Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Match Report: SF 1 - Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings
Trickster Tambe spins RR into finals
The Royals needed an out-of-the-world performance from their bowlers and fielders to humble the mighty Super Kings. And that is exactly what Rahul Dravid’s men brought to the ground on the day. They were led by their 41-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, who broke the backbone of the CSK innings with sensational figures of 4-0-10-3.
Royals’ bowlers and fielders ensured they made it difficult for the CSK batsmen to get runs. The CSK openers – Murali Vijay (14) and Michael Hussey (9) – had a few nervous moments in running between the wickets. Though the Royals fielders missed a couple of opportunities early on, it did not cost them too much as both batsmen were run-out soon after.
Suresh Raina picked up four boundaries early on – two through fine-leg and two straight down the ground. S Badrinath departed when he attempted to give Tambe the charge but missed the ball altogether to be stumped. Rahul Shukla struck a body blow in the 10th over when he dismissed CSK skipper MS Dhoni leg before wicket.
At 54 for four, CSK were in all sorts of trouble. Things went from bad to worse when Tambe picked up Dwayne Bravo leg before wicket and Shane Watson had Ravindra Jadeja caught behind. Then in the 13th over CSK’s biggest match-winner – Raina – holed out to mid-off; the left-hander made 29 from 23 balls.
However, the Royals found resistance from unlikely quarters. R Ashwin and Chris Morris came together with their team needing 88 runs from 45 balls and put up a brave fight; they added 73 runs in 7.1 overs to take their team to the brink. Ashwin was the more enterprising of the two; by the time he was dismissed in the final over, he had scored 46 from 28 balls. Morris remained unbeaten on 26 from 15 balls. CSK, who needed 23 from the final over, eventually finished their 20 overs at 145/8, 14 runs short.
For the Royals, Pravin Tambe was the most successful bowler, picking up three wickets, while Rahul Shukla, Shane Watson and James Faulkner chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier in the evening, after being put in to bat on a track thah had a little bit of green tinge, the Rajasthan Royals rode on Ajinkya Rahane’s 70 to post 159 on the board. The hosts were rocked early when their skipper Rahul Dravid played all over a straight delivery from Chris Morris and had his stumps rattled. The move to promote Kevon Cooper to number four reaped rewards instantly; the Trinidadian hit two boundaries and a six in his seven-ball cameo to wrest back the initiative. Young Sanju Samson could not contribute too much; he top-edged an attempted pull to be caught at midwicket.
Then Rahane found an able ally in Shane Watson. The pair added 59 runs in 6.3 overs to set a platform. The partnership was broken at the start of the 16th over, when Watson miscued one from Morris to be caught at deep cover; the Australian made 32 from 23 balls and hit four boundaries.
Rahane at the other end was all class. His temperament, footwork, choice of shots and match-awareness all came to the fore. The Royals opener impressed as he drove fluently, found the gaps with ease and ran hard between the wickets during the course of his 56-ball 70. His scintillating innings ended in the final over of the innings, when he attempted to hit Dwayne Bravo through the leg-side but only succeeded in miscuing to the man at fine-leg. During the course of his 70 – his third half-century in his last three outings – Rahane became the top run-getter in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013.
Though the Royals lost the way towards the end of the innings – adding only 18 runs in the final three overs – they still managed to post a respectable score of 159/8.
For the Chennai Super Kings, Dwayne Bravo was yet again the most successful bowler, picking up three wickets. He was ably supported by Chris Morris (2/25), Jason Holder (2/35) and Mohit Sharma (1/37). Ravindra Jadeja too impressed with the ball, conceding only 19 runs in his three overs.
Trivia: With his 70 in this match, Ajinkya Rahane has contributed 31.5 percent of the runs scored by the Rajasthan Royals in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013.
Four bowlers were clocked bowling at speeds in excess of 140 kph. Chris Morris was clocked bowling the fastest delivery of the match at 144.1 kph, while James Faulkner came in a close second at 143.5 kph. Rahul Shukla was clocked bowling at 143.3 kph, while Shane Watson’s quickest delivery was clocked at 142.9 kph.
No team has lost more wickets to run-outs in the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013 than the Chennai Super Kings; they lost a total of five wickets to run-outs.
The 73-run partnership between Chris Morris and R Ashwin was Chennai Super Kings’ highest eighth-wicket partnership.
Pravin Tambe’s four-over spell had 14 dot balls.
Man of the Match: Pravin Tambe for his bowling figures of 4-0-10-3.