Yashaswi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube helped Rajasthan Royals hunt down the 190-run target set by Chennai Super Kings with great ease in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. However, RR skipper Sanju Samson was in great admiration of the show put up by CSK’s Ruturaj Gaikwad, who blasted a 60-ball 101* first up.
Ruturaj Gaikwad sizzled with the bat, notching up his maiden IPL hundred with a last-ball six as Chennai Super Kings put up 189/4 after being put in to bat. However, Yashaswi Jaiswal (50 off 21) and Shivam Dube (64* off 42) made the run-chase look all too easy, as Rajasthan Royals eased home by seven wickets with 15 balls remaining.
Sanju Samson, who anchored during an 89-run third wicket stand with Dube with a 24-ball 28, was pleased with his team’s effort, but couldn’t stop himself from praising Gaikwad, who struck nine fours and six sixes during his 60-ball blitz.
“Unbelievable batting by Gaikwad, we're afraid of a batsman like him. Really a lot of respect for him,” said Samson after the game.
"Aware of the abilities of our youngsters, that's why we get disappointed when we lose matches,” he reflected on the overall result. “Our openers finished off the game in the PP, Jaiswal was superb, hopefully he'll make it big.We have been discussing Shivam in the last 2-3 games. Mahipal did a good job in the first few games, but we thought today could be Shivam's game.
“We aren't thinking too far ahead, one match at a time."
Gaikwad, who now leads the run-scoring charts for the season with 489 runs from 11 innings at 54.33, was immensely pleased with his effort.
"Today to start off with, it was a slow wicket, slightly damp. Got better as the game progressed. Needed someone to bat till the 14-15th over. I'm just working on timing the ball really well, maintaining my shape. Right from when I started, I have come across many coaches. Everyone's told me I have the gift of timing, just been using that,” Gaikwad said as he received the Player of the Match award.
“I think I would say my selection in CSK in 2019 when I didn't get a chance, being in the dressing room, I got to learn a lot,” he added. “Got to know routines, hard work needed, work to put in. That was a good learning curve. Didn't dream of a 100 today, the aim was to make sure we get to 160-170. Would've loved to be on the winning side, maybe next time."
CSK held on to their top position in the points table despite the defeat, just their third of first 12 games in the season. RR, who jumped up a spot to sixth, will play Mumbai Indians in Sharjah on Tuesday, October 5.