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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Morkel's late assault steers CSK past RCB

Morkel's late assault steers CSK past RCB

April 12, 2012 20:37 IST

Albie Morkel turned the game on its head with some late lusty hitting as Chennai Super Kings snatched a sensational five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore off the last ball, in Chennai, on Thursday.

Chasing a stiff 206 for victory, Morkel blasted three sixes and two fours off the penultimate over, bowled by Virat Kohli, before the hosts overhauled the target off the last ball to record the second highest run-chase in IPL history.

- Scorecard

Faf du plessis (71) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) were the other notable scorers for Chennai, who got their campaign back on track after two successive defeats.

The complexion of the game changed in the 19th over as Morkel racked up 28 runs, leaving 15 needed in the last over.

He perished to the second ball of the last over, bowled by Vinay Kumar, but Dwayne Bravo (25) did the star turn, taking the team to the victory in the tense dying moments of the cliffhanger.

Albie MorkelWith two runs needed off the last delivery, Ravindra Jadeja edged the ball to the boundary to send the home crowd into a frenzy and trigger wild celebrations in the Chennai dug-out.

It was a remarkable come-from-behind victory for Chennai, who looked down and out at one stage. RCB skipper Daniel Vettori's gamble to give Kohli the 19th over backfired in a big way.

Earlier, Chris Gayle hit a blistering 68 and shared a 109-run stand with Kohli (57) to power Royal Challengers to a mammoth 205 for eight.

From the start of the chase, Chennai tried to make a match of it with Fa du Plessis (71, 46b, 5x4, 4x6), Suresh Raina (23, 14b, 3x4, 1x6), and then captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (40, 24b, 1x4, 2x6) playing valuable knocks.

But their efforts appeared to have fallen short as Muttiah Muralitharan provided crucial breakthroughs.

After a breathtaking diving return catch to send back Murali Vijay (11) in his first over, Muralitharan dismissed Fa du Plessis and then Raina just as the two were shaping well for a big score.

Dhoni, who promoted himself to number 4, started to strike the ball well, but with the asking rate climbing, the target always looked near impossible.

But Morkel, who came at the fall of Dhoni's wicket in the 19th over, turned the match completely.

Chennai began the chase on a steady note with du Plessis playing a dominating role. The South African signalled his intent with a fluent cover drive off pacer Zaheer Khan and struck two more in his next over.

Vettori's introduction of Raju Bhatkal in the fifth over also proved to be too costly as du Plessis hit a six and four off the first two deliveries before finishing the over with another maximum hit.

However, veteran Sri Lankan off-spinner Muralitharan provided the breakthrough with a stunning return catch to dismiss Vijay in the seventh over.

Muralitharan, who is set to turn 40 in five days, showed his agility in diving full length to his right to take the low catch. His fall brought Raina to the crease and he straightway went for runs as du Plessis reached a well-deserving 50 off 32 balls, with five fours and two sixes.

Raina joined the party, first hooking Vinay Kumar for a six and then dispatching the ball to the fence, before Muralitharan struck again.

Du plessis also perished soon with Muralitharan again providing the vital blow.

Earlier, Gayle's explosive innings resulted in Bangalore scoring the highest score thus far in the current edition of the tournament.

The Chennai bowlers had no clue how to stop Gayle as the 'Caribbean marauder' clobbered them all over the park with six sixes and two fours in his 35-ball knock.

Kohli sensibly played second fiddle to Gayle for a 46-ball 57, which was laced with five fours and two sixes.

Pacer Doug Bollinger was the most successful bowler for Chennai with three wickets, all coming in the last over when he dismissed Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Raju Bhatkal (0).

Bangalore lost four wickets in the final over and scored just seven runs, including a last-ball six.

The platform for the big score was set by Mayank Agarwal, who scored 45 off 26 balls, benefiting from a dropped chance in the third over off spinner R Ashwin.

Bollinger dropped a sitter at the square leg boundary as he took eyes off the ball and let Agarwal, who was on 16 at that time, score some quick runs.

Agarwal mostly played lofted straight drives that also fetched him a six off Bollinger.

It was Agarwal all over as he hit five fours and three sixes and Gayle could face just five balls in the first five overs.

First change Morkel finally sent back Agarwal when the Indian miscued a pull off a not-so-short ball.

The run-rate dipped a bit after the wicket but Gayle brought the momentum back by welcoming Raina with three huge sixes in the ninth over.

Bangalore were 96 for one in 10 overs.

Kohli supported Gayle from the other end and did succeed in finding the odd boundary. Their partnership for the second wicket yielded 109 runs.

Gayle raced to his half-century with two consecutive sixes off Shadab Jakati and in just 27 balls.

It just followed a monstrous hit off Dwayne Bravo as Gayle hammered one off his fellow-Caribbean out of the park.

Jadeja finally dismissed Gayle, having him caught by Bravo. The visitors lost wickets in a heap in the death overs when they went for big shots.

Photograph: Reuters

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