NEW DELHI: Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most successful franchises in the Indian Premier League. With 8 final appearances and three titles (2010, 2011 and 2018) in the last 12 editions, the franchise has always been a major force to reckon with in the cricketing extravaganza.
And even though the southern giants have done exceptionally well in all the three departments over the years, their batting prowess has helped them a lot in gaining that X-factor over other teams.
A powerful batting line-up comprising some of the cleanest strikers of the game, CSK have often managed pretty high scores that have just blown away the opposition. From sensible batting right at the start to the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni smacking the opposition bowlers at the death, CSK have more often than not been amongst runs and boast of some of the highest scores in the tournament’s 12 year history.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the top five highest totals recorded by CSK over the years:
246/5 vs Rajasthan Royals in 2010
Opener Murali Vijay was the destructor in chief when CSK recorded their highest total ever in the IPL back in 2010. Playing a group match against Rajasthan Royals, the CSK batting order looked just unstoppable that day as the Yellow Brigade posted 246/5 on the scoreboard. Batting first at the flat Chepauk track in Chennai, Murali came out all guns blazing from the word go against the Royals, smoking 127 off just 56 deliveries. Bullying the Rajasthan bowlers, Murali struck 8 fours and 11 sixes in his innings, laying a strong platform for his team. Although batting giants like Suresh Raina (13) and MS Dhoni (0) suffered a rare failure that day, it was a power-packed performance from all-rounder Albie Morkel that helped CSK set up that giant total. To go with the devastating effort from the right-hander Murali, Morkel’s heroic 34-ball 62 down the order, turned the match into a run fest. With a total of 19 fours and 17 sixes, CSK registered 246/5, which still stands as their best batting performance in the tournament. Riding on Naman Ojha (94*) and Shane Watson (60) performances, Royals gave a tough fight to Dhoni and Co. but eventually fell short by 23 runs.
240/5 vs Kings XI Punjab in 2008
It was the first edition of the IPL and the world was still recovering from a Brendon McCullum mayhem that he produced in the tournament opener. But CSK were prepping for a carnage of their own. The second match of the competition and the Yellow Army took the tournament by storm putting up 240/5 on the board at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. At the receiving end were the Kings XI Punjab bowlers, who had no place to hide from the CSK onslaught that day. After a quick start from Parthiv Patel and Matthew Hayden at the top, it was Michael Hussey, who hogged all the lime-light with his power-packed performance. Smashing an unbeaten 54-ball 116, Hussey belted the Punjab bowlers to all corners of the park. With 8 fours and 9 sixes, Hussey remained unbeaten till the end, guiding CSK to 240 — their second highest score in the tournament’s history. Although Hussey was the show-stopper, Suresh Raina’s 13-ball 32 and Subramaniam Badrinath’s 14-ball 31 cameos also played a big role in CSK putting up a giant total on the board. Even though shaken by the batting heroics of CSK, Punjab recovered well from the trauma to score 207, but they eventually fell short by 33 runs.
223/3 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013
Flamboyant left-hander Suresh Raina has been one batsman CSK have heavily relied on over the years. And the 33-year-old — the second highest run-scorer overall in the tournament — has on most occasions been a proven performer, where not only has he scored the majority of runs for the team but also taken the game away from the opposition singlehandedly. It was one of those days on May 8, 2013 when Raina came into his own, cracking an unbeaten 52-ball 99 to power CSK to 223/3 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their own backyard. After a fluent start provided by Michael Hussey (67) and Murali Vijay (29), it was Raina, who came in at number 3 and lit up the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. With the help of 14 mesmerising boundaries, Raina took CSK to 223/3, before ending up just a run short of what would have been a scintillating ton. A deflated Sunrisers, not managing to recover from the Raina magic, could only muster 146/8 in their stipulated 20 overs, handing CSK a 77-run victory.
222/5 vs Delhi Capitals in 2012
Murali Vijay has been a consistent performer for CSK over the years. Even though his level of performances might have dipped a bit in the recent editions, the opener still continues to be a vital cog in the CSK wheel. But during his initial years with the franchise Murali was a force to reckon with and his scintillating efforts with the bat more often than not played a major role in CSK’s success. The big-match player often stepped up his game a notch higher when the team was in do or die situations. And on May 25, 2012 in the Qualifier 2 against Delhi Capitals Murali came into his own smashing a 58-ball 113 to help CSK post an imposing 222/5 in the must-win game. Along with Murali, it was Dwayne Bravo’s 12-ball 33 and MS Dhoni’s 10-ball 23 cameos that helped CSK post 222/5 on the board in the pressure game. Traumatized by the power packed performances of the CSK batting order, a deflated Delhi bundled were out for 136 in that match to hand CSK a much-needed 86-run win.
211/4 vs Delhi Capitals in 2018
Often referred to as the Dad’s Army in recent times, the CSK players have just not let age come in the way of their success. Batting has been a strong suit of the team over the years and it continues to be the same even with most of the special players being well over 35. And it was recently in the 2018 edition of the tournament when the CSK batsmen struck in unison to power their team to 211/4 — their fifth highest total. From Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis scoring 78 and 33 respectively at the top to Ambati Rayudu and skipper MS Dhoni finishing off in style with 41 and 51 not out respectively, CSK blew away Delhi with their top-notch combined batting performance. Although Delhi tried to make up for their poor bowling with their batting prowess, they eventually fell short by 13 runs. In that match flamboyant striker Dhoni also went on to score his second fastest fifty in the competition.