MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings faced Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. CSK had been the dominant side in their previous encounters, though Rajasthan seemed to have found good form of late, courtesy of their captain Sanju Samson. Both teams wanted to continue their winning ways in a pitch that favored the batters. A relatively shorter boundary in Wankhede also aided the power hitters.
The toss was won by RR, and CSK was invited to bat first. Despite the Royals bowlers chipping away wickets relatively regularly, Chennai managed a defendable total of 188. Faf Du Plessis with 33 runs, Moeen Ali with 26, and Ambati Rayudu (27) all contributed, with late flurries from Dwayne Bravo who made 20 runs, and Sam Curran (13) tipping the score over 185. Rajasthan’s bowling efforts were largely forgettable, with only Chetan Sakariya (3/36) and Chris Morris (2/33) providing any resistance at all to CSK’s batting onslaught. Dhoni’s team amassed 60 runs in the last 6 overs, as RR’s bowlers’ leaked runs regularly.
Rajasthan Royals’ chase started pretty strong, with openers Joss Buttler and Manan Vohra adding a brisk 30 runs in the first 3 overs. Vohra was the first to depart, however, undone by Sam Curran in the fourth over. Sanju Samson followed quickly, adding only 1 to his run tally, leaving RR reeling at 45/2 at the end of their batting powerplay. In the later overs, the spin duo of Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja ripped through the RR batting lineup. Moeen was the pick of the two, taking 3 wickets for just 7 runs in his 3 overs. Jadeja finished with figures of 2/28. Sam Curran was also highly economical, with only 24 runs coming from his quota of 4 overs. In the end, the Royals managed to limp to 143/9, losing the bout by 45 runs. For the men in blue, Joss Buttler top-scored with a 35 ball 49, but failed to convert the start to a big score.
The Man of the Match glory went to Moeen Ali for his excellent all-round performance.
There were a couple of good performances that ended up dictating the outcome of the match:
The brisk innings by the Chennai Super King’s batters – quick 20s and 30s by Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, and Moeen Ali, made sure CSK never lost their momentum while building a good total.
Superb economical bowling in the middle overs by Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, and Moeen Ali did not let Joss Buttler and David Miller run away with RR’s chase. Even attempts by Jaydev Unadkat and Rahul Tewatia proved too little too late.
CSK continued their remarkable run in this IPL 2021, while RR slumped to the bottom section of the table. However, the difference in overall team strength was on full display in this match, as the men in yellow muscled their way to a comprehensive win.