Nothing to cheer for Super Kings (Lead)

May 5th, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by admin  

Jaipur, May 5 (IANS) When the Chennai Super Kings landed in Jaipur for their sixth game of the IPL, they were considered to be the favourites against hosts Rajasthan Royals. But barely a minute after the first ball was bowled it became evident that nothing was working for M.S. Dhoni and his brigade, who ultimately lost the match by eight wickets.

The first to disappear from the field were the Chennai cheergirls. Incensed by the leering Jaipur crowds, the girls left the field in a huff minutes after the game began, leaving the Sawai Man Singh Stadium open for celebrations by the 25,000 screaming supporters of the Royals.

But even if the Chennai girls had remained on the field, they would have had almost nothing to cheer about.

From the very first ball of the match, when Royals’ speedster Sohail Tanvir removed opener Parthiv Patel, Chennai appeared to be lambs to the slaughter.

Tanvir struck six times in the game for just 14 runs, in the process bundling out Chennai for 109, the lowest so far in the IPL.

Tanvir swung the ball prodigiously in his first two overs, prompting his captain Shane Warne to introduce three slips and a gully - a rarity in Twenty20.

The only time Chennai seemed to be in control was when Suresh Raina and Albie Morkel strung together a partnership of 44 runs for the sixth wicket.

Morkel hit the sole six for Chennai off Warne on the fourth ball of the eleventh over. In the same over, he swept Warne for two fours through square-leg.

But Warne again brought back Tanvir for what turned out to be the decisive period of play. Tanvir uprooted Morkel’s off stump off the very first ball and then removed Muttiah Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini to wrap up the Chennai innings.

The paltry score was never a challenge for the Royals, who chased down the target in 14.2 overs.

The Royals have now won five out of their six matches, putting them on top of the points table. Suddenly, they have become the team to beat, discarding the tag of underdogs that was stuck to them before the series began.

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