Steven Smith Pune Warriors
Pune Warriors batsman Steven Smith plays an incredible reverse six against CSK in their IPL 2013 matchPrashant Bhoot/IPL/SPORTZPICS

Steven Smith was finally given an opportunity by the Pune Warriors in IPL 2013, and the Australian did not disappoint, playing a quickfire 39, which included an unbelievable reverse swat for six, to help the away side to a 24-run victory over the Chennai Super Kings at the fortress that is the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Aaron Finch (67 in 45) produced an outstanding innings at the top, before Smith (39 in 16) finished things off nicely to take Pune to a solid total of 159 for five. CSK were never really in the game, finishing on 135 for eight, as the Pune bowlers came to the party to take their side to a deserved win.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the perfect over to open the innings against CSK, picking up the wicket of S Anirudha in the second ball.

Kumar, who was so impressive in the Test series against Australia, darted in a delivery, catching Anirudha, playing his first match of the season, completely off guard and with it trapping him in front of the wicket.

Suresh Raina was lucky to survive in the next delivery, as an in-swinger to the left-hander just seemed to miss leg, with Kumar finishing the over without conceding a single run.

Vijay was given a life in the next over from Ashok Dinda, with Tirumalasetti Suman dropping a sitter at mid-on.

Raina, the man who has not missed a single game in the IPL, is not having the best of tournaments in 2013, and the CSK mainstay disappointed again, holing out to Suman at mid-on, with the Pune fielder this time making no mistake, taking a smart catch, as Kumar, who finished with amazing figures of 4-1-12-2, picked up his second wicket.

Subramaniam Badrinath came and immediately looked comfortable, with Vijay also seemingly finding his feet, only to throw away his wicket while attempting a hoick over the top. Ross Taylor gleefully accepted the catch, after Vijay (24, 22b, 2x4, 1x6) could only manage a top edge from the bowling of Abhishek Nayar.

Badrinath (34, 26b, 4x4), who played a smart innings, and Ravindra Jadeja put together a nice partnership of 46 from just over six overs to keep the game well within reach, before the latter succumbed to Mitchell Marsh, with Smith completing the catch at long-off.

All the responsibility was now on CSK's deadly duo Jadeja and MS Dhoni, with the home side needing 62 in 32, but last game's hero Jadeja could not produce another blinder, getting out for 27 (22b, 1x4, 1x6), with Marsh (two for 35) again picking up the crucial wicket.

Albie Morkel, in for the rested Michael Hussey, produced a couple of big hits as CSK were staring at a target of 46 from 18 balls, which, while Dhoni was at the crease, with Morkel, who scored 28 runs off one Virat Kohli over last season, for company, was very much possible. 

But, even the CSK skipper (10 in 13) cannot always pull off the impossible, failing to clear Smith at long-on with Dinda taking the wicket in the 18th over.

CSK required a massive 42 runs from two overs, and it turned out to be beyond them as Pune celebrated a confidence-boosting victory.

Earlier, Aaron Finch laid the foundation for a big total, before Steven Smith stepped on the accelerator with great effect.

Finch, opening with Robin Uthappa, was in a mean mood, thrashing CSK's fast bowler and his compatriot Dirk Nannes for three fours in the first over.

That good start was a sign of things to come from this determined Pune side, which were without Yuvraj Singh and captain Angelo Mathews - the latter's absence proved to be a blessing in disguise, because it allowed Smith to come into the first XI.

Uthappa, normally a swashbuckling batsman, was very much the passenger in the partnership, as Finch cranked into overdrive.

The opening stand of 96 was the Warriors' best ever in the IPL, 67 of which were scored by Finch, from just 45 deliveries.

Finch, after smashing the CSK bowlers form ten fours and a couple of maximums, finally decided he had had enough for the night, stumped by Dhoni off Ravindra Jadeja's bowling, a ball after he had smashed the left-hander for a six.

It was a strange little innings from Uthappa at the other end, who followed suit soon after for a 33-ball 26.

Pune, on 101 for two after Chris Morris dismissed Uthappa, were now in danger of losing their momentum if they did not find the right finishing touches, and for a couple of overs it looked like CSK would pull things back only for Smith to play a little gem.

Ross Taylor, the stand-in skipper in the absence of Mathews, perished for eight, with Mitchell Marsh also losing his wicket for next to nothing, leaving Smith, who has been cooling his heels on the bench for the entire IPL 2013 so far, for reasons only known by the Pune, to come to his team's rescue.

The Australian, the best player for Pune in last year's IPL, launched into the CSK bowlers in the final overs, with some brilliant shots.

The highlight of his innings of 39 (16b, 3x4, 3x6) was a ridiculous reverse pick up off Dwayne Bravo in the final over, as Pune managed a total of 159 for five, which proved to be more than enough.

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