Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2011, Chennai May 4, 2011

All-round Chennai cruise to fourth straight win

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Chennai Super Kings 149 for 2 (Hussey 79*, Raina 61) beat Rajasthan Royals 147 for 6 (Dravid 66, Watson 32, Jakati 2-22) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chennai Super Kings continued their dominance at home and eased to a fourth-successive win in conditions where power play took a backseat to opportunistic strokemaking, and stamina and steady consolidation were more crucial than short outbursts of runs. The sweltering Chennai heat and a slow pitch made it a tiring ordeal for batsmen, and it seemed at one stage that Rajasthan Royals, riding on the back of Rahul Dravid's fluent half-century, would have the better of the contest. But an inspired recovery from Chennai's faltering bowlers and a controlled approach to the chase from Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey set up a comfortable win - their fifth in five games at home this season.

The Rajasthan openers, Dravid and Shane Watson, had displayed excellent determination to occupy the crease and set a strong foundation to their team's innings. The pair ran well between wickets, rotated the strike, picked the gaps to scramble back for the twos, before Dravid took charge against the spinners. He pulled R Ashwin twice in an over to the midwicket fence, reverse-swept and punched Suraj Randiv for three fours in an over to different parts of the ground. The highlight of the first ten overs was his inside-out drive over extra cover off Shadab Jakati, as Rajasthan coasted to 86 in the first ten overs.

The trigger for the fightback was a brilliant return catch from Jakati off Watson, as he put his hands up and intercepted a ferocious thwack back towards him in the 11th over. Despite an encouraging run-rate, and with plenty of ammunition left in the batting for a surge at the death, the desire for clearing the ropes overrode any thought of building the innings for a few more overs. Ashok Menaria holed out needlessly against Ashwin, and Johan Botha, who had picked a cheeky boundary, succumbed when he tried to use force against Jakati. Dravid was swimming in sweat in the Chennai heat and fell to a tiring shot, and not long after, the seamers returned to contain the flow further. A couple of fours from Ross Taylor was offset by a double-strike from Albie Morkel in the penultimate over, and Rajasthan only managed 61 in the last ten, losing six wickets.

The wicket of M Vijay was an early boost for Rajasthan but some sloppy fielding, a difficult opportunity that was grassed, and the maturity of the Raina-Hussey combine put paid to Rajasthan's hopes. Stuart Binny conceded eight runs in the field, through a misfield and an overthrow, and was listless with the ball. Raina was let off by Watson diving full stretch in the deep, but otherwise there weren't any opportunities.

Like the Chennai bowlers had done in the first ten overs, Rajasthan's attack erred in line and length, giving the batsmen timely opportunities to pierce the field. Siddharth Trivedi bowled too often down the leg side, and the more accurate Watson and Botha were worked around. With both batsmen settling in well, left-arm spinner Nayan Doshi was carted for two sixes in the 11th over - the same passage in the Rajasthan innings had marked a decisive turn of events. As the shoulders drooped, Binny doled freebies outside off which Hussey cut for successive fours before delivering the same treatment to Menaria on the leg side. Raina's dismissal was against the run of play, but his knock, along with Hussey's, had made a relatively one-sided contest out of a potential cracker.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    Though I am a hard core CSK fan, i really wanted RR to win after Dravid's knock. Such a classy player always overshadowed by something or other. We all talk about VVS epic 280+ and VSS was accompanied by THE WALL...when it comes to Ganguly's highest 183 in ODI, Wall was there with 145...Sachin's 186 score, WALL was there with 153...Dravid may be the only cricketer not to get a Player of the Match after scoring two centuries in a test. Test #1438. I love him for his style and commitment, more importantly, what a team player he is.

  • Aussasinator on May 5, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    The IPL is only now getting a bit watchable, as serious business starts.

  • HSAF on May 5, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Why always cricinfo is omitting my comments. As of now, i have tried many times and none of them appeared on comments section. I wonder why as I have not even abused anybody.

  • Guru_Bennur on May 5, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    What an Innings man...! Dravid u Rocks man...! It's One of the Best Innings in This IPL 4. Mally Sr and Jr R u watching....Come on jammy Dikhado...Jamana ko Aap chese hay kya....

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    RR lost because of poor tactics by warney today..he should have sent rosco when watson was out..and the field placing was very defensive and has proved to be a walk in the park for the CSK...strike was rotated freely and Maneria ahead of taylor???the match was lost there....Dravid played brilliantly but was not supported in the end after watson got out...RR has a lot of problems..if the same team plays in future,the result would be the same..get Tait in the team..the bowling looks ordinary when warne fails to pick wickets!!! Wake Up warne..

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    With Raina,Hussey,Badri among runs, I'd like to see Dhoni,M.vijay to bat long and get their form back... Dhoni is batting well but he needs a long innings to get his shots rit... It's important 2 have a strong batting line up.. 1 thing i'd like to see is the debut of francois du plessis in place of randiv.. Coz we'd miss randiv in few days, it's important to give chance to francois du plessis. As he is from SA he can be good in the field and he is an all rounder... Which is good news for CSK... All the best CSK...

  • cricfan99003396 on May 5, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Swwetspot - Pls look at the scorecard before commenting on Dravid. He scored 66 runs in 51 balls (129 strike rate), Watson scored 32 in 26 balls (123 strike rate) and only Taylor had better strike rate - 20 runs i n 14 balls (142 strike rate). Rajasthan Royals could reach 148 because of Dravid's innings. He improvised and played a very good T20 innings. What he lacks is big shots clearing the ground but he makes up with deft placements. After so much of cricket, pitches are slowing down and slam bang kind of approach will not help. Teams need Dravid kind of players to play out 20 overs. He might slow down some times but others like Taylor, Watson... are expected to increase the run rate in such situations. Infact, on these kind of slow pitches Dravid will outscore players like Watson and Taylor with his subtle technique.

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Rahul dravid is unstoppable man,,,under 42 degrees a 38 year old man playing such beautiful cricket,,,can pay more than a billion to watch that.

  • dummy4fb on May 5, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    WALL u always stand TALL !!! Dravid never stops entertaining his fans. He s a class act.. HAPPY for him :) Proud to be ur fan jammy !!!

  • ajayrcs on May 5, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Mr.Hussey was one of my favorite cricketer, But after this match he is not. Its amazing to see how the attitude of a player changed towards his country and club. He really told the world that MONEY RULES.National teams drop such kind of players. And very happy with Indian players who chose domestic side than foreign club.

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