Thursday 12 April 2012 

IPL 2012: Chennai Pull Off Great Escape To Beat Bangalore

IPL 2012: Chennai Pull Off Great Escape To Beat Bangalore
IPL 2012: Chennai Pull Off Great Escape To Beat Bangalore
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Chennai Super Kings 208-5 (du Plessis 71) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 205-8 by five wickets
Indian Premier League, Chennai

Ravindra Jadeja hit the last ball for four to seal a remarkable five-wicket victory for the Chennai Super Kings over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the latest Indian Premier League 2012 game that went down to the wire.

Chasing a stiff target after Bangalore posted 205 for eight, Chennai took 28 runs from the penultimate over but were still left with work to do although Jadeja kept his nerve to hand the reigning champions their first win in three matches in front of their home fans.

Chris Gayle had earlier hit 68 and Kohli - the man who bowled the crucial 39th over of the day - 57 to guide the Challengers to the highest score in the tournament to date.

That record lasted all of 90 minutes as contributions from Faf du Plessis (71), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) and Albie Morkel (28) steered Chennai towards victory.

Dwayne Bravo's unbeaten 25 in 15 balls was also crucial while Morkel faced just seven balls, tearing into Kohli, whose earlier innings counted for little.

He and Gayle had reached a century partnership in just 61 deliveries and Gayle thumped the quickest half-century of the tournament, blasting two fours and six sixes.

His opening partner Mayank Agarwal had given him excellent support, hitting 45 in 26 balls before he was dismissed by Morkel.

Once Gayle and Kohli were out, however, the Challengers went into freefall, losing seven wickets in the last four overs and five in seven balls at the death.

Doug Bollinger took all three of his wickets in the final over before Ranganath Vinay Kumar hit the last ball for six to push the score past 200.

Murali Vijay (11) fell cheaply in reply but du Plessis, who faced 46 balls, and Suresh Raina, who scored 23 in 14, steadied the ship.

After Raina fell, Dhoni came in up the order and faced 24 balls, hitting a four and a six while du Plessis cracked five fours and four sixes.

Three wickets from Muttiah Muralitharan appeared to have done enough for the Challengers, but with Gayle off the field with an injury, captain Daniel Vettori needed his part-timers to bowl four overs.

As Raju Bhatkal had leaked 35 in two overs, he turned to Kohli for the penultimate over and it turned out to be a move which backfired badly.

Nevertheless, when Morkel was caught by Agarwal as Kumar started the final over well, Chennai still needed nine from four to win. A six and a four from Bravo eased the pressure, Kumar fought back to take the game to the last ball but Jadeja managed to get the final ball to third man to seal the win.

© Cricket World 2012