MS Dhoni’s unbeaten knock of 75 runs from 46 deliveries turned out to be the game-changer as defending champions Chennai Super Kings secured their third consecutive win on Sunday. The former India skipper played an anchor role as he rescued his team out of danger after they found themselves tottering at 27/3 inside the first five overs.
He added 61 runs for the fourth wicket with Suresh Raina and then later raised a 56-run stand with Dwayne Bravo as CSK posted 175/5 in their respective 20 overs. Chasing a modest target of 176, Rajasthan got off to a poor start as they found themselves struggling at 14/3 inside the first four overs.
However, a late surge by Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer brought a glimpse of a fightback from Rajasthan. The duo constructed a 44-run stand but with 12 required off the final six balls, Bravo produced an excellent 20th over as Royals fell short by eight runs.
In the first encounter of the day, the opening pair of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner smashed sensational centuries to power Sunrisers Hyderabad to a comprehensive 118-run win over struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bairstow struck 114 from 56 balls while Warner continued his supreme run in the tournament as he scored an unbeaten 100 to post a mammoth 231/2 on the scoreboard. Bairstow punished RCB with 12 fours and seven sixes while Warner hit five fours and as many sixes in his 55-ball knock. The pair added a record 185-run first-wicket partnership before the wicketkeeper-batsman was removed by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 17th over.
Chasing a gigantic target, RCB required a rollicking start but the Virat Kohli-led side never got going as they kept losing wickets only to be bundled out for 113 in 19.5 overs.
This was RCB’s third loss, while SRH secured their second win on the trot after going down against Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening fixture. Speaking after the match, RCB skipper termed the 118-run defeat against SRH as the ‘one of their ‘worst losses ever.’
“One of our worst losses ever. Literally, nothing I can explain. Nothing went right for us from ball one until our last wicket fell in the second innings. We were outplayed in all departments by a quality side. They showed that they are a champion side – they were finalists last time and beat us in the final (in 2016).”