Amidst last over tensions, CSK eke past RR, again.
In the subconscious battle of heart and mind, one tends to find out his mental strength and toughness in times when situation is rigid to make way past. But hard are the times, when You find out of a mental blockage that is hard to overcome because the situation is so tough. In the hindsight of the last game, this phrase very nicely applies to the CSK run chase trying to chase down an easy target after a sloppy show from the top order. But this situation appropriately applies to the Rajasthan Royals because CSK and tough situations and comebacks is no more rigid situation, It is one for the opponents especially when the master is batting with his apprentice knowing all permutations of possibilities in his cool head all the way. MSD for the umpteenth time won yet another toss and with no hesitation chose to field which brought out the sluggish Rajasthan openers till now to the middle. Rahane was sent packing early and Jos Buttler found out that attack is not the best form of defence always. Royals were struggling to get going and lost half their side within the first 12 overs with not much on the board. A flourish from Jofra Archer towards the end of the innings ensured RR reached a respectable total of 150 which was well below par on the wicket which looked like holding no demons in it. But they dented the CSK chase early on by having them 24/4 in the first 5. Out of these situations, mostly the bowling side fancies to win but not against CSK. It is their captain cool who took the field along with a struggling Rayudu and both began salvaging the game back. In an unusual onslaught early in his Innings, MSD took on Shreyas Gopal and Riyan Parag which straight away meant Rahane shift to Plan B. The ship was steadied back by both the India Internationals but when Rayudu got dismissed, RR were the clear favourites to close this one out. But even they didn’t believe that and how could they till the master of close run chases was there. They required 30 off the last two and Jofra Archer, with his sheer pace and accuracy was with the ball in the penultimate over. Archer showed his versatility by taking pace off the ball for most of the penultimate when Dhoni was perhaps expecting fast deliveries. All Dhoni could do was milk him for twos with a big outfield, but an inside-edge for four to fine leg off a pacy last-ball yorker left them needing 18 needed off 6 balls now. Jadeja kickstarted the tense over with quite an astonishing hit for a six – he completely lost balance and was floored by the time he somehow managed to connect bat to ball. The pressure got to Stokes as he overstepped on the next ball, which yielded just a single but saw CSK needing just 10 off the last five deliveries. The free-hit ball didn’t cause as much damage to RR as Dhoni could only pick up a couple of runs and retain strike. A big heave was still the necessity, and Dhoni went for it, only for a pinpoint yorker from Stokes to slip under his bat and crash onto the stumps. At this stage, RR would’ve felt there was still a chance for them to end CSK’s habit of late jailbreaks, but an umpiring controversy followed, that involved an angry Dhoni walking onto the pitch to chat with the umpires.Once the dust settled, Stokes bowled a slower one to Santner, which the New Zealander hit down the ground and ran two. With four to defend off the final ball, Stokes once again erred with a wide in search of a wide yorker. Santner then capped off the frenzy with a six down the ground on the final ball to seal a sensational victory that moves them up to 12 points. Games like these make teams great teams. But CSK have almost forgotten what one sided finishes are. They love humdingers, the crowd loves humdingers and as long as MSD is there to apply the finishing touches, all Indians, irrespective of whichever franchises they support, love ’em too. CSK have all but sealed their playoff chances yet again, and RR and RCB now sail on the same boat from here on. The next few days might just tell, who prevails and who doesn’t in the marathon that is IPL.