Chennai Super Kings continued their winning run in Indian Premier League 2019 when they defeated Rajasthan Royals by four wickets. Out to chase 151, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni stitched a 95-run partnership after the top-order collapse to help their side to a thrilling final-over win. The final over saw a no-ball controversy that prompted CSK skipper MS Dhoni to step down to the middle to have a discussion with the umpire. But after the sense prevailed, Mitchell Santner smashed a six in the final ball to claim the win for the visitors.
Chennai Super Kings win the toss and elected to bowl. The MS Dhoni-led side made two changes – replacing Harbhajan Singh and Scott Kuggelein with Mitchell Santner and Shardul Thakur. Rajasthan Royals made three changes – replacing Prashant Chopra, K Gowtham and Sudeshan Midhun with Sanju Samson, Jaydev Unadkat and Riyan Parag.
Chennai Super Kings produced yet another disciplined bowling effort to restrict Rajasthan Royals to a modest 151 for seven in an Indian Premier League encounter. Save Jos Buttler (23 off 10 balls) at the top of the order, none of other Royals batsmen looked the part as CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s immaculate reading of the track once again helped the defending champions.
Left-arm spin duo Ravindra Jadeja (2/20 in 4 overs) and Mitchell Santner (1/25 in 4 overs) checked the run-flow as Royals batsmen were always playing a catch-up game.
Chennai Super Kings pulled off a dramatic final-over win against Rajasthan Royals. It took a six off the final ball from Mitchell Santner to complete the win. But the focus of the final over drama remained MS Dhoni, who was seen losing his cool and stepping out on the field to protest against an overturned no-ball decision. Out to chase 151, CSK went down 24/4. Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni stitched a 95-run stand to settle down things before the former was dismissed for 57.
With Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja still in the middle, CSK needed 18 to win in the final over. In the third ball of the over, RR seamer Ben Stokes castled Dhoni for 58. In the next delivery, Stokes bowled a full toss to Mitchell Santner, which became a point of contention, with the umpire calling it a no-ball and the square leg umpire calling it a legal delivery. Dhoni stepped out to the middle in anger to have a chat with the umpire over the controversy. Luckily, for him, his side kept their cool to pull off-a six in the final ball and claim the win.
The gamechanger in the match was Ben Stokes and his final over. The allrounder, who had been disciplined throughout the game, overstepped in the second delivery of the over. Lucky for him, Dhoni could only muster a couple in the ensuing free hit. The England allrounder, instead of learning from his mistake, almost bowled a full-toss no ball to Mitchell Santner in the 4th ball of the over.
Again, RR and Stokes escaped the danger, with the square leg umpire refuting the no-ball call. With CSK needing a four off the final ball, Stokes bowled a wide delivery, thus giving another ball and an extra run to the visitors. The six off the final ball was the last nail on RR’s coffin that sealed CSK’s big win.
Ajinkya Rahane: I don’t think so (when asked if he’d have done anything differently). Credit to our bowlers, on that wicket I thought 150 was low. We should have batted better, on that wicket 170 would have been very good. We feel disappointed. It was about having the belief. We knew that if we take wickets in the powerplay, we’ll be in the game. Fielding will be crucial, we did that pretty well. Lot to improve in the last 5-6 games. I’m sure guys will take it on and learn from these mistakes. Sanju was back and that was a plus point. Jaydev was bowling really well. Prayag did really well in his first game. We got to find the balance right depending on the conditions. I still feel you need to win crunch situations in T20 format. I’m really enjoying my role – lot to learn as well. This is a challenge for me. It’s about taking step by step. As a captain, it’s a different challenge altogether, but I’m enjoying it.
MS Dhoni: It was a very good game. Need to give credit to Rajasthan. They were slightly few runs short on what would’ve been a good score. But they put pressure on our batsmen and they were able to build pressure right to the end. Once you win games like this, you learn a lot out of it. It’s important to enjoy the win but also learn from the mistakes. It’s about a few hits. Have to see the ground here. It’s a very big ground and the outfield is fast. At the end of the day, individuals do commit mistakes. Doesn’t matter if it was Shardul’s over or someone else’s over. We’ve got very good support here, thanks to them. Not to forget, one of my biggest innings came here. All games are big games.
Scorecard: Rajasthan Royals (Stokes 28, Buttler 23; Jadeja 2/20); Chennai Super Kings (Rayudu 57, Dhoni xx; )