Gaikwad anchors CSK to much-needed win

Simarjeet bowled a match-defining spell for CSK. (Source:

Chennai Super Kings didn’t disappoint the fans, who came in large numbers to support their team in the last league game at Chepauk. The defending champions did well to restrict the power-packed Rajasthan Royals to a sub-par 141 in 20 overs. The chase was not expected to be tricky and despite a few hiccups in the middle, CSK were home inside 19 overs with five wickets to spare. They moved to third with 14 points from 13 games. RR stayed second with 16 from 12.

Dismal batting by RR

After opting to bat, RR were off to a slow but steady start. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler survived the Powerplay overs. The wicket was slow and the ball was not coming nicely onto the bat. It was important to settle in before launching an attack, but that didn’t happen. After getting starts, Jaiswal and Buttler got out attempting forcing shots. The pressure fell on the pair of Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag. Despite both being in form, they struggled for timing, especially against the spinners on a turgid pitch. Only the arrival of Dhruv Jurel added some momentum to the innings. Still, the fours and sixes did not really flow. They looked like finishing