Tasked with chasing down a mammoth 217 - no IPL team has ever chased down a total this daunting - CSK fell short by 16 runs, but ensured that their net run rate was not too badly damaged. This was the highest total scored by RR and highest conceded by CSK in their respective IPL histories.
The night belonged to Kerala batsman Sanju Samson, who mercilessly smashed 9 sixes and a four on his way to a blistering 74 off 32 balls. Key in the first innings was RR captain Steve Smith, who played the anchor role while also pushing the pedal down when needed, making 69 off 47. The finishing touches were made by Jofra Archer, who struck four powerful sixes to send RR's total beyond 200 and into challenging territory.
Samson, Smith and Archer's performances did well to obscure some batting failures from the Rajasthan camp - a much-vaunted Yashasvi Jaiswal, for instance, walked back after a poor shot for a low score. The high total also meant Tom Curran got away with an expensive outing with the ball.
On the other side, Faf du Plessis' late striking made the CSK batting effort look a lot better than it was, and made a match whose result was hardly in doubt at any point look close on paper.
Here, we look at three players who carried high expectations but were unable to follow through.
#3 Piyush Chawla (CSK)
Veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla entered Match 4 of the IPL riding on a wave of confidence. In the opening game of the IPL, he was very frugal against a strong Mumbai Indians line-up, finding grip on the surface and finishing with 4-0-21-1.
In a true show of how fortunes can fluctuate in this tournament, Chawla struggled on a pitch that was not as conducive to spin. Bowling either fuller to try and deceive the batsmen in flight, or on the shorter side to change it up, his variations too seemed predictable. It truly seemed that Sanju Samson's blade was blind to the turn as Chawla saw ball after ball fly over his head for six.
In his first two overs, which included a free hit, Chawla was torn into for 47 runs. That he finished with 4-0-55-1 was largely due to a decent comeback once the set batsmen in Smith and Samson departed. He managed to get the out-of-sorts Uthappa caught in the deep trying to go big, but by then, the damage to his bowling figures, and to a good extent Chennai's chances, was done.
#2 Kedar Jadhav (CSK)
When Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav came to the crease, the Chennai chase looked improbable. Sent in after the team lost two in two, both stumped to unlikely hero Rahul Tewatia, Jadhav was tasked with reviving the chase and instilling some momentum.
Instead, the right-hander found it difficult to put away the RR bowling. His knock of 22 off 16 did not contain any hits clearing the rope, which were the kind the Super Kings were desperately looking for. His dismissal was that of a batsman looking to get a move on - throwing his hands at a slower one, getting a thick edge. All it did was give Samson more of the spotlight, and on a special night, he did not disappoint.
#1 Robin Uthappa (RR)
Rajasthan Royals made a team decision to open with young Yashasvi Jaiswal and Steve Smith. The result of that was Robin Uthappa, a key figure of Kolkata Knight Riders' top order from 2014 to 2019, was relegated to number 5 in the batting order. However, with David Miller run out without facing a ball, Uthappa did have enough time to make an impact, especially with very little pressure.
By the time Uthappa departed, for a 9-ball 6, many things about the match had changed. Chawla, from looking like a bowling machine when Samson was batting, now seemed like a wily trickster. RR, who were set to reach 230-240 at one stage, now looked headed for about 30 runs less, and CSK looked to be regaining control of the game.
While RR were lucky for Jofra Archer's late blitzkrieg, they may have had to pay for Uthappa's failure to capitalise.
Published 23 Sep 2020, 00:57 IST