Right from the first ball of the innings, which he creamed away for four through the covers off Akash Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal was in surreal touch and looked prime for a big knock. His 77 runs knock included 8 fours and 4 eye-catching sixes; his playing at a strike rate of 179 made things easier for Jos Buttler, who was overshadowed today and played an uncharacteristic knock of 27 runs off 21 balls.
RR racked up 64/0 in the powerplay and that, MS Dhoni said, proved to be the difference as the pitch got a bit difficult for batting after that. This opening stand, and lower-order hitting from Dhruv Jurel (34* off 15) and Devdutt Padikkal (27* off 13) propelled RR’s score to 202.
MS Dhoni said: “It was quite an above par score [by RR]. The reason were the first six overs, we gave away too many, and at the same time, the wicket was best to bat then. The bowlers did well in the middle and at the death, there were 5-6 boundaries scored of edges. They got a par-plus score and we didn’t get the best of starts in the first six overs. You have to accept it.”
In reply, Gaikwad got to a solid start. But once CSK lost Conway in the 6th over of the chase, they kept losing wickets and even Shivam Dube’s attractive half-century wasn’t going to be enough. It did, though, help them mitigate some margin on the NRR, which could prove crucial later on.
Praising the RR batters, MS Dhoni said: “Yashasvi batted really well. It was important to go after the bowlers at the start. He took calculative risks and it was easier for him to take on our bowlers because we were trying to find out the best line and lengths. You’re always doing the catch-up after that. At the end, Jurel also batted really well.”
With this loss – their 3rd in 8 matches – and the size of it, CSK move from the number 1 spot in the points table to the number 3 and Rajasthan Royals take the numero uno spot in the points table, followed by Gujarat Titans at the second spot. All three teams have 10 points each and RR have the best Net Run Rate of the three teams.