4th Match (N), Sharjah, Sep 22 2020, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, target 217)
Royals won by 16 runs
Player Of The Match
Rajasthan Royals
CSK Innings
Full commentary
end of over 2021 runs
CSK: 200/6CRR: 10 
MS Dhoni29 (17)
Ravindra Jadeja1 (2)
Tom Curran4-0-54-1
Jofra Archer4-0-26-1

And that is that. There will be a lot of debate around CSK's approach. Is their job to provide the separators a spectacle or realistically decide what they can get from the game and try to take that? The spectacle was provided by RR, and it was lovely to watch. Goodnight and good luck

Sanju Samson, the Man of the Match: "That's what my gameplan is. I got lucky to get those few full ball in the starting of the over. The intent is there from the very first ball. I have been working very hard on my fitness, my diet, my training. I have understood that my game is a lot of power so I have to train accordingly. That is what my role is, that is what the game demands. I have developed my power hitting a bit more."

Steven Smith: "Sanju Samson played an unbelievable knock. Felt like everything he was hitting went for six. Jofra Archer's last over. I was just giving Sanju strike, wasn't I? He was middling everything. I hope this sets him up for a big IPL. We will wait and see where I bat once Jos is available. Like to keep them guessing. On this wicket, it was all about trying to avoid straight hits for the spinners. A couple of balls were fuller and got above the eyeline but the idea was to stay back of a length."

MS Dhoni: "217 on the board, you have to had a very good start. That was not the case. They batted really well. Steve and Sanju. You have to give credit to their bowlers too. There was a lot of dew. They knew what lengths to bowl. Their spinners didn't try too many things. That was an error our spinners did in their first couple of overs. Without singling out anyone, a controllable we could have controlled is no-balls. Had we not bowled no-balls, we would have been chasing 200, and it would have been a very good game. Faf batted really well.The key is to adapt. When the spinners are bowling really short, what is important is to still hit over mid-on and not go to square leg because the ball stays low here. I think Faf did that really well."

Call me a cynic, but CSK have played the perfect NRR game. They knew they would be bowled out for 120 if they went for the target too early. Don't get fooled by "oh they were just three hits away", but they could hit so sweetly in the end because there was no pressure on them. This was a net in the middle for them, not a contest to win the match. In the process they cut down the margin of defeat to 16 from 60 if they had gone for it

Let this not sour the lovely hitting we saw from Sanju Samson. The CSK spinners bowled too full to him, but it was some clean hitting. And we should be celebrating a great game by RR ant dissecting CSK's approach. Samson was on another level tonight, Smith played the perfect hand given the thin batting, and Archer provided the great finishing kick

With the ball, despite all the dew, RR were better than CSK. Their spinners didn't give the CSK batsmen those slot balls, and their fast bowlers bashed hard lengths. And to think that nobody gave them a chance coming in. And then they lost the toss. They needed something like 216 to win given the short boundaries and the dew

"Funny! There's a way 200+ scores are chased by teams especially in smaller grounds. There's something called 'calculated risks'. Your own commentary said that - " 19.3 SIX, Dhoni finally showed intent". CSK could've easily got it had they shown little more intent. In the last 2-3 overs, there's nothing to lose even interma on NRR. A difference of 20 runs probably, but if you don't take risks how can you win?" Manish Thaduri, you are absolutely right. CSK just didn't want to take the risk of getting bowled out for 130 when going for the target. I am neither a fan nor a critic of their approach, but I am just saying they achieved what they set out to achieve once they had got off to a slow start. Hope that makes sense

Curran to Dhoni, 1 run
slower short ball, cut away to deep cover for one
Curran to Dhoni, SIX runs
quick bouncer, and Dhoni has a hat-trick of sixes. Pulls this over deep square leg. Equal-highest sixes for an IPL match
Curran to Dhoni, SIX runs
somebody return the ball please. Slower legcutter, Dhoni on a knee, sweet connection, new balls please somebody
Curran to Dhoni, SIX runs
and Dhoni finally shows intent. Plays the pick-up to an on-pace length ball, and sends it sailing over midwicket for another six
Curran to Jadeja, 1 run
quick, on a length, outside off, gets a single
Curran to Dhoni, 1 run
pulled to deep midwicket for another single

And Archer has done his job. All Curran needs to do is not bowl extras

end of over 1910 runs • 1 wicket
CSK: 179/6CRR: 9.42 • RRR: 38.00 • Need 38 runs from 6b
Ravindra Jadeja0 (1)
MS Dhoni9 (12)
Jofra Archer4-0-26-1
Tom Curran3-0-33-1
Archer to Jadeja, no run
and he shows he has learnt from his master. A leave to end the 19th over. Dropping his wrists out of the way like proper Test match cricket

Jadeja is in

Archer to du Plessis, OUT
du Plessis woke the sleeping giant up. Archer bowls the quick bouncer this time, and it is too quick for him. Top edge onto his body, and lobs up for a simple catch for Samson. One thing du Plessis has done through this innings: announce that he can hit clean when he wants to
F du Plessis c †Samson b Archer 72 (37b 1x4 7x6) SR: 194.59
Archer to du Plessis, SIX runs
du Plessis is waiting for a fourth slower ball in the over, and Archer serves it up. He opens up the front leg and pulls this over deep midwicket for another six

Aniruddha: "I am impressed with Dhoni's intent. "

Archer to Dhoni, 1 run
slower short ball again, pulled to deep square for one
Archer to du Plessis, 1 run
slower legcutter again, hit inside-out to deep cover for one. Archer bowling to his field
Archer to du Plessis, 2 runs
slower ball to start off with. Du Plessis manages to loft it wide of deep cover, comes back for two

CSK now need a four off each ball. Six of those balls will be bowled by Archer. His target in this over will be to leave Curran more than 37 to defend in the last over

end of over 1810 runs
CSK: 169/5CRR: 9.38 • RRR: 24.00 • Need 48 runs from 12b
Faf du Plessis63 (33)
MS Dhoni8 (11)
Tom Curran3-0-33-1
Jaydev Unadkat4-0-44-0
Curran to du Plessis, 1 run
slower short ball again, and there is deep midwicket in place to keep this pull down to one
Curran to Dhoni, 1 run
slower short ball, Dhoni pulls, gets just the single
Curran to du Plessis, 1 run
short of a length, off-pace, he goes inside out, but gets just the single to wide long-off
Curran to du Plessis, no run
yorker, dug out straight to short fine leg. Good comeback from Curran, following him with the yorker
Curran to du Plessis, SIX runs
du Plessis is in some kind of zone. This is as good as Samson's hitting. Curran bowls on-pace, and he clears his front leg to send this length ball over long-off for his fifth straight scoring shot that is a six
Curran to Dhoni, 1 run
punched to deep cover for one

Jokes apart, CSK have played this NRR game well. Had they gone hell for leather, they risked getting bowled out for 120. Now they are looking at a score close to 200

end of over 1721 runs
CSK: 159/5CRR: 9.35 • RRR: 19.33 • Need 58 runs from 18b
Faf du Plessis55 (29)
MS Dhoni6 (9)
Jaydev Unadkat4-0-44-0
Jofra Archer3-0-16-0
Unadkat to du Plessis, SIX runs
and there it is. With a lovely straight six, he goes to 55 off 29, but even that strike rate is not good enough after his slow start pushed CSK into a corner

For all the lack of intent early, and after the word Fleming had with him, du Plessis is on the verge of a pretty quick fifty

Unadkat to du Plessis, SIX runs
sets himself up for the short slower ball this time, and pulls this sweetly over midwicket for a six
Unadkat to Dhoni, 1 run
on a length angling in, pushed away for a single
Unadkat to du Plessis, 1 run
Unadkat stays slow, but shortens the length this time. Du Plessis can manage just a single off the pull

Rishi: "Dhoni has gone into NRR management mode. Criticize him all you want but come playoff time he'll have the last laugh."

Unadkat to du Plessis, SIX runs
down the wicket, banking on a slower one, Unadkat serves one up, and he lofts it over wide long-on for a six

Rakesh Sampat: "So, Now, with 5 overs to go and 17 RRR, MSD is going to "TAKE IT DEEP" till the 18th over and it will be like 12 balls and 50 runs to get and then he will tee off reeling of one sixer after another aided by a couple of No Balls and finish this with 2 balls to spare???????? How may are dreaming this scene?? Well, DON'T. It's not going to happen"

Unadkat to Dhoni, 1 run
hits this on the up but straight to long-off

Unadkat to bowl out now