Australian all-rounder (39 not out off just 16 balls), playing in place of regular skipper Angelo Mathews, helped Pune reach a competitive 159/5 in their allotted 20 overs after stand-in skipper Ross Taylor won the toss and opted to bat. Playing his first match of the season despite being Pune star performer last season, Smith then took three good catches at long-off as CSK were restricted to 135/8.

pune warriors india Pune Warriors dump Super Kings

CSK’s opening worries at home continued with S Anirudha, playing in place of the rested Michael Hussey, was sent back for a duck in the first over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar after he was stuck at the crease and trapped in front.

Bhuvneshwar struck again to get rid of the tournament’s highest run-scorer Suresh Raina (8) as he mistimed a heave to the on-side which was held by T Suman at mid-on.

S Badrinath made 34 before he was caught by Smith off Mitchell Marsh but CSK were always behind in a tricky chase. Even MS Dhoni (10) and Ravindra Jadeja (27) couldn’t get CSK out of jail this time, both caught in the deep as the asking rate shot up.

The sides made two changes apiece with Anirudha and Albie Morkel replacing Mohit Sharma and Michael Hussey for CSK. Manish Pandey was brought in to replace Pune’s star man Yuvraj Singh after the left-hander was ruled out with a back problem while Smith was the other change.

An excellent start was almost wasted by the visitors with a middle-overs slump but Smith ensured Pune were in with a chance on a wicket that seemed to be slowing down. Just when it looked like the visitors would be restricted to a score in the range of 140, Smith turned it on.

With his awkward, unorthodox style, he was able to find the boundary in interesting ways, the pick of the lot being a reverse flick that sailed into the stand over third man off Bravo.

In-form Australian opener Aaron Finch was the top-scorer for the visitors with an aggressive 67 off 45 balls which helped them get to 96 without loss before he was stumped by Dhoni off Ravindra Jadeja in the 13th over.

The Australian made his intentions clear right from the word go with three boundaries in the first over from left-arm-paceman Dirk Nannes. With Morkel and Morris playing, it came as a bit of a surprise when Dhoni got Jadeja to partner Nannes with the new ball but it made no difference to Finch as he continued to find the boundary at regular intervals with Pune making a healthy 48 in the powerplay overs.



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