Pune, April 30 (IANS) Pune Warriors poor run the Indian Premier League (IPL) continued as they suffered their fifth consecutive loss going down to two-time champions and table toppers Chennai Super Kings by 37-runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here Tuesday.
Super Kings’ sixth consecutive win helped them consolidate their position at the top of the table with 14 points from nine matches while Pune Warriors are languishing at the bottom of the table with four points also from nine matches.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni again led from the front with an unbeaten 16-ball 45 and Suresh Raina remained unbeaten on 63 as Super Kings recovered from a slow start to put up a competitive 164 for three in 20 overs. Dhoni, who smashed four fours and three sixes, was adjudged as Man of the Match.
Chasing a target of 165, Pune Warriors put on a dismal batting performance with Steve Smith top scoring with 35 and they managed in 20 overs.
It was a brilliant spell by fast bowler Mohit Sharma (3/20) that put Pune Warriors right on the back-foot early on and they failed to recover from it.
Sharma plucked out Aaron Finch (15), Tirumalasetti Suman and Yuvraj Singh (5) to derail Pune’s run chase. ASharma provided Super Kings the first breakthrough as he got rid of Finch in the third over with Dhoni taking an easy catch behind the stumps. Sharma struck again in the next ball to remove Suman trapped lbw.
Pune kept losing wickets at regular intervals and half the side was back in the dug-out in the eighth over for 55 runs and by the half-way mark they were left struggling at 68 for six.
Steve Smith came up with an 39-ball 35 that helped Pune Warriors avoid the ignominy of getting bowled out for less than 100 runs.
The lower-order also showed the hunger to fight back as Kane Richardson (26) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26 not out) displayed a never say die attitude but their efforts were not enough to take the hosts through.