Morkel, Srikanth heroics give Super Kings four-wicket win

Jaipur, May 11: Chennai Super Kings recorded a crucial four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in a rain interrupted match Thursday, to keep their hopes alive of securing a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Tight bowling and rain interventions at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium helped the Super Kings restrict Rajasthan to 126 for six.

Then while chasing, Super Kings, who needed 47 off the last four overs, rode the heroics of Srikanth Anirudha and Albie Morkel, who struck unbeaten 18 each, to get home safely with 11 balls to spare.

The duo stitched a 43-run partnership off just 11 balls between the two took the Super Kings to 127 for six with 11 balls to spare. The win took Chennai Super Kings to fourth position in the table.

Chasing a meagre target, the visitors lost opener Murali Vijay, who didn’t trouble the scorers, in the first over. Suresh Raina (23) and Michael Hussey (19) had a 35-run stand as they inched towards the target.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10), Dwayne Bravo (10) and Ravindra Jadeja (16) failed to impress as Chennai slumped to 84 for six in the 17th over.

With the situation almost out of control, the turning point came in the 17th over as Pankaj Singh (2-34) gave away 17 runs. The subsequent over by Shane Watson (1-32) leaked 18 runs as Morkel and Srikanth’s heroics gave Chennai an unlikely victory.

The pick of the Rajasthan bowlers was Siddharth Trivedi who took two for 18.

Earlier, Australian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus produced an unplayable spell wherein he took two wickets for eight runs in four overs that dried up the runs for the 2008 champions.

The best opening pair yet in the tournament of Ajinkya Rahane (4) and Rahul Dravid (17) failed to fire this time around.

Watson (5), who scored an unbeaten 90 to give Rajasthan victory over Pune Warriors, was dismissed courtesy Ravichandran Ashwin’s brilliant catch at third man.

Rain proved a thorn in Rajasthan’s flesh as skies opened for the third time. The start- stop innings went nowhere as wickets tumbled. Stuart Binny brought some life into the innings with some lusty blows scoring 27 off 18 balls.

Johan Botha (12) and Brad Hodge (33) tried to do the repair work but could manage only 32 off 41 balls. Ashwin trapped the Australian in front of the stumps just as he started middling the ball.

Ashok Menaria (6 not out) and Dinesh Yagnik (10 not out) did little to cause the bowlers any headache.

IANS