Rajasthan edge out Super Kings in a high scoring thriller
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 26th May 2008
In the first match of the day, the Rajasthan Royals took on the Chennai Super Kings. Having already qualified for the semi-finals, Shane Warne made four changes to his team, Trivedi, Rawat, Watson and Jadeja were rested and Taruvar Kohli, Dinesh Salunkhe, Kamran Akmal, and Pankaj Singh played in place of the. For the Super Kings S. Vidyut went out and was replaced by Abhinav Mukund.
A win would have taken the Chennai Super Kings to the semi-finals; instead they were left ruing the missed opportunity in the match against the Royal Challengers.
Shane Warne decided to field first after winning the toss, and his team piled up a mammoth 211/5 in their twenty overs, thanks to a wonderfully attacking inning of 91 by Graeme Smith (in 51 balls), which was propped up by the new wicket keeper of the day, Kamran Akmal, who scored his first 50 of the IPL – 53 in 28 deliveries. Albie Morkel did pick up a couple of wickets, but the rest of the bowlers went for aplenty, with the biggest disappointment in the form of Makhaya Ntini and L. Balaji, wh both went for more than 10 per over. Muralitharan also failed to pick up an wickets and that was the sad story of the Chennai bowling.
In reply, Chennai lost Fleming early, but first Parthiv Patel and Suresh Raina, and then Patel and Morkel took the attack to the opposition to sit pretty at 157/3 in 15 overs. A win looked like a distinct possibility at this stage, when some tight bowling by youngster Pankaj Singh, and then some clam nerves under pressure by Sohail Tanvir saw the target climb to 15 runs in the last over. Unfortunately, Morkel did not get too much strike, the momentum was gone off his batting, and they could score only four runs! Tanvir ended with three wickets, where as Warne himself took two.
Now, Chennai need to win their last match against the Deccan Chargers to get through to the semi-finals. A loss to the Chargers could mean the end of the road for the Super Kings, if the Mumbai Indians win even win match.