Chennai win last-ball thriller by five wickets

Chennai: Albie Morkel turned the game on its head plundering 28 runs in the penultimate over as Chennai Super Kings snatched a sensational five-wicket victory in the very last ball against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a dramatic IPL match here today. Chasing a stiff 206, Morkel blasted three sixes and two fours off the 19th over bowled by Virat Kohli as the hosts overhauled the target in the last ball to record the second highest runchase 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 and needed 15 runs in the last over. Morkel perished in the second ball of the last over bowled by Vinay Kumar but Dwayne Bravo (25) did the star turn by taking the team to the victory in the tense dying moments of the cliffhanger.

With two runs needed in 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.

Earlier, Chris Gayle hit a blistering 68 and shared a 109-run stand with Kohli (57) to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a mammoth 205 for eight. But that proved insufficient in the end. In the first innings, 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 sensibly, a second fiddle to Gayle, for his 46-ball knock, which was laced with five fours and two sixes. Paceman Doug 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.

The platform for the big score was set by Mayank Agarwal, who made 45 off 26 balls, benefiting from a dropped chance in the third over of spinner 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. Mostly Agarwal played lofted straight drives that also fetched him a six off Bollinger.

It was Agarwal all over as he hit five fours and three sixes and Gayle could face just five balls in the first five overs. First change Albie Morkel finally sent back Agarwal when the Indian miscued a pull off a not-so-short ball. Run-rate dipped a bit after the wicket but Gayle brought the momentum back by welcoming Raina with three huge sixes in the ninth over. Bangalore reached 96 for one in 10 overs.

Kohli supported Gayle from the other end and did succeed in finding odd boundary. Their partnership for the second wicket yielded 109 runs. Gayle raced to his half-century with two consecutive sixes off Shadab Jakati and in just 27 balls. 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. The visitors lost wickets in a heap in the death overs when they went for big shots.