The Chennai Super Kings maintained their undefeated status in VIVO IPL 2019 after they defeated the Rajasthan Royals in Match 12. Put in to bat on a warm evening at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the Chennai Super Kings recovered from 27-3 to post 175-5, and then restricted the visitors to 167-8. Chennai Super Kings won by eight runs – their third consecutive win – which propelled them to the top of the standings.
MS Dhoni top-scored for Chennai with 75 not out, while Suresh Raina (36) and Dwayne Bravo (27) chipped in with useful contributions. It was the 61-run partnership between Raina and Dhoni – CSK’s two most-experienced players – that put CSK back on track and guided them to what was eventually a match-winning total. Bravo provided the team the end-innings flourish; the Trinidadian hit three fours and a six in his 16-ball knock. He and Dhoni added 56 runs in just under five overs.
Chennai Super Kings were 99-4 at the end of 15 overs, and added 76 runs in the last five to finish with a competitive 175-5. CSK realised 24 runs from the eighteenth over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni. Dhoni then helped finish the innings in perfect style, when he struck three consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat; CSK added 28 runs to their total in that final over.
CSK then struck early in Rajasthan Royals’ run-chase when they had Ajinkya Rahane caught at cover even before his team had a run on the board. After two more quick strikes, the Royals innings was put back on track through a 61-run partnership between Steve Smith and Rahul Tripathi. Once that pair was dismissed, RR lost two more wickets in quick succession, before Ben Stokes (46 off 26 balls) and Jofra Archer revived the innings with a 44-run partnership of 18 balls.
The Royals needed 12 runs off the final over. But once Stokes was dismissed off the first ball of the over, their chances evaporated quickly. Archer finished unbeaten on 24 from 11 balls, and RR finished at 167-8.
Standout batting performance
It took the experience of MS Dhoni to bail the Chennai Super Kings out of troubled waters. The CSK skipper walked in to bat in the fifth over with his team reeling at 27-3. He took his time initially, focussing on rotating the strike; it wasn’t until his seventeenth delivery that he found the boundary. But once he opened up, there would be no stopping him. Dhoni took a special liking for Jaydev Unadkat, off who he scored 51 runs off 24 balls; he hit the left-arm pacer for four sixes and three boundaries.
Dhoni finished at 75 not out – his second-highest score in the IPL.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Suresh Raina provided able support to his captain; given the circumstances, the left-hander wasn’t his usual flamboyant free-flowing batsman. He only scored 8 from the first 15 balls he faced, but thereafter added 28 from the next 17 balls he faced.
Standout Bowling performance
For Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer was the standout bower; the fast bowler dismissed Amabati Rayudu in his first over, and then collected the wicket of Dwayne Bravo in his final over. He finished with impressive figures of 2-17; his four-over spell included 13 dot deliveries.
For CSK, Deepak Chahar struck twice in his first two overs and would be bowled out in the first seven overs. Imran Tahir kept things tight in the middle overs; he broke a flourishing partnership and dismissed Tripathi and Smith. Bravo then completed the job; he bowled an exceptional final over in which he picked up two wickets and conceded only three runs.
Chennai Super Kings: 175-5 (MS Dhoni 75*, Suresh Raina 36, Jofra Archer 2-17) defeated Rajasthan Royals: (Ben Stokes 46, Rahul Tripathi 39, Deepak Chahar 2-19, Imran Tahir 2-23)
Man of the Match:
MS Dhoni, for his unbeaten 75 from 46 balls.