Chennai Super Kings down Rajasthan Royals in last-ball thriller - GulfToday

Chennai Super Kings down Rajasthan Royals in last-ball thriller


Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni plays a shot against Rajasthan Royals during their IPL match in Jaipur on Thursday. Agence France-Presse

Mitchell Santner hit last-ball six after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu scored half-centuries to help Chennai Super Kings register a four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday.

Earlier, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) rode on some disciplined bowling effort to restrict Rajasthan Royals (RR) to a modest 151/7.

Despite having some star batsmen in their line-up, Chennai bowlers jolted Rajasthan at regular intervals. It was Shreyas Gopal’s quick-fire seven-ball 19 down the order that helped the hosts cross the 150-run mark.

For Chennai, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja picked up two wickets each while Mitchell Santner bagged one.

Put into bat by the most successful IPL franchise, the home side lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane (14 off 11) in the third over. His partner Jos Buttler (23 off 10) also departed in the next over with just 45 runs on the board.

While Rahane was dismissed by Chahar, Buttler’s stay was cut short by Thakur.

Sanju Samson (6) also couldn’t show much fight, becoming a victim of Santner in the sixth over, as the Rajasthan middle-order collapsed with Steven Smith (15 off 22) and Rahul Tripathi (10 off 12) also falling in quick succession with just 78 runs on the board.

Ben Stokes (28 off 26), Riyan Parag (16 off 14), Jofra Archer (13 off 12) and Gopal then chipped in with valuable contributions to help Rajastha post a somewhat respectable total.

CSK’s all-rounder David Bravo feels Dhoni is a legend in his own right and while people talk about passionate fans that Chennai have, there are some who are exclusively Dhoni fans. The beauty of it, the former West Indies all-rounder said was that people coming out to cheer for Dhoni invariably support CSK, who get crowd support even away from home.

“We are led by the best in the world and that attracts everyone. You don’t have to be just CSK fans, a lot of them are just Dhoni fans. That is the beauty of being led by him because when we play in different stadium, say at the Wankhede or in Hyderabad, there is a lot of yellow in the stands. This shows the support and fan base he has individually,” he said while interacting during Chennai’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Chennai fans are known to be one of the most passionate in the world and Bravo feels that it always helps to have the backing of the crowd as that also brings out the best in the players.

“It is good, the people in Chennai are very passionate about the game, the sport and about Chennai Super Kings. Every game is a full house and even before the start of the IPL, whenever we practice, one stand is always full. Feels good to have that support. When you have a team that is doing well, it attracts everyone,” he explained.

Meanwhile, continuing from last year’s ‘Cancer Out’ campaign that created awareness about early screening of cancers, the Royals have expanded the movement to address more social issues. It included launch of the Royal Sparks platform, an initiative that is aimed at scouting and training budding female cricketers in Rajasthan.

‘Aurat hain, toh Bharat hain!” was the theme for the evening, which witnessed the coming together of some of the meritorious women from across Rajasthan who have made their own mark in the society and had inspiring stories to share.

Prior to the start of play, both captains, Rahane and Dhoni, exchanged plaques encapsulating the message of empowered women. It was followed by the felicitation of the Royal Sparks girls by the two skippers. Undoubtedly, the young women cricketers were the stars of the evening.

The memorable evening also hosted many other inspirational women from the state as part of Rajasthan Royals’ initiative of recognising and supporting women as champions and inspiring them to empower society to create a better and sustainable Rajasthan.

Indo-Asian News Serice

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