Chennai: Michael Hussey's 88 off 51 balls nullified Shane Watson's 101 as Chennai Super Kings went top of IPL 6 table following a five-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals at the Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday. This was Chennai's fifth win in seven matches, while Rajashtan retained their fourth spot despite the result.
In pursuit of 186, the hosts lost Murali Vijay early for three. That brought Suresh Raina to the crease and he and Hussey took the Rajasthan bowling apart, adding 90 runs off 61 balls before Raina fell to James Faulkner for 51. That didn't change anything for the hosts with Hussey continuing his onslaught.
However, Hussey and the in-form Ravindra Jadeja departed at 154 to put their team in a little spot of bother. Hussey was the victim of a direct throw from Rahul Dravid from backward point, while Jadeja was cleaned up by Faulkner for a duck one ball later in the 16th over.
Despite those jolts, Chennai kept cruising but all that changed with MS Dhoni's wicket for 21 off the last ball of the 19th over and the hosts still needing 11 to win. However, Dwayne Bravo (15 not out off 9 balls) kept his nerve against Watson to take the team to a thrilling win with one ball to go.
Earlier electing to bat, Rajasthan got off to a great start with Watson and Ajinkya Rahane adding 71 runs in 7.3 overs. Watson was the aggressor of the two hitting one big shot after another. He completed his fifty off 29 balls. However, the in-form Ravichandran Ashwin broke the runaway stand with the wicket of Rahane, who, on 16, chopped the ball onto his stumps. Ashwin continued his good form with the ball and got rid of wicketkeeper batsman Dishant Yagnik for seven in his very next over, bringing Chennai back into the contest.
Rajasthan captain Dravid too couldn't keep Watson company for a long time and departed for six but the Aussie was unperturbed. He kept playing his natural game and soon completed his century off 61 balls with the help six fours and six sixes. It was his first IPL ton, also the first this season by a player. However, he got out to Bravo off the next ball for 101 with the visitors heading towards an imposing total.
Allrounder Stuart Binny (36* off 22 balls) played some big hits towards the end to take Rajashtan to 185 for 4. Ashwin finished as Chennai's best bowler with figures of 2 for 20, while Bravo took 2 for 36.