Chennai pip Rajasthan in battle of wits
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals
Player:SK Warne, S Badrinath
Event:Indian Premier League 2009

DateLine: 9th May 2009


Bolstered by good knocks from the orange cap holder Matthew Hayden (48) and Subramaniam Badrinath (59), Chennai Super Kings pulled off a tricky run chase against the Rajasthan Royals. With the win the Chennai outfit are now at the top of the points tally.


During the toss, Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne justified his decision of batting first by pointing out the weakness of the Chennai side in chasing good totals. His counterpart Dhoni said that the Rajasthan batsmen would be under immense pressure to set up the kind of total good enough to challenge the heavy Chennai batting attack. How true was he, as their batting again showed true class and enabled them to finish on top.


Though the down South side lost an early wicket in the form of Murali Vijay LBW to Trivedi, Hayden and Raina (13) took control and added 24 runs for the second wicket. The only little time that the Rajasthan bowlers looked to trouble the Chennai batsman was when Badrinath walked in to bat and the spinners came in tandem. Warne looked unplayable in his first over but then Matthew Hayden took him on and hit him for a six and a four in his next over. Badrinath during all this while was happy playing the second fiddle till Hayden was blazing on all guns. But once Hayden departed he took it on himself and finished the game with more than a over to spare.


Earlier, batting first after winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals were aided by a late effort by Shane Warne and they ended posting a modest total of 140 for the loss of seven wickets. The Chennai bowlers were disciplined and kept a tight leash around the Rajasthan batsmen. Such was the impact of the bowling, that though Swapnil Asnodkar (26) who came in one down after Naman Ojha perished to the very second delivery by Morkel was batting, he could not do anything about the run rate. He played his best innings of the tournament thus far but still was miles away from what he used to do last year.


Graeme Smith also was quite slow and ended up scoring 30 runs in 33 deliveries before being stumped off a spinning Muralitharan delivery. Then Ravindra Jadeja (27) got into the act for a while and though momentum never went with Rajasthan, but still a six and a bounday off consecutive Jakati deliveries did add a little zing to the innings. Post that over another masterstroke by Dhoni ended Jadeja's cameo. He brought Balaji from the other end and Jadeja fell trying to up the run-rate. Yusuf Pathan never got going apart from the one six he hit off Jakati. He fell to the same bowler trying to hoick him over mid-wicket only to be well caught by the tall Jacob Oram inches away from the boundary.


Post that the wickets kept falling and courtesy some good fielding by the Super Kings, Royals continued to panic. Abhishek Raut ran Lee Carseldine out before getting stumped himself and at that stage it looked as if Rajasthan would not even be able to reach closer to 130. But then a quickfire 21 off 11 deliveries by skipper Shane Warne enabled them to reach a total that gave bowlers something to bowl at.


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