Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay scored breezy half centuries as Chennai Super Kings crushed Wayamba by 97 runs to register their second consecutive win in the Champions League Twenty20 on Wednesday.
With two victories out of as many matches in Group A, Chennai had inched a step closer towards the semifinal race while Wayamba faces the ignominy of elimination.
Sent into bat, Raina scored a blistering 44-ball 87 while Vijay made 68 off 48 deliveries to enable Chennai post a formidable 200/3 in their allotted 20 overs.
Raina and Vijay complimented each other well and shared a 137-run second wicket stand that came off just 72 deliveries.
Raina bejeweled his innings with six boundaries and as many sixes while Vijay found the fence nine times and crossed it once.
For Wayamba Chanaka Welegadara picked up two wickets for 47 runs off his four overs.
Chasing the huge target, Wayamba never got off their hooks and were finally bundled out for 103 in 17.1 overs.
Wayamba’s struggle can be gauged from the fact that only four of their batsmen — Shalika Karunanayake (25 not out), Ajantha Mendis (15), Isuru Udana (14) and Mahela Jayawardene (10) — got double figures.
Ravichandran Ashwin (4/18) and Albie Morkel (3/22) were the wreckers-in-chief for Chennai, picking up four and three wickets respectively.
Wayamba had a horrible start to their run chase as they lost two of their top-order batsmen inside the third over with just 18 runs on the board.
Morkel was the successful bowler on both the occasions. While he had opener Jeevantha Kulatunga for a first ball duck in the second delivery of the innings, captain Jehan Mubarak outside edged one straight into the gloves of his Chennai counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third over.
As if that was not enough for the struggling Wayamba, their most-experienced batsman Jayawardene once again disappointed as he upper-cut one straight to Muttiah Muralitharan at third man off Doug Bollinger with the scoreboard reading 18 for three.
Morkel scalped his third victim of the day in the form of Janith Perera, who produced a leading edge straight into the palms of Muralitharan.
Off-spinne r Ashwin then joined the party and cleaned up both Kaushal Lokuarachchi and Thisara Perera within a span of four balls to spell the doom for the Sri Lankan side.
Laxmipathy Balaji and Muralitharan too registered their name in the scoreboard with the wicket of Isuru Udana and last man Chanaka Welegadara.
Ashwin picked up his third scalp in the form of Rangana Herath, who was holed out at point by a jumping Muralitharan and then wrapped up his day with the wicket of Mendis, stumped by Dhoni.
Earlier, Vijay was the initial aggressor but Raina overtook him once the innings progressed in the perfect batting conditions at the SuperSport Park.
Chennai were cautious in the beginning as openers Mathew Hayden and Vijay found it difficult to pick up the tricks of mystery spinner Mendis, who opened the bowling along with left-arm pacer Udana.
However, Mubarak’s ploy to introduce Welegedara in the fifth over backfired as Vijay took the left-arm pacer to the task, hitting him for one six and three fours, apart from a leg-bye boundary, to pick up 23 runs of that over.
But Mendis kept his captain’s faith and gave Wayamaba the breakthrough, trapping big-hitting Hayden plumb in front of the wicket in the next over.
Vijay was at his elegant best as he welcomed Karunanayake with a blazing drive past extra cover and then meted out the same treatment to Thisara Perera in the next.
Perera was at the receiving end of Vijay and Raina’s ire as she bled 18 runs off his second over.
Raina came out of his shell and hammered Perera for a boundary and a six over extra cover and then Vijay finished off the over with an elegant flick over midwicket.
After initial hiccup, Raina opened up and matched his partner stroke by stroke. Karunanayake also had to face the left-hander’s ire as he clobbered the right-arm medium pacer for a boundary and a six in the 12th over to up the Chennai tempo.
Once set, the duo used their long handle to great effect towards the end and smashed Wayamba bowlers to all parts of the ground to help Chennai pile up 65 runs in the last five overs.
Raina destroyed Mendis’ figures with four huge sixes during the spinner’s second spell to pick up 28 runs of the 17th over.
However, in the next over both the batsmen perished in search of quick runs. Welegedara was the lucky bowler, who scalped both Raina and Vijay in two consecutive deliveries to break the destructive partnership.
While Raina hit one straight to Mubarak inside the circle, Vijay was holed out in the deep by Perera.
Morkel (9 off 5) and captain Dhoni (10 off 9) finished off the proceedings for Chennai.