| Ravindra Jadeja celebrates a wicket with Suresh Raina, on Wednesday |
Dubai: Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round display and Dwayne Smith’s fine batting helped the Chennai Super Kings defend a modest total to beat the Rajasthan Royals by seven runs, in an IPL VII match, on Wednesday.
Put into bat, the Super Kings scored 140 for six, thanks mainly to opener Smith’s 28-ball 50 and Jadeja’s crucial 36 not out lower down the order. They then shot the Royals out for 133 in 19.5 overs, at the Dubai International Stadium, to post their second consecutive win in the tournament.
Number 10 batsman Dhawal Kulkarni, who top-scored for the Royals with an unbeaten 28 from 19 balls, threatened to take his team to an unlikely win by hitting a huge six in the final over.
The Royals needed nine runs from the last two balls. But, the No. 11 Pravin Tambe (2) was run out in the penultimate delivery to end such hopes.
Jadeja was the main tormentor of the Royals’ batsmen, returning with figures of four for 33 in his four overs. He got the two crucial wickets of captain Shane Watson (7) and Sanju Samson (16) from consecutive balls in the seventh over.
Ishwar Pandey, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mohit Sharma chipped in with a wicket each as the Super Kings bowlers made life difficult for the Royals with a disciplined effort.
Chasing 141 for a win, the Royals began on a bright note but lost wickets early on to put themselves on the backfoot. They failed to stitch any substantial partnership with 28 for the ninth wicket being the highest.
None of the Royals batsmen could put up any resistance. They were reduced to 63 for five by the 11th over.
Some of the Royals batsmen, including captain Watson, went for big shots which led to their downfall and inability to save wickets. From a bright start, the Royals slumped to 57 for four at the halfway mark, needing 85 from the last 10 overs with six wickets in hand.
Royals’ hopes received a jolt when Steven Smith (19) was out in the 13th over. Rajat Bhatia gave some fight with a belligerent 20-ball 23, which had a four and a six in it, but that wasn’t enough.
Earlier, the highly rated Super Kings’ top order suffered a collapse. Smith’s scintillating display helped them post 140 for six. Smith tore into the Royals’ bowling attack with an impressive exhibition of strokeplay.
Brendon McCullum (6), Suresh Raina (4), Faf du Plessis (7) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) were out cheaply on a slow pitch.
But for Jadeja , who scored an unbeaten 36 off 33 balls, the Super Kings’ total would have been even lower.
Their biggest partnership for the Super Kings was the 39 between Jadeja and Ashwin (9 not out) for the unconquered seventh wicket.
Smith scored exactly 50 off 28 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes. He was out in the eighth over off Stuart Binny just after smashing the bowler for a six.
James Faulkner suffered the most from the blade of Smith who hit four successive boundaries off the bowler in the sixth over which yielded 19 runs.
The Royals, however, came back into the match with Bhatia taking the wicket of Raina.
The Super Kings then lost the wickets of du Plessis and Dhoni in the 11th and 12th overs to find themselves in a precarious position at 74 for five.
Mithun Manhas (10) fell in the 15th over and the responsibility of taking Super Kings to a respectable score was left to Jadeja and Ashwin.
For the Royals, Bhatia was the most successful bowler with two for 13 runs. Faulkner, Tambe and Binny chipped in with a wicket each. (PTI)