With 43 runs needed to win from the final four overs, Albie Morkel and Anirudha Srikkanth played some sensational shots to pull the match from under the noses of Rajasthan Royals to earn Chennai Super Kings a much needed four-wicket win with 11 balls to spare.
Chasing 127-run target, Chennai lost wickets at regular intervals and looked in trouble as they were tottering at 84 for 6 at one stage. However, Anirudha and Albie changed the gear for the visitors and tore apart the Australian duo of Shane Watson and Shaun Tait to notch up the required runs in 18.1 overs. By virtue of this win, CSK moved up to the fourth position in the standings with 13 points from as many games, while Rajasthan have slipped to the sixth spot with 12 points from 13 games.
Chennai lost opener Vijay for nought in the very first over. Suresh Raina (23 off 17) played a cameo before he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Pankaj Singh. Once Raina departed, Rajasthan looked to claw back into the match with quick wickets. Needing 30 off the last three overs, Morkel and Anirudha scored identical six-ball 18 and stitched undefeated 43 runs for the seventh wicket to guide CSK to the vital win.
Earlier, a brilliant opening spell from Ben Hilfenhaus proved key as Chennai restricted the Rajasthan to 126 for 6. Hilfenhaus scalped two vital wickets of Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson early during his breathtaking opening spell of four overs which yielded just eight runs.
Put into bat, Rajasthan's innings was halted by rain just one ball into the match. There were 55 minutes lost due to on-off drizzle. Once they did get going, only one delivery was possible, before the rain returned and once play resumed, Hilfenhaus struck to remove captain Dravid, miscuing a pull to Michael Hussey at mid-off.
Then Watson was brilliantly caught by a diving R Ashwin at the third-man boundary as the batsman went for a huge heave over square-leg only to get a leading edge. Ajinkya Rahane, dropped on 14 by Suresh Raina atfirst slip, lost his patience after facing 22 deliveries and top-edged Mahesh to Ashwin at mid-on for 17. Rajasthan slipped to 43 for 3 in the ninth over.
Stuart Binny, however, tried to force a comeback with a fierce counter-attack and thrashed Dwayne Bravo for two boundaries and a six to pick up 18 runs off his opening over. But Binny (27) then fell when he pulled Mahesh to Raina at short midwicket, before Johan Botha (12) and Hodge combined for a 32-run fifth-wicket stand. For Rajasthan, Hilfenhaus and Yo Mahesh bagged two wickets each.