Plays of the day May 8, 2008

Morkel saves the day for Chennai

Cricinfo staff


Albie Morkel swung it around for Chennai © Getty Images (file photo)
 

Six, six, six
Chennai, chasing 188, had lost two wickets in the space of five balls and the required rate was hovering near nine an over. Sixteen deliveries without a boundary wasn't helping their cause, but the big-hitting Albie Morkel swung Chennai back by plundering 23 runs off the 14th over, bowled by Virender Sehwag. The first ball was heaved over midwicket for a massive six, the second biffed dead straight for the same result, and the hat-trick followed with another clout over midwicket. That spectacular comeback from Morkel made the difference when push came to shove.

AB pulls off a blinder
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was threatening to finish the match himself, batting sensibly as wickets fell around him, but a stunning catch from AB de Villiers cut him short. Sehwag called back Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh to bowl the penultimate over and Dhoni skipped down to drill a full delivery towards long-on. The ball was dipping on de Villiers, harrying in from the boundary, but he dived forward and cupped it an inch off the ground, refreshing memories of Ajay Jadeja's similar stunner to dismiss Allan Border in the 1992 World Cup.

Chamara surprise
Chennai seemed to have just four overseas players in their squad but everyone was caught on the wrong foot when Chamara Kapugedera, the Sri Lankan batsman, was named in the XI. Apparently he signed over the weekend and sneaked ahead of Makhaya Ntini, who hadn't managed to get a wicket in three games. He didn't have a great start, though: going for 15 runs in his only over. Things weren't much better when he batted though his presence did play a part in Chennai moving towards the target.

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