A record opening stand off 144 from Ajinkya Rahane(76* off 55) and Shane Watson (73 off 47) ensured that the Rajasthan Royals picked up their fifth win on the trot in IPL 2015. Playing in the heat of Ahmedabad, the Royals put up a splendid performance with both bat and ball as they scythed through the Chennai Super Kings. Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo were the only ones who made significant contributions with the bat for CSK.
Watson makes the cut as Faulkner enjoys the heat
Aussie all rounder Shane Watson was restored to the team sheet. In an interesting move, Watson was also handed the captain’s role ahead of the successful Steven Smith. Left arm spinner Ankit Sharma was included as Tim Southee was relegated to the bench.
James Faulkner’s theatrics on twitter earned him a huge amount of respect as well as stick. Initially he had complained about the unbearable heat at Ahmedabad, but later had to tweak his position to some extent!
I love the heat!! I'm from Tassie and have beautiful olive skin!!
Chennai top order blown away; Dwayne Smith holds the CSK fort
MS Dhoni’s right call saw him opting to bat first. Little did he expect what was to come. Shockingly, young Ankit Sharma was handed the new ball as he bowled the first over for the Royals. 43 year old leggie Pravin Tambe picked up the first wicket as he dismissed the dangerous Brendon McCullum (12) cheaply. Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis were soon to follow as they were dismissed for 4 and 1 respectively. At the end of the powerplay, the Super Kings were reeling at 39/3. Dwayne Smith successfully held fort as he made sure that the Royals had to work for his wicket.
Dwayne Bravo powers Chennai to 156
Dwayne Bravo joined his West Indian counterpart in the 7th over. In spite of the tight bowling from the Royals’ bowlers, the men from the Caribbean succeeded in keeping the scoreboard moving. An erratic shot from Smith saw him head back to the dressing room, clean bowled by James Faulkner.
A whirlwind 36 ball 62 from Dwayne Bravo ensured that the Super Kings were able to post a competitive total. MS Dhoni played an extremely uncharacteristic innings as he made 31 off 37.
Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson decimate CSK bowling
Despite chasing a rather competitive target, newly formed opening pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson made a mockery of the CSK bowling unit. Rahane was at his destructive best as he took apart Ashish Nehra and Mohit Sharma. Therefore, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were introduced in the powerplay. However, the order of the day was ‘clean hitting’. While it was clean hitting from Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson greeted the CSK attack with brute force.
The Royals duo have now set the record for the opening stand with 144 off 16 overs! Unfortunately, Jadeja castled Watson in the first ball of the 17th over and Steve Smith (6) fell cheaply the following over. Rajasthan however, strolled to a comfortable eight wicket win.
Chennai Super Kings: 156/4 off 20 overs ( Dwayne Bravo 62*, Chris Morris 1/19)
Rajasthan Royals: 157/2 off 18.2 overs ( Ajinkya Rahane 76*, Ravindra Jadeja 1/29)