Chennai Super Kings have sealed their playoff spot and will be eyeing a top-two finish. For Rajasthan Royals, a win will keep them in the hunt - 14 points could lead to qualification without NRR coming into play. A loss could complicate things for them, as their NRR is the poorest among the teams in contention.
If you're in the USA, you can watch today's game on ESPN+ in English, as well as in Hindi.
RR win with 15 balls to spare
Just 63 in the first 10 overs. Over the next 27.3 overs, 316 runs scored on this pitch at 11.5 an over. Did CSK misread the pitch early, were the RR bowlers that good early or did the conditions change dramatically? We will find out soon. As of now, RR have entered their name in the mid-table muddle, one of the four teams tied at 10 points. They are No. 6 on the table thanks to their ordinary net run rate. Thanks for joining us.
Dube continues assault
After RR lose their openers, Shivam Dube is promoted to No. 4. The plan seems clear: captain Sanju Samson to bat through while Dube, Phillips and Miller hit at the other end. And this seems like a good pitch for power hitters such as Dube and Miller. RR reach 119 in 10 overs, needing 71 in the back 10. Will they be thinking of net run rate now? Their net run rate is pretty poor as of now, but if they can win with three or four overs to spare, they could give themselves a push.
RR scored 81 for 1 in the Powerplay. It is
1. RR's highest score in the Powerplay in the IPL.
2. The highest Powerplay score for any team this IPL.
3. The highest Powerplay score against CSK in any IPL match.
4. The highest Powerplay score in any IPL match in the UAE.
Jaiswal 50 off 19
In a sensational start to the chase, Yash Jaiswal is going after every bowler, and the pitch has revealed itself to be a batting beauty. Three sixes, six fours in just 19 balls. At the other end, Evin Lewis manages two sixes and two fours in 12 balls to give RR a 77-run opening stand, which has been ended in the sixth over.
Gaikwad hundred takes CSK to 189
High drama as Gaikwad nearly runs out of balls available to get to his hundred. He gets just the three balls in the last two overs as Ravindra Jadeja runs riot at the other end, but Gaikwad smacks the last ball of the innings for a six to end up with an unbeaten 101 off 60 balls. Jadeja gets 32 off 15. Last six overs go for 89.
Gaikwad: first 50 off 43 balls, next 51 off 17. Is this a match-winning innings or was the first half too slow for these conditions? We will soon find out.
Orange cap for Gaikwad
RR take wickets, but CSK will keep going hard
Rahul Tewatia ends with three wickets but his four overs have gone for 39. That's how CSK bat these days. If anything, they have surprisingly had two soft overs today. One of them was Samson went for pace as soon as Moeen came out to bat, and then Glenn Phillips sneaking in one cheap over of offbreaks. CSK are 117 for 3 in 15 overs, and now in the middle are a set Gaikwad and the man with the highest strike-rate this IPL, Ambati Rayudu.
Yet another fifty for Gaikwad
CSK have made their way to 46 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay, but the standout thing about it is they faced only left-arm quicks. This is the first time in 10 years that all six Powerplay overs in an IPL innings have been bowled by left-arm quicks. Before 2011, Delhi Daredevils used to do this frequently with their attack centred on Ashish Nehra and Dirk Nannes. Pradeep Sangwan would keep chipping in. They did so seven times in the 2009 IPL. Delhi might not have won an IPL (yet), but they have often been ahead of the curve. This is just another example.
A quick look at the scenarios
Of course both teams want to win, but what are the permutations and combinations here?
A win will keep them in the hunt as 14 points could lead to qualification without NRR coming into play. Even with 12 points, Royals could go through as the fourth team if KKR, PBKS and MI lose all their remaining games and stay on 10 points each. That, though, is an unlikely scenario. If it comes down to NRR, Royals will struggle as their rate is the worst among the teams in contention.
A win will almost ensure a top-two finish. Currently, it's possible for three teams to finish on 20 or more points, but CSK's NRR of 1.002 is so far ahead of RCB's -0.200 that it is almost impossible for CSK to fall behind. Even if RCB win each of their last three matches by 40 runs (after scoring 160), their NRR will only improve to 0.29. Thus, a win here will pretty much ensure CSK finish in the top two.
Changes aplenty for RR
Sanju Samson is hilarious at the tosses. Every time he wins one, his instinctive reaction is to go for the coin before even informing everyone what he wants to do. And you don't get to keep the IPL coin either.
Anyway, Samson has won the toss and his side Rajasthan Royals will be fielding. They have had good news from the earlier match with Mumbai Indians losing, which means if Royals win tonight, they are one of the four teams tied in the fourth position with two matches to go. They have made five changes: Mahipal Lomror, Liam Livingstone, Riyan Parag, Kartik Tyagi and Chris Morris make way for Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, Akash Singh, David Miller and Mayank Markande.
CSK have qualified but they will like to their winning form going to ensure they end up in two two. Right not they are tied with DC at 18 points, but they have this game in hand. They are still favourites to make the top two, but they need to watch out for a late surge from RCB, who are placed third, two wins behind them but with a game in hand. They have made changers, bringing in KM Asif and Sam Curran for Deepak Chahar and Dwayne Bravo.
Chennai Super Kings 1 RD Gaikwad, 2 F du Plessis, 3 MM Ali, 4 SK Raina, 5 AT Rayudu, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 RA Jadeja, 8 SM Curran, 9 SN Thakur, 10 JR Hazlewood, 11 KM Asif
Rajasthan Royals 1 E Lewis, 2 YBK Jaiswal, 3 SV Samson (capt. & wk), 4 S Dube, 5 GD Phillips, 6 DA Miller, 7 R Tewatia, 8 Akash Singh, 9 M Markande, 10 C Sakariya, 11 Mustafizur Rahman