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CSK humble RR by 5 wickets to brighten play-offs prospects

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Chennai:  Chennai Super Kings stayed in contention for a place in the IPL play-offs with a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals after pacer Simarjeet Singh exemplified the home team’s discipline with the ball with career-best figures of 3/26 here on Sunday.

In a low-scoring match which had its share of drama with Ravindra Jadeja being given out for obstructing the field, CSK chased down a target of 142 with 10 balls to spare on a tricky surface.

Skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad was the star for CSK with the bat, remaining unbeaten on a 41-ball 42.

Rachin Ravindra (27 off 18 balls) and Gaikwad managed a 32-run stand before the former was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin in the fourth over.

However, that did not have any impact on Gaikwad and Daryl Mitchell (22 off 13 balls) as they maintained a run rate of over nine and ended the powerplay at 56 for one.

Pacer Sandeep Sharma was the most expensive bowler for the visitors during this phase and was hammered for 23 runs.

Mitchell appeared to be the man on a mission, but his stay was cut short by spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who trapped him leg-before wicket in the eighth over to end a 35-run partnership with Gaikwad.

Moeen Ali (10 off 13 balls) came in next, but he holed out to Nandre Burger in the 12th over.

With the score reading 92 for three in the 13th over, Shivam Dube decided to have a go at Ashwin in his final over.

While Dube hammered Ashwin for a six and two fours in the over, the veteran had the last laugh, which also turned out to be his 50th IPL wicket at this venue.

Also, Jadeja (5 off 6 balls) survived a scare in the subsequent over after Jos Buttler dropped him off Chahal at long-on.

Rookie Sameer Rizvi then hit an eight-ball 15 not out with three fours to end the game in a jiffy after Jadeja became the third batter in IPL history to be adjudged out for obstructing the field after miscommunication with Gaikwad, who refused to go for a second run even as the all-rounder was halfway down the pitch.

The third man hurled it to Sanju Samson, who aimed the ball at the bowler’s end but the throw hit Jadeja. RR appealed, and the third umpire was convinced that Jadeja knew in which direction the ball was heading.

CSK needed 21 off the final four overs, and the duo of Gaikwad and Rizvi got the job done.

The win took CSK to the third spot on the points table, while RR suffered their third straight defeat but remained in second position.

Earlier, Simarjeet dished out his best performance in the IPL while helping CSK restrict RR to a modest total.

For the visitors, the in-form Riyan Parag top-scored with a 35-ball unbeaten 47 on a slow wicket.

Opting to bat, the RR openers were off to a cautious start. After RR ended the powerplay at 42 for no loss, the 26-year-old Simarjeet made the first breakthrough in the seventh over, getting rid of Jaiswal (24 runs off 21 balls).

Simarjeet came up with the second breakthrough in the ninth over, with Jos Buttler (21 off 25 balls) departing.

Samson failed to get going, and it was Simarjeet again who grabbed the prized wicket of the RR skipper, ending his 42-run partnership with Parag.

Deshpande, bowling the final over, got rid of Jurel and Shubham Dubey (0 off 1 ball) in consecutive deliveries. Eventually, the visitors didn’t get a big enough total on the board.




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