Sanju Samson did the smart thing after winning the toss and putting Chennai Super Kings into bat at the Wankhede. Mustafizur Rehman’s introduction into the RR bowling line-up was expected to give the team a much-needed boost. Mustafizur struck right away dismissing Rituraj Gaikwad who has been having a terrible VIVO IPL 2021.
Faf du Plessis continued his good run into the tournament. The South African looked at ease against the RR bowling line-up. Looking to make a move on, after a low-key kind of a start, du Plessis smashed 2 sixes and 4 fours in his innings of 33. He eventually got out to a Morris delivery.
Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and Ambati Rayudu all got good starts and kept the scoreboard ticking. Ali scored 26, while Raina got out for 18. Rayudu struck some lusty blows in his innings of 27 that included 3 gigantic big ones.
With CSK set up for a big one, it was up to Jadeja and Dhoni to put on the fireworks. However, Dhoni is not the Dhoni we have grown up seeing. He never seemed to get a move on and scored a nearly run-a-ball 18. It was Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo at the end of the innings that gave the team a boost towards the end of the innings. CSK scoring an above-average 188 from their 20 overs.
The bright light from the RR team- the young Chetan Sakariya. The left arm was once again amongst the wickets picking up 3 for 36 off his quota of 4 overs.
The loss of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes is sure to cost RR big time. There are no two ways about it. Without them, RR is just a team of talented individuals who lack that finesse to take games by the scruff of its neck and cross the finish line.
If RR were to chase down CSK’s 188, Jos Butler and Sanju Samson had to step up to the plate. Butler started off in the right fashion. He started stroking the ball fluently and got the boundaries with ease. Sam Curran broke the RR openers after getting Manan Vohra and Sanju Samson in quick succession.
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Butler kept going and smashed 2 sixes and 5 fours before getting bowled by Jadeja just one shy off his fifty. Neither David Miller nor the 7-feet tall Shivam Dube could make any impact. Both of them got out for 2 and 17 respectively. CSK kept chipping away at the wickets with both their spinners Moeen Ali and Jadeja among the wickets.
Jaydev Unadkat tried to make RR’s total a bit more respectable. Together with a late flourish with Rahul Tewatia, who eventually got out to a Bravo delivery, for 20 runs, the pair took RR to 137. RR could only manage 143 from their 20 overs. CSK winning by 45 runs.
RR’s VIVO IPL story will go down in history books as the story of a team that had a lot of potentials, but could not deliver when it mattered. The same could be said of its captain, Sanju Samson.
CSK got back to winning ways leaving the RR management with a lot to think about. CSK would draw a lot of positives from the match, especially Moeen Ali’s performance with both the bat and the ball. If CSK is to go into the playoffs, Moeen Ali needs to play a bigger role.