Match 17, Chennai, April 12, 2023, 07:30 PM
Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 3 runs
Man of the Match
Right then, that is it from yet another fantastic game in the Indian T20 League where Rajashtan came out on top and registered their third win of the season. However, the action in the league continues on the 13th of April, Thursday when Punjab take on Gujarat at the PCA Stadium. The first ball will be bowled at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT), but as you know, you can join us early for all the build-up. Until then, goodbye and cheers!
Ravichandran Ashwin is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his all-round brilliance. On his promotion with the bat, he jokingly says that he surprised people. Adds that is a role given to him and they even lost Sanju Samson. Mentions that he needs a few balls to get going and is better at judging his strengths. Shares that in every inning, he is padded up from the start. Mentions that he came into this competition from a good Test form and adds that he can get a good drop on the ball. On his variations, he says that had he not been able to do it in the last two years, he would not have been able to do it now. Ends by saying that success or failure should be on his terms.
Sanju Samson, the winning skipper of Rajasthan says that the credit definitely goes to the boys for this win. Adds that everyone chipped in and they really wanted to win this game as they have only won one game at this stadium and wanted to create a happy memory. Mentions that no total is safe when you have MS Dhoni out there and praises his Rajasthan boys to keep their nerves in the end. Tells that the pitch looked a bit slow, and that is why they picked Zampa as the Impact Player. Says that he does a lot of research and looks at data to make decisions and jokingly says that even though he played two balls it feels like he has scored a hundred as it is an exhausting task to continuously think about the game plans. Ends by saying that no data works on Dhoni and they have to respect him for what he has done over the years.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Sandeep Sharma have a few words to share with us. Sandeep Sharma says that his plan was to execute the yorkers and he was bowling them well in the nets. Adds that the leg side was big and he missed the yorkers twice and both went for six. Shares that plan to Ravindra Jadeja was to take the ball out of his reach while against MS Dhoni, he went 'round the wicket and changed the angle. Yuzvendra Chahal says that the wicket was gripping a bit and he tried to vary his pace. Shares that it is his second season with Ashwin and has good bonding with him. On Adam Zampa, Chahal replies that he has done well for Australia and had shared with him which lengths to bowl. Shares that winning close games is crucial and Sandeep Sharma backed his strengths which was important.
MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai is up for a chat. He starts by saying that they needed a bit more strike rotation during the middle overs. Adds that there was help for the spinners but not too much and their batters could have rotated the strike more. Shares that batting was not that difficult and feels that ownership should come from the batters. Mentions that it was good that they could reach within touching distance considering that they were the last batting pair. Reckons that it is important to see what the field is and what the bowler is trying to do and wait for the bowler to commit a mistake. Shares that there was a bit of dew and once the ball went into the outfield, it did become easier for the batters. Also says that he is happy with the way the bowlers bowled. On his 200th Indian T20 League game as Chennai captain, MS says that he did not know and milestones do not really matter to him. Ends by saying all it matters to him are the performance and results.
Earlier in the game, Rajasthan posted a fighting total thanks to a brilliant fifty from Jos Buttler and good contributions from Devdutt Padikkal, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shimron Hetmyer. They would have liked to get a few more runs, but they lost their way in the middle overs and struggled against the spin attack of Chennai. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers for the home team with his two wickets and only conceded 21 runs. Akash Singh and Tushar Deshpande picked up a couple of wickets each while Moeen Ali got one to his name. While chasing, Chennai were in a good position, but they too lost their way in the middle and played too many dot balls which ultimately cost them in the end.
Rajasthan were excellent with the ball and they will be happy with their effort. Sandeep Sharma was able to send Ruturaj Gaikwad back early, but they couldn't build on that. However, in the middle overs, their spinners stepped up big time and picked up three wickets in no time to shift the momentum back towards them. The trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa picked up five wickets among them. In the last two overs, the game almost went away from them but they managed to get over the line. Sharma was the hero for them as after getting hit for two sixes in the last over, he executed the last three balls perfectly to earn a hard-fought win for Rajasthan.
Chennai did not get the start they would have hoped for as they lost in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad quite early. Ajinkya Rahane and Devon Conway did well to counter-attack and used the Powerplay well and added 68 runs together to set up a nice base. The plan of sending Shivam Dube up the order failed miserably which put pressure on Conway as he kept losing partners at the other end and eventually got out after scoring his half-century. They went from 92-3 to 113-6 which put them on the back foot. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja tried their absolute best and took the chase deep with some amazing power-hitting, especially from the skipper, but in the end, they fell short by just three runs.
What a game of cricket! We have witnessed another thrilling contest in the Indian T20 League and in the end, it was Sandeep Sharma who kept his calm to take Rajasthan over the line. This was a game that swung both ways and we got another last-ball finish. It was set up perfectly for MS Dhoni to mark his 200th game as the captain of Chennai as they needed 5 runs off the last ball, but you can't always get that happy ending. Kudos to Sandeep Sharma, one can only imagine the kind of pressure he was under with a batter of the reputation of MSD in front and the entire crowd behind him. It was indeed a special effort.
In over# 20
Sandeep Sharma 30/1(3)
Sandeep Sharma has done it! He holds his nerves against MS Dhoni and takes Rajasthan over the line. The crowd have gone absolutely silent. Coming to the delivery, Sharma brings out the best in him and executes the yorker length from 'round the wicket, on off, MS Dhoni swings his willow but does not manage to get under the ball. Drags this one to deep mid-wicket and it will be only a single. Rajasthan win by 3 runs!
Nails the yorker outside off, Ravindra Jadeja squeezes this one to cover for one. It is up to MS Dhoni now. Chennai need 5 runs off the last ball.
Switches to 'round the wicket and bowls it on a hard length, outside off, MS Dhoni shuffles across and swats it to deep mid-wicket for a run. Chennai need 6 off 2 now.
SIX MORE! MS Dhoni is taking Chennai home here! Another low full toss on middle, MS Dhoni picks this one on the full and brings his wrists into play. Whips this one and gets it flat and over the deep mid-wicket fence for six runs more. The fire is still burning, the crowd has gone mad. Mahi! Mahi! everywhere. Wow, goosebumps. Vintage MSD!
SIX! Put away by MS Dhoni! Sandeep Sharma loses his radar again and bowls a low full toss on leg, MS Dhoni heaves this one flat and over the backward square leg fence for a maximum. Chennai now need 13 runs from 4 balls.
Good delivery! Bowls a perfect yorker on off, MS Dhoni tries to get underneath this one but can only dig this one out.
WIDE! Sandeep Sharma is feeling the heat here! Tries to follow the batter but sprays it full and down the leg side, MS Dhoni gets inside the line and it is wided again.
WIDE! Misses his radar and bowls this one halfway down the track and beyond the tramline on the off side. MS Dhoni lets it go and the umpire signals a wide.