Rajasthan Royals went in with India’s best off-spinner (Ashwin) and the best leg-spinner (Chahal) in their Playing Eleven. Facing the duo on a slow-spinning track proved to be quite a task for the home team. To add to that, Adam Zampa was also subbed in. CSK had no answers to counter all this overdose of spin. CSK Vs RR IPL Match turned out to be another last ball thriller, with Rajasthan beating Chennai by 3 runs.

Special Mention – Finally, and thankfully, Riyan Parag was dropped for the match! Rajasthan won half the match before a ball was bowled, with this exceptional move!

Rajasthan Royals Innings Summary –

Yashasvi Jaiswal started well but tried to hit out too early. He was holed out trying to take advantage of the powerplay. However, Padikkal and Buttler took on the spinners. They targeted Theekshana in particular, hitting him for 27 runs in two powerplay overs!

After the powerplay, Buttler smashed his England teammate Moeen Ali for three sixes in an over. Suddenly, Jadeja picked up Padikkal and Samson in the same over to pull the handbrakes on the RR innings. Samson got an excellent ball which left everyone, including the batter and even MS Dhoni, stunned. Ashwin came in and was dropped by Moeen Ali off the bowling of Jadeja. He went on to make a vital 30 runs in 22 balls for his team.

The Buttler surge that Rajasthan would’ve hoped for, simply didn’t happen. Moeen Ali was strategically bought into the attack in the 17th over and dismantled him with an off-break that uprooted the off-stump! Wickets kept falling regularly at the other end, but Shimron Hetmyer struck some lusty blows for an 18-ball 30. He lifted the Royals to a competitive 175-8!

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CSK Chase Summary –

After the early wicket of the in-form Gaikwad, Rahane and Conway laid the platform for a slow but steady chase. There were some mind games on the cards, as Ashwin pulled out of his bowling action. Rahane retaliated and pulled away a ball later. Rahane smashed a six later that over making sure that Ashwin does not go one up on him. Conway slowly played himself into some form whereas Rahane looked as fluent as he had in the previous game.

Ashwin Ticks All Boxes Right

Ashwin came on in the 10th over and trapped Rahane plum before wicket. Trust the old horse to deliver when his team wants it the most. The next batter, Shivam Dube managed to hit one boundary off Ashwin. The Chepauk crowd went “Du-be Du-be”. Ashwin responded with a flighted off break to beat the outside edge followed by beating the inside edge to get him LBW. He walked off as Ashwin punched the air in elation.

CSK Get Choked on Runs

From the time Ashwin got Shivam Dube, the leg spinners kept CSK on a tight leash. This boundary-less period brought about the wickets of Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu to make it 103 for 5 in 14.1 overs. Rayudu was the Impact Player, replacing injured Sisanda Magala.

A wrong’un away from Conway’s arc from Yuzvendra Chahal, and RR held on to another difficult catch. Conway went back for a slow 50.

The roof of the stadium almost came off as MS Dhoni walked in. Sixty-three were required off five overs. One man carried the burden of 31000 people at the ground.

The home crowd has been cheering against them all night, but Ashwin and Chahal had done their job superbly. They bought CSK to their knees, staring at defeat.

Jadeja and Dhoni Set It Up for a Thrilling Finish

With 21 to get in the final over, Dhoni on strike, there was almost nothing that could stop the big man in front of a devoted crowd. He hit two massive sixes and bought the game within CSK grasp. However, Sandeep Sharma bowled perhaps the best couple of balls of his career, in an otherwise mediocre last over. With 5 runs required off the last ball, he came up with a yorker length delivery, which ultimately won the game for Rajasthan Royals.

CSK Vs RR IPL – Match Preview

For the Royals batters, the change in conditions is going to be quite massive. They played their last two games in batting friendly conditions in Guwahati. But even in turning conditions, their batsmen may hold an edge over CSK. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Butler and Sanju Samson have been in great touch. Barring the liability of Riyan Parag, nothing much seems to be going wrong with the Rajasthan Royals team combination.

For CSK, Ruturaj Gaikwad had made a very good start to this year’s IPL. However, his record against Trent Boult is not very good. He has been dismissed by the New Zealand pacer thrice in 21 deliveries. CSK will have to ensure Boult’s early threat is countered by his New Zealand teammate Devon Conway.

Player Availability and Team Strategy –

Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana have joined the squad ahead of the game. Ben Stokes and Deepak Chahar are set to remain on the sidelines. CSK will be boosted by Moeen Ali’s availability.

CSK have the worst economy rate (11.44) in the powerplay this season. Royals have the ideal batter up top to take full toll of that in the form of Yashasvi Jaiswal. The young left-hander, quite incredibly, is striking close to 200 in the powerplay this season.

When: Wednesday, April 12 at 19:30 IST

Where: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Playing Conditions: The Last match saw 420 runs being scored in total. MS Dhoni did admit that he was surprised with how the surface played. As usual, the crowd at Chepauk will be the 13th Player with hot and humid conditions. The track is expected to be helpful for the spinners.

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CSK Vs RR IPL Team Probables –

Chennai Super Kings

Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja. MS Dhoni (C & WK), Mitchell Santner, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Maheesh Theekshana, Tushar Deshpande.

Rajasthan Royals

Probable XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Dhruv Jurel/Devdutt Padikkal. Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Jason Holder, R Ashwin, M Ashwin, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal.

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