Chennai Super Kings sleepwalk past Rajasthan Royals
It was mostly a boring match. Rahul Dravid’s T20 innings was the highlight of it. He adapted well but the grace traded for rushed effectiveness only spoilt the memories. Maybe because it was a slogfest the last time these two played on this pitch, no doubt that was on CSK’s mind when they had the ropes at the MAC pushed according to this Scott Styris tweet:
No such excitement this time though. Rahul Dravid’s knock was exactly the kind of innings that used to be written off as a freak innings even if one came every 5-6 ODIs. RR powered through to 86 for no loss in their first 10 overs helped by some very poor fielding by CSK. At which point Shadab Jakati began the fightback by plucking a screamer from Shane Watson right above his head. The Chennai choke was then applied.
The rest of the batsmen didn’t learn from Dravid and kept holing out. Dravid himself got out trying to go over the top when he could’ve easily reaped runs with his conventional shot making. In an amusing strategy #win, Taylor was out caught inches from the long on ropes.
Mid innings, when the Royals looked on course for at least 170, Stephen Fleming was asked how much he would be comfortable chasing, he replied 148. Rajasthan Royals ended their innings without a single six, at 147/6.
Vijay couldn’t repeat the innings that established his T20 cred but the Mike Hussey bot and Raina settled down. The two grafted runs in a
busy boring partnership till the eleventh over. The eleventh over thankfully for all the audiences watching across the world saw two sixes as the two took on Nayan Doshi. That over also got the CSK run rate past the asking rate.
With 3 required for a win, Raina tried to win with a big shot and lost his wicket. Morkel walked in at the non striker’s end, watched as Hussey smashed a four, blew his smoking bat and walked off, CSK won by 8 wickets.
Paul Valthaty Update
At the end of the CSK vs RR match, Hussey briefly shared the most runs this IPL tag with Sachin (327 runs) although with a higher average, one lesser not out innings, in fewer innings, two fewer matches, higher strike rate etc. Sachin got it back half an hour later and ended the night 24 runs ahead. Kallis also pushed past Valthaty this afternoon but tonight the cap rests on the bald pate of Sehwag who dropped a mega ton on DC to move up past Sachin and Hussey to the top spot.
Valthaty needs 122 runs just to overtake Sehwag as the leading run scorer. He’s scored that many in a single innings already this season. Encore?