IPL 2018: Shane Watson’s fiery ton lifts Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals
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IPL 2018: Shane Watson’s fiery ton lifts Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals

Shane Watson scored a 57-ball 106 for Chennai Super Kings against Rajasthan Royal in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. He reached the century mark in 51 balls

cricket Updated: Apr 21, 2018 00:10 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Pune
IPL 2018,Indian Premier League 2018,Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson, Chennai Super Kings player, in action against Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match in Pune on Friday. (AFP)

Shane Watson slammed an exquisite 51-ball century, here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, as Chennai Super Kings were off to a mammoth total against Rajasthan Royals in what’s their first game at their new home. (Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2018 - highlights)

Stuart Binny’s first over was a confidence booster of sorts as the medium pacer started with a no-ball to begin proceedings and the Australian took full advantage to get off the mark by hammering a boundary over the bowler’s head off the free-hit. He then doubled it up with a glorious drive on the off-side. To make matters worse, Rahul Tripathi then dropped a sitter at first slip, to the utter shock of the entire team. (Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2018, full cricket score)

The mood was set. And perhaps so was the confidence meter. His next two scoring shots were two towering sixes over the long-off and cover region as he set the tone of his innings. While Ambati Rayudu was on song as well, it was Watson’s carnage that perhaps forced skipper Ajinkya Rahane to change as many as five bowlers in the opening five overs.

Rayudu was dismissed after scoring 12 off eight balls but Watson was unstoppable. He rotated strikes with Suresh Raina for a while before the latter slammed four consecutive boundaries off Ben Stokes to up the ante.

With the powerplay fetching 68 runs for CSK, the duo took their foot off the pedal for a while, adjusting to the new field restrictions before Watson restarted the carnage. He brought up his half-century with a towering six over long-on off Krishnappa Gowtham, hammered the next ball through the cover region to pick up a boundary and then sent the next one over the mid-wicket region for yet another maximum with a smashing slog sweep.

It was yet again time for a role-reversal as Watson stepped back with Raina taking charge to send Royals’s bowling attack to the cleaners. The swashbuckling southpaw slammed a cracking 29-ball 46, including nine boundaries as Watson held fort from the other end. He did make his presence felt though once in a while with a flat six off Ben Laughlin oozing his class.

He completed his century with a single off Unadkat, his fourth in the format. He had been joined in from the other end by the big-hitting Dwayne Bravo after Sam Billings and Mahendra Singh Dhoni had gone on the cheap. Given the situation, the two-time champions should ease past the 200-mark.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 22:23 IST