Javinder Singh | cricket20
The Rajasthan Royals hopes of reaching the IPL playoffs suffered a setback after the Chennai Super Kings made light work of the Royals bowling attack to leave the home side facing a run chase of 197.
Murali Vijay played the pivotal role in the Super Kings innings to record a 36 ball half century to help the defending champions record a total of 196-3 on a wicket which favoured the batsman.
Vijay (53) smashed 2 four and 3 sixes to end the innings as the Super Kings top scorer after being dropped by Ajinkya Rahane having only scored 4 runs in the 4th over.
Michael Hussey and Vijay got the Super Kings innings off to a fantastic start thanks to an opening stand of 77 after they had been put into bat by Shane Warne.
The Royals skipper would have hoped to make an early break through, but other than a dropped catch by Rahane which reprieved Vijay the Super Kings openers were never troubled; amassing 55 runs during the opening 6 overs of fielding restrictions.
Hussey led the way with a quick fire 46 which included 8 boundaries before his leg stump was removed by Johan Botha in the 10th over to end an excellent opening stand for the visitors.
Although the home side eventfully made a break through, Warne remained frustrated as Vijay and Suresh Raina kept the Royals at bay with another big partnership of 58 for the Super Kings.
With the bowlers toiling on a batsman friendly wicket, Vijay and Raina could have remained at the crease until the end of the innings, were it not for their casual running between the wickets.
Having survived a number of run out chances their luck finally deserted them in the 15th over when Vijay was run out by Botha who knocked the stumps down from backward point to leave Vijay an inch short having jogged through for a casual single.
Any thoughts Warne had of limiting the Super Kings having dismissed Vijay quickly disappeared with the arrival at the crease of MS Dhoni, who quickly made his mark on the game by dispatching Siddharth Trivedi for a massive six over long on.
Despite losing Raina (43) in the penultimate over Dhoni (41) and Albie Morkel (5) added 17 valuable runs from the last nine deliveries to leave the Royals facing a big run chase.