Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chennai Wins - Murali vijay shines

Opener Murali Vijay's dazzling century steered the record-breaking Chennai to a commanding 23-run victory over Jaipur.
Vijay, relishing his opening batsman role, smashed a terrific 127 which, along with a solid 62 from Albie Morkel and 34 from Matthew Hayden, took Chennai to a massive 246 for five - the highest total ever recorded in the IPL.

Shane Watson (60) and Naman Ojha (94 not out) replied well, but Jaipur were restricted to 223 for five.

Vijay had put his team in command from the outset, smashing Yusuf Pathan for a boundary in the first over and hitting Sumit Narwal, who shared the new ball, for a six and two boundaries off consecutive deliveries.

Chennai were soon blazing from both ends as Hayden too launched a ferocious attack, the former Australia opener smashing five boundaries and a six during his brief stay.

The opening partnership yielded 62, Hayden falling off the penultimate delivery of the power play, and Chennai then suffered perhaps their only blip - the dismissal of Suresh Raina for 13 shortly later.

However, Jaipur bowlers - including Shane Warne who conceded 32 from three overs - were largely ineffective and Vijay continued to bludgeon and blast.

Morkel kept the tempo up with mighty blows of his own and together the duo added 152 in 11 overs, Vijay going past the century mark for the first time in the IPL and Morkel reaching a half-century off only 26 deliveries.

Both batsmen fell in the final over, but Jaipur were already confronted with a massive target.

Jaipur, however, have never lacked courage and openers Michael Lumb (37) and Ojha gave spirited chase, helping the innings start well and leaving the visitors nicely placed at 62 without loss at the end of the powerplay.

Lumb, however, fell in the eighth over and Jaipur's trump card, Yusuf, was brilliantly caught on the long-on boundary by debutant Doug Bollinger two deliveries later, leaving the visitors in deep trouble.

Watson, playing his first match this season, joined Ojha and gave the Royals a glimmer of hope as he helped add 97 for the third wicket.

Jaipur were left needing 72 from the last five overs, but Watson was bowled by Bollinger at the start of the 16th and Chennai were back in control.

Bollinger was easily the best bowler on either side, finishing with two for 15 from his four overs.

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