Pune: The home landscape might have changed, but Chennai Super Kings (CSK) adapted well in Pune, their ‘Den away from den’, as they beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the battle of teams on IPL comeback here on Friday and sealed their third win from four games.
CSK pretty much continued the pattern of one batsman going big – Dwayne Bravo vs Mumbai Indians, Sam Billings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, MS Dhoni vs Kings XI Punjab – as Shane Watson (106 off 57 balls) became the second player(overall) and first CSK player to score a hundred in IPL 2018.
Although CSK lost Ambati Rayudu (12 off 8 balls) early, after put in to bat, they managed to score the second highest score (69) in Powerplay overs in Pune and zoomed to 107 after 10 overs.
While they lost Suresh Raina (46 off 29 balls) in the 12th over, CSK were sitting pretty at 150/2 after 13 overs as 220 looked a likely total. However, Shreyas Gopal’s three-wicket haul – dismissing Raina, Dhoni and Billings – in his four-over spell denied CSK that opportunity.
While CSK could not finish their innings with a flourish (54 off the last 7 overs) like they did in their last three outings, Watson and comeback man Raina’s exploits in the first half of the innings helped CSK’s cause as they scored 204/5.
RR’s hopes depended heavily on four men in chase – Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, and Ben Stokes – the last two have scored their only IPL hundred at this venue. However, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar did the early damage.
The Mumbai pacer disturbed the timber to dismiss Heinrich Klassen (7 off 7 balls) cheaply on IPL debut while Chahar removed Samson (2 off 3 balls) and Rahane (16 off 11 balls) even before the end of the Powerplay overs.
Bravo joined the party as Buttler (22 off 17 balls) got out in the 11th over and Rahul Tripathi (5 off 5 balls) in the 13th over.
While Stokes registered his best ever score (45 off 37 balls) in IPL 2018 so far, he once again fell to spin as Imran Tahir removed the England all-rounder in the 14th over before CSK Thakur, Watson and Karn Sharma polished off the tail as CSK won the game by 64 runs....