Chennai: Brendon McCullum's 81 off 61 balls lifted Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to 157/5 against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
McCullum hit four sixes and seven fours and joined hands with Faf du Plessis (29) for a 101-run stand in 76 balls for the third wicket that was the driving force behind Chennai's competitive total.
After electing to bat first, Chennai got off to a poor start, losing aggressive opening batsman Dwayne Smith (6) and ever-reliable Suresh Raina (3) inside four overs.
While left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma removed West Indian Smith, caught by James Faulkner, left-hander Raina too offered a catch to Faulkner off pacer Chris Morris to leave the hosts in spot of bother at 15/2.
Charismatic right-hander McCullum first tried to settle down, waiting for weak deliveries to pounce upon, like he did against off-spinner Pravin Tambe, who got hit for two sixes in the sixth over.
However, du Plessis ran himself out and afterwards McCullum also perished, offering a catch to Ankit for Morris' second wicket.
Morris bagged his third after dismissing Pawan Negi for two.
Afterwards, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (not out 13) and Dwayne Bravo (not out 15) raised 28 runs in the final 15 deliveries of the innings to take Chennai to a decent total.
For Rajasthan, South African Morris was the best bowler, picking three wickets for just 19 runs in four overs.
Brief scores: CSK 157/5 (Brendon McCullum 81; Chris Morris 3/19) against RR.