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HindustanTimes Thu,14 Aug 2014
IPL 7: CSK save the day as Bhatia, Kulkarni’s heroics fall short
Sai Prasad Mohapatra, Hindustan Times
Dubai, April 23, 2014
First Published: 20:42 IST(23/4/2014)
Last Updated: 11:53 IST(24/4/2014)

Not even a month back when India’s apex court proposed that Sunil Gavaskar should take charge of the BCCI, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were unsure whether they would take part in this season’s Indian Premier League. Doubts had been raised over their match in the sixth edition of the league on May 12.

At the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, CSK were looking good at 75 for no loss after 10 overs against the Royals but then they collapsed to post a total of 141. Vindoo Dara Singh taken into police custody following betting charges had reportedly predicted CSK would score somewhere between 130 and 140. The IPL fixing and betting case is still being investigated and the Supreme Court has allowed both the teams to take part in this edition of the league.

But coincidently on Wednesday, batting first Chennai Super Kings set Rajasthan Royals a target of 141. Of course their start was nowhere close to the one they had got last year following the likes of Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni all failing to reach double figures. But opener Dwayne Smith kept Chennai’s runrate going. With six fours and three sixes in his 28-ball half-century, the West Indian and later some rearguard action by Ravindra Jadeja who scored an unbeaten 36 off 33 to what turned out to be a winning total for Dhoni’s boys.

Royals’ chase never really took wings. Failing to rotate the strike and hasty shot selection by their batsmen showed Shane Watson and his boys were yet to adjust to the slowness of the wicket. They lost their top five for 63 by the 11th over and seeing how bravely Rajat Bhatia and Dhawal Kulkarni tried in vain to turn the match on its head, Royals would have only their top order to blame for not hanging in there. Chennai won the match by 7 runs, a runout ending Kulkarni’s heroics.

Squads:

Chennai Super Kings: Dwayne Smith, Brendan McCullum, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Mithun Manhas, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma.

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson (captain), Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Stuart Binny, Steve Smith, Abhishek Nayar, James Faulkner, Rajat Bhatia, Tim Southee, Dhaval Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe.


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