IPL 2018, CSK vs RR: Rajasthan dropping Shane Watson twice is SK Turning Point of the match
Shane Watson, the Australian all-rounder, became the second batsman to hit a century in the Indian Premier League 2018 after the West Indies batsman, Chris Gayle. It was an impeccable innings by the right-hander and it came against the Rajasthan Royals in Chennai Super Kings' first home game at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Friday (April 20).
However, it was not a perfect out-and-out hundred by Watson. He was given two lives by the RR players in a dismal display of fielding by the hosts. He was dropped by Rahul Tripathi in the very first over of the game when he edged Stuart Binny to the first slip. The batsman was batting on just 8 runs then and his wicket would have been a perfect start to the innings for the visitors.
Things turned from bad to worse for Ajinkya Rahane and his men in the second over as Watson was given yet another chance to capitalize on his fast-paced start. Tripathi was the culprit yet again. However, this opportunity was not as straightforward as the previous one.
When a batsman like Watson is given not one but two opportunities, he will certainly grab the lifeline by the scruff of the neck, and he did!
The 36-year-old went all guns blazing against the franchise he spent over a decade with during the first few years of the IPL. He ended up scoring 106 runs in just 57 deliveries in a knock that included nine boundaries and six humungous sixes. He was presented with the Man of the Match award for his terrific hitting prowess in the latter stages of his innings. It was his effort that powered CSK to a massive total of 204-5 in their quota of 20 overs.
Royals, in reply, didn't manage to reach a point from where they can provide the final onslaught and take the game away from CSK. They lost their top three within five overs and though Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes added 45 runs for the fourth wicket, the Chennai bowlers kept things tight and did not allow RR the space to accelerate.
While Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo and Karn Sharma bagged two wickets each, Watson and Imran Tahir finished shared a couple of wickets amongst them. For RR, Stokes was the top scorer with 45 runs and Buttler was second on the list with a knock of 22.
Rajasthan Royals have now lost their third game of the season and look off-track at the moment. They need to find a playing XI that caters to the strengths of their players and makes the most of their abilities. Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, are striving under the leadership of MS Dhoni once again.
It was an encounter between the two sides who made a comeback after serving a two-year suspension, and it ended with a massive 64-run victory for the Men in Yellow.
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