Monday 9 May 2011 

Chennai Super Kings Put Dent In Royals Hopes

Chennai Super Kings Put Dent In Royals Hopes
Chennai Super Kings Put Dent In Royals Hopes
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Chennai Super Kings 196-3 (Vijay 53) beat
Rajasthan Royals 133 (Rahane 52) by 63 runs
Indian Premier League 2011, Jaipur

Chennai Super Kings claimed a strong victory at Jaipur, beating Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2011 by 63 runs. It was the highest margin of defeat at home for the Royals and severely dents their hopes of a top four finish. Chennai meanwhile climbed to second spot, though are equal on points with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Chennai got off to their strongest start yet in the IPL, as Murali Vijay defied his poor run of scores. Along with Michael Hussey he put on 77 runs for the first wicket, the fifty run mark coming in the sixth over. Hussey made 46 runs off 30 balls, including eight fours.

But even so, Vijay was the stronger partner as he made his way to another half century. He scored 53 runs off 40 balls, with two fours and three sixes, although he was first out in the 10th over. Vijay was then joined by Suresh Raina and the second-wicket partnership was worth 58 runs.It set them up for a huge score for it was only the 15th over when Vijay got out.

It brought out skipper MS Dhoni to the crease and Chennai then belied the slow, low nature of the pitch to put the match beyond the home team’s reach. Dhoni was belligerent in his 19-ball stay, making 41 runs off three fours and three sixes, looking his best in the season so far. On the other end, Raina fell four runs short of his half century. He was out for 46 in the 19th over as they eventually finished at 196 for four in twenty overs.

Rajasthan were under tremendous pressure from the word go and needed something alike Chennai’s first wicket partnership. Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson were the best men for the job but they couldn’t get going on the night. By the sixth over, both of them were back in the hut with the scorecard reading 48 for two. The biggest blows came when the third and fourth wickets fell even quicker. Ross Taylor, their big hope beyond the openers, was out for six and they were reduced to 70 for four in the tenth over.

Ajinkya Rahane was the lone fighter with a half century coming in at number three. He scored 52 runs off only 36 balls, including seven boundaries, but lacked any support whatsoever from the rest of the batting line-up. It could be seen from the fact that the second best score was of Dravid, who made 20, and was out before Rahane came to the crease.

Eventually Rajasthan were bowled out for 133 in the 20th over, a defeat that puts their last game at home against Royal Challengers Bangalore, two days later, in perspective.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011