West Indies offspinner Sunil Narine and top order batsman Dwayne Smith both turned in top performances for their Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises but there were contrasting results for the two semi-finalists today.
Smith, opening the batting for the Chennai Super Kings, missed out on another half-century but eclipsed the 500-run mark as his stellar season continued.
He smashed a 28-ball 47 (four 4s, four 6s) at the top of the order but it came in a losing effort as Super Kings were out-gunned by the Darren Sammy-led Sunrisers Hyderabad in a exciting showdown at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
Sent in, Chennai rattled up an imposing 185 for three from their 20 overs but then watched as Sunrisers overhauled the total to win by six wickets, with four balls left in the innings.
Smith now has 501 runs for the IPL campaign, joining Indian Robin Uthappa (572) and Australians Glenn Maxwell (533) and David Warner (524).
Captain M.S. Dhoni then slammed 57 not out from
41 balls and David Hussey, an unbeaten 50 from 33 balls, to climax the innings with a thrilling unbroken 107-run, fourth wicket partnership.
In reply, Sunrisers were handed a superb start by Warner who smashed 90 from 45 balls with 12 fours and three sixes. He put on an explosive 116 for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 64.
Chennai are second on 16 points, two behind leaders Kings XI Punjab while Sunrisers are fifth on 12 points.
Narine was superb for the Kolkata Knight Riders but his West Indies teammate Chris Gayle failed again as the 2012 champions produced a clinical all-round performance to surge to a convincing 30-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore and into the playoffs.
Sent in at Eden Gardens, Kolkata piled up 195 for four from their 20 overs, with opener Robin Uthappa pummelling 83 from 51 balls and Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan, 60 from 38 deliveries with five fours and three sixes.
In reply, RCB lost Gayle in the second over for just six and then failed to find the momentum to mount a proper run chase, ending on 165 for five.
Narine was the main destroyer, finishing with four for 20 from his four overs, and removing key batsmen at critical times.
Wicketkeeper Yogesh Takawale top-scored with 45 and captain Virat Kohli got 38, adding 85 for the second wicket, and threatening to rescue the innings.
However, Narine removed both in the 13th over – his third of the innings. He had Kohli taken at point off the third delivery, cutting one that bounced slightly and then removed Takawale three balls later, bowled playing on a delivery that turned sharply.
Yuvraj Singh took all his 22 runs from Yadav’s third over – the 16th of the innings – before Narine also took care of that threat.
The left-handed Yuvraj holed out to long on with the wily Trinidadian off the second ball of the next over and dangerous South African batsman AB de Villiers fell to the final delivery of the over, missing a sweep and being bowled off-stump for 13.