The Rajasthan Royals openers, Steve Smith and Yashasvi Jaiswal, began the innings with caution and circumspect as they looked to build a solid platform for the batsmen to come. Despite this, Jaiswal was dismissed for a brief 6 by the power play specialist and CSK had found the early wicket that they had so desperately been looking for.
Sanju Samson subsequently joined the skipper Steve Smith at the crease and what followed was an extraordinary exhibition of power hitting at its absolute finest…
Samson, ably aided by Smith, capitalized on the distinct lack of movement in pitch for both spinners and pacers by elegantly bludgeoning a sparkling 74 of 32, with his 50 coming of a mere 19 balls, and took the CSK spinners, in particular, to the cleaners.
The Royals looked well on track to a truly humongous score but CSK, being the fighters they are, had other ideas as Sam Curran, in particular, strangled the Royal’s middle order with some excellent lines and lengths that suited the pitch, something that the Super Kings had failed to execute during the onslaught of Samson.
Due to CSK’s fightback, the Rajasthan Royals found themselves at a slightly underwhelming 186 for 7 at the 19th over but the brutal hitting of Jofra Archer ensured that they got much more than that.
Archer tonked 4 sixes in one over, much to the dismay of CSK, and took the Royals to a monumental 216 for 7 while smacking a ridiculous 17 sixes.
The odds were were well and truly against the Super Kings!
Watson and Vijay started with intent as they got to an impressive 56 of 6 overs but it still didn’t seem like enough. Both openers were dismissed in rapid succession and Sam Curran delivered another short but sweet cameo as he tonked 17 of 6. Ruturaj Gaikwad then played a horribly reckless shot to be dismissed first ball and CSK were in all sorts of trouble.
Then in came Kedhar Jadhav who, along with Faf Du Plessis, showed a surprising lack of intent which then pushed the run rate to a seemingly impossible 17 an over. After a stern word by coach Stephen Fleming, they both started to play some more attacking strokes which resulted in the dismissal of Kedhar Jadhav.
Dhoni came in next and he, much to the disappointment of the fans, looked to be preserving the NRR (Net Run Rate) while Faf Du Plessis smoked 6 fine sixes of his own and attempted to keep the Super Kings in the game but he too fell for 72.
MS Dhoni hit 3 sixes at the last over but he did it when the game was mathematically done and dusted . The question has to be asked of why Dhoni did not start showing attacking intent earlier but who knows what goes through the mind of the enigma that is Mahendra Singh Dhoni…