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Plays of the Day from the first semi-final between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur
Andrew Fidel Fernando
October 4, 2013
Ajinkya Rahane's 56-ball 70 was populated by serene strokeplay, and perhaps the shot of the tournament came from his blade against R Ashwin in the 12th over. The bowler delivered a legbreak, which has been successful for him in this tournament, but picking it early, Rahane backed away a touch and did little more than caress the ball gracefully over cover. Though his bat speed did not suggest an abundance of power, Rahane timed the ball so well it sailed high above the boundary and into the stand.
Michael Hussey remains one of the most prolific runners between the wickets in world cricket, but M Vijay's reluctance to steal a quick one cost the former his wicket and set the tone for Super Kings' innings. Hussey drove Shane Watson down the ground, which the bowler parried to mid-on in the third over, and immediately set out for the single, with Vijay also seeming to respond to the call. When Vijay looked back however, he had second thoughts which proved fatal. Hussey was already two-thirds down the pitch when his partner sent him back, and Kevon Cooper, the mid-on fielder, needed only lob the ball to the keeper to send Hussey on his way.
Dishant Yagnik, playing his first game of the CLT20 this year, stumped S Badrinath in the ninth over of Super Kings' innings, but had done little to deserve it - perhaps through little fault of his own. Pravin Tambe's legbreak kept unnaturally low to evade the batsman's advance, and although the low bounce fooled Yagnik as well, he had at least managed to get his body behind the line of the ball, which hit his pad and bounced back on to the stumps, long before Badrinath could return to the crease.
While Tambe took three wickets for seven runs from his last three overs to cut down Super Kings' middle order, it was Rahul Shukla who took dismissed the key man in the opposition ranks, with perhaps the best ball of the match. MS Dhoni had not yet begun finding the boundary, but Shukla, his state-mate from Jharkhand, deigned to deny him that chance by angling one in to pitch on off stump, before straightening off the seam at a rapid pace. Dhoni played down the wrong line and was struck on his outside pad, and after a prolonged appeal from the bowler, the umpire agreed the ball would have hit the top of off stump.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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