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Royals hold off Chennai challenge
May 24, 2008 21:19 IST
Albie Morkel (71) and Parthiv Patel's (54) half centuries went in vain as Chennai Super Kings lost the plot towards the end to suffer a 10-run defeat against Rajasthan Royals [Images] in the Indian Premier League [Images] match in Chennai on Saturday.
After Graeme Smith [Images] (91) and Kamran Akmal (53) had led the Royals to a huge total of 211 for five, the Super Kings replied by the taking the visiting bowlers by the scruff of their neck.
Suresh Raina, with 45 from 24 balls; (6x4, 2x6), did most of the damage early on.
Super Kings were cruising at 157 for three at the end of 15 overs but failed to get 55 from the last five overs with seven wickets in hand to cement their semi-final berth.
With 14 points from 13 matches, the MS Dhoni-led side will have to win their last match against Deccan Chargers on May 27 in Hyderabad to make the grade.
The home team's run chase began shakily with opener Stephen Fleming [Images] out cheaply for seven in the second over but his partner Parthiv and Raina kept on getting the big runs.
The duo shared a quickfire stand of 70 runs off 41 balls for the second wicket to keep them in the hunt before Morkel woke up from the initial slumber to join the party.
Raina plundered 15 runs out of 19 in the third over off Munaf Patel [Images] and then sent Sohail Tanvir scurrying for cover by taking 14 runs in the fifth over.
With Raina going after the bowlers, Parthiv played second fiddle to great effect before Shane Warne [Images] broke the partnership in his second over and ninth of the home team innings.
Warne lured Raina to play forward and the young batsman misread the turn and lobbed to deep mid wicket where Mohd Kaif made no mistake in taking a clean catch.
Parthiv survived for another six overs and accumulated runs to share a 73-run stand for the third wicket along with Morkel who opened up later in his innings, belting Yusuf Pathan for 15 runs in his third over.
With the team at 157 for 3 at the end of 15 overs, the hosts were in for a chance to tame the Royals.
They needed 47 runs from four overs and Dhoni [Images] hit two fours off Munaf Patel to inch closer to the target only to fall in the 18th over for 12 (8 balls; 2X4), caught by Mohammed Kaif at mid off of a slower delivery from Sohail Tanvir.
In the last over, needing 15 runs to win, Chennai lost Morkel in the penultimate ball of the innings after making 71 (40 balls; 6X4 and 4X6) and Abhinav Mukund run out in the last ball.
Tanvir was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 4-0-33-3 while Warne claimed two wickets for 35.
Morkel was, however, adjudged man of the match for his 71 and and 2 for 35.
Earlier, Graeme Smith led a batting assault with a blistering 51-ball 91 and, backed up by an equally explosive 28-ball 53 by Kamran Akmal, helped table toppers Rajasthan Royals post a huge 211 for 5.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, the rampaging Royals, who brought in four new faces, sent Super Kings bowlers on a leather hunt.
Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar plundered 127 runs for the first wicket, second highest IPL opening stand, from just 67 balls to lay the foundation for a big total.
The duo were in such an attacking mood that they reached 50-run mark in just 4.5 overs and coasted to 100 in 9.4 overs.
The home team had to toil till the 12th over for their first success when Asnodkar was run out for 44 (27 ball; 5X4, 2X6), failing to beat an MS Dhoni-Parthiv Patel combine.
Smith continued in his attacking mode but was unlucky to miss a hundred by nine runs after batting so beautifully.
Smith's superb 91 came off 51 balls with the help of nine fours and a six.
The next two batsmen -- Yusuf Pathan (6) and Mohd. Kaif (10) -- did not contribute much, both falling to Albie Morkel and the run rate dipped as the visitors scored just 44 from the last five overs.
Pakistani Kamran Akmal, who had not done much in the tournament so far, then smashed 53 (28 balls; 3x6; 4x4) to take the score past 200.
Morkel was the most successful Chennai bowler with 2 for 35 while Raina claimed one wicket for 20.