Murli Vijay powers Super Kings’ victory over Bangalore


Chennai: A blistering 39-ball 78 by opener Murali Vijay carried the Chennai Super Kings to a resounding five-wicket win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second half of the Indian Premier League tournament, here Wednesday.

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It was Super Kings’ first win after four consecutive defeats and only their third success in eight outings while the Bangalore team slid to their third loss in seven games.

Opener Jacques Kallis (52) powered Royal Challengers to 161 for four in their 20 overs after opting to bat first on winning the toss, while Super Kings, buoyed by the fine start that Vijay provided, made 166 for five.

Vijay’s innings set up the Super Kings’ chase as he dominated the first-wicket partnership of 61 with a rather subdued Matthew Hayden (12) and went on to play a classical innings that was filled with authentic strokes.

Vijay, later adjudged Man of the Match, provided the early momentum by carving 24 runs off seamer Praveen Kumar in the third over of the innings and kept going in the same vein until his dismissal. But by that time, the pressure of chase had eased off on the other Super Kings batsmen.

After Vijay’s departure, it was Suresh Raina (44 not out) who held the innings together and guided the team through some choppy waters late in the innings when the hosts lost three wickets in a hurry.

Fittingly, Raina hit the winning runs off a no-ball by Vinay Kumar, bowling the 19th over that went for 20 runs.

Earlier, Kallis ( 9b, 7 x 4) was the mainstay of the Bangalore innings while Virat Kohli (34 off 24 balls) and Robin Uthappa (21 off 13), who was dropped first ball, chipped in with useful contributions.

At the fag end of the innings, the pair of Kevin Pietersen (23 not out) and Cameron White (21 not out) added 44 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket after the Super Kings had the Bangalore team in shackles earlier on.

For the Super Kings, left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 17 in his four overs.

After the match, Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh said: “We had almost forgotten how it feels to win a match. It was a tight game and I thought our spinners bowled well, but our fast bowling is still a worry as we went for a lot of runs at the death. Vijay batted extremely well. We all knew that he had the talent and we didn’t want him to change his style of batting.”

Dhoni’s counterpart Anil Kumble said they were at least 20 runs short.

“Perhaps, we missed a spinner, but still, I thought we bowled pretty well. In the end, I thought we ended up short by at least 20 runs. We lost momentum in the middle overs and later, the Super Kings batted well,” Kumble said.