IPL 2023: Samson’s composure, spinners, four key factors to Rajasthan's thrilling win in Chennai

The match, which was MS Dhoni's 200th as CSK skipper, had all the ingredients of a classic


Rituraj Borkakoty

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

R. Ashwin of Rajasthan Royals bowls against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday. — IPL
R. Ashwin of Rajasthan Royals bowls against Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday. — IPL

Published: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 11:28 PM

The Indian Premier League witnessed a last-ball thriller for the fourth time in the last five matches.

But for the first time since last Sunday, the chasing team ended up losing a dramatic last-ball thriller.

The match between Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings had all the ingredients of a classic.

But much to the dismay of millions of fans worldwide, MS Dhoni failed to get his Yellow Army over the line when they needed five off the last ball.

The thrilling three-run win in Chennai saw the Royals grab the top position in the points table with six points from four matches.

Chennai, on the other hand, is in the fifth place with four points from its first four matches of the season.

After being asked to bat, the Royals came up with a score of 175 for eight with Jos Buttler (52 off 36 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) scoring yet another half-century.

In reply, Chennai was comfortably placed at 78 for one in the 10th over only to suffer a stunning middle-order collapse.

The fortunes kept swinging like a pendulum, but Royals eventually reached home by the skin of its teeth.

These are the four key factors that helped them earn two precious points on Wednesday.

Royals spinners shine

Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa coming on as an impact player didn’t make a difference as he went for 43 runs.

But Yuzvendra Chahal (4-0-27-2) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4-0-25-2), in their contrasting styles, delivered for the Royals.

At 78 for one in the 10th over, Chennai was on track for a comfortable win.

But Ashwin broke the 68-run partnership between Ajinkya Rahane (31 off 19 balls) and Devon Conway (50 off 38 balls) when the off-spinner had his former India teammate lbw.

Chennai never recovered from that blow as Ashwin struck once more before Chahal dismissed Ambati Rayudu and Conway to leave the four-time champion gasping for breath at 113 for six

Dhoni (32 not out of 17 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) and Jadeja (25 not out off 15 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) then raised hopes of an unexpected win with their unbroken 59-run partnership for the seventh wicket, but the Royals held its nerve to clinch the match.

Sanju’s captaincy

Sanju Samson may have failed with the bat with a second-ball duck, but he was brilliant as captain on the field.

Defending a target of 173 against the CSK in Chennai is never easy.

But he was superb with his change of bowling and field placements.

The Kerala stumper kept his calm under pressure when MS Dhoni and Jadeja threatened to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Right-arm pacer Sandeep Sharma (3-0-30-1), defending 21 in the final over, bowled two wides before he was hit for two sixes by Dhoni.

But Samson asked the bowler to bowl round the wicket in the third legal ball, which Dhoni managed to put away for only for a single.

Sharma eventually managed to restrict both Jadeja and Dhoni in the final two balls to earn his team a nerve-racking win.

But without the composure shown by Samson in handling Sharma, Chennai would have pulled off an incredible win.

Devdutt dazzles

Devdutt Padikkal (38 off 26 balls), who looked out of place in the middle overs at number four in the previous games, found his range when he was sent at number three on Wednesday.

Yashasvi Jaiswal’s early dismissal saw Padikkal walk in at number three.

The elegant left-hander got off to a flying start and threatened to take the game away.

Such was his start that even Buttler decided to play second fiddle.

Until he was dismissed by Jadeja in the ninth over, Padikkal showed serious class.

Promoting him was a masterstroke on Wednesday.

The Royals would be tempted to make him a permanent number three.

Red-hot Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer (30 off 18 balls) gave the Rajasthan Royals innings the final flourish.

Like he has done so many times in his IPL career, Hetmyer was unstoppable in the death overs once again.

Despite Buttler’s half-century, the Royals would have fallen short of 160 if not for Hetmyer’s cameo.


More news from Sports