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Samson stars as Rajasthan Royals tame the Chennai Super Kings

The Rajasthan Royals took on the Chennai Super Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today. It was one of those high scoring matches with over 400 runs scored, the ball flying frequently in the night sky and plenty of praying-to-the-god-for-mercy moments for the bowlers. The youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal opened for the Royals today. However, his performance was not quite the bang for the buck. Steve Smith was his opening partner.

Smith was in a terrific form and scored 69 runs at a strike rate of over 140. However, the real boost to the Royals batting was provided by Sanju Samson who made a partnership of 121 runs with Smith. Samson scored 74 in just 32 balls, hitting 9 sixes in the process. Royals seemed to be cruising at the 11-over mark.

Rajasthan Royals - Steve Smith & Sanju Samson 121 runs partnership against Chennai Super Kings
(Picture Source: Twitter) Steve Smith and Sanju Samson

However soon after, they lost Samson to Ngidi’s bowling. Miller who came to bat at number 4 got out cheaply on a duck to a run-out as his bat slipped while making a dive to complete a run. Robin Uthappa came to the crease but got out early without even making his presence felt. There were a couple of small knocks after that by Tewatia and Riyan Parag but Sam Curran bid them farewell. Smith held the fort but was caught off Curran’s bowling.

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Tom Curran faced his brother patiently on one end playing at a run per ball rate. The run rate seemed to be declining for the Royals until the last over. Then it was the Archer show. Archer hit Ngidi for 4 sixes in the last over, two of which were hit on a no-ball. RR managed to score 30 runs from the last overtaking their final tally to 216-7. The innings which seemed to be crumbling was rescued by one disastrous over by Ngidi and Archer’s heroics.

Dhoni’s delayed entry, Du Plessis’s splendid effort and Tewatia

CSK had a huge task at hand. Vijay and Watson opened the batting as usual. Vijay was going at a run per ball whereas Watson pressed the accelerator, hitting 4 sixes and hitting a quick 33 from 21 balls. Watson was out bowled by Tewatia and soon after that Vijay also returned to the pavilion. After that, it was ‘The Du Plessis Show’. Faf looked like a man on a mission scoring 72 runs of just 37 balls, hitting 7 sixes and a four.

One of the top performers in the Indian domestic circuit, Rahul Tewatia chipped in with some fantastic wickets early on. Curran also played a cameo, scoring 17 of 6. However, after Curran’s dismissal, the new youngster Rituraj Gaikwad got out on a duck. Kedar Jadhav and Du Plessis then stabilized the innings for some time, with a partnership of 37 runs. However, the required run rate was soaring. Jadhav got out and MSD walked to the crease.

Du Plessis and Dhoni had a good partnership of 65 runs until Faf got out with just 7 balls left to go. CSK required 38 runs of the last 7 deliveries. Captain cool decided to accelerate in the last over but it seemed like it was too late for that. Dhoni hit three sixes in the last over but CSK still fell 16 runs short of the target.

Rajasthan won the match but they seriously need to think about changes to their middle order. Archer’s knock literally saved them today. CSK needs to contemplate taking Ngidi in the team, considering his poor form. Maybe Shardul Thakur is a good option. A lot needs to be pondered upon by both the teams. Their upcoming matches will make the scenario clearer. Until then, stay tuned.

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