Captain Cool Puts Super Kings on Top - The New Indian Express

Captain Cool Puts Super Kings on Top

Published: 14th May 2014 08:18 AM

Last Updated: 14th May 2014 08:21 AM

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the best finisher in the game of cricket, showed his magic yet again by leading two-time champions Chennai Super Kings to a hard-fought five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the 37th IPL match here at JSCA International Stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing 149 for victory, Chennai appeared to be in trouble, needing 25 runs from the last two overs with Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle. The slowing down of the wicket had made scoring quick runs a difficult task. But a dramatic turnaround happened as Jadeja sent Kevon Cooper flying over long-off for six in the third ball of the 18th over. Dhoni then made good use of his running ability by taking a  couple each off the last two balls despite facing the risk of being run out.

         >> Statistical Highlights of Chennai vs Rajasthan Match

Excitement ran high as 12 runs were required from the last over. However, Dhoni settled the issue by smashing James Faulkner’s second ball for a six over mid-wicket and taking a couple and three in the next two deliveries. With the win, Chennai emerged sole leaders while Rajasthan stayed at the third place. All-rounder Jadeja, who earlier took two wickets for 18 runs, was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Chennai, of course, failed to get a good start this time as opener Brendon McCullum departed early, superbly caught at square-leg by Karun Nair off Ankit Sharma for four. But his opening partner Dwayne Smith lived up to his reputation, hitting a 35-ball 44 (5x4, 2x6). He, however, missed his sixth half-century after being caught by wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik off Cooper in the last ball of the 10th over.

Earlier, Chennai rode impressive bowling by pace spearhead Mohit Sharma and left-arm spinner Jadeja to restrict Rajasthan to 148 for eight. Mohit scalped three for 31. Overseas leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who opened the bowling, also proved very economical, conceding 19 runs in four overs and picking up one wicket.

         >> Dhoni Defends Promoting Ashwin Up the Order

Rajasthan failed to capitalise on a good start given by the new opening pair of Shane Watson and Ankit, who compiled 60 runs in 7.5 overs. But after R Ashwin broke the stand, having Ankit caught at long-on by Smith for 30 (27b, 4x4, 1x6), Rajasthan lost their control over the match.

Captain Watson top-scored with 51 (36b, 3x4, 4x6) while Stuart Binny played a cameo of 22 (17b, 2x6). But the rest of the Rajasthan batsmen failed to make it to the double figures. Ankit was more aggressive than his partner, hitting Mohit for two fours in the fourth over and Ashwin for two fours and a six in the sixth over, which produced 17 runs. Watson turned aggressive after the exit of Ankit, scoring 18 off debutant Vijay Shankar’s tenth over.

Regular opener Rahane fell cheaply as he was run out in the 11th over while attempting a non-existent single. Watson followed Rahane two overs later after completing a half century.

         >> Wicket Was Not Easy to Bat On: Jadeja

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