Chennai Super Kings recorded a 23-run win over Rajasthan Royals at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Saturday after Murali Vijay (127, 56b, 8x4, 11x6) powered it to a record IPL score of 246 in the first innings.
Vijay associated with Albie Morkel (62, 34b, 3x4, 5x6) for 152 runs in 11 overs in a third-wicket stand, the second-highest partnership in IPL history, behind the unbroken 155 set by Adam Gilchrist and V.V.S. Laxman for Deccan Chargers against Mumbai Indians in 2008.
The victory swelled Chennai's points tally to eight and kept its hopes of a semifinal spot alive.
Naman Ojha's unbeaten 94 enabled Royals to make a fight of the chase, but it fell short as a relentless asking rate spiralled beyond control towards the end, leading to a flurry of wickets.
IPL debutant Doug Bollinger bowled four overs for just 15 runs, claiming two wickets in Chennai's winning cause.
Good knock by Hayden
Earlier, Vijay propelled Chennai to 50 in five overs in the company of Matthew Hayden after M.S. Dhoni elected to bat. Hayden (34, 21b, 5x4, 1x6) plundered three successive boundaries off left-arm seamer Shrikant Wagh in the sixth over, before chasing a wide half-volley to short cover.
Warne lured Suresh Raina into a horrendous shot, the southpaw slashing a wide one to Shaun Tait at backward point. Although the Royals' skipper called on seven bowlers in the first 10 overs, nothing stemmed the flow of hits as Chennai raced to 91 for two.
Vijay brought up his fifty in 30 balls with a six off Warne. In Shaun Tait's third over, a savage pull went whizzing out of the stadium. The 16th over, bowled by Sumit Narwal, cost Royals 26 as Morkel and Vijay smoked two sixes apiece.
The South African all-rounder reached fifty in 26 balls, while Vijay brought up his hundred in 46 with a boundary off Watson.
Vijay's century was the third by an Indian in the IPL after Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan, and the 10th overall.
The carnage in the last 10 overs yielded Chennai 155 runs.
Chasing 246, Michael Lumb (37, 26b, 6x4, 1x6) and Naman Ojha got Royals off to a perfect start, compiling 69 in 7.2 overs, before the Englishman hit Morkel to S. Anirudha at deep cover. Three balls later, Bollinger held new man Yusuf Pathan at long on after hopping out of and back into the playing area.
Rajasthan reached 105 for two in 10 overs as Ojha and Shane Watson got together for 97 runs in 7.1 overs. Ojha got reached 50 in 30 balls while Watson, dropped on 33 by Anirudha, got to fifty in 21 with a soaring six off Muralitharan.
Two more maximums in the same over took Royals to 175 for two in the 15th. Royals was 72 adrift when Bollinger returned to bowl the 16th over and castled Watson for 60 with a slow off-cutter. Thirty-nine were needed off the last two overs, but Bollinger conceded just four runs in the 19th over, practically deciding the match in Chennai's favour.
Vijay was declared the Man-of-the-Match.
Chennai Super Kings: M. Vijay c Fazal b Watson 127 (56b, 8x4, 11x6), M. Hayden c Watson b Wagh 34 (21b, 5x4, 1x6), S. Raina c Tait b Warne 13 (7b, 2x4), A. Morkel (run out) 62 (34b, 3x4, 5x6), M.S. Dhoni c Narwal b Watson 0 (1b), S. Badrinath (not out) 4 (1b, 1x4), S. Anirudha (not out) 0 (0b), Extras (b-4, w-2): 6; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs) 246.
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-83, 3-235, 4-241, 5-241.
Rajasthan bowling: Pathan 4-0-44-0, Narwal 2-0-41-0, Tait 4-0-44-0, Watson 4-0-47-2, Wagh 1-0-16-0, Warne 3-0-32-1, Jhunjhunwala 2-0-18-0.
Rajasthan Royals: M. Lumb c Anirudha b Morkel 37 (26b, 6x4, 1x6), N. Ojha (not out) 94 (55b, 8x4, 6x6), Y. Pathan c Bollinger b Morkel 4 (2b, 1x4), S. Watson b Bollinger 60 (25b, 5x4, 5x6), F. Fazal c Anirudha b Muralitharan 4 (5b), A. Jhunjhunwala c Raina b Bollinger 7 (4b, 1x6), A. Raut (not out) 2 (4b), Extras (b-4, lb-6, w-4, nb-1): 15; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs) 223.
Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-80, 3-177, 4-192, 5-210.
Chennai bowling: Morkel 4-0-56-2, Bollinger 4-0-15-2, Tyagi 4-0-45-0, Muralitharan 4-0-52-1, Jakati 3-0-37-0, Raina 1-0-8-0.