CSK hold steady to down Royals

  • Gautam Gambhir

    Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni leaves the ground after his dismissal against Rajasthan Royals during the IPL-5 match in Jaipur. PTI/Aman Sharma

  • MS Dhoni

    Rajasthan Royals' Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson celebrate the dismissal of Chennai Super Kings' Murali Vijay during their IPL-5 match in Jaipur. PTI/Aman Sharma

  • Rahul Dravid

    Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina plays a shot against Rajasthan Royals during their IPL-5 match in Jaipur. PTI/Aman Sharma

  • Suresh Raina

    MS Dhoni's wife Sakshi enjoys the IPL match at SMS stadium between Rajasthan Royals and CSK in Jaipur.

  • Sakshi Dhoni

    Chennai Super Kings' Yo Mahesh dives to stop the ball while bowling against Rajasthan Royals during their IPL-5 match in Jaipur. PTI/Aman Sharma

  • Yo Mahesh

    CSK's MS Dhoni with team members celebrates the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur. HT/Vipin Kumar

  • MS Dhoni

    CSK players celebrate after taking the wicket of Rajasthan Royals player Shane Watson during the IPL match at SMS Stadium in Jaipur.

  • CSK players celebrating.

    Rajasthan Royals batsman Rahul Dravid plays a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket against Chennai Super Kings in Jaipur. AFP/Prakash Singh

  • Rahul Dravid

    Rajasthan Royals' Rahul Dravid during the IPL match against Chennai Super Kings at SMS Stadium in Jaipur.

  • CSK players celebrating

    Ground staff cover the pitch as it rains during a IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings at Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur. ...

For a moment, it seemed surreal — 'Mr Perfect' Rahul Dravid getting caught off an ugly cross-batted shot and his young apprentice, Ajinkya Rahane, impressive so far with his correct strokeplay, trying to hit the ball senselessly. Creating such indiscretions in the opposition ranks has made MS Dhoni the man with a Midas touch, which was on display on Thursday as CSK recorded a four-wicket win.

That magic may be waning these days but the Chennai skipper was cool enough to retain nerve and nous. He put the Rajasthan Royals in to bat. Importantly, he made it a point to mention confidently and explicitly that they'd fancy a chase with the threat of rain looming large. His comments may have played on RR openers' mind, as they seemed desperate to post a large total out of CSK's reach. But they kept losing wickets through senseless strokes and ended at 127/6. The start-stop nature of the match, with the rain interfering on three occasions, added to the falling wickets, kept the big home crowd mostly silent.

Rajasthan Royals never looked set. And a lot of the credit had to be given to CSK's lead pacer Ben Hilfenhaus. Following the mauling at the hands of Mumbai Indians' Dwayne Smith, the Aussie was immaculate. His famed outswinger was in full play with the slight breeze helping him get the wickets of Dravid and Shane Watson.

 

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