Chennai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Chennai April 22, 2013

Super Kings batting might trumps Watson ton

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Chennai Super Kings 186 for 5 (Hussey 88, Raina 51, Faulkner 3-20) beat Rajasthan Royals 185 for 4 (Watson 101, Binny 36*, Ashwin 2-20) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chennai Super Kings have more match-turning batsmen than any other side in the tournament, and that was on display yet again as they hunted down 186 against Rajasthan Royals. Michael Hussey, who made the slowest 40-plus score in the IPL in the previous match, showed off his versatility with a boundary-filled 88, the out-of-form Suresh Raina powered his way to a half-century, MS Dhoni narrowed the gap to the target though he couldn't close out the game this time. It was left to Dwayne Bravo to pound a final-over six and deliver victory, before breaking out into a joyous chukka chukka dance.

The endless depth in Super Kings' batting meant that Shane Watson's typically power-packed century, the first hundred of the season, and James Faulkner's pinpoint death bowling was not enough for the perennial underdogs Rajasthan Royals to pull off another upset.

Royals have won all 15 matches in which they have had to defend more than 162, but once the Super Kings chase began, Royals never looked outright favourites. Ajit Chandila continued to have success with his seemingly harmless and variation-less offspin bowling, dismissing M Vijay cheaply, but Hussey began with a barrage of boundaries, including a six over midwicket to ensure Super Kings kept pace. It was a shot he used often and effectively as he shed his usual role of anchor, and turned into an aggressor.

Raina was no slouch either, playing two of his trademark strokes - the slog over midwicket and the inside-out lofted hit over extra cover - as the pair, helped by some erratic bowling, powered Super Kings past 100 in the 10th over.

Faulkner gave Royals some hope by getting Raina lbw, but with Cooper bowling too many wide deliveries that were easily guided by Hussey to behind backward point for four, and the finishing expert, Dhoni, in the middle, Super Kings were still ahead.

A spot-on direct-hit from Dravid to send back Hussey renewed Royals' fight, before Faulkner bowled two superb death overs, getting rid of Ravindra Jadeja for a duck, and then dismissing Dhoni caught at wide long-on. It was down to Bravo to score 11 off the final over, off Watson who has only recently re-started bowling. Watson missed the length on one and was drilled over sweeper cover for six to virtually kill off the contest.

It was a bittersweet match for Watson, who had been in imperious touch earlier. The carnage started in earnest from the third over, as he coolly launched Mohit Sharma's first delivery over the bowler's head for six. Chris Morris was helped over deep backward square leg for six, the giant West Indian fast bowler Jason Holder proved ineffective on debut and by the end of the seventh, Royals had whooshed to 71.

The over which defined the innings was the 17th, bowled by Jadeja. The first ball was a hit-me full toss that was clobbered over long-on for six. Jadeja, already taken for 27 in his first two overs, was flustered by the big hitting, and sprayed the next ball miles outside off stump. It was followed up by another full toss that was deposited for six, and another shocking wide, several metres outside off.

Watson ended that over on 99, and brought up the first hundred of the season with a gentle nudge behind square leg in the next over. With Stuart Binny regularly scything the ball over the off side, Royals ran up what seemed a terrific total of 185. Not against Super Kings.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Indian_Logic on April 24, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    @Tru_Cricket_Fan on (April 22, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

    Sorry i do not knew that you are poor in abbreviations .I have just 1000 words.So pardon me for using the SMS tactics to the language. By the way, Sorry if i had made grammatical mistakes .But seems your inability to understand the language and the writing style was the issue.Because You may already have seen Many have replied to my comments before and after your comment as well.They have got what i said crystal clearly.So i do not know about you .Some times i made mistakes because it is not my native language and i use language just ti communicate not as a kinda ornament to me .So if somebody gets what i said it is more than ok with me.In your case my worries are why you only could unable to understand it while others as you see have understood well

  • harshthakor on April 24, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    A great game of cricket with Chennai crossing the line with the loss of Dhoni at a crucial juncture for the 3rd consecutive time.This fact has immense significance.A brilliant counter assault by Chennai in a run -chase who superbly mantained their scoring rate.

  • harshthakor on April 24, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    One of the best games of cricket .Chennai brilliantly launched a magnificient counter-attack to a big target,never letting the run rate climb over 10 runs per over.For the 3rd successive time inspite of losing Dhoni at a crucial stage Chennai have attained their target.This fact has significance..

  • vsroc on April 23, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman

    It was a morale boosting victory for CSK against RR at Chepauk.

  • Yasin123Patel on April 23, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Y'day was a australian show. Watto score a 100, hussey played a match winning inning and Faulkner bowled a brilliant bowling on a flat track to keep game alive. Last match played at chennai also a austrlian show. May be they love chennai.

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    MONISH JOSHY says on 23/Apr/2013 I feel that RR need not panic, they can still come back to the top 4. For a team to win, a 100% team effort is needed. Every 11 players with out being selfish need to focus on getting their personal responsibilities accomplished and making the team win. But there are a lot of positive signs for RR that includes Shane Watson in his best with bat& ball, Binny is doing his job well, Faulkner developed as a lethargic bowler, Dravid being a good captain and consistent in is performances so as Rahane. Chandilla is doing a good job as a spinner. Also very happy to see Sreesanth with calm and composure, also with an excellent economy rate of 6. But Sree need to be more focused, should not bowl on leg side. try to pitch the bowl in good length area and out swing ball with perfection, never even bowl yorker on leg side . If you need some more boost, watch your 5 wicket hauls in SA and Australia.

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Viru's innings against MI ignited all the big run chases in the tournament. Punjab chased a 180 plus score immediately after the DD vs MI match and now it's CSK's turn right after that...

    Viru really is an 'Opener' (for big run chases too)... :-)

  • crickarr on April 23, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    csk has a settled team and have a better team spirit than the other franchises which are packed with mercinaries

  • true_point on April 23, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    WoW! What a game!!. The end was meant for brave heart and not for weak heart. But VeeJay could not bluff his form like Sir. Veeru. Sir. Jadeja was "Jadega Saaaar" yesterday. One of those days !. This 2013 Pepsi IPL is the IPL of the Forty's. Players who are 40+ or nearing 40, are shining in this year's IPL. Testimony is Sachin, Dravid, M. Hussey, Azar, M. Muralidharan, etc., etc. So far Gilly is yet to come to the party. But team selection left to be desired. Need hitters at the start.

  • dummy4fb on April 23, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    I don't know how many of you noted it, ashwin is slowly becoming all spinner from off spinner as yesterday he bowled a conventional leg spin, to watson i think,he just adds one more to is vault of variations. hope it comes handy and all the best to him.