Explosive Vijay powers Super Kings to victory


Chennai: An explosive 56-ball 127 by opener Murali Vijay powered a rejuvenated Chennai Super Kings to 23-run victory against the Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match here Saturday.

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Batting on winning the toss, the Super Kings piled up 246 for five in 20 overs to break their own record total of 240 for five (in 2008 vs Kings XI Punjab at Mohali) as Vijay (11 x 6, 8 x 4) and Albie Morkel (62, 34b, 5 x 6, 3 x 4) in their 152-run partnership for the third-wicket ran riot against a rather sloppy Rajasthan Royals who were guilty of dropping a couple of sharp chances.

In reply, the Royals put up a valiant fight-back, but went down making 223 for five. Opener Naman Ojha (94 not out, 55b, 6 x 6, 8 x 4) and Shane Watson (60, 25b, 5 x 6, 5 x 4) launched a brilliant counter-attack.

The Super Kings thus notched their fourth win in nine games while the Royals slid to their fifth defeat, also in nine outings.

Watson’s dismissal, bowled by fellow-Aussie seamer Doug Bollinger in the 16th over, proved to be the key moment in the game as his dismissal took the fight out of the Royals who at that point looked very much in the hunt.

Until then, Ojha and Watson were on top as they punished the Super Kings bowlers, almost all of whom with the exception of Bollinger suffered as the Royals duo kept pace with the asking rate after the loss of opener Michael Lumb and Yusuf Pathan in the space of four deliveries.

On a benign pitch that afforded good but even bounce, the batsmen made merry and, under the circumstances, it was Bollinger who underlined his class with a haul of two wickets for just 15 runs in his four overs.

The departure of Watson, followed by couple of quick wickets, spelt doom for the Royals with Ojha playing the lone hand at death.

Earlier, the Super Kings were on a roll with Vijay, following up on his 78 in the previous game, leading the way with a sublime innings that took the edge out of the Royals attack.

Lending Vijay excellent support was fellow-opener Matthew Hayden who made a rapid 34 (24b, 1 x 6, 5 x 4) before Morkel joined him after Suresh Raina (13) fell cheaply to indulge in big-hitting that saw the Super Kings piling on 91 runs in the first 10 overs and a further 155 in the next 10.

The fall of three wickets, including those of Morkel, Vijay and Dhoni made little difference as by then the Super Kings had an imposing total on the board.