Super Kings lord  over the Royals

Chennai go top of the league table with a crushing 5-wicket win over Rajasthan in their IPL 7 encounter

Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings romped home by five wickets against Rajasthan Royals in their IPL encounter with MS Dhoni once again reaffirming his status as the best finisher in limited overs with yet another fluent final flourish as the on .Chasing a modest target of 149, CSK reached the target with two balls to spare as skipper Dhoni hit a six off James Faulkner’s final over to make required 12 runs off the final over look like a walk in the park.

Dhoni’s unbeaten 26 came off 16 balls with a four and a six after in-form Dwayne Smith (44) and Faf du Plessis (38) set up the chase. Ravindra Jadeja’s 11 off 6 balls also was important in the final context of the match. Jadeja also helped the Royals being restrict to a below par score with brilliant figures of two for 18 in four overs.

CSK now are on top of the eight-team table having 16 points from 10 games while Kings XI Punjab with 14 from nine games are a notch below.Despite the loss, Royals, on 12 points from 10 games also remain firmly in contention for a play-off berth holding onto their third place. While Smith batted in his customary attacking fashion hitting five fours and two sixes off 35 balls, Brendon McCullum (6) and Suresh Raina (2) were out playong poor shots to left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma.

Smith hit a couple of straight sixes off Faulkner and was involved in a 35-run partnership with Du Plessis, who was having problems with running between the wickets. While Smith mistimed a pull-shot off Kevon Cooper to be caught by glovesman Dishant Yagnik, R Ashwin (14) was done in by a customary slower delivery from Rajat Bhatia. However CSK’s batting showed depth again as Dhoni’s presence ensured that it was the umpteenth time that the formidable outfit  chased down a target in the death overs.PTI

Dhoni defends tactics to shuffle batting-order

Ranchi: MS Dhoni stunned many with his decision of sending Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of himself in the batting order but CSK skipper defended the tactics, saying players needed to be given more responsibility to convert them into match winners. Ashwin came to bat at number five, ahead of Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. Ashwin managed to score 14 off 16 balls.

It was left to Dhoni and Jadeja to finish the game and they did that with two balls to spare.”We wanted to use him and give him more responsibility. He has batting ability, he can rotate the strike and then go after the spinners. To some extent it paid off, you have to give them chances can’t expect them to perform all of a sudden,” Dhoni said confidently. —PTI

Dhoni said Jadeja’s six off Kevin Cooper was crucial as it took off pressure from him.”The big shot from Jadeja really helped a lot. On a wicket like this you should not really go for more than 10 or 12 runs, it was difficult to score. We had a few overs like that while bowling,” he explained.

Rajasthan
A Sharma c Smith b Ashwin…..30
S Watson b Sharma……………….51
A Rahane run out……………………4
K Nair b Badree………………………8
S Binny c du Plessis b Jadeja…..22
S Smith b Sharma…………………..9
J Faulkner b Jadeja…………………1
D Yagnik not out…………………….4
R Bhatia c Smith b Sharma………7
K Cooper not out…………………….0
Extras: (b1, lb3, wd8)…………..12
Total: (8 wkts in 20 overs)…..148
FoW: 1-60, 2-86, 3-99, 4-114, 5-133, 6-136, 7-137, 8-147.
Bowling: Badree 4-0-19-1, Pandey 3-0-18-0, Sharma 4-0-31-3, Ashwin 4-0-39-1, Jadeja 4-0-18-2, Shankar 1-0-19-0.

Chennai
D Smith c Yagnik b Cooper……..44
B McCullum c Nair b Sharma……6
S Raina c Bhatia b Sharma……….2
F du Plessis b Faulkner…………..38
R Ashwin b Bhatia………………..14
MS Dhoni not out…………………26
R Jadeja not out……………………11
Extras: (lb3, wd5)………………….8
Total: (5 wkts in 19.4 ovrs)….149
FoW: 1-20, 2-41, 3-76, 4-105, 5-121.
Bowling: Sharma 4-0-20-2, Faulkner 3.4-0-37-1, Tambe 4-0-34-0, Cooper 4-0-25-1, Bhatia 4-0-30-1.

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