After Rajasthan Royals gunned down 190-run target in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni quipped that 250 could have been a par total on the surface. Dhoni further reckoned that it was a bad toss to lose as the wicket became flatter towards during the second innings.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) batsmen attacked from the word go and made a mockery of the 190-run target, winning the match with 15 balls to spare. Notably, 189/4 by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was the highest total at the venue in the ongoing season of the IPL 2021.
Dhoni reckoned that RR took the game away from CSK in the starting six overs of the chase itself. He also praised Chennai opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who slammed a six off the last ball of 20th over to become team's youngest centurion. The 24-year-old smashed nine fours and five sixes during his blazing knock.
"A bad toss to lose. 190 was a good score, and the dew made it flat, and the ball started coming on well. You needed to bat well, and they did that, and put pressure on the bowlers. They just took the game away in the first 6 overs. 250 would've been closer to par, given the way they were going. It was stopping a bit with their wrist-spinners, and it started coming on better later, that's when Ruturaj capitalised really well. Often when you lose the game it can get brushed under the carpet but it was a brilliant innings.
"I think the batsmen must assess quickly what is a good score, and you tend to go hard in the format and then realise that it's not a 160-180 wicket. They assessed the conditions quickly, and they didn't let pressure get to the middle order. Deepak played really well, and the bowlers were under the pump. We should have used the dimensions better. It's important to forget but also learn from this game, because there's no point learning if this happens in a playoff match," Dhoni said after the match.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Ruturaj Gaikwad (100*) and Faf du Plessis (25) gave another good start to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), stitching a 47-run partnership off 41 balls. Suresh Raina (3) departed cheaply but Gaikwad joined forces with Moeen Ali (21) to turn the heat on Rajasthan Royals (RR) all over again. The right-hand left-hand combination of the duo partnered for 57 runs in just 6 overs to take their team's total past 100.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) openers Evin Lewis (27) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (50 off 21) were off to yet another good, accumulating 77 runs in just 32 balls. Rajasthan never looked back after the foundation led by the duo. Captain Sanju Samson (28) and Shivam Dube (64*) took the match completely away from CSK with a stroke-filled 89-run partnership.
Shivam Dube looked in some form, smashing gigantic sixes all over the park to make a mockery of the 190-run target against Chennai. Glenn Phillips also played a 8-ball 14* cameo towards the end as the 2008 champions won with 15 balls remaining.
The win has kept Rajasthan Royals in contention for a playoff berth.