Doug Bollinger's impact upon Chennai Super Kings' 23-run win over Rajasthan Royals here on Saturday can be gauged from these figures: on a wicket where all the other bowlers conceded nearly 13 an over on average, the left arm seamer bagged two wickets for 15 in his four overs.
The Chennai crowd roared its approval when he came back into the attack in the 16th over of the Royals innings, and chanted ‘Bollinger, Bollinger' as he walked up to his mark.
“It's been a while since I've been cheered like that,” said the Sydneysider at the post-match press conference. “I'd like to have them do that every game. It's a great crowd, and a great ground.”
Bollinger's appraisal of his performance was self-effacing. “I just went out there and did what I had to do.”
He was quick to divert attention to Murali Vijay, whose 56-ball 127 propelled Super Kings to the highest total in IPL history. “Vijay just backed his own ability, against guys like Shane Warne and Shaun Tait, who was bowling very quick,” he said.
Royals captain Shane Warne was lavish in his praise for Chennai's two matchwinners, but noted Bollinger's influence on a game of razor-thin margins.
“I'm not being disrespectful to Vijay, who played a special innings, that too an innings full of proper cricket shots, but I think Bollinger's four overs made the difference; I thought 200-210, we'd be in with a chance, but we dropped Albie Morkel a couple of times, and our ground fielding was sloppy. Even so, it's a hell of a chase to get to within 20 runs of 246.”
Royals, with eight points in its bag, will need four wins to ensure a semifinal spot. “We still have five games to go, of which three are at home,”4 said Warne.
“The next game is crucial. We don't want to get into a situation where we need to win four in a row.”