Scintillating fifties by Rajasthan Royals (RR) batters Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 off 21) and Shivam Dube (64 not out off 42) combined to outshine a sparkling maiden hundred by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad.
As a result, the Rajasthan Royals stunned the Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets, acing a chase of 190 in Match 47 of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Abu Dhabi.
Jaiswal reached his fifty off 19 balls as RR got off to an unbelievable start. The 19-year-old was the dominant partner in a rollicking first-wicket stand of 77 with Evin Lewis (27 off 12) in 5.2 overs.
Jaiswal was dropped in the second over of the chase bowled by Josh Hazlewood. It was an eventful over in which he also hit three fours. After an outside edge brought him a streaky four, Ambati Rayudu dropped a skier off a miscued pull. Jaiswal whipped the next ball to midwicket for four and got another boundary by crunching one between cover and cover-point.
Lewis chipped in by hoicking Sam Curran for a six over cow corner followed by a four via a pull to deep midwicket. He found two more fours in the next over bowled by Shardul Thakur, the fourth of the innings. After pulling a short ball behind square four, he slammed another short ball to deep midwicket, this time for a maximum.
MS Dhoni gave Hazlewood another go and Jaiswal dispatched the CSK pacer for 6,6,4 and 6, racing away to his fifty. Two short deliveries were pulled with disdain for sixes over cow corner and wide long-on. A full ball was then lofted over covers for four. Jaiswal brought up his half-century by whipping the bowler over mid-on for the third six of the over, which went for 22. RR had raced away to 75 in five overs.
CSK fought back as Thakur had Lewis caught at fine leg off yet another short ball. Jaiswal could not add to his score after reaching his half-century. His innings ended on 50 off 21 as KM Asif struck with his first ball. Jaiswal tried to clip a short ball on leg but only managed to glove it to Dhoni.
Shivam Dube continued the good work for RR, creaming three sixes in the space of two overs. After launching Ravindra Jadeja for a huge one towards cow corner, he slapped Moeen Ali for consecutive maximums - the first one over deep midwicket and the second straight over the bowler’s head.
The boundaries kept flowing off Dube’s bat as he got to his maiden IPL fifty off 31 balls at the end of the 14th over. RR needed only 30 off the last six overs to win the game.
RR skipper Sanju Samson (28 off 24) was a silent partner in a third-wicket stand of 89. He was content watching Dube go berserk at the other end until he pulled Thakur to deep square leg.
With the result a foregone conclusion, there was a comical incident towards the end. A ball slipped out of Curran’s hands and almost ended up at short fine leg. The batter, Glenn Phillips, went chasing it for fun.
The free hit was crunched over extra cover for four while Phillips helped himself to a six by slashing one over deep square leg. RR got home in 17.3 overs in what was a thoroughly dominating chase.
Gaikwad hits smashing ton as CSK post 189 for 4
Ruturaj Gaikwad (101 not out off 60) hit a superlative ton as CSK posted an impressive 189 for 4 after being sent into bat. Gaikwad looked in sublime touch from start to finish, smacking nine fours and five sixes during his scintillating knock.
Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja (32 not out off 15) featured in a terrific fifth-wicket stand of 55 as CSK clobbered 48 runs in the last three overs. Gaikwad brought up his hundred off the last ball of CSK’s innings, launching Mustafizur Rahman over the ropes on the leg side.
Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis (25 off 19) again got CSK off to a good start, adding 47 for the opening wicket. The dangerous partnership was broken by Rahul Tewatia, who foxed Du Plessis with one that came in and had him stumped easily. Suresh Raina (3) was promoted in the order but he holed out to deep midwicket trying to attack Tewatia.
At the other end, Gaikwad kept finding the boundaries at regular intervals and eased to his fifty in the 14th over. The CSK opener went berserk after that, walloping Tewatia for consecutive sixes. On both occasions, Gaikwad danced down the track, got to the pitch of the ball and lofted the delivery over the bowler’s head.
Tewatia had something to cheer about as he had Moeen Ali (21) stumped with a wide delivery as the CSK left-hander stepped out too early. However, the trouble was only about to begin for RR’s bowlers. In the 16th over of the innings, Gaikwad smashed newcomer Akash Singh for two fours and a six as the youngster wilted under pressure.
Ambati Rayudu (2) fell cheaply but Gaikwad and Jadeja proved to be double trouble for RR. The 17th over began with the CSK opener whacking a short ball over deep midwicket. Jadeja then clubbed a full toss between deep point and deep cover for four.
Gaikwad was on 95 going into the last over bowled by Mustafizur. He almost didn’t get to a hundred as Jadeja made his presence felt. He sliced the first ball over point for four and then whipped two balls on the onside for six and four respectively, premeditating his shots brilliantly.
Gaikwad remained on 95, going into the last ball of the innings. However, this was to be his day and he got to three figures in some style. Following his sizzling knock, he also became the new holder of the Orange cap.
IPL 2021, RR vs CSK: Who was the Man of the Match?
The RR-CSK clash was dominated by batters. CSK opener Gaikwad played a sublime knock. He hardly slogged, yet he ended up cracking a hundred at a strike rate of 168.33. With the ball, Thakur stood out amid the ruins with figures of 2 for 30.
For RR, Jaiswal came out all guns blazing and set up the chase perfectly for his team. Dube then ensured the opener’s stunning innings did not go in vain, playing a wonderful hand himself. A mention must be made of Tewatia, who had impressive bowling figures of 3 for 39.
Despite ending up on the losing side, Gaikwad was named the Man of the Match for his superlative performance with the willow.