SHARJAH : A scintillating win for the underdogs Rajasthan Royals against the mighty Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs in their first match of the tournament at Sharjah.
Toss : CSK won the toss and decided to field first.
One man who lit up the game right from the start was Sanju Samson. He arrived after Jaiswal’s dismissal and made his intentions clear right from the first over he faced when he pulled Curran over mid-wicket for a 6. However, his major assault was against the spinners. The keeper- batsman was hitting powerful sixes down the ground at will and without much of feet movement. He bludgeoned 4 sixes in the seventh over to Chawla which gave RR 28 runs.
Smith opened the innings in Buttler’s absence and made sure he was there to support Samson at the other end.
CSK picked up back-to-back wickets. First when Samson was dismissed by Ngidi for 74 (32) and later on when the new man David Miller was run-out for a diamond duck. Wickets continued to tumble with Uthappa, Rahul Tewatia Riyan Parag and a well-set Smith dismissed within few overs.
RR were 178-7 after 18.2 overs. At this point, Jofra had just come out to bat with Curran at the other end. His cameo of 27 (8) lifted RR to well beyond 200. The short innings included 4 sixes from the first four deliveries of the last over which Ngidi bowled and that late flourish propelled
Trivia : This match witnessed 33 sixes which is the joint-highest number of sixes in an IPL match.
Chennai’s openers Vijay and Watson provided them a decent start adding 53 runs in the first six overs. Tewatia, the leg-spinner came on to bowl and dismissed Watson first. Then, Gopal ended Vijay’s innings and in the over later Tewatia dismisses Curran and Gaikwad. This span of 3 overs summed up Chennai’s middle order woes for the season ahead.
Jadhav and Faf batted for a bit. They were mostly dealing in one’s and two’s when the required rate was seeping upwards. Sixes by Faf were entertaining to watch but it was too late and that didn’t get them over the line as they lost by 16 runs in the end.
RR’s spinners did a great job on such a small ground. They bowled a shorter length compared to the CSK spinners and with the pitch offering low bounce, a lot was needed from the batsmen’s end especially to challenge the leg-side boundary, if you look at Watson, Vijay and Curran’s dismissals.
Trivia : Spinners performance
CSK : 8 Overs, 95 runs, 1 wicket (ER 11.88
RR : 8 Overs, 75 runs, 4 Wickets (ER 9. 37
Stats credit : cricbuzz
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