Brendon McCullum © IANS
Brendon McCullum played possibly his final match of IPL 2015 before departing for New Zealand’s tour of England © IANS

Brendon McCullum scored a remarkably restrained half-century to help Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a good total against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 47 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at Chennai. In what will possibly be his final appearance for CSK this year, McCullum held the innings together to give CSK a defendable total. Live Updates: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), IPL 2015 Match 47

After the early losses of Dwayne Smith — dismissed holing out to James Faulkner off Ankit Sharma for six — and Suresh Raina (3) McCullum and Faf du Plessis put on a century stand for the third wicket. The Chennai heat took its toll on ‘Baz’ though, as he struggled to get going in the same way he has been going throughout the tournament. Live Scorecard: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Rajasthan Royals (RR), IPL 2015 Match 48

McCullum battled fatigued and some disciplined bowling to score a 61-ball 81 with seven fours and four sixes. Though on paper it looked like a breezy knock, watching McCullum’s struggle made it obvious that the conditions were not very easy, and he was far from 100 percent. That he even played as long as he did is testament to his determination. He was finally dismissed top-edging tired pull shot off Chris Morris, who was by far RR’s best bowler on the day. He used his height and variations to efficient use, taking three cheap wickets. IPL 2015 Points Table & Team Standings

At the other end, du Plessis was a victim of McCullum’s fatigue, getting run out trying to go for a sharp single but being sent back by an obviously tired McCullum. His 29 came off 25 balls and was instrumental in ensuring that CSK held on in the middle overs. Pawan Negi was sent in as a pinch-hitter at No. 5 ahead of MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo, but the experiment failed. IPL 2015 schedule: IPL 8 match time table with venue details

The twin wickets of McCullum and Negi brought Dhoni and Bravo together, and they provided CSK with the final flourish they needed. Both men played some exciting shots at the death to boost CSK’s sagging run rate, putting on 28 runs in 15 balls. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015: Complete coverage

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 157 for 5 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 81; Chris Morris 3 for 19) vs Rajasthan Royals.

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)