RR lost Yashasvi Jaiswal (10) early for a change, but Jos Buttler (52 off 38) and Devdutt Padikkal (38 off 26) steadied the innings by adding 77 runs for the second wicket. While Buttler struck one four and three sixes, Padikkal contributed five fours before being dismissed by Jadeja (2/21). The left-arm spinner also cleaned up Sanju Samson for a duck with a brilliant delivery.
Ravichandran Ashwin (30 off 22) and Shimron Hetmyer (30 not out off 18) came up with crucial contributions with the bat to lift Rajasthan past the 170-run mark. For CSK, apart from Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande (2/37) and Akash Singh (2/40) were also among the wickets although they went for a few more runs.
Chasing 176, CSK suffered a big blow as they lost in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad for 8. However, Devon Conway (50 off 38) and Ajinkya Rahane (31 off 19) featured in a 68-run stand for the second wicket to give the Chennai innings a lift.
Ashwin, however, dismissed Rahane and Shivam Dube (8), while Yuzvendra Chahal (2/27) accounted for Conway and Ambati Rayudu (1). At 113/6, Chennai had completely lost their way. Jadeja and Dhoni did not give up. The former smacked Jason Holder for a four and two sixes, while Dhoni clubbed Sandeep Sharma for two sixes. The bridge was too far to cross for even the tried and tested duo though.
Reflecting on the loss, Dhoni blamed the batters and commented, “I think in the middle overs we needed a bit more strike rotation, there wasn't much for the spinners but they had experienced spinners and we could not rotate strike. It was not that difficult and the ownership (for the loss) should come from the batters. It was good that we could reach striking distance as we were the last pair.”
Explaining how he plans his batting onslaught in the death overs, MSD commented, “You see the field, see the bowler and what the bowler is trying to do, after that just stand still and wait for them to commit the mistake, if they bowl in good areas then good luck to them. I would wait for it and that is something which has worked for me, you need to back your strength and my strength is to hit straight.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent