Ruturaj Gaikwad's hundred in vain as Dube, Jaiswal destroy CSK
Images from the Indian Premier League match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, in Abu Dhabi, on Saturday.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube deflated Chennai Super Kings with brute power as Rajasthan Royals kept their play-off hopes alive with a morale-boosting seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League match, in Abu Dhabi, on Saturday.
Jasiwal smashed 50 off 21 balls, which included some delectable sixes off star Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood, and Dube sent the likes of Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja into orbit en route his unbeaten 64 off 42 balls as Royals made a short work of a stiff victory target of 190 in just 17.3 overs.
Their brilliant batting overshadowed a superb 60-ball 101 not out by Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad earlier.
The Royals now have 10 points with two matches to go. The fourth place in the eight-team league is set to be clinched at 14 points and net run-rate is going to be crucial.
The defeat will not hurt CSK much, as they sit pretty on 18 points, having already made it to last four stage.
When the Super Kings ended their innings at 189 for 4 after the Gaikwad show, little did anyone think that Royals' Indian players would reply in kind and go even one better.
Jaiswal, with six fours and three sixes, was given fine support by Evin Lewis (27 off 12 balls) in an opening stand of 77 in 5.2 overs which set up the game.
Hazlewood (0/54) wouldn't have imagined that he would be hit for three sixes in his first spell as the match slipped out of CSK's grasp in the Powerplay itself.
Jaiswal, whose game has improved since last season by a few notches, flicked Hazlewood over deep mid-wicket and also hit a straight six during his knock.
Dube, who doesn't have much of a footwork, hit some monstrous sixes off Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran whenever the ball was pitched in his arc.
In all, he hit four fours and four sixes. Such was Dube's domination that even the stylish Sanju Samson (28 off 24 balls) paled in comparison during their 89-run stand for the third wicket in 9.3 overs.
Earlier, Indian cricket's Gen-Next star Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his good form with a magnificent century as Chennai Super Kings posted an imposing 189 for 4.
Gaikwad struck as many as nine fours and five sixes in his 60-ball 101 not out as he made a mockery of the Royals' bowling attack in their 12th round encounter.
Ravindra Jadeja (32 not out off 15 balls) scythed trough the Royals attack at the back-end as the Super Kings added 55 runs in only 3.4 overs.
In the final over Jadeja faced four deliveries, leaving Gaikwad with two and the opener pulled Mustafizur Rahman off the final ball to get to the coveted landmark.
Leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia (3 for 39 in four overs) was the most successful Royals bowler, but his joy of getting three wickets was spoilt by Gaikwad, who scored two back-to-back sixes -- one over long-off and other into the sightscreen.
The sixes over mid-wicket off left-arm seamers Akash Singh and Mustafizur were also delightful as they landed at least 20 yards behind the ropes into the grass banks.
The Pune batter is not someone who is muscular but a "strong core" (according to him) and stable base allows him to maintain shape while going for the big shots as Royals found out on the day.
The manner in which he came down the track and lofted seamer Chetan Sakariya for an inside-out one-bounce boundary made it look as if he was tackling a spinner with enough time at his disposal.
There were a lot of boundaries in the arc between cover and mid-off region as his driving was majestic.
Gaikwad's sequence of scores since the resumption of the IPL is 88, 38, 30, 45 and now 101 not out.
There hasn't been a single failure so far and his partnerships with Faf du Plessis (25) have been the cornerstone of CSK's good batting performance.
That none of their retired stars, like Suresh Raina, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu, all IPL heavyweights in their own right, haven't had much contribution with the bat, isn't affecting them primarily because of du Plessis and Gaikwad's power-packed starts.
On Saturday, they added 47 for the first wicket while they conjured up 71 against RCB, 74 against KKR and 75 against SunRisers Hyderabad.