Sohail Tanvir scalps half a dozen

Sohail Tanvir... dream spell.-R. V. MOORTHY

With Pakistani left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir on the rampage, the Royals had it easy. G. Viswanath reports.

Sohail Tanvir dispatched openers Parthiv Patel and Stephen Fleming for no score in the first over, demanded another over from his skipper, removed S. Vidyut and the DLF-IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings ceased to be a tussle. Clearly it was the Pakistani left arm seamer’s day at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. He sent down 24 balls in the match, took six wickets overall and held two catches.

Thanks to Sohail’s superb effort of six for 14, the Royals dominated the match right from the word ‘go’ and embarrassed its opponent. Once Tanvir struck the vital blows the result became easily predictable. Shane Watson and Shane Warne played their parts by getting rid of S. Badrinath and M. S. Dhoni. Thereafter Graeme Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar scored runs at a brisk pace and the home team won by eight wickets.

Tanvir did not hold anything back once he caught a shuffling Patel in front off the first ball and won an appeal from umpire Asad Rauf and dismissed Fleming in the same over. The top three batsmen together lasted 13 deliveries with S. Vidyut too falling a victim, steering the ball to Warne at slip off the 10th ball he faced. Royals had time to mull over on the selection of the team after the first auction and chose the Pakistani seamer in the second.

Sensing victory in the first few minutes of the match itself, the Royals attacked with Watson hitting the deck short and inducing a mistake from S. Bardrinath. Ready to counter- attack, the right hander showed resourcefulness hitting two delightful strokes one on either side of the wicket, before Watson tempted him with the short ball.

Suresh Raina did his best to make a run a ball 27 before holing out to Tanvir in the deep. Warne won a tussle with Dhoni before the hard-hitting Albie Morkel made a 33-ball 42. Chennai Super Kings could muster only 109 in 19 overs.

Dhoni acknowledged Tanvir’s splendid performance and said his team was outplayed. “It was not a 109-run wicket, we should have got close to 160. After losing the early wickets we were always trying to put something on the board. Maybe a couple of batsmen played rash shots. We were trying to catch up after the first few overs. Tanvir’s six for 14 will remain a record for a long time.”

The Royals openers Smith (35 not out) and Asnodkar (32) were not separated until they had raised 78 runs. “We did not have particular plans; we just decided to stick to the basics of line and length and mixing it up with an odd bouncer. There was no need to experiment. Tanvir is the best bowler in the tournament and as a left arm seamer he brings in variety. There was nothing wrong with the pitch, we scored 110 in 14.2 overs. Twenty20 is all about springing a surprise on the opponent and we had the Super Kings on the hop,” said Warne.

THE SCORES

Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals, Sawai Man Singh Stadium, Jaipur, May 4, 2008.

Result: Rajasthan Royals won by eight wickets.

Chennai Super Kings 109 in 19 overs (S. Raina 27, A. Morkel 42, S. Tanvir 6-14, M. Patel 2-16) lost to Rajasthan Royals 110 for two in 14.2 overs (G. Smith 35 n.o., S. Asnodkar 32).