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Vijay gives Chennai hope

Murali Vijay has shown Chennai that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

By Aditya Ramachandran

On a day when top guns Matthew Hayden and MS Dhoni failed to fire, the Yellows were lifted by an unexpected quarter.

Vijay’s talent was never a question but his aptitude for T20 cricket was. He had done reasonably well in the limited opportunities in the Indian Test side.

What stunned everyone was his brutal assault on Bangalore’s bowlers and the way he plundered 78 runs off 39 balls on the eve of his birthday. Chennai’s four match losing streak had come to a screeching halt.

It is now up to the rest of the Chennai team to carry on what Vijay started so daringly on home turf and give themselves a chance of reaching the last four stage.

Despite losing five games, Chennai have a decent net run rate and that might hold them in good stead if things get too tight in the race to the semis.

Dhoni has a lot of depth in his team and with Mike Hussey and Doug Bollinger joining the squad, Chennai can only think of going up the points ladder.

Vijay's return to form has been timely and Dhoni should be delighted that one of his fringe players won him a match single-handedly. Suresh Raina can turn it on at any stage as can most of the others in the team.

The soft-spoken local lad was surprisingly modest after his match-winning efforts but he must take more credit for turning Hayden to a virtual on-looker as he blazed away at the other end.

It is shaping up nicely now and Chennai fans will look forward to their team roaring back in the second half of the IPL.
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