23 Sep 2020

Desert witness downpour of sixes as RR post a thumping victory over CSK!

By cricinsane

As we step into the Day 4 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League, we reminisce about the different kinds of emotions that the matches have given for the viewers over the last 3 days. CSK won the nail biting match against MI in the season’s opener and the Delhi Capitals took us to the edge of the seat and cruised past KXIP in an intriguing super over encounter, while Sunrisers Hyderabad did an absolute no brainer to throw away an easy victory to RCB. In that list, the encounter between Rajasthan Royals, who played their first match of the season, and Chennai Super Kings was no short of absolute entertainment. Royals boasting of the youngest contingent in the IPL with average age of 25 years were looking pumped up to face mighty masters right up in their opening age. Despite being the oldest team in this year’s IPL, CSK never let down their spirits and that rightly defines how champions are made.

Thar desert shifts to Sharjah desert

The GodMan of Chennai Super Kings, Thala Dhoni, won the toss and elected to field first. With the absence of Jos Buttler, Steve Smith promoted himself to open the innings with young swashbuckling southpaw Yashasvi Jaiswal. Smith had never opened an innings in his career and this was by far the best decision made in the course of the game. Lacking the experience of T20 specialists like Buttler and Stokes, their middle order looked fragile and it was very right that their best batsman had to see through maximum deliveries of the innings. Jaiswal didn’t have a great start which led Sanju Samson walk into the middle when the scorecard read 11/1. Samson has been one of the consistent performers in the IPL and has been knocking hard at the doors of international call ups. With 2 centuries under his belt, Samson needed one breakthrough season to push his impact big time and it couldn;t have started better for him. What a belligerent knock that was. The Sharjah witnessed a downpour of sixes when he sent 9 of them over the park and scored 74 off 32 balls with a whooping strike rate of 231.25. In this knock Sanju Samson recorded fastest 50 vs CSK joint with KL Rahul in 19 balls. They capitulated on the start that they had and reached a score of 132/2 around the 12th over when Samson’s mighty innings ended going for the glory shot. What followed that was a complete mishap. They had the experience of David Miller and Robin Uthappa who should have operated with Smith and taken to score towards 220 – 240 but they felt paltry. Their innings was tapering and Smith could get any support from other end and invariably he too succumbed to pressure. With what looked like a 200 odd score, Jofra ‘the Octopus’ Archer never fails to surprise. He clobbered 4 humongous sixes off Ngidi in the 20th over making them reach 216. This was indeed a tough quest for CSK but with their experience, the dew dropping down tremendously and Sharjah’s smaller ground dimensions, they were still not completely ousted from the victory.

Vijay and Watson took the crease to start off their chase briskly scoring 56 runs at the end of powerplay. This was a solid start and CSK should have rode on the supreme momentum. However, wickets kept tumbling one after another. With the amount of dew on the outfield it was completely impossible for the spinners to grip the ball. But the leg spinning duo of Gopal and Tewatia bowled exceptionally, making the critics go speechless. They rattled the top order completely and reduced CSK to 114/5 in 14 overs. Faf looked similar to what Smith faced in the first innings when both of them had their partners visiting the dugout in quick succession. It was completely critical as to why Dhoni did not promote himself up the order when he knew the required run rate was climbing up. He had promoted Gaikwad who simply threw his wicket in the very first ball of his IPL career and Curran could only last for a small cameo. Jadhav was rotating the strike trying to give Faf the maximum strike, but the situation was not in that manner where it was okay to go for singles. Batsman from both the ends had to fire and that intent was completely missing. Soaking into so much pressure, even the master MS Dhoni couldn’t do much towards the death overs. Faf tried his best to pull the drowning ship with some quick fires during the 17th to 19th overs but that was way too late. The match had ended in the 19th over itself leaving CSK with 37 runs off 6 balls. Dhoni hit 3 consecutive sixes in the last over. Haters would say he did that selfishly just to increase his strike rate after swallowing many balls and innings completely, while fans would say it was Dhoni the tactician who tried to minimize the impact of NRR. However, it was Dhoni the batsman who was much needed yesterday than Dhoni the tactician.

Another important factor yesterday was the reviews missed to be taken and poor umpiring decisions. When Jadeja trapped Smith before the stumps, although it looked a bit drifting down the leg, Dhoni should have gone for the review. The replay showed it was striking the leg stump clearly and Smith would have been seen packing his bags back then. But he went on to pile up 69 runs and steadied the innings. The umpiring woes continued day after day when different erroneous actions were seen on the field. When Tom Curran was batting, he was given out by the on field umpires, only to get themselves reviewed for their own decision and found that the ball was pitching short of the keeper. Some standards have to be enforced to make umpiring better.

Overall, it was a high scoring thriller and it was raining sixes in the desert. Before we wind up with our thoughts  and analysis, here are some staggering numbers from the match.

Most runs conceded in 20th over

A.Dinda – 30 runs vs MI, 2017
C.Jordan – 30 runs vs DC, 2020
L.Ngidi – 30 runs vs RR, 2020

Bowlers conceding most sixes in IPL

P.Chawla – 176
Amit Mishra – 170
Harbhajan Singh – 142

Walked in when CSK needed 103 runs off 38 balls.

First 13 balls – 10 runs

36 off 4 balls needed to win

Next four balls – 19 runs

Innings numbers: 29 off 17 at a SR of 171 😌

With the Burj Khalifa lighting up in KKR colors, this leaves us to anticipate more for the upcoming match against Kolkata Knight Riders who take up against Mumbai Indians.