Jaiswal, Dube, Lewis decimate Super Kings attack as Royals keep playoff hopes alive
Rajasthan Royals 190 for 3 (Dube 64*, Jaiswal 50, Thakur 2-30) beat Chennai Super Kings 189 for 4 (Gaikwad 101*, Jadeja 32*, Tewatia 3-39) by seven wickets
A breathtaking opening stand of 77 in 5.2 overs between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis helped keep Rajasthan Royals afloat in the playoffs’ race, nearly putting into oblivion Ruturaj Gaikwad‘s maiden T20 century, a knock which eventually went in vain. While Super Kings piled up 89 runs off the last six overs, Royals hit back with as many in the first seven, while bagging two crucial points in a comprehensive win that pushed them above Mumbai Indians on net run rate after Shivam Dube remained unbeaten on 64.
Royals romped home with seven wickets and 15 balls in hand, as Super Kings, having already qualified for the next stage of the tournament, fell to their first defeat in the UAE leg of the IPL this season to break a four-match winning streak.
Jaiswal, Lewis take off in the powerplay
Jaiswal had already taken four boundaries inside the first two overs, including dominating a bowler of Josh Hazlewood’s class to whack him over deep midwicket and crunch one past the cover fielders. Lewis joined the party next over by hammering six and four off Sam Curran’s first two balls. In no time, the fifty stand had come up at the end of the fourth over – Lewis’ forceful pull over deep midwicket raised that milestone – with Jaiswal having crashed five fours by then, and Lewis carting two fours and sixes each.
Jaiswal took Hazelwood for 22 in the fifth over: the first hit was a pulled six, the next one a swat over long-on, then a four through the covers and finally, another six over mid-off. The last hit brought up his fifty off 19 balls, the joint second-fastest for Royals in IPL history, with the pair raking up 77 in just over five overs to set the tone for their side, before they were sepearated after Lewis found fine leg.
WATCH – Jaiswal smacks 22 runs off Hazlewood’s over
Gaikwad gets going again
Since landing in the UAE, Gaikwad has averaged 104 and has a strike rate of 148.57 in five innings this IPL, with 38 being his lowest score. Like on most occasions, he was content in taking his time initially before teeing off in the middle overs against Royals. Gaikwad started with two boundaries in the first over of the innings – the first ball was creamed between Faf du Plessis and the stumps, before he slashed a short delivery outside off to beat the man at cover five deliveries later – but slowed down later in the powerplay, and also once the field restrictions were lifted.
However, he took off after being on a run-a-ball 32 just into the second half of the innings to eventually end on 101* from 60. After reaching fifty off 43 balls, Gaikwad started the carnage by tucking into Rahul Tewatia in the 15th over with back-to-back sixes – first over long-off and then into the sightscreen. Next over, he hit Akash Singh for 4, 4 and 6 in a row, the second four merely a push through the line that still found the long-off fence.
Gaikwad got to his century off the final ball of the innings, when he launched Mustafizur Rahman over deep midwicket for six after he had deposited the same bowler for a near-replica of a shot two overs earlier.
Dube’s day with the bat
One of the five players inducted into the Royals’ side as part of a shuffle against Super Kings, Dube capitalised on the opportunity by piling up an unbeaten 64 off 42 balls. Like Gaikwad, Dube started off patiently – although he had the luxury of a commanding opening partnership before he arrived – and got just four off his first seven balls. But he welcomed Ravindra Jadeja into the attack in the ninth over by firing a six over the long-on boundary; and when Super Kings introduced Moeen Ali next over, he took consecutive sixes off the offspinner.
Soon after, Dube was gifted two full-tosses by Sam Curran, the first of which he swung across beyond a diving Jadeja at long-on for four, with the second one clearing the deep midwicket fence. He utilised width from Hazlewood later on, and reached his maiden IPL fifty off 30 deliveries. Dube ended with his highest score in the format.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo