Rajasthan Royals are finally back on track after a string of consecutive defeats. They bounced back in style with a comprehensive 32-run victory over Chennai Super Kings, taking the top spot on the Indian Premier League points table. Yashasvi Jaiswal stole the show with a classy knock of 77 off just 43 balls at the top of the order. Dhruv Jurel and Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with quickfire knocks towards the end as RR amassed 202/5 – the highest-ever IPL total in Jaipur. Despite Shivam Dube‘s valiant effort with the bat, CSK were never really in the game as they were limited to 170/6. The win completed the double over CSK this season and sees them push ahead of their opponents into second place. It’s a much-needed tonic for the Royals, who will be hoping to build on this performance and continue their push towards the playoff
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s performance in the match was simply outstanding. He started off in style by hitting three boundaries in the first four balls itself, and then continued to dominate the game. His second over, where he hit three fours and a six, left the left-arm pacer clueless. With this being his third half-century of the season, he proved yet again why he is one of the most exciting prospects in Indian cricket. Rajasthan’s score was a whopping 85/0, and even though Jos Buttler had an off night, Jaiswal’s determination was clearly visible. However, Tushar Deshpande finally managed to remove both Jaiswal and skipper Sanju Samson in the 14th over, which put a damper on their innings. To add to their woes, Shimron Hetmyer also fell cheaply. Despite the hiccup, Jaiswal’s sublime touch from the get-go would be remembered for a long time to come.
The match between Chennai and RR was a real rollercoaster ride. Chennai’s bowlers had a great phase from the 14th to 17th over, conceding only 28 runs. However, RR bounced back strongly in the last three overs, thanks to the impressive performances of Jurel and Padikkal, smashing 49 runs. Maheesh Theekshana displayed excellent skill and control, taking 1/24, but his compatriot Matheesha Pathirana was expensive with figures of 0/48. Despite a low powerplay total of 42/1, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his excellent form, scoring a 29-ball 47. However, he was dismissed by Adam Zampa in the 10th over. It is never clear until the final ball is bowled, and this match was a perfect example of that.
The 11th over of the match was a decisive moment for both teams as R Ashwin struck twice to remove Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu in quick succession. The Chennai Super Kings were now reeling at 73/4 and desperately needed a partnership to revive their hopes of chasing the target. Step forward Shivam Dube and Moeen Ali who put on a quickfire partnership to give the team a glimmer of hope. Dube continued his rich vein of form, smashing his third consecutive half-century and hitting four sixes along the way. However, Rajasthan Royals bowled with discipline in the last five overs to restrict CSK to just 45 runs, despite Dube and Ravindra Jadeja’s valiant efforts. In the end, it just wasn’t enough as RR emerged victorious.