Brendon McCullum’s 61-ball-81 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 4 wicket haul helped Chennai Superkings to cement their place in 2015 IPL playoffs by moving on top of the table with 16 points after registering their eighth win.
Earlier Chennai Superkings won the toss and their skipper MS Dhoni chose to bat first. Brendon McCullum had been threatening to explode all season with an unbeaten century he scored earlier and fell short of 19 runs to put another century in his kitty today. He scored 81 runs off 61 balls including seven fours and four sixes. It wasn’t a dream start for Chennai as they were reduced to 17/2 by the end of four overs.
Inspite of a trembling start, the fortune favored Chennai and a partnership between Brendon McCullum and Faf du Plessis helped to cross the mark of hundred runs for the team in the fifteenth over. Faf du Plessis was dismissed when he got engaged in a direct hit by Shane Watson, Faf wanted to steal another run but fell short of some inches before reaching the crease-line. The next over followed by McCullum’s send off to the dugout when Ankit Sharma showed no respect to him and took his catch. McCullum’s great effort came to an end off Chris Morris’ ball. Morris who is a former CSK player was the pick of the bowlers for Rajasthan, taking 3 for 19. Partnership between MS Dhoni(11) and DJ Bravo(9) contributed some runs to take the score to 157/7.
The captaincy title for the Royals was carried on by Steve Smith today instead of Shane Watson. Steve Smith with his captaincy tactics succeeded to restrict CSK below the mark of 160. But CSK has got many big names attached to their side but gladly the out-of-form Ravindra Jadeja proved his presence in the team today. His brilliant 4-for-11 included two crucial wickets of the Aussies, one of skipper Steven Smith and the other one of Shane Watson.
The department where Rajasthan Royals failed today was their batting side where no partnership survived for long. Continuous loss of wickets started to put pressure of the batsmen which they failed to release. Orange cap holder Ajinkya Rahane(23) seemed to have gotten off to a decent start, but fell within a couple of balls to reduce Rajasthan to 31/1 in the midst of the sixth over. Skipper Steve Smith, who came to the crease at number three managed to stand for only six balls. Steve Smith mistimed a sweep and the ball went straight to hit the leg stump and the bails were dislodged from their place.
When Jadeja came to bowl the tenth over and bid farewell to Watson’s innings and send him straight to the dugout. Watson tried sending the ball towards the long-off and DJ Bravo pulled off an absolute blinder by taking a one-handed catch and left the crowd in awe. After the end of ten overs Chennai crumbled Rajasthan to 63/3.
Despite the top-batsmen getting a decent start, the middle and lower order once again crumbled badly. But even after a fighting reply from the Rajasthan batsmen, the tourist side fell 12 runs short of their target.
The host side successfully managed to fix a spot into the playoffs for the eighth consecutive time. The word ‘Consistency’ is what best defines Chennai Superkings. Ravindra Jadeja won the Man-of-the-match award for his 4-for-11 (with an economy rate of 2.75).