JAIPUR, India, (Reuters) – Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his top order colleagues fired in unison as Chennai Super Kings thumped Rajasthan Royals by 63 runs to jump to second place in the Indian Premier League yesterday.
Put into bat by Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne, Chennai openers Mike Hussey (46) and Murali Vijay (53) stitched together a 77-run stand in 9.2 overs to lay the foundation for a big total.
Dhoni (41 not out) and Suresh Raina (43) capitalised on the start and milked the Rajasthan attack with consummate ease to help Chennai pile up a commanding 196-3 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Rajasthan made a feeble response as openers Shane Watson (11) and Rahul Dravid (20) could not provide the start they were looking for on a ground with a relatively short boundary and fast outfield.
Promoted to number three, Ajinkya Rahane (52) waged a lonely battle during his 36-ball stay but, once Dwayne Bravo removed him in the 15th over, the match slipped through Rajasthan’s fingers.
For Chennai, paceman Doug Bollinger (3-22) and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-24) shared five wickets between them.
Part-timer Raina claimed two wickets in his three deliveries, including that of Warne who batted at number 11 for a duck, without conceding a run as Rajasthan, now fifth in the points tally, folded for 133 with three balls to spare.