Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina breezed to half-centuries as Chennai Super Kings recorded their fourth victory on the trot with an eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.
Hussey and Raina overcame the early loss of Murali Vijay as the Super Kings chased 148 on a blisteringly hot day in Chennai, putting on a stand of 137 for the second wicket.
Raina was out caught for 61 with just three runs required for victory, but Hussey pulled the very next ball to the boundary to finish unbeaten on 79 from 55 balls as Chennai cruised home with eight balls remaining.
Earlier Rahul Dravid hit a feisty half-century, but the Royals managed just 147 for six after skipper Shane Warne had won the toss and elected to bat first at the Chidambaram Stadium.
Dravid’s 66 from 51 deliveries included ten boundaries, and his 86-run partnership with Shane Watson (32) at the top of the order silenced the home crowd on a hideously hot afternoon in Chennai.
The 38-year-old eventually succumbed to the heat when a tired pull shot off the bowling of Suraj Randiv was easily pouched by Murali Vijay at deep midwicket.
That left Rajasthan 117 for four in the 16th over and in need of a late blitz to give them a formidable total, but Ross Taylor holed out for 20 off the bowling of Albie Morkel, leaving the inexperienced lower order to swing and mishit their way through the remaining deliveries.
Chennai selected an unchanged side from the one which beat Deccan Chargers on Sunday, while the Royals drafted Nayan Doshi into their starting line-up in place of Amit Singh to give them an extra spin option.
That appeared to give them an edge as they set about defending a below-par total, with Johan Botha trapping Vijay lbw after Doshi had put in a cheap first over, but some poor fielding relieved the pressure and Hussey and Raina set about confirming that the Royals never had enough runs on the board.
The win moved Chennai up to third in the standings, level on points with Kolkata and Mumbai. Rajasthan shuffled down to fourth as they remained on 11 points – one less than the top three teams. Cricket365