Hindustan Times (East UP)
CSK’s spin punch exposes RR
Spinners Jadeja and Moeen Ali share five wickets to hand CSK a facile 45-run win against Rajasthan
NEW DELHI: Before the 12th over of the chase began, Jos Buttler found himself a run away from a first IPL fifty this season. Not only was the steep chase of 189 hinging heavily on the shoulders of the Rajasthan Royals opener, Buttler was also enjoying batting against the Chennai Super Kings bowler waiting to restart proceedings in Ravindra Jadeja. On two previous occasions in earlier Jadeja overs, Buttler had turned lefty with switch-hits to the fence. And when he remained a right-handed batsman at the crease, Buttler even sent a Jadeja no-ball clattering against the empty seats of the Wankhede Stadium.
At this point, Rajasthan was 87/2 after 11 overs with Buttler on 49 and there the pair of them were, batsman and bowler, eager to tilt this evenly-balanced match one way or the other. Jadeja couldn’t have known it then, but he was about to put an end to the contest altogether. The very first ball gripped and turned around a leaden-footed Buttler’s poke, and the Englishman had his off stick pegged back. If that wasn’t enough, Jadeja trapped Shivam Dube, batting on 17, with the final ball of the same over.
With Sanju Samson having thrown his wicket away in the beginning of the chase, the Rajasthan captain would’ve depended on the lower middleorder order to come good again; just the way it had in the previous game and chase against Delhi Capitals. But David Miller’s innings was switched off in the space of five balls this time around, out leg-before to Moeen Ali in the over after Jadeja’s double-blow.
Then, in Ali’s second over, the 15th, he too struck twice and both Riyan Parag and Chris Morris holed out to outfielder Jadeja, stationed specifically for those slogs at cow corner.
The fall of Morris saw Rajasthan lose 5 wickets for just 8 runs (from 87/2 to 95/7), ensuring the rest of the match was a mere formality. But that didn’t stop Jaddu from darting this way and that about the boundary ropes, saving runs, however irrelevant, and affecting more wickets via catches. It had been a difficult couple of months for the Saurashtra all-rounder, having missed out on all international cricket since the Sydney Test back in January due to an injury, and he had well and truly announced his return at Rajasthan’s expense.
Samson would’ve been really frustrated to have conceded as many as 188 runs in the first place, especially since none of the Chennai batsmen scored more than 33 runs. Also, Samson’s bowlers bowled six boundary-less overs and eight overs with just one stroke getting to the ropes, usually against the run of play. But the few pressure-releasing overs that
Chennai managed turned out to be really crucial towards building that towering total, and the first of those release-overs was bowled by Rajasthan’s hero from the previous game, Jaydev Unadkat.
After a quiet start and the loss of his fellow opener in Ruturaj Gaikwad, CSK top scorer Faf du
Plessis tore into Unadkat in the fifth over—two premeditated paddle scoops gave him consecutive fours, before du Plessis changed his gloves and lifted a six over long off as well. Unadkat had conceded all of 15 runs in his entire spell against Delhi Capitals, but this over alone would go for 19 after the South African tonked the final ball over the bowler’s head for four more.
But just as du Plessis threatened to tee off, he was in the following over to compatriot Morris. This sixth over by Morris was the first by a right-arm seamer in the match, and the change in arm and angle possibly did the trick for Rajasthan, with du Plessis holing out in the deep like so many CSK batsmen tonight.
But it was Chetan Sakariya’s (the most inexperienced of RR’s three left-armers) subtle changes in speed that really put the brakes on Chennai’s middle-order. Young Sakariya’s wickets on Monday night were Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu – how about that for a collection in a three-for.
Sakariya’s 3/36 included dismissing Rayudu and Raina in the same over, the 14th, in which he gave away just five runs. Then spinner Rahul Tewatia and Mustafizur Rahman kept Dhoni and Ravidnra Jadeja eerily quiet in overs 15 and 16, respectively, allowing only eight runs between them. Dhoni hit a rare boundary off Sakariya in the 18th and was out next ball, and that over ended up costing Rajasthan 15 runs thanks to a cut six from Sam Curran. When the penultimate over also ended up going for as many, Dhoni would’ve heaved a sigh of relief in the dugout; for his bowlers would soon have plenty to bowl at.
Brief scores: CSK 188/9 (Faf du Plessis 33, Moeen Ali 26, Ambati Rayudu 27, Dwayne Bravo 20*; Chetan Sakariya 3/36, Chris Morris 2/33). RR 143/9 (Jos Buttler 49, Jaydev Unadkat 24; Sam Curran 2/24, Ravindra Jadeja 2/28, Moeen Ali 3/7). CSK won by 45 runs.