Morkel, Anirudha stun Rajasthan
Albie Morkel and Srikkanth Anirudha blasted 43 from a mere 14 balls as the Chennai Super Kings stunned the Rajasthan Royals with a six-wicket victory in their Indian Premier League match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday.
Both men struck 18 apiece from six deliveries, including two sixes and a four each, to help the visitors come back from the dead and seal an astonishing win with 11 balls to spare..
When Morkel walked to the crease, 47 were needed from the last four overs in pursuit of 127 with all the recognised batsmen having come and gone.
The Proteas allrounder plundered his first four balls for 17, before Anirudha took over when he took a liking to Shane Watson to leave the home crowd in silence.
Earlier, Siddharth Trivedi (2-18) was the pick of the bowlers as Chennai stuttered on a wicket that offered plenty of assistance for the bowlers.
The Super Kings had Ben Hilfenhaus to thank after his incredible spell restricted the Royals to 126 for six.
The Australia seamer ended with the immaculate figures of 4-0-8-2 after bowling through at the start of the innings, with his burst including some superb swing bowling that outfoxed the home side’s top order.
Hilfenhaus was given good support by Yo Mahesh (2-21), while Brad Hodge’s 33 off 28 deliveries was the best effort for the Royals in an innings that included several rain interruptions after a 55-minute delayed start.
Chennai were pegged back immediately as they began the chase with Watson bowling Murali Vijay (nought) in the first over.
But top-scorer Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey put on 35 together over the next five overs, before Pankaj Singh drew a needless stroke out of the former that was skied to Ajinkya Rahane for 23 off 17.
The game was still well poised at that stage – the visitors on 36/2 – and their battle to score freely continued with the 50 coming at the halfway stage of the innings.
But the in batsmen Hussey (19) and Dwayne Bravo (10) fell within the space of five deliveries.
Stuart Binny held on to a high catch at deep square-leg off Trivedi to dislodge the West Indian, while Aussie Hussey was run out after a horrible mix-up with Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Shaun Tait throwing down the stumps with a direct hit.
There were 50 required from the last five overs, but a splendid 16th over from Trivedi went for just three and also saw the end of Dhoni, caught at point off Rahane for 10.
Pankaj Singh then removed Ravindra Jadeja (16), caught by Botha at long-off, although the over went for an expensive 17.
Watson went for 18 in the next over, before Anirudha dispatched the first ball of the 19th over for six, was bowled off a no-ball by Tait, who then sent the third ball for five wides as Chennai kept alive their play-off chances.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS – Rahul Dravid (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Ashok Menaria, Ankeet Chavan, Johan Botha, Stuart Binny, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Albie Morkel, Srikkanth Anirudha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yo Mahesh, Ben Hilfenhaus.