RP's last-ball howler gives Super Kings a thrilling win

Chennai, April 14 (IANS) A last-ball howler by Rudra Pratap Singh gifted Super Kings a tight four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Saturday night.

Chasing a target of 166, Super Kings needed two runs off the last ball. Celebrations broke out immediately as Ravindra Jadeja (38 not out) edged it straight to third-man, but it was only short-lived as Rudra Pratap had overstepped.

Super Kings got a single for the no-ball and took a run while the catch was being taken to snatch the match from the jaws of defeat with still a ball to spare.

Royal Challengers had to blame themselves for the loss as their bowlers put on an erratic performance despite a good start. The conceded eight extras, including three no-balls and four wides, that made the difference in the close encounter.

West Indies pacer Ravi Rampaul (3/31), playing his first match in the IPL, gave Royal Challengers a good start by dismissing Murali Vijay (4) caught behind in the third over.

Vinay Kumar (1/36) in the next over got rid of Mike Hussey (6) as Royal Challengers were two down for just 10 runs on board.

Suresh Raina (30) and Subramaniam Badrinath (34) then repaired the innings with their 56-run stand.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (33) and Jadeja then took the team to sniffing distance away from a win as they added 59 runs for the fifth wicket in just 29 balls.

Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo (8) departed in the penultimate over that left Super Kings needing another 16 runs from the last over.

Jadeja made the task look easy by spanking a four and a six in the first two balls and the last ball howler by Rudra Pratap gifted them a tight win. Jadeja was adjudged Man of the Match.

Earlier, Royal Challengers overcame a slow start and got to a challenging total of 165 for six, thanks to some power play by Virat Kohli (58) and AB De Villiers (64).

Royal Challengers suffered an early set-back after South African pacer Chris Morris (3/40) struck in the second over to get rid of the in-form Chris Gayle (4).

Mayank Aggarwal (24) and Kohli repaired the innings with their 45-run stand. It was a measured innings by the two batsmen but it was laced with aggression. Aggarwal struck two fours and a six before being stumped by Dhoni off Ashwin.

De Villiers was severe on Morris, who till the 18th over had figures of three for 20.

De Villiers blasted his fellow South African for 20 run, hitting a six and two fours in the penultimate over.