Doug Bollinger has become an instant hit with the Chennai Super Kings' fans. Making his IPL debut two days after landing in India, the Australian left-arm pacer did everything that was expected from him and more. He was miserly with the new ball, took a spectacular catch to see off the Rajasthan Royals' danger man Yusuf Pathan, and bowled well at the death to chants of “Bollinger, Bollinger” from the crowd.
“It's been some time since that happened,” Bollinger said of the chanting. “I would want it to happen in every match.”
Local boy Murali Vijay was the Man of the Match for his century that took the Super Kings to 246 for five. But Bollinger took the late honours with two for 15 from four overs as the hosts won by 23 runs. Only two other bowlers went for less than 10-an-over in the match and they were the Royals' Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (economy rate 9) and Bollinger's teammate Suresh Raina (economy rate 8).
“Full credit to Vijay but I think Bollinger made the difference,” Royals' captain Shane Warne said in the post-match conference. Naman Ojha carried his bat for 94 and Shane Watson, playing his first match in IPL III, weighed in with some lusty hits, but the total proved beyond the Royals' reach.
MS Dhoni had won the toss and the Royals had to bowl first on a hot day in a match starting early. The early blows came from Vijay's bat as he deposited Sumit Narwal for 6, 4, 4 in the second over. Matthew Hayden joined the party in the fifth over when he hit Watson for a spectacular six. The ball wasn't very short, but Hayden bent his knees and pulled it to one of the new stands.
Hayden slapped a catch to Watson at cover when Warne was starting to look bereft of ideas and Raina didn’t last long. That is when Albie Morkel walked in as a pinch-hitter. Vijay and Morkel played out a few quiet overs before exploding spectacularly.