IPL 2014 Results: Rajasthan Royals Implode as CSK Scamper Home in Low-Scorer
By Deepak Vikraman | April 24, 2014 4:00 AM EST
With the game well in their grasp, the Rajasthan Royals suddenly decided to convert the win to a bar of soap, juggling it around and then eventually dropping it right into the laps of the Chennai Super Kings, who stormed to a cannot-believe-we-were-given-this victory in their IPL 2014 match in Dubai on Wednesday.
Asked to bat first, CSK got off to a blazing start courtesy Dwayne Smith (50) before tumbling like a house of cards to manage just 140 for six in their 20 overs.
The Royals, chasing the makeable total on a slower than a snail pitch, were on course early on, before, just like CSK, they decided to fold up in a blink of an eye, allowing man of the match Ravindra Jadeja (36 four for 33) and the rest of the bowlers to fashion an eventually comfortable victory, their second straight in IPL 7, as RR finished on a how-on-earth-did-that-happen 133 all out in 19.5 overs.
The start was not ideal for the Royals, as Abhishek Nayar was run out in the second over, with Ajinkya Rahane and the bright young star Sanju Samson looking to carry on the chase by building a solid foundation.
Samson looked in pretty good touch, smoking a couple of now-that-takes-some-serious-talent sixes off Ben Hilfenhaus to seemingly set the Royals on their way to an easy chase. However, from the sixth over, everything went pear-shaped for Rajasthan with Rahane, first, giving his wicket away, holing out in the deep to Mithun Manhas off R Ashwin.
The next over from Ravindra Jadeja saw CSK scalp two big wickets, with Shane Watson, blood flowing after a massive six, mistiming another six-effort to Hilfenhaus at long-off. The golden arm of Jadeja did the trick once more, making it two wickets in two balls by inducing a leading edge from Samson (16, 16b, 2x6) with the bowler himself completing a comfortable catch.
Stuart Binny and Steven Smith still had the opportunity to overhaul the target, and the duo stuck around for four overs together, before the former's patience ran out, holing out in the deep looking to clear the boundary.
With the pressure mounting as the equation jumped to 78 from the final nine overs, Smith, who was lucky to be at the crease with MS Dhoni missing a simple stumping, went for one shot too many as Jadeja (4-0-33-4) picked up his third wicket of the game.
It was curtains for RR as Faulkner, Royals' final hope, fell an over later, the 14th, to Ishwar Pandey as CSK eased home, despite the best efforts of Rajat Bhatia (23, 20b, 1x4, 1x6) and Dhawal Kulkarni (28, 19b, 2x6).
The first innings was about one man apparently batting on a different pitch as the other players around him crumbled quicker than a cookie.
Dwayne Smith smashed the bowlers in great style at the top of the innings, scoring 50 in just 28 deliveries (6x4, 3x6), while the other CSK batsmen managed just 77 runs combined from the rest of the 92 deliveries.
Brendon McCullum did not get much of the strike in the first five overs, and the New Zealand fell while trying to force the pace, with Steven Smith taking a stunning running catch. James Faulkner, though, did not have much time to enjoy the wicket, as the bowler was smashed for four consecutive boundaries in his next four deliveries by Smith with CSK romping to 51 for one at the end of the Powerplay.
Smith got to his 50 with a wonderful six over cow corner, before everything went wrong for CSK. The West Indian, looking for another big hit, mistimed a short ball from Stuart Binny completely with Shane Watson completing a simple catch.
That dismissal of Smith proved to be the turning point of the innings, as CSK lost three further wickets for just 15 runs, with Suresh Raina, Faf Du Plessis and MS Dhoni all following him back to the pavilion in quick succession.
Raina (4, 9b) was foxed by the wily Bhatia (4-0-13-2), yet again the pick of the bowlers for the Royals, with Du Plessis (7, 9b) unlucky to be run out at the bowler's end with Bhatia getting a slight touch off a shot straight down the ground from Dhoni.
The Chennai skipper, though, did not last too long either, playing an uncharacteristic shot straight down the throat of Faulkner off Pravin Tambe (one for 27).
That wicket put CSK on 74 for five in the 11th over, with Ravindra Jadeja (36, 33b, 2x4), with some help from Mithun Manhas and R Ashwin, steadying the ship to take his side to 140, which at the end of the night proved to be enough.
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