Rajasthan Royals (RR) pulled out all the stops to halt the marauding Chennai Super Kings (CSK) juggernaut and registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win, while chasing a challenging 190 to win, in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.
The win kept RR’s hopes of finishing in the top four alive.
Chennai Super Kings Innings
Gaikwad, du Plessis started steadily: CSK didn’t get off the blocks at a brisk pace, as the openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad played through the Powerplay in a controlled fashion. But it proved counterproductive as du Plessis (25 off 19) fell soon after, in the seventh over, to Rahul Tewatia. Suresh Raina didn’t last long, as Tewatia came back to remove the experienced CSK left-hander for just 3. At this point, the three time champions were at 57-2 in the 9th over.
Gaikwad got support from Moeen after the double blow: Gaikwad found an ally in the form of CSK’s English all-rounder Moeen Ali (21). The duo added 57 runs for the third wicket to not just repair the innings, but also help their side regain momentum. Moeen became Tewatia’s (3/39) third victim, walking back in the 15th over. But by then the partnership had taken the score to 114.
Jadeja cameo and Gaikwad getting to his maiden IPL ton: All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja came out all guns blazing to blast 32* off 15 balls, which eased the run-scoring pressure on Gaikwad (101* off 60 balls), who hit a six off the last ball of the CSK innings to get to his maiden IPL century. The two CSK batsmen added an unbeaten 55 runs to lead CSK to 189/4. The momentum had shifted completely in favour of CSK, who were 83-2 after 12 overs and scored 106 runs in the last 8 overs.
Rajasthan Royals Innings
Lewis, Jaiswal got RR chase off to a flier: Chasing 190, RR needed a flying start and they were given just that by their openers Evin Lewis (27 off 12 balls) and young Yashasvi Jaiswal. They added 77 in just 5.2 overs, at which time Lewis was dismissed by Shardul Thakur.
Jaiswal scored fifty off just 19 balls: But losing his opening partner didn’t put the brakes on the 19-year-old Jaiswal’s strokeplay. He brought up his fifty off just 19 balls, but had to walk back two balls later when KM Asif struck to send him back for 50. RR at that stage had reached 81-2 in just 6.1 overs.
Dube fireworks sealed Rajasthan’s win to keep their playoff hopes alive: Sanju Samson looked good once again, but couldn’t go past 28 off 24. However, he added 89 invaluable runs alongside Shivam Dube, who turned out to be the match-winner in the end with his unbeaten 64 off 42. He smashed 4 fours and 4 sixes in his knock. Incredibly, RR reached the stiff target of 190 in just 17.3 overs, with as many as 15 deliveries left.
The win boosted their Net Run Rate, kept RR’s hopes of reaching the playoffs afloat and made them climb up one place to sixth on the points table and pushed MI down to seventh. They are currently tied on 10 points after 12 games played, with Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians.