On April 3, 2010, Chennai Super Kings’s Murali Vijay smashed the Rajasthan Royals attack into submission at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. He brought about his maiden IPL hundred off only 46 deliveries which helped Super Kings to score a record-breaking 246 runs. Sarang Bhalerao revisits Vijay’s vintage knock.
It could be called “Licence to kill” or “Licence to thrill”, depending on which team one supported. But one thing was for sure: the arsenal that Murali Vijay unleashed on April 3, 2010 at the Chidambaram Stadium evoked extreme reactions — be it ecstasy or agony.
Vijay went ballistic from the word go against the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won the toss and batted first on a placid track on a hot afternoon. Off the third ball of the match, Vijay made room and late-cut off-spinner Yusuf Pathan’s faster delivery to the boundary. Vijay then hammered medium pacer Sumit Narwal for a six — a flick over mid-wicket and a couple of boundaries — first one was a pull over mid-wicket and a second one was a crashing cover drive. Pathan was smashed for a straight six that hit the sight screen.
Hayden and Vijay stitched a partnership of 62 runs before Hayden departed for 34. Raina too departed for 13. In came Albie Morkel who announced his intentions with a huge, straight six off part-time spinner Abhishek Jhunjhunwala. In the next over [13th of the innings], Warne started the proceedings with a ball that had “hit me” written all over it. Morkel dispatched the long-hop over square-leg for another maximum. Vijay brought about his half-century off the third ball of the over by dancing down the track and depositing the ball over sightscreen.
Vijay’s maverick avatar was to the fore. Pathan was hit for 22 runs in the 14th over of the innings. Even Shaun Tait, the fastest bowler of the tournament, was treated with utter disdain. Vijay employed the upper-cut, leveraging Tait’s pace to gain six runs for his effort. Vijay then made mockery of Tait’s bouncer bowled at around 150 kmphs and pulled it out of the stadium. The Royals were now battered and bruised. At the end of 15 overs, the score had reached 170 for the loss of two wickets.
It was Narwal’s turn to suffer. Vijay hit him for three sixes and the scoreboard was ticking at the rate of knots. The last seven overs yielded an astounding 105 runs. Super Kings were 196 at the end of 16 overs. Vijay was batting on 96. He brought about his maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) hundred by smashing Shane Watson straight down the ground for a boundary off only 46 deliveries. Clenched fists and a roar of joy followed. Vijay then appended his glittering array of strokes with an impetuous hit that took his inside-edge and eluded the short fine-leg fielder for a boundary. The six off the last ball of Watson’s over was just an effortless jerk over long-on.
The partnership between Vijay and Morkel ended in the last over of the innings when the latter was run-out. The 152-run partnership had put Chennai in a commanding position. Vijay then came to the pavilion to a standing ovation after ending his carnage with 127 against his name.
Rajasthan gave a good fight and had an outside chance when Shane Watson and Naman Ojha clubbed premier off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for 23 runs leaving them to get 72 off the final five overs. But Doug Bollinger was parsimonious and conceded only 15 off his four overs. He conceded 12 off his final two which did not help Royals’ cause. Ojha batted for 20 overs and scored unbeaten 94, but Vijay’s exploits ensured an easy win for Super Kings.
Vijay’s innings of 127 was punctuated by eight boundaries and 11 sixes — some of the sixes were towering hits. He was awarded the Man of the match award for his game-changing knock. How Vijay turned out to be a vital cog in Super Kings’ scheme of things later on is a different story all together. But this innings was an archetype of the kind of impact Vijay had in that hot afternoon at Chepauk.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 246 for 5 in 20 overs (Murali Vijay 127,Albie Morkel 62;Shane Watson 2 for 47) beat Rajasthan Royals 223 for 5 in 20 overs (Naman Ojha 94, Shane Watson 60; Doug Bollinger 2 for 15) by 23 runs
(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter @bhaleraosarang)