New Delhi: Rituraj Gaikwad’s maiden IPL ton went in vain as a spirited fightback from Rajasthan, second from bottom in points table, shocked table-toppers Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi on Saturday to attain a 7-wicket win and keep their hopes alive of reaching IPL 2021 playoffs.
Chasing a mammoth 190-run target for the win, openers Evin Lewis and Yashaswi Jaiswal got their team off to a fiery start as RR had put 81/1 on scoreboard – highest score in powerplay by any team in IPL 2021. After both the openers got out, Shivam Dube didn’t let CSK gain momentum and upped the ante by hitting some classic sixes and fours to notch up a fifty. He later went on to stitch a fifty partnership with skipper Samson.
Earlier, Rajasthan won the toss and opted to bowl first. 24-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad (101* runs off 60 balls) played some sensational jaw-dropping shots as he tore into a decent Rajasthan bowling attack to score his maiden, unbeaten IPL ton and help his team reach a mammoth 189/4 against RR. Apart from Gaikwad, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja played a blistering 15-ball 32 run knock.
After a very cautious start, CSK batters did not spare a single Rajasthan bowler and toyed with them with some remarkable ball-striking to finish their innings on a high. In the last five overs, Chennai scored 73 runs.
Meanwhile, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings has become the first team to reach IPL 2021 playoffs. The same team which had last season missed out on qualifying in the playoffs. Under Dhoni’s mentorship, Chennai has secured the top spot in IPL 14 Points Table.
Rajasthan Royals playing XI: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Akash Singh, Mayank Markande, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
Chennai Super Kings Playing XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, KM Asif, Josh Hazlewood