Murali Vijay’s 127 from 56 balls powered the Chennai Super Kings to an IPL record 246-5 which proved 23 too many for the Rajasthan Royals.
The highest scoring match in IPL history went down to the final overs: Rajasthan’s response threatened to explode with Shane Watson (60 from 25) and Naman Ohja (94* from 55) carving the Chennai bowlers in the same vain as Vijay. However, where Rajasthan lost wickets at crucial junctures, Chennai held true or were gifted reprieves though poor fielding.
After collecting 91-22 in the first ten overs Chennai bolted, running in 155 in the final ten, and 76 in the final five. Vijay and Albie Morkel set a record for the tournament’s highest partnership; their 152-run pairing ultimately taking the game from Rajasthan.
Early on Sumit Narwal was walloped by Vijay, whilst Matthew Hayden once again capitulated after a promising start; caught driving sloppily through the covers for 34, passing 1000 IPL runs in the process. After the dismissal of Suresh Raina, again falling to Shane Warne, Morkel found his form with a six off Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and together with a rampant Vijay, plundered a hopeful Warne for repeated sixes, including the boundary that brought up 50 for Vijay.
This was the beginning of the end for Rajasthan, no bowler reigning in the rampant willow wielders the way Doug Bollinger would for the Super Kings, as Morkel and Vijay plundered the impotent attack. A full ball blasted down the ground took Vijay to three figures from just 46 balls.
The wickets of Morkel, Vijay and MS Dhoni in the final over were too late to provide respite to Warne’s men; Vijay finishing with 11 sixes and eight fours, and Morkel 62 from 34 (five sixes and three fours).
The Chennai bowlers recieved much the same treatment, with the exception of Bollinger who, in his IPL debut, conceded only 3 runs from his first two overs, and fifteen from his four, taking the scalps of a belligerent Watson and Jhunjhunwala.
Rajasthan batted out of their skins, mirroring the innings of Chennai: Michael Lumb falling in the same vein as Hayden, holing out on the point boundary for 37 (from 26), whilst Yusuf Pathan was equally as brief at the crease as Raina.
But with Watson and Ojha the backbone of the Royals’ response, the visitors managed to supersede the Chennai run-rate until the fourteenth over (equal at 151-2), where the brutality of Vijay’s innings became apparent. One felt that if Watson hadn’t fallen to Bollinger in the sixteenth, the crowd could have been in for a closer finish.
The win for Chennai pushes them to fourth and further congests the middle of the IPL points table, and makes the race for places in the top four a tight one.
Chennai 246-5 (20 overs)
Murali Vijay 127, Albie Morkel 62, Shane Watson 2-47
Rajasthan 223-5 (20 overs)
Naman Ojha 94*, Shane Watson 60, Doug Bollinger 2-15
Chennai won by 24 runs
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