Chennai look for elusive win against rejuvenated Rajasthan
Their morale low after two defeats in last three matches, Chennai Super Kings brace up for a tough battle against defending champions Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in Centurion today, G Krishnan reports.cricket Updated: Apr 30, 2009 03:22 IST
Commentator Ravi Shastri was in awe of Swapnil Asnodkar after he picked up a six off the Delhi Daredevils' Ashish Nehra on Tuesday night. “Azznnoddkarrr…,” murmured Shastri as he walked back to the commentators’ box.
Asnodkar fell off the next ball, dashing the Rajasthan Royals' dreams. Asnodkar had formed a solid partnership with Graeme Smith in IPL 2008 and it was anticipated that the pair would come together again on Tuesday, after failing to get cracking earlier in the competition.
But Smith finally overcame pressure in front of his own crowd to steer his team to victory. Smith's nickname at Rajasthan Royals is 'Rock At The Top' and he lived up to this.
Shane Warne was pleased with Smith's effort, especially when other South Africans like Herschelle Gibbs (Deccan Chargers) and AB de Villers (Daredevils) have already set the IPL on fire.
"Smith is the South African captain, the IPL is in South Africa and there's been a lot of pressure on him," said Warne "This knock will do him a world of good."
Smith, despite managing only 40 in the first three innings, has taken it upon himself to guide his team-mates on the conditions in South Africa. "I am sure this is the start of something that will stay for the rest of the tournament," said Warne.
MS Dhoni's team in yellow, languishing at sixth with three points and having lost three out of five, were at the receiving end of South Africans, AB de Villiers and Herschelle in their previous two games.