Rajasthan Royals (RR) overcame a Moeen Ali show and beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by five wickets in Match No. 68 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium – CCI in Mumbai on Friday and with it, sealed a top two finish on the points table going into the Playoffs.
Needing 151 runs to win, Yashasvi Jaiswal gave RR a cracking start even as Jos Buttler got out in the second over off Simarjeet Singh.
Jaiswal and RR captain Sanju Samson then added 51 runs for the second-wicket stand. But the partnership was broken in the 9th over as Mitchell Santner took a stunning return catch on his bowling to dismiss Samson. Moeen then disturbed the timber as RR lost their third wicket in the form of Devdutt Padikkal.
Jaiswal, meanwhile, stayed put and brought up an impressive half-century and took RR past hundred. But he and Shimron Hetmyer were dismissed in the space of eight runs as Prashant Solanki struck twice.
R Ashwin though brought all his experience into play and scored a superb 23-ball 40*, hitting 2 fours and 3 sixes and added an unbroken 39-run stand with Riyan Parag to take RR home with 2 balls to spare.
Earlier, RR and CSK, who elected to bat, made a change each, bringing in Shimron Hetmyer and Ambati Rayudu respectively.
RR found an early success as Trent Boult dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad in the first over. While Prasidh Krishna bowled a tight over from the other end, Devon Conway and Moeen hit 4 fours and 2 sixes in the next two overs as CSK shifted gears.
Moeen then took on R Ashwin, creaming 16 runs in his first over and then went berserk with 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4 in the final over of the powerplay against Boult, bringing up a 19-ball fifty to take CSK to 75/1.
RR were looking for a breakthrough and Ashwin provided them one with as he got Conway out LBW in the eighth over. Obed McCoy was introduced into the attack in the ninth over and he struck straightaway, getting out N Jagadeesan.
Ambati Rayudu was the next man to get out as Devdutt Padikkal took a good catch in the slip off Yuzvendra Chahal as RR continued to pull things back.
MS Dhoni then got reprieves – one each off Chahal and McCoy – as Samson could not latch on to two tough chances.
While Dhoni and Moeen, who scored a majestic 93, added 51 runs together, RR eventually managed to limit CSK to 150/6, conceding just 75 runs after the powerplay.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 151/5 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, R Ashwin 40*; Prashant Solanki 2/20) beat Chennai Super Kings 150/6 (Moeen Ali 93, MS Dhoni 26; Obed McCoy 2/20) by five wickets.