RR vs CSK: Samson, Archer shine as Rajasthan reigns supreme in a high scoring contest
Chasing 216, Chennai Super Kings fell short as they could only manage 200 for 6 at the end of the stipulated overs. 62 of these came in the last 4 overs.
The Super Kings’ celebrations of Jaiswal’s (6 of 6) early wicket were short-lived as Sanju Samson (74 of 32), walked it at number 3 and absolutely launched into CSK’s bowling. Samson cleared the boundary as many as nine times on the full, alongside a solitary four as he pummelled the CSK bowlers all over the park. He reached the half-century mark in a mere 19 balls. Veteran spinner Piyush Chawla faced the brunt of his innings as he was taken for 28 and 19 runs in his first two overs. Steven Smith (69 of 47) did the task of anchoring the innings and still had a strike-rate in the upwards of 145.
After Samson’s wicket at 132, RR’s innings seemed to fizzle out as they could only manage 54 runs in the next 44 deliveries, losing 5 wickets. At 186-7 in 19 overs and with Jofra Archer and Tom Curran in the middle, 200 looked barely gettable as the penultimate over had just gone for 9 runs and a wicket. Lungi Ngidi, whose figures read 1 for 26 in 3, was set to bowl the final over of the innings. Jofra Archer (27 of 8) slammed 4 sixes of the first four balls of the over, with Ngidi overstepping on the latter two instances . Ngidi conceded 30 runs in the last over, taking the Royals’ total to 216.
Sam Curran (3 for 33) was the pick of the bowlers and Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi and Piyush Chawla each got one RR batsman out for 31, 56 and 55 runs respectively. Ravindra Jadeja went wicketless for 40 in his quota of overs.
Chasing the huge total, CSK kept losing wickets at regular intervals after an opening partnership 56.
Faf du Plessis’ (72 of 37) late onslaught was the only ray of hope for CSK fans. Faf, who could only manage 17 of the first 18 balls he played without any boundaries, scored 44 of the next 12 with six sixes and a solitary four.
Shane Watson (33 of 21), MS Dhoni (29 of 17) and Kedar Jadhav (22 of 16) chipped in with the bat but the task proved to be too big at the end.
Rahul Tewatia’s twin strike in the ninth over, after being hit for two consecutive sixes in the same over, dented CSK’s chase significantly. Tewatia ended with three for 3 for 37 in his four. Jofra Archer was the most economical bowler for the Royals as he conceded just 28 in his four, getting the prized wicket of Faf du Plessis.
The cricketing fraternity however, were treated with three consecutive sixes from Thala’s bat in the last over, a sight they had waited on for far too long.
Consistent with the expectations, a total of 33 sixes and 18 boundaries were hit during the match, owing to short boundaries and nature of the pitch.