Rajasthan Royals go top with a comfortable 32-run victory over Chennai Super Kings
In a high-profile clash, Rajasthan Royals posted the highest-ever team total of 202 runs at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Chennai Super Kings’ three-game winning streak was snapped as they fell short by a massive gap of 32 runs.
Rajasthan Royals’ captain Sanju Samson won the toss and chose to bat first. The decision appeared to be the right one with Yashasvi Jaiswal attacking the bowling right from the start. He raced to a 26-ball half-century with Jos Buttler holding down the other end. The Royals had raced to 64-0 after six overs and appeared to be heading towards a huge total.
The first breakthrough fell to Ravindra Jadeja in the ninth over Jos Butler departed after being caught at long-on, with a score of 27 runs off 21 balls. The Royals were off to a brilliant start as the skipper walked in at number 3.
Jaiswal continued to dominate the bowling from one end as the Royals’ first 100 came up just after 9.5 overs. Searching for a way back into the game, it was 27-year old pacer Tushar Deshpande who picked up CSK’s next two wickets.
Samson was caught at long-on after scoring a run-a-ball 17. Four deliveries later, Deshpande got the big wicket of Jaiswal after a brilliant catch by Ajinkya Rahane ending the southpaw’s brilliant knock of 77 runs off just 43 deliveries.
CSK appeared to be back in the game as Shimron Hetmeyer fell to Maheesh Theekshana on the first ball of the 16th over. When the foundation had been laid for a big score, the team needed some quick runs in the final few overs and their specialist power-hitter was back to the pavilion cheaply.
That is exactly what Dhruv Jurel and Devdutt Padikkal provided in subsequent overs. The 22-year old Jurel was especially impressive and came up with multiple big boundaries. He was unlucky to be run out in the final over but had already scored 34 runs off just 15 deliveries. Paddikal’s innings of 27 runs off 13 deliveries provided the perfect end as the Royals posted 202 runs on the scoreboard.
Chennai Super Kings got off to a topsy-turvy start as Ruturaj Gaikwad led the attack from the front while Devon Conway struggled to get going. CSK lost their first wicket, that of Conway, on the final delivery of the sixth over, with 42 runs on the board.
With the required run rate already threatening to move past 12 runs per over, Chennai needed a couple of quick knocks. However, runs seemed to dry up, leading to Gaikwad taking a bit too much risk as an attempted slog off Adam Zampa was caught by a running Devdutt Padikkal.
Gaikwad’s dismissal was followed by the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu, in the 11th over. Ashwin picked up two wickets in three deliveries to leave his former team on the cusp of defeat.
The Super Kings then saw a mini-revival after some brilliant hitting from Shivam Dube. He brought up his team to the 100-run mark with a six but Moeen Ali’s dismissal in the next over proved to be the final straw for the chasing team. Ali was dismissed with the score at 124-5 after 14.5 overs. With the team still needing 78 runs off just 30 balls, Jadeja walked into the middle.
The final five overs involved some decent hitting from Dube, who brought up his half-century in just 29 deliveries. CSK were left chasing 37 runs in the final over. However, a brilliant over from Kuldip Yadav meant that they could only muster a few runs losing the match by 32 runs.
Dube lost his wicket with the final delivery of the innings. CSK finished at 170-6. The 29-year old, however, was the obvious star of the innings, alongside Gaikwad. He finished with 52 off 33 deliveries and had 4 sixes and 2 fours to his name.
With the victory, the Rajasthan Royals displaced the Chennai Super Kings at the top of the league table and the Jaipur-based side will now travel to the Wankhade Stadium to face Mumbai Indian on Sunday evening while MS Dhoni’s men will face Punjab Kings on the same day in Chennai.