Sanju Samson and Steve Smith’s twin fifties help Rajasthan Royals (RR) outwit Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by a margin of 16-runs and script their first win in Dream11 IPL 2020.
It certainly was anticipated as a high scoring venue considering the short boundaries but, what made the match special was the swashbuckling performances by the batters of both the teams that kept the fans glued to their TVs and digital mediums.
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While Rajasthan Royals lacked the services of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, and they lost the early wicket of southpaw Yashasvi Jaiswal, they still made up for that, credits to rip-roaring exhibitions from skipper Steve Smith (69) and Sanju Samson (74) who set the stadium ablaze with 121 runs for the second wicket stand.
The duo batted aggressively till the 12th over, where a change of pace attack brought back Lungi Ngidi who dismissed Sanju Samson. David Miller was run out in the final delivery of the same over, followed by another setback in the form of Robin Uthappa who was dismissed by Piyush Chawla on a meager tally of five runs that shifted the momentum in CSK’s favor.
Piyush Chawla (1/56) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/40) finished their quota of overs and now, the prssure was on Sam Curran and Lungi Ngidi to restrict them under 200-run total.
Curran got the better of Smith in the second ball of the 19th over.
Still, everything seemed to be under control for CSK until Lungi Ngidi’s over that cost 30-runs. Jofra Archer put all his might into the bat and scored 27* off 8 deliveries with four consecutive sixes in the final over, with two of them coming on no-balls, and helping Rajasthan Royals post a 217-run chase for the Chennai Super Kings.
Among the bowlers in CSK, Sam Curran (3/33) emerged as the top-performer followed by Deepak Chahar for his 4-0-31-1.
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In the second innings, things started decently for the Chennai Super Kings as Murali Vijay kept the wickets safe from an end while Shane Watson unleashed an assault onto the opposition bowlers, thereby adding 56 runs for the opening partnership.
The duo seemed like cruising for the 100-run mark by the tenth over, but, the decision to bring in spinners Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia worked in Rajasthan favor as they got the dismissals of Murali Vijay (21) and Shane Watson (33) in the seventh and eighth overs respectively.
Sensing the situation, Faf du Plessis started his innings slowly by first building a 19-run stand for the third wicket with left-hander Sam Curran, who was eventually stumped, courtesy Tewatia and Samson, but not after he another handy cameo of 17 runs in merely six deliveries. Rituraj, who was sent at No 4, registered a golden duck and he too departed in a similar fashion.
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While the asking rate was rising, the Chennai Super Kings needed couple of explosive partnerships to get back the momentum. Kedar Jadhav and Faf du Plessis managed to put up a decent 37-run stand but another master move by skipper Steve Smith to introduce Tom Curran in 14th over did the job for the Royals, as the Englishman dismissed Jadhav when he looked set batting on 22.
Now, it was all on the duo of MS Dhoni and du Plessis to unleash the explosion and take their side to the winning margin.
Dhoni played few deliveries and rotated the strike to the Protea batter who then smashed 3 sixes in pacer Jaydev Unadkat’s over and brought the asking rate of 19.33, with 58 runs needed of 18 deliveries.
The duo contributed 65-runs to the total and it did appear for a while that the chase was completely in limits. It was only when Archer was called to finish his final over quota that he managed to break the partnership by getting the crucial wicket of Faf du Plessis while he was batting mercilessly on 72 off 37 deliveries, with just a four and 7 sixes.
Though the chase was cut down then and there itself and CSK required 38 in the last six deliveries, MS Dhoni smashed 3 consecutive sixes and took the game deep, but eventually lost by a margin of 16-runs and amassing 200-runs on board.
Among the Royals’ bowlers, Rahul Tewatia scalped best figures of 3/37, while Jofra Archer had an economical day and ended with figure of 4-0-26-1.
Sanju Samson was awarded the Man of the Match for his 32-ball 74 that comprised 9 sixes and a four.
Chennai Super Kings will play their next match versus Delhi Capitals on September 25, while Rajasthan Royals will look to keep their momentum in the game against Kings XI Punjab on September 27.
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