Rajasthan Royals remain invincible at home
Shane Watson butchered Chennai Super Kings bowlers in a sensational batting display as Rajasthan Royals scored a comprehensive five wicket victory.
Chasing 142 for a win, Rajasthan lost three wickets — Ajinkya Rahane (9), James Faulkner (1) and Sanju Samson (0) — inside five overs before Watson played a blistering knock of 70 from just 34 balls with the help of six fours and as many sixes to end the match in dramatic fashion with 17 balls to spare.
With the win, their 10th in 14 matches, Rajasthan jumped to second spot on 20 points. Chennai remained on top of table on 20 points from 14 matches. They are above Rajasthan on net run rate.
Rajasthan also kept intact their unbeaten record at home this season. They ended their home matches today with an all-win record, the first team to do so this season.
At the halfway stage, Rajasthan were 49 for four, needing 93 from the next 10 overs, but Watson and Binny turned the match on its head with a breathtaking partnership.
Royals took 23 runs off R Ashwin in the 11th over and that set the tone for the sensational show of stroke-making. It later turned out to be a carnage of Chennai bowlers as Watson rained fours and sixes with Binny also chipping in.
For Chennai, Jason Holder took two wickets for 20 runs while Chris Morris and Dwayne Bravo got a wicket each. Earlier, Chennai lost way after a solid start as they scored a modest 141 for four.
Put in to bat, Chennai openers Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay put on 83 runs in 11.3 overs and looked like they would post a big score only to fritter the strong start at the second half of their innings.
Vijay top-scored with a 50-ball 55 studded with six fours while Hussey contributed a 40-ball 41. Dwayne Bravo chipped in with a late flourish of 11-ball 23 not out.
Interestingly, Chennai batsmen failed to score a single six in their innings for the first time for the team this season.