Chennai Super Kings 127-6 (Raina 23) beat
Rajasthan Royals 126-6 (Hodge 33) by four wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Jaipur
Albie Morkel and Anirudha Srikkanth smashed 43 in 12 balls to help Chennai Super Kings score an unlikely four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2012.
A rain-affected game 56 looked to be heading Rajasthan's way as they put up a spirited defence of 126 for six but Chennai moved up to fourth thanks to a match-winning seventh-wicket partnership.
Both Morkel and Srikkanth scored 18 not out in six balls to condemn Rajasthan to their first defeat in three and leave them in sixth place as the battle for the play-offs shows no sign of abating.
Chennai won the toss and chose to field and managed to bowl one ball before the first rain interruption of the day. After the players returned, Ben Hilfenhaus nipped out Rahul Dravid (4) and Shane Watson (5), conditions suiting his game perfectly as he got the ball to seam and swing.
Ajinkya Rahane made 17 and Stuart Binny 27 in 18 balls but the pair were separated when Rahane was caught by Ravichandran Ashwin off Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh, who went on to remove Binny, who was caught by Suresh Raina.
Brad Hodge counter-attacked for the home side, making 33 in 28 balls before he was dropped by Anirudha Srikkanth and although he hit the next ball for six, he was on his way soon after when Ashwin had him trapped in front.
Johan Botha was next go, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja before Ashok Menaria (6 not out) and Dishant Yagnik (10 not out) struck a few lusty blows but Rajasthan still closed on their lowest score of the 2012 competition.
An excellent performance in the field from Chennai saw Hilfenhaus return two for eight and Yo Mahesh two for 21.
The bowlers were on top early when Chennai came to bat as Shane Watson got one to creep past the defences of Murali Vijay (0) and clip the off stump to leave the Super Kings at one for one at the end of the first over.
Left-handers Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey set about repairing the situation, with Raina unleashing some excellent drives through the off side and some equally effective pull shots. His fine knock of 23 in 17 balls came to an end when he was caught by Rahane off Pankaj Singh but at 49 for two when the strategy break was taken after nine overs, they were looking well set.
However, Rajasthan hit back as Shaun Tait ran out Hussey for 19 and Dwayne Bravo was caught by Binny off Siddharth Trivedi for ten.
In a huge blow to Chennai's chances, Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell for the same score when he slashed Trivedi to Rahane and two balls later, Jadeja was on his way, driving Singh straight to Botha at long off, leaving two batsmen yet to face a ball in Albie Morkel and Srikkanth at the crease.
Morkel blasted Singh for a six and a four in consecutive deliveries to leave the visitors needing 30 to win in 18 balls and kept himself on strike. Another six off Watson followed and Srikkanth repeated the trick as the balance of the game changed yet again.
Srikkanth hit Watson for four through point and then got underneath a Tait yorker to blast another six and although Tait broke his stumps with his next delivery, he had overstepped and no ball was called.
From the free hit, Tait delivered a dreadful delivery which sailed down the leg side, beating the batsman and wicket-keeper and Rajasthan ceded the game with five wides.
Srikkanth and Morkel finished with identical innings of 18 in six balls and both men hit a four and two sixes apiece to win the game for the reigning champion.
© Cricket World 2012