The clash was between the inaugural edition (2008) finalists, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. The odds were definitely towards CSK, but RR had only one aim: to score 200+ and put the total out of Dads Army’s reach. At the end, a high scoring match was won by Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals celebrate after picking a wicket (Image Source: rajasthanroyals | Instagram)
Let’s discuss the highlights of the match further:
Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 16 runs
RR: Yashaswi Jaiswal (1/10), Steve Smith (9/10), Sanju Samson (10/10), David Miller (0.5/10), Robin Uthappa (2/10), Rahul Tewatia (7/10), Riyan Parag (4/10), Tom Curran (7/10), Jofra Archer (10/10), Shreyas Gopal (4/10), Jaydev Unadkat (1/10).
CSK: Murali Vijay (4/10), Shane Watson (7/10), Faf du Plessis (9/10), Sam Curran (8/10), Ruturaj Gaikwad (0.5/10), Kedar Jadhav (5/10), MS Dhoni (6.5/10), Ravindra Jadeja (2/10), Piyush Chawla (3/10), Deepak Chahar (5/10), Lungi Ngidi (3/10).
Talking points from the match:
Sensational batting performances from Sanju Samson and Steve Smith:
It was the first match of the IPL 2020 at Sharjah, and it was a batting paradise. Though RR lost the toss and put to bat, they made merry with 17 sixes in the innings, out of which 13 of them came from the duo of Samson and Smith.
Captain Smith batted as an opener for the first time ever in his professional cricket career and impressed everyone with an anchored 69 runs off 47 balls with 4 fours and 4 sixes.
Samson and Smith shared a partnership to remember (Image Source: rajasthanroyals | Instagram)
Samson, coming at one down, blazed towards his fifty off just 19 balls and ended up scoring 74 runs off just 32 balls with 1 four and 9 sixes. The partnership of 121 runs off 56 balls between the duo set the tone for the first 200+ score of IPL 2020.
Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir was equally impressed with his belligerent strokeplay and was in full praise for him,
Sanju Samson is not just the best wicketkeeper batsmen in India but the best young batsman in India!
David Miller’s poor run with the bat continues in IPL
David Miller wore the pink jersey of RR for the first time ever but he was run-out by Kedar Jadhav off the non-striker’s end without facing any ball. That was an unlucky RR debut for Miller.
Jofra Archer’s late surge with the bat and Ngidi’s misery with the ball:
While wickets were tumbling for RR at the other end, the run-rate had got stalled. Jofra Archer targeted CSK fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for 2 sixes in the 20th over, before hitting two more consecutive sixes off consecutive no balls to propel Rajasthan Royals to 216. RR made 30 runs in the last over of the innings and that was the match-changing over from Ngidi which tilted the odds in favour of RR.
Archer stunned everyone with the bat (Image Source: rajasthanroyals | Instagram)
CSK’s slow start:
CSK started slow in their innings considering the out-of-form openers Murali Vijay and Shane Watson. Though Watson picked up the tempo later and staged an opening partnership of 56 runs, he was castled by a Rahul Tewatia delivery. And the required run rate hovered to 12 runs per over at that time, which was a huge ask for the CSK batting line-up.
Consecutive stumpings for Samson and Tewatia on a hat-trick:
In the 9th over, and with both of CSK openers in the hut, pinch-hitter Sam Curran was stumped on 17 runs off leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia’s bowling. And in the very next ball, Samson stumped the debutant Ruturaj Gaikwad for 0. Tewatia was the surprise wrecker in chief, leaving CSK totter at 77/4 after 9 overs. It was a night to remember for Sanju Samson, who later took two more catches for a complete all-round performance and also deserved the coveted Man of the Match award, which he duly got.
Tewatia’s picked 3 wickets (Image Source: rajasthanroyals | Instagram)
Faf du Plessis’ late fireworks and Dhoni’s last over vintage hitting
Once Kedar Jadhav got out on 22 with the score reading 114/5, Faf du Plessis started hitting sixes, targeting almost every bowler with no discomfort. Tewatia, Unadkat, Curran, Archer… everyone was targeted by Faf until he was dismissed for 72 by Jofra Archer.
Du Plessis once again impressed with the bat (Image Source: chennaiipl | Instagram)
In the last over, Dhoni was on 9 off 12 balls then and hit 3 consecutive sixes off Tom Curran’s bowling. CSK lost by 16 runs but Dhoni got some batting practice, remaining not-out on 29 runs off 17 balls with 3 sixes.
Questions to answer:
- Should RR drop Tom Curran after conceding 54 runs in the match and try leg-spinner Mayank Markande instead?
- Should David Miller be given an extended run with the inclusion of Jos Buttler in the next match being confirmed? Or should they try an uncapped Indian batsman in his place?
- With Steve Smith performing well as an opener, should he and Buttler bat as an opener for a few matches?
- Should Ambati Rayudu return as an opener in place of the under-firing Murali Vijay in CSK’s next match, with youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad given a few more chances in the middle-order?
- Should CSK field Mitchell Santner in place of Lungi Ngidi in next match, who was taken to cleaners in this match?
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