Jaipur, April 11: Rajasthan Royals came too close to winning their second match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 here on Thursday (April 11), but a sensational last-over finish from Chennai Super Kings' batsmen stunned the hosts.
The final over of the match was one of the most dramatic ones as a lot happened in the last six deliveries of the match. With 18 required from the final six deliveries, Ravindra Jadeja hit a six on the first delivery then Dhoni was dismissed by a superb yorker and later Mitchell Santner finished the match with a maximum on the final delivery.
Chasing a gettable 152, Chennai were off to a disastrous start when they lost their top four batsmen in the powerplay itself. Shane Watson (0), Suresh Raina (4), Faf du Plessis (7), Kedar Jadhav (1) were back in the dugout in 5.5 overs and Super Kings once again looked towards their in-form captain.
Along with Ambati Rayudu (57 off 47), Dhoni (58 off 43) revived the team from the troubled waters and their 95-run stand for the fifth wicket. The seasoned campaigners constructed their innings well and ensured the match doesn't slip through their grip.
There was something unusual about Dhoni's approach in this run chase. Unlike his previous knocks, he didn't wait till the end to explode in the death overs. Instead, the 37-year-old took on the offensive in the middle overs to ensure the scoreboard pressure doesn't haunt them too much in the end.
With this win, Dhoni became the first captain in the history of IPL to register 100 wins in the tournament. Together CSK and RR have faced each other 6 times in Jaipur. Both the teams now have registered 3 wins each.
In the previous encounter between these two, Chennai defeated Rajasthan by 8 runs in a closely fought contest at their home ground.
Having been invited to bat first, Rajasthan were off to a disastrous start when their top three batsmen Ajinkya Rahane (14), Jos Buttler (23) and Sanju Samson (6) were dismissed cheaply.
Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Mitchell Santner struck early in the powerplay to push the hosts on the back foot. Dhoni also used Ravindra Jadeja to perfection as the leg-spinner got rid of Steve Smith and Rahul Tripathi in quick succession and completed his IPL career's 100th wicket.
At one stage it seemed that the Royals' innings wouldn't reach 140 in the stipulated 20 overs but the late flourish from Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer ensured the hosts had a decent total to defend and also the momentum in their favour at the innings break.
When asked if he could have done things differently, Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane said, "I don't think so. 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 a 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. A lot to improve in the last 5-6 games. I'm sure guys will take it on and learn from these mistakes. Sanju (Samson) 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 the T20 format. I'm really enjoying my role - a 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," added Rahane.
Here's how the match between RR and CSK panned out:
MS Dhoni winning captain and man of the match: 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. But the team has to take the blame if you've lost. Doesn't matter if it was Shardul's over or someone else's over. Important to see if the batsmen batted well or whether the execution failed. 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.
MS Dhoni wins the man of the match for his match-winning knock.
SIX!!! Santner does it!! CSK have defeated Royals by 4 wickets. What a sensational run chase we have witnessed tonight? This was another dramatic final over. Ben Stokes was hammered for a six on the first ball, gets rid of MS Dhoni with a yorker, and Santner gives the finishing touch.
Big Wicket! Ben Stokes clean bowls MS Dhoni with a brilliant yorker. A fine knock from skipper comes to an end. Was this the game-changing ball???
SIX!! Ravindra Jadeja hits Ben Stokes for a maximum. Both bowler and batsman fell down as they couldn't balance themselves.
Four! A boundary to end Jofra Archer's over. The ball raced towards fine leg boundary. CSK - 134/5 after 19 overs. 18 runs needed from last 6 deliveries. Jadeja will take the strikes.
MS Dhoni is panting after taking three consecutive doubles. He's catching up his breath the physio has rushed in.
Fifty! MS Dhoni brings up his half-century with a double but there is hardly any celebration from the skipper. Second fifty from him in this tournament.
Wicket! Brilliant catch by Shreyas Gopal in the deep and fine innings from Ambati Rayudu (57) comes to an end. Royals have been exceptional in the field. They've fielded well and taken good catches. CSK - 119/5 after 17.4 overs.
