Yashasvi Jaiswal struck a well-controlled 59 and Ravichandran Ashwin blasted a 25-ball unbeaten 40 after a clinical bowling display as Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in Match 68 of IPL 2022 and clinched the second spot in the points table. It was Rajasthan Royals' bowling unit, that clawed its way back after being blasted for 75/1 in the powerplay, to restrict Chennai Super Kings to 150/6 in 20 overs after M.S Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first at the Brabourne stadium here. Chasing a modest 151 for victory, Rajasthan Royals faced a few anxious moments in the middle of the innings but in the end, Ashwin, along with Riyan Parag (10 not out) ensured that they reached 151/5 in 19.4 overs for their ninth win of this edition of IPL. The victory took them to 18 points, the same as Lucknow Super Giants but they took second place with a better net run rate of 0.298 as compared to 0.251 of LSG. This means, that Rajasthan Royals will figure in Qualifier 1 and get a second chance in Qualifier 2 if they lose. CSK ended their campaign with eight points from 14 matches, opening a chance for Mumbai Indians to win their match against Delhi Capitals and push them down to the bottom place on net run rate. Rajasthan Royals will have to thank Jaiswal, who struck 59 off 44 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and one six, and also Ashwin, who guided them home with a superb cameo of 49 not out off 23 balls, hitting two fours and three sixes.
Rajasthan Royals made a sedate start as they reached 52/1 in the powerplay. They lost their top batter Jos Buttler for 2 in the second over as he tried to sneak a run from fullish, wide delivery that moved a bit and took the edge to Moeen Ali at slip. But Jaiswal continued to play a controlled inning, waiting for the right ball to hit boundaries. He added 51 runs with skipper Sanju Samson (15) as Royals raised hopes of reaching the target with a lot to spare. But it turned out to a nerve-jingling task for Rajasthan Royals as they lost their way in the middle overs. First skipper Sanju Samson was brilliantly plucked out by Mitchell Santner off his own bowling, the tall New Zealander jumping up to catch a full-blooded shot by Samson. Rajasthan were down to 67/2 in the ninth over. Devdutt Padikkal added only three runs to the score as he was cleaned up by Moeen Ali, playing his sweep shot all over as the ball stopped a bit. Jaiswal and Ashwin took the score past the 100 run mark before the opener departed, after a well-made 59 that included eight boundaries and one six, Jaiswal struck Mukesh Choudhary for fours off successive deliveries in the third over and also flicks him off his legs for a boundary in the fifth over. He also struck Simarjeet Singh for a boundary and blasted Prashant Solanki for his lone six over long-on. He was out mistiming a heave off a half-tracker trying to go for a six and Matheesha Pathirana nearly makes a hash of the attempt before completing the catch.
Wtih Rajasthan Royals down to 104/4, their hopes depeded on Ashwin and Simron Hetmyer. But the West Indies batter's scratchy innings came to an early end when he skied a massive slog=sweep and was caught by Devon Conway at 112/5 in 17th over, Rajasthan were looking in serious trouble. But Ashwin held his nerve, and played some streaky and some superb shots as he guided Rajsthan Royals home. He hammered Solanki and Choudhary for a six apiece and struck Pathirana for a couple of fours taking Rajasthan victory. Riyan Parag played able foil as he remained not out on 10 off 10 balls while Ashwin remained unbeaten on 40 runs. Earlier, CSK blazed to 75/1 in the powerplay thanks to a hurricane half-century off 19 balls by Moeen Ali, whose brilliant innings ended at 93 off 57 deliveries. But they lost their way and eventually The Chennai innings had two distinct phases a blazing start courtesy of Moeen Ali (93 off 57 balls, 4x13, 6x3) and a crawling finish as they ended with a sub-par score on a wicket on which the ball was stopping a bit.
It was s strange innings as CSK scored 75 runs in the first six overs and 75 in the remaining 14. Trent Boult got Ruturaj Gaikwad (2) off the last ball of the first over but things went haywire for him and Rajasthan Royals after that as Moeen Ali waded into them. He came out firing on all cylinders and used the fielding restrictions in the first six overs to good effect. He got into the act in the fourth over of the innings, hitting Prasidh Krishna for 18 runs three boundaries and a six making room and pulling the fullish delivery behind square for maximum. In the next over (5th of the innings), he hammered Ravi Ashwin for two fours and one six and blasted Trent Boult for 26 in the sixth over five boundaries and a six. Moeen Ali added 89 runs for the second wicket with Devon Conway (16) and then raised 51 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper M.S Dhoni but CSK failed to recover. But the wicket of Conway and some superb bowling by Rajasthan Royal's spinners Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, and seamer Obed McCoy put the brakes on their galloping innings. CSK lost a couple of quick wickets and could manage only 42 runs in the middle overs. But the slog overs were even worse as they could score only 33 runs in the last five, thus ending with a sub-par score.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 150/6 in 20 overs (Moeen Ali 93, M.S Dhoni 26; Obed McCoy 2/20, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/26) Rajasthan Royals 151/5 in 19.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, R Ashwin 40 not out; Prashant Solanki 2/20).