Suresh Raina and Murli Vijay combined forces in a brutal manner to help Chennai Super Kings maul a miserable Wayamba by a massive margin of 97 runs. The left-right hand duo of Raina and Vijay smashed 137 runs in their match-winning partnership as Chennai posted exactly 200 for the loss of three wickets.
In reply, even the entire Wayamba side could not the partnership as they succumbed to 103 all out. None of the batsmen from the Lankan side could make any sort of an impact on a pitch that had nothing extraordinary for the bowlers. Still, the pressure of runs was just too much for them to handle. It has to be said though that it was poor bowling from Wayamba that let them down.
The bowling was totally wayward – short, full or on an easily driving length. And to their credit, Raina and Vijay took the best possible advantage for it. On this day, everything went Vijay’s way. And so, he brought out those delectable flicks, soothing drives and controlled pulls with utmost success. At the other end, the veteran Australian Matthew Hayden was struggling to time the ball. But Vijay ensured that the scoring rate wasn’t affected drastically. And once Hayden fell, Raina and Vijay launched their gregarious assault.
The mediocrity of the Wayamba attack enabled Vijay to move around in the crease and picks the gaps at ease and, at other times, clear the field. twenty three runs were leaked in the fifth over, bowled by Chanaka Welegedara. And the smashing paid did not look back after that. Every time it looked that one was dominating the bowling attack, the other would could come out with something equally impressive, or even better. And the Wayamba bowlers had no clue at all how to stop the rut.
Some of Raina’s memorable strokes included an inside-out hit six off Thisara Perera to start off with. As spin and medium pace was introduced, he swept, drove and lofted them with consummate ease. Once India’s biggest nemesis, Ajantha Mendis was hoicked for four biggies in the same direction even though the lengths of all the deliveries were different. The crowds were enjoying the barrage, while, at the same time, searching for cover. Wayamba pulled things back to an extent when Vijay and Raina fell off consecutive deliveries and a possible score of 220 was kept down to 200. Still, it was going to be a hugely challenging chase.
As it turned out, the Wayamba batsmen had nothing to offer in the form of resistance. For them to have a chance, Mahela Jayawardene needed to come up with a chanceless knock. Unfortunately for the Lankan side, he perished as early as the fourth over, cutting Doug Bollinger to Muttiah Muralitharan. The rest followed suit, as if the perfect example had been set.
The Chennai bowlers helped themselves to some impressive figures – off spinner R Ashwin grabbing four wickets and deserving each one of them as well. Home boy Albie Morkel also made his presence felt. While he did not have much to do with the bat thanks to Raina and Vijay, he chipped in with three wickets, to break the back of Wayamba’s chase. It was just all too easy for the IPL champions.
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