Chennai, April 20 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings turned in a fine all-round performance to beat Pune Warriors by 13 runs here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium Thursday to notch their third win in six Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.
A 116-run partnership between openers Francois du Plessis (58, 48b, 4x4, 2x6) and Subramaniam Badrinath (57, 48b, 8x4) set up the Super Kings' win as the hosts piled up 164 for five and then restricted Warriors to 151 for seven.
Pune's chase never really took off as they lost wickets early and at regular intervals with the Super Kings bowling to a definite plan while the fielders backed up well.
Openers Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder hardly troubled the scorers, both falling to Sri Lankan seamer Nuwan Kulasekara while No.3 Manish Pandey fell to a brilliant, running catch in the deep by Badrinath off Dwayne Bravo as Pune slid to 53 for 3 in the seventh over.
Thereafter, it was mostly downhill for Pune as the latter order batsmen failed to flourish with the target proving just beyond the reach of the visitors who thus slid to their third defeat in six outings.
Earlier, the Super Kings had a stop-go beginning before a couple of big overs provided the innings much-needed momentum.
Both du Plessis and Badrinath appeared rather ill at ease early on and were rather fortunate to survive some close calls before opening out.
The innings got ignited when Samuels went for 11 bowling the fifth over and the Super Kings were up and running.
While Badrinath, used as a stop-gap opener in place of regular but out-of-form Murali Vijay, looked anything but composed, du Plessis, who has been amongst runs this season, bided his time before blasting away.
The pair, though not exactly dominating the bowling, batted steadily to post a 100 partnership and just when they looked to accelerate, the duo departed in the same over in a similar manner, holing out to Mathews in the deep off Samuels.
Suresh Raina departed in the following over, miscuing a shot to square-leg where Karthik held a good catch in the 17th over.
However, the last 27 balls produced 45 runs as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 not out off 12 balls), Bravo (12 off eight) and Ravindra Jadeja (7 off three) indulged in big-hitting to ensure Super Kings a fighting total.
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