Great catching by Rajasthan tonite, Stokes and Gopal taking two of the best this IPL. But not such great bowling allowing CSK to recover from near hopeless position to possibly a winning one. All eyes on Dhoni!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 11, 2019
Four! MS Dhoni pulls the short-pitched delivery from Ben Stokes for a boundary. Superb shot
7 runs came from that over bowled by Jofra Archer. Excellent bowling effort from the speedster. CSK - 113/4 after 17 overs. They need 39 from the next 18 deliveries.
5 runs came from Shreyas Gopal's final over. Excellent stuff. CSK - 106/4 after 16 overs. 46 needed from 24 balls.
Fifty! Ambati Rayudu pulls Unadkat and the ball races towards the boundary. First half-century of the season for Rayudu and 18th overall. CSK - 101/4 after 15 overs.
Rayudu has scored more runs in this innings than in his previous five #IPL innings combined and his false shot percentage has been just 9.5%. A clinical innings at a crucial time for the @ChennaiIPL man.— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) April 11, 2019
SIX!! Ambati Rayudu walks down the ground and dispatches Unadkat for a maximum over long-on. He moves on to 49.
10 runs came from Ben Stokes' first over. Good recovery from the bowler after getting hit for a maximum on the second ball of that over. CSK - 88/4 after 14 overs. They need 64 runs from 36 deliveries.
Brilliant wicket-keeping from Sanju Samson as he saved a certain boundary as Rayudu got an edge on the low full toss from Stokes.
SIX!! Brilliant shot from Ambati Rayudu over long-off against Ben Stokes. He charged down the ground and got the maximum.
SIX!! MS Dhoni hits another maximum against Gopal. The ball sails way into the long-on stands. They need to keep the scoreboard ticking as the asking rate is high and RR pacers are in form. CSK - 78/4 after 13 overs.
Dhoni and Rayudu played that Archer over with caution and got just four runs from it. CSK - 68/4 after 12 overs. 84 runs needed from another 48 deliveries.
Four! Ambati Rayudu hits Parag straight down the ground and ends the over on a positive note. 14 runs came from that over. CSK- 64/4 after 11 overs.
SIX!! Flat shot from Dhoni towards long-on off Riyan Parag.
Halfway through! CSK are 50/4 after 10. They are still 102 runs behind the target and have 60 deliveries in hand.
SIX!!! Huge maximum from MS Dhoni off Shreyas Gopal. The pressure of scoreboard is also forcing the CSK skipper to play some attacking shot.
9 overs have been bowled and CSK could only score 39 runs and lost 4 wickets in the process. They need another 113 runs from 66 deliveries. Royals are in the driver's seat at the moment.
Just 3 runs came from the first over of his maiden game bowled by Riyan Parag. The youngster bowled to none other than Dhoni in his first over. CSK - 28/4 after 7 overs.
Wicket! Superman effort! Sensational catch from Ben Stokes in point and Kedar Jadhav's innings comes to an end for 1. This has to be the catch of the season. Archer strikes in his first over. CSK 24/4 in 5.5 overs. They are in all sorts of trouble.
Ben Stokes has just taken the catch of the IPL so far!— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) April 11, 2019
Review Lost! Desperate review from Jofra Archer and Steve Smith costs Rajasthan their DRS early on. There was no contact between Jadhav's bat and ball.
SIX!! Ambati Rayudu walks down the ground and hammers Dhawal Kulkarni for a maximum over long-on. It was an 82-meter-long shot from the right-handed batsman. CSK - 24/3 after 5 overs.
Big Wicket! Faf du Plessis (7) pulls Unadkat and finds an alert Rahul Tripathi in the deep. It wasn't connected well. CSK are in neck deep trouble now. They are 15/3 after 4 overs.
Brilliant save from Rahul Tripathi near the boundary ropes. Saves a run for his team. Such efforts count in low-scoring games.
Superb over from Dhawal Kulkarni. CSK - 10/2 after 3 overs. He's looking all pumped up and troubling the batsmen.
CSK batsmen are once again finding themselves in trouble. They are 5/2 after 2 overs.
Run Out! Suresh Raina (4) has to depart thanks to a direct-hit from Jofra Archer. Raina must himself blame for his dismissal as he wasn't anticipating that throw. CSK - 5/2 after 1.5 overs. Royals have made this an interesting contest.
Four! Suresh Raina gets off the mark with a boundary off Unadkat.
Wicket! Shane Watson (0) departs without scoring. Dhawal Kulkarni clean bowls the Aussie in the first over. CSK - 0/1, 0.4 overs. Watson slammed a ton against the same opponents last year. He has struggled with his form this season.
2nd innings! Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis to start the run chase for Chennai Super Kings. Dhawal Kulkarni to start with the new ball for Rajasthan Royals.
Shardul Thakur leaks 18 runs from his final over. Shreyas Gopal (19* off 7) and Jofra Archer (13* off 12) add 25 runs off 10 deliveries to finish things with a flourish. RR post a respectable 151/7 in 20 overs.
Four! 150 comes up for Rajasthan Royals with a boundary from Archer. 17 runs already from this over.
SIX!!! Shreyas Gopal hits Shardul Thakur for a maximum. Brilliant shot from him. Poor bowling and gets the punishment.
Four!! Shreyas Gopal hits Shardul Thakur down the ground and collects important runs for his team
Rajasthan Royals reach 133/7 after 19 overs against Chennai.
Four! Brilliant shot from Gopal over long-off. The ball just missed the boundary rope by a centimetre, else it would have been a six.
Castled!! Ben Stokes (28) has been clean bowled with a knuckleball from Deepak Chahar. His second wicket of the innings. RR - 126/7 after 18.2 overs.
8 runs came from Shardul Thakur's over. RR reach 125/6 after 18 overs. Stokes has spent his time into the middle, he should be looking for a late flourish.
After 17 overs, Royals are 117/6. Archer and Stokes - who played aggressively against CSK when these two teams met each other last time - should be looking to score quickly for their team.
10 runs came from Imran Tahir's final over. He ends his spell with 4-0-28-0. No success for him tonight. Ben Stokes has denied the Protea his wicket. He should look to finish with a flourish with Jofra Archer. These two batted well for RR in the previous match between these two teams. RR - 113/6 after 16 overs.
Four! Reverse-sweep from Ben Stokes off Imran Tahir. Good shot from the southpaw against Tahir.
Wicket! Riyan Parag (16) tried to cut Shardul Thakur hard but ends up getting a thick edge and MS Dhoni takes a simple catch behind the stumps. RR - 103/6 after 15 overs.
100 up for Rajasthan Royals in the 15th over.
9 runs came from that over bowled by Tahir. Rajasthan Royals are 98/5 after 14 overs, they need big overs now and post a decent total against CSK.
Four, 0, Four! Young Riyan Parag is dealing in boundaries at the moment as he gets two fours in three deliveries bowled by Imran Tahir.
6 runs came from that over bowled by Imran Tahir and Rajasthan Royals reach 85/5 after 12 overs.
Wicket! Steve Smith (15) sweeps Jadeja and finds Rayudu in the deep. That is 100th IPL wicket for Jadeja. RR - 78/5 after 10.5 overs.
Halfway stage! Rajasthan Royals - 74/4 after 10 overs against Chennai Super Kings. It all depends on how Smith and Stokes do.
Rajasthan Royals are 71/4 after 9 overs. All eyes on Ben Stokes and Steve Smith.
Wicket! Rahul Tripathi (10) tries to hit Ravindra Jadeja over point region to get a boundary but an alert Kedar Jadhav jumps just on time to prevent the ball from going past him and collects it on the second attempt. Excellent catch!! RR - 69/4 after 8.5.
After 8 overs, RR are 64/3. Rahul Tripathi and Steve Smith are present into the middle.
Dropped! Rare sights! MS Dhoni failed to collect the catch behind the stumps. Rahul Tripathi got a sharp edge off Santner but Dhoni couldn't pouch it.
Good comeback from Santner after being hit for runs in the first over. He picks up a wicket and concedes just 1 from his second over. This should give him some confidence. RR - 54/3 after 6 overs.
Wicket! Sanju Samson sweeps Santner for a maximum but Dhruv Shorey (sub) came in running towards the ball that wasn't timed well. The fielder juggled in the deep before holding on to the catch. RR - 53/3 after 5.2 overs.
Four! Short-pitched delivery from Chahar and Steve Smith hits it towards mid-wicket boundary. He too opens his account with a boundary. RR - 53/2 after 5 overs.
RR - 48/2 after 4 overs. They've had an aggressive start but lost the openers cheaply.
Wicket! Jos Buttler (23) mistimes and Ambati Rayudu takes a simple catch to end his innings. Shardul Thakur comes back strongly after getting hit for three consecutive boundaries.
Four, Four, Four! Back-to-back boundaries from Buttler off Shardul Thakur. He's looking in ominous touch tonight. Poor bowling from the speedster first up. RR - 47/1 after 3.3 overs.
Four! Sanju Samson steps into the middle and opens his account with a boundary.
Out!! Dhoni Review System and Deepak Chahar were on the spot. Ball tracking confirmed Ajinkya Rahane was caught in front. The skipper has to depart for 14. RR - 31/1 after 2.5 overs.
Four! Another brilliant shot from captain Rahane off Chahar towards covers.
Big over for Rajasthan Royals! 14 runs came from the first over bowled by Mitchell Santner. He hasn't had a good outing so far. RR - 25/0 after 2 overs.
Four! And, he follows it up this time with a chip shot over long-off. Attacking mindset from Rahane early on.
Four! Ajinkya Rahane steps down the ground and hits Santer over mid-on for a boundary.
Mitchell Santner is bowling the second over for CSK.
Rajasthan Royals are 11/0 after 1st over. Jos Buttler is looking in some mood to attack the bowlers.
SIX!! Jos Buttler clears his intent. Goes on the back foot and dispatches the ball straight down the ground for a maximum. Top quality shot from Buttler.
Four! Jos Buttler gets off the mark with a boundary towards mid-wicket. Good use of wrist from the English opener.
1st Innings: Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler are walking into the middle to open innings for Royals. Super Kings are entering on the ground after the huddle. Deepak Chahar to start with the new ball for CSK.
Head to Head at Jaipur! Rajasthan Royals have won 3 of five games played between these two teams. CSK have won just 2.
No Ashton Turner in Rajasthan Royals Playing XI. One wonders when will he be making his debut for RR.
RR (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane(c), Jos Buttler(w), Steven Smith, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni
Ajinkya Rahane: We were looking to bowl first. Looks a different wicket, looks really good. Overall, we need to play good cricket. I'm not sure, it's on and off, not sure about the dew. It's about playing freely. Sanju Samson is fit and back. Riyan Parag makes his debut and Jaidev Unadkat is back.
CSK (Playing XI): Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.
Toss: CSK wins toss and invites Royals to bat first.
Pitch Report: Michael Slater with the pitch report says the track at Sawai Mansingh Stadium is almost the same as the previous game. As the batting of both the teams hasn't been up to the mark, so the team that bowls well would win this game on a track where average first innings total is 157.
MS Dhoni has registered 99 wins in the IPL.
.@msdhoni on the cusp of winning his 100th IPL match as captain. If it doesnt happen tonite, it will soon. In 2008 when IPL started, did you believe Dhoni would become such a cult figure in the sport Honestly I didn’t. From a fine career, it’s become a truly remarkable one!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 11, 2019
Rajasthan's batting coach Amol Mazumdar gives an update on Sanju Samson's fitness.
A timely update on @IamSanjuSamson's injury ahead of tonight's game by our batting coach! 🙌🏾— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 11, 2019
After a 💯 in his last game, we can't wait to see our smiling sensation back in the middle! What about you, Royals? 💗 #HallaBol #RRvCSK #RR pic.twitter.com/Ub22JFBBGH