Royal Challengers bowled out for 126, Morkel misses hattrick

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Chennai, May 21 (UNI) Chennai Super Kings, looking for a royal win and boost their points tally, bowled out Bangalore Royal Challengers for 126 for eight in 20 overs with only Captain Rahul Dravid coming good to top score with 47 in the DLF IPL match at the M A Chidambaram stadium here tonight The match survived the scare of being interrupted by rain or possibly even washed out as it started raining in the evening a couple of hours before. However, it began at 2020 hrs, 20 minutes behind schedule after the Bangalore team won the toss and decided to bat first.

But the Challengers hardly seemed to be up to the challenge as opening with Jack Kallis and left hander Shreevatsav Goswami, they were in dire straits losing both for 22 after 5.2 overs, with the Super Kings medium pacer M Gony first removing Kallis for five (one four) in the second over and then Goswami in the sixth over for 10 (one four).

Dravid, the captain and junior team India's world cup winning captain Virat Kohli had to battle it out with the Super Kings bowlers and put up a fighting score. But 11 runs later, Albie Morkel took a brilliant catch on the deep midwicket fence falling back to dismiss Kohli (10, one four) off spinner Muralitharan. The team physio had to rush to him to ensure that he did not suffer any injury as his head hit the ground as he twisted away from the boundary line to ensure that he did not cross it. In 8.1 overs, the Royal Challengers were 33 for three, as Pakistan batsman Misba-ul-Haq joined Dravid.

The Bangalore team failed to hit a single four for six overs.

And it was disaster again for the Royals as medium pacer L Balaji, who had claimed the first hattrick in IPL ten days ago here, struck to dismiss Misba ul Haq in his first over. Parthiv Patel standing behind the stumps for skipper Dhoni dived to his right to hold the ball as it came off an edge. 41-4 in ten overs, the Royals had virtually thrown the contest away, barring a great turn of luck. It seemed to be some consolation when captain Dravid pulled Balaji to mid wicket fence to post 50 of his team's innings off 11.4 overs.

Then, the 15th over turned out to be dramatic for the Royals. It yielded 11 runs, including two hits to the fence by Dravid. But off the last ball, Albie Morkel the medium pacer trapped Mark Boucher leg before for 17 (15 balls, three fours). The Royals were 76-5 in 15 overs. Dravid and Boucher added 35 runs off 30 balls for the fifth wicket. Twenty one runs later, the Royals lost their sixth wicket when Dravid's heroic innings, in the circumstance, ended when going for a drive off Morkel, he ended up hitting the ball into the hands of his Super Kings counterpart Dhoni's safe hands. 97-6 was no comfortable situation to be in off 16.5 overs. But the Royals managed to post the 100 mark off 17.3 overs. It was some consolation indeed for the Royals when in third of the quota of four overs, gave away 13 runs, including the first six of the match, to Praveen Kumar who replaced Dravid at the crease.

But the Royals were reduced to 124/8 in 19.5 overs as Morkel placed himself on a hattrick dismissing first Praveen Kumar (21, 11 balls, two fours, one six) and then castled Vinay Kumar (zero, one ball) in the 20th overs. But the Royals ended their innings at 126 losing eight wickets.

The Super Kings had an easy target to get and raise their points tally to 16 to level with Kings XI Punjab.

UNI VV-SNR PK NS2308

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