Sanju Samson starred with the bat while Rahul Tewatia picked up three wickets as Rajasthan Royals began their Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign with a 16-run win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Put in to bat, RR lost their first wicket early as Deepak Chahar did well to hold onto a catch on to his ball, running past the batsman’s end, to dismiss debutant Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Out came Sanju Samson to join skipper Steve Smith in the middle and since his arrival, the runs just flew. First, it was Sam Curran, who went for a four and six in the fifth over. Then, Sanju Samson hit Chahar for a six in the final over of the powerplay as RR moved past fifty.
CSK brought Ravindra Jadeja into the attack and Samson hit two more sixes. RR cranked it up even further in the eighth over as Samson, who brought up his fifty in 19 deliveries, hit three sixes and Smith hit one to score 28 off Piyush Chawla’s first over.
RR brought up their hundred in the ninth over before once again targeting Chawla in the next over, scoring 19 runs, to zoom towards 119 at the end of 10 overs. RR scored 10 more runs in the next over.
Lungi Ngidi, bowling the 12th over, provided CSK the much-needed breakthrough as Samson, following his 32-ball 74-run extravaganza, was caught in the deep by Chahar. In the same over, RR lost one more wicket as David Miller, on his RR debut, was run-out, without facing a delivery.
Smith, meanwhile, completed his fifty and got a reprieve in the 12thth and 14th overs, respectively.
Chawla then scalped his first wicket as Robin Uthappa got out in the 15th over, courtesy a fine catch at long-off from Faf du Plessis. Sam Curran then bowled a two-wicket over to dismiss Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag in the 17th over before getting Smith out in the penultimate over.
While CSK were looking to restrict RR below 200, Jofra Archer, who scored 27* off 8 balls, hit 4 sixes in the final over to take his side to 216/7.
Needing 217 runs to win, CSK needed a brisk opening stand and Murali Vijay and Shane Watson, despite being watchful in a few overs in the powerplay, provided CSK with one, taking the team past fifty in the first six overs.
However, Tewatia broke the partnership as Watson got out in the seventh over after scoring 33 runs. Shreyas Gopal then struck in the next over as Vijay perished for 21.
While Sam Curran, who was promoted to score some quick runs, zoomed to 17 after 5 balls, Tewatia struck twice in the ninth over to dismiss Sam Curran and debutant Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Kedar Jadhav hit three fours in an over as CSK crossed the 100-run mark in the 12th over. But Jadhav got out in the 14th over as Sanju Samson continued his fine night on the cricket field, holding onto a stunning one-handed catch off Tom Curran’s bowling.
CSK needed to go big and Faf du Plessis cut loose, hitting 3 sixes off Jaydev Unadkat’s 4th over and brought up his fifty while pushing CSK close to 160 at the end of the 17th over.
Faf hit two more sixes, but got out for 72 off Archer’s sharp bouncer in the penultimate over of the match. MS Dhoni then hit three mighty sixes in the final over to push CSK towards 200, but it was RR who ended up on the winning side.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 216/7 (Sanju Samson 74, Steve Smith 69; Sam Curran 3/33) beat Chennai Super Kings 200/6 (Faf du Plessis 72, Shane Watson 33; Rahul Tewatia 3/37) by 16 runs