Chennai: Murali Vijay played a belligerent knock of 78 off just 39 balls to help Chennai Super Kings beat in-form Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets.
Vijay scored his first IPL fifty as he showed his hitting prowess against RCB bowlers. He completed his fifty off just 29 balls with three fours and three huge sixes. He finally departed for a brutal 78 off just 39 balls off Pietersen.
Vijay, an otherwise technically correct batsman, made his transition into a superb T20 player by playing shots which were cultural as well as effective. His domination was on display as he slammed 6 sixes during his marvelous knock.
Though Vijay made hay under the scorching Chennai sun, Matthew Hayden’s poor run with the bat continued as RCB captain Anil Kumble foxed him for 13. Hayden put on a 61-run opening stand with Vijay that set the tone of their chase.
After Vijay’s departure, captain MS Dhoni tried to take them to victory with Suresh Raina. At a time when Chennai were all set to win the match, captain cool MS Dhoni departed for only 14 off paceman Dale Steyn.
Suresh Raina, however, kept his cool and carried the Chennai innings on his broad shoulders with an intelligent 44. Raina’s 44 came off just 35 balls with 3 fours and 1 sixes. Though they lost couple of wickets at the end, Raina prevented any further damage by the RCB bowlers, thus giving RCB a much needed victory in IPL-III.
Chasing 162 for victory, Chennai Super Kings openers-Murli Vijay and Matthew Hayden-started their innings superbly as they cross 50-run mark in the 6th over.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis’s superb IPL form continued as he helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post a competitive 161/4 against Chennai Super Kings after electing to bat first.
Like always, Kallis (52) built his innings with caution in the beginning but once he got himself set and took his team to a safe position, he clobbered some fierce hits to the fence.
But he got out immediately after slamming his fifty leaving the onus on Kevin Pietersen (21 not out) and Cameroon White (21 not out) to do the hitting jobs in the end overs. They put on 48-run stand off just 35 balls to help their team post over 160 runs.
For Chennai, left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 2 wickets, giving away just 17 runs.
Virat Kohli also played yet another good innings of 34 off just 24 balls to prevent CSK making any inroads into RCB innings. Kohli and Kallis put on 63-run stand to give their team a solid foundation to put up a big score again.
In-form Jacques Kallis again took the onus on himself to anchor RCB innings with a circumspect innings. Kallis, in company of Virat Kohli, played yet another knock to help RCB cross hundred-run mark in 13th over.
Uthappa was playing well for his 21 but he tried to hit left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati out of the park which safely landed at the hands of MS Gony at deep mid-wicket. Uthappa’s knock consisted of 2 sixes and a four.
Thilan Thushara drew the first blood for Chennai Super Kings as he sent back Manish Pandey in his very first over. Pandey made only 7 in his short stay at the crease.
For today’s match, RCB decided to axe Mark Boucher and Eoin Morgan from their playing XI and brought in English batsman Kevin Pietersen and Oz all-rounder Cameron White in their places.
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Matthew Hayden, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, MS Dhoni(w/c), Albie Morkel, Thilan Thushara, Shadab Jakati, Chandrasekar Ganapathy, Muttiah Muralitharan, Manpreet Gony
Bangalore Royal Challengers (Playing XI): Jacques Kallis, Manish Pandey, Kevin Pietersen, Robin Uthappa(w), Virat Kohli, Cameron White, Rahul Dravid, Praveen Kumar, Dale Steyn, Vinay Kumar, Anil Kumble(c)