It's another last-ball thriller as Chennai reigns supreme at home
Ravindra Jadeja's hit the all-important boundary off the last delivery as Chennai Super Kings snatched a sensational five-wicket last-ball victory off the very last ball against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a dramatic IPL match here today.
But it was Albie Morkel who turned the game on its head with some lusty hits. Chasing a stiff 206, Morkel blasted three sixes and two fours off the penultimate over bowled by Virat Kohli as the hosts overhauled the target off the last ball to record the second highest run-chase in IPL history.
Faf du Plessis (71) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) were the other notable scorers for Chennai who have now got their campaign back on track after two successive defeats.
The home team turned the complexion of the game in the 19th over with Morkel racking up 28 runs to leave the home team needing 15 runs from the last over.
Morkel perished in the second ball of the last over bowled by Vinay Kumar but Dwayne Bravo (25) held his nerve and took the team to the victory in the tense dying moments of the cliffhanger.
With two runs needed off the last ball, Ravindra Jadega edged the ball to the boundary to send the home crowd in a frenzy and trigger wild celebrations in the Chennai dug-out.
It was a remarkable come from behind victory for Chennai, who looked down and out at one stage but RCB skipper Daniel Vettori's gamble to give Kohli the 19th over backfired in a big way.
From the start of the chase, Chennai tried to make a match of it with Fa du Plessis (71, 46b, 5x4, 4x6) and Suresh Raina (23, 14b, 3x4, 1x6), and then captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (40, 24b, 1x4, 2x6) playing valuable knocks.
But their efforts appeared to have fallen short as Muttiah Muralitharan provided crucial breakthroughs at the right times.
After a breathtaking diving return catch to send back Murali Vijay (11) in his first over, Muralitharan dismissed Fa du Plessis and then Raina just as the two were shaping well for a big score. Vijay's dismissal was a thing of beauty as Muralitharan, who is set to turn 40 in five days, showed his agility in diving full length to his right to take the low return catch.
Dhoni, who promoted himself to number 4, started to strike the ball well but with the asking rate climbing up, the target always looked near impossible.
But Morkel, who came at the fall of Dhoni's wicket in the 19th over, turned the match completely.
Earlier, Chris Gayle hit a blistering 68 and shared a 109-run stand with Virat Kohli (57) to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a mammoth 205 for eight.
Gayle's explosive innings resulted in Bangalore scoring the highest score so far in the current edition.
Chennai bowlers had no clue on how to stop Gayle as the Caribbean marauder clobbered them all over the park with six sixes and two fours in his 35-ball knock.
Kohli played second fiddle to Gayle for his 46-ball knock, which was laced with five fours and two sixes.
Paceman Dough Bollinger was the most successful bowler for Chennai with three wickets, all of them coming in the last over when he dismissed Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Raju Bhatkal (0).
In all, Bangalore lost four wickets in the final over and scored just seven runs, including a last-ball six.
Opener Mayank Agarwal, who made 45 off 26 balls, also played a majour role in setting up the formidable total as he took advantage of a dropped chance in the third over off tweaker R Ashwin. Bollinger dropped a sitter at square leg boundary as he took eyes off the ball and let Agarwal, who was on 16 at that time, score some quick runs. And though Gayle was at the other end, it was the Agarwal show initially as he hit five fours and three sixes, even as the West Indian faced just five balls in the first five overs.
Gayle raced to his half-century with two consecutive sixes off Shadab Jakati, off just 27 balls -- the fastest this season.
It just followed a monstrous hit off Dwayne Bravo as Gayle hammered one off fellow Caribbean out of the park. Ravindra Jadeja finally dismissed Gayle by having him caught by Bravo.
But all that proved insufficient in the end.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 205 for eight in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 68, Virat Kohli 57; Doug Bollinger 3/24, Ravindra Jadeja 2/18).
Chennai Super Kings: 208 for 5 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 71, M S Dhoni 41; Muttiah Muralitharan 3/21).