All-round show helps CSK beat Pune by 13 runs
Badrinath (57) and du Plessis (58) shared IPL five`s highest opening stand of 116 runs from 15.3 overs to help Chennai raise 164 for five before they restricted Pune to 151 for seven on a M A Chidambaram Stadium pitch which became more difficult for batting as the match wore on.
Chasing 165 for a win, Pune lost wickets at regular intervals but Steven Smith (23) and Angelo Mathews (27) kept them in the hunt only to lose the plot towards the end.
Pune needed 25 runs from the last two overs with five wickets in hand but once Smith was out in the second ball of the penultimate over bowled by Doug Bollinger, it was all over for the visiting side.
They needed 21 from the final over and Dwayne Bravo clean-bowled Mathews with the first ball to seal the issue for Chennai who took the sweet revenge for their loss against the same opponents in Pune on April 14.
With the win, Chennai jumped to fifth position with six points from six matches. Pune also have six points from six matches and they are at fifth just above Chennai on better net run rate.
For Chennai, Nuwan Kulasekara took two wickets for 10 runs while Dwayne Barvo chipped in with two for 28. Pune began their run chase promisingly with Robin Uthappa (8) and Jesse Ryder (9) hitting a four each in the opening over bowled by Doug Bollinger.
Uthappa smashed another four in the next over bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara but the bowler had the last laugh as the batsman fell while going for another big hit, only to lob the ball to mid-off for R Ashwin to take a fine catch.
Pune found themselves at the backfoot early on as Ryder continued his ordinary form as he was out for nine in the fourth over off Kulasekara as the visitors slumped at 26 for two. Ryder went for the pull and Bravo dived full length to take the catch.
The visiting side reached their fifty in the sixth over with captain Sourav Ganguly hitting two consecutive fours off Bollinger who gave away 18 runs in the over.
Pune were again put the brakes when Manish Pandey (13) unnecessarily went for a big hit off Bravo only to find the ball balloon up for Badrinath to take a running catch.
Down 53 for three, runs came in singles for a while and the pressure mounted resulting to Ganguly looking for big hits after the strategic time-out. The visiting skipper perished in the 10th over while going for a big hit off Shadab Jakati with Kulasekara taking a simple catch at mid-off.
Marlon Samuels (26) kept Pune in the hunt for a while but he fell to Ashwin at a crucial time. Ashwin lured Samuels with a flighted delivery and the West Indian batsman drove it but found Kulasekara at the short-cover area for a simple catch.
With the departure of Samuels, Pune top five had returned to the dug out for 97 in the 14th over with the asking rate shooting up more than 10 per over. Pune needed 58 from the last five overs and it became increasingly difficult with only Smith and Mathews the recognised pair.
But the 16th over bowled by Ashwin went for 17 runs with a free hit fetching four runs for Pune and five wides adding to it. That kept Pune in the hunt with asking rate just over 10 an over.
Pune needed 25 from the last two overs but the equation changed in the penultimate over bowled by Bollinger. The Australian pacer conceded just four runs and took Smith`s wicket. Pune needed an improbable 21 runs from the final over for a win and they could score just seven.