Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo played significant roles in restoring the top spot for the Chennai Super Kings. The 12 run win also saw the former champions secure virtual qualification to the play-offs.
Brendon McCullum holds CSK together
MS Dhoni won the toss and had no qualms about batting first. Playing on a slow and dry wicket in humid conditions, the home side got off to an unpleasant start. Dwayne Smith (6) and Suresh Raina (3) fell in the second and third over respectively. The pair of Brendon McCullum and Faf du Plessis were united with the Super Kings staring down the barrel at 15-2.
Despite a number of miss-hits and cramps, the explosive Kiwi opener was successful in rotating the strike. Realizing the importance of keeping wickets, du Plessis too refrained from explosive hitting.
However, upon reaching his half century, Brendon McCullum cut loose. James Faulkner was the unfortunate bowler. The ball either found its way beyond the mid wicket fence or raced towards the boundary at extra cover. ‘Super Faf’ too came into his own, striking three boundaries in his supporting innings of 29. A miscue from Brendon McCullum saw the latter dismissed for a whopping 81 in the 18th over.
MS Dhoni (15) and Dwayne Bravo (13) finished off the CSK innings at a strong total of 157/5 in 20 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja rips through top order
The Rajasthan Royals began in a slow and cautious manner. It was clear from the slow start from Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson that the idea was to have wickets in hand at the death. Rahane was the first to go courtesy of a beauty of a catch from Dwayne Bravo. The flying Trinidadian portrayed his outrageous athleticism by dismissing Shane Watson. Steven Smith’s recent bad fortune continued as he was castled by Ravindra Jadeja. Karun Nair (10) and Deepak Hooda (15)were the next ones to fall into the Ravindra Jadeja trap.
Sanju Samson’s brief resistance of 26 was finally broken by Bravo as the Royals found themselves with too much to do at the death. A rather perfect final over from Bravo saw the Super Kings clinch a decisive win.
Incidentally, Ravichandran Ashwin did not bowl or face a single delivery all through the match!
Chennai Super Kings: 157/5 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 81, Chris Morris 3/18)
Rajasthan Royals: 145/9 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 28, Ravindra Jadeja 4/11)
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja