CSK too good for Royals

2014-04-23 21:07
Chennai Super Kings (AFP)
Dubai - The Rajasthan Royals, having given themselves a great chance to add a second win in their campaign, pushed the self-destruct button to gift the Chennai Super Kings a seven-run win in Dubai on Wednesday.

According to the website, the reason the margin was so narrow was down to Dhawal Kulkarni's go-for-broke effort, in which he scored 28 off 19 balls, but it was too far a target.

Superb bowling by Royals had cut through the much-vaunted Kings batting line-up, restricting them to just 140 for six, giving them a run-rate of just seven an over.

But in their eagerness, they threw their bats at simple, controlled spin, and threw away their chances.

Having been blown away for 84 by the Kings XI Punjab in their previous match, they will need some serious reflection on their attitude.

The Royals' success had been based on slower deliveries and the Kings took that on board.

They brought in their spinners in the sixth over, having been given an early breakthrough with the ridiculous run-out of Abhishek Nayar who was so far down the wicket on an lbw appeal that he was outpaced by Brendon McCullum from mid-off.

After that it was a procession of poor shots which killed momentum and any rational partnership.

The turning point came when left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets in two balls in the seventh over, leaving the Royals at 44 for four.

Chennai will take the win with gratitude, but they too will reflect on their innings.

Only Dwayne Smith showed any initiative after they were put in to bat.

They could also be grateful for the 11 runs they gained from Royal wides, four which came in one over from Dhawal Kulkarni. Only 13 boundaries were struck, and nine of those came from Smith.

After the power play, 51 runs had been scored, of which 44 came from Smith with six fours and two sixes. Four of those fours came in succession as if to punish James Faulkner for the wicket of McCullum.

The New Zealander had top edged high into the sky and the race to the ball was won by the athletic Steve Smith, who took a brilliant diving catch.

That's when the wheels came off. Smith hammered his third six, bringing up his 50, and then was deceived by a slower ball from Stuart Binny as he tried another slog, popping an easy catch to Shane Watson. He had scored 26 off his last six balls, but all was undone by one injudicious moment.

If any can rue his misfortune, it was Faf du Plessis, struck down by the cruel finger of fate.

MS Dhoni's straight drive brushed the outstretched hand of Bhatia on its way to the stumps with Du Plessis out of his ground.

Legbreak bowler Pravin Tambe broke the back of the Chennai innings with the one that mattered: but he was helped in no small measure by dangerous Dhoni aimlessly pulling to deep square leg.

From 59 for one, Chennai were reeling at 74 for five.

Jadeja (36) and Ravi Ashwin played well to push the score to a point which gave their bowlers a chance, which they took with both hands, aided by the Royals' meltdown.

Jadeja's 36 runs and four wickets earned him a well-deserved man of the match award.


Chennai Super Kings: DR Smith, BB McCullum, SK Raina, F du Plessis, MS Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), M Manhas, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, BW Hilfenhaus, IC Pandey, MM Sharma

Rajasthan Royals: AM Rahane, SR Watson (captain), SV Samson (wicketkeeper), STR Binny, SPD Smith, AM Nayar, JP Faulkner, R Bhatia, TG Southee, DS Kulkarni, PV Tambe


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