Chennai: Chennai Super Kings rode on a half century each from Subramaniam Badrinath and Faf du Plessis and a disciplined show from their bowlers as they beat Pune Warriors by 13 runs in their Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
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 MA 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 on the first ball to seal the issue for Chennai who took the 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 fourth 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 on the backfoot early on as Ryder was out for nine in the fourth over off Kulasekara as the visitors slumped to 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.
However, Pune were again halted 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 in 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's top five had returned to the dug out for 97 in the 14th over with the asking rate shooting up to 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 matcn with the 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.
Earlier, Subramaniam Badrinath and Faf du Plessis struck a half century each as Chennai posted 164 for five.
Badrinath (57) and du Plessis (58) shared IPL five's highest opening stand of 116 runs from 15.3 overs after Chennai were put into bat.
Chennai seemed to have lost the advantage of a strong start before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (28 not out in just 12 balls) ensured the home side reached a challenging total with some lusty hits towards the end.
But for the last over which yielded 18 runs, the Chennai score would have been lower as they took just 49 runs from the last five overs with all the wickets in their hands at that time.
For Pune, Marlon Samuels took three for 39 from his four overs while Ashish Nehra claiming two wickets for 23.
The Chennai opening duo scored almost at the same pace, taking 48 balls each in their knocks with du Plessis hitting four fours and two sixes while Badrinath, who was promoted up the order in the absence of Murali Vijay, smashed eight fours in his innings.
After a slow start, Chennai picked up the tempo with Badrinath hitting two fours off Samuels in the fourth over and his fellow opener du Plessis joining in with a six and a four of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Two more fours by Badrinath off Angelo Mathews brought Chennai's fifty in the eighth over and the home side looked set for a big score.
Most of Pune's bowlers were going for runs except for Nehra whose first spell of two overs yielded just six runs as Chennai raced to 68 for no loss at the halfway stage.
Du Plessis continued his good form in the tournament as he reached his half century, his second this season, with a two off Rahul Sharma in the 13th over. His fifty came from 42 balls with the help of four fours and a six.
Badrinath survived a close run-out call in the last ball of the 13th over with the third umpire taking a long time to decide on it and he was lucky to continue with Pune wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa missing out a stumping chance in the next over bowled by Murali Kartik.
In the same over, du Plessis hoisted Kartik for a huge six as Chennai reached their 100 in the 14th over.
With all the wickets in their hands, Chennai expectedly launched themselves but Badrinath was lucky again with Pune captain Sourav Ganguly failing to hold on a difficult catch off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Ganguly landed awkwardly with his right hand beneath his body but luckily did not sustain any injury.
Badrinath then smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three consecutive fours to raise his fifty off 42 balls with the help of six fours.
The record opening stand finally ended in the 16th over with du Plessis out for 58. He spooned a Samuels slower delivery to Angelo Mathews at deep square leg.
Two balls later, Badrinath also departed as he tried to slog-sweep Samuels only to find Mathews again.
Two new batsmen in Dhoni and Suresh Raina were at the crease and the latter did not survive long, dismissed for a duck while trying to fend off a Nehra bouncer. The top-edge carried to Kartik at fine-leg.
Nehra bowled a fine penultimate over, not giving any room to Dhoni and Bravo to play shots and the pressure eventually resulted in the wicket of the West Indian.
New man in, Ravindra Jadeja (7) then lifted Samuels for a huge six in the first ball of the final over and then Dhoni smacked the same bowler for an even bigger six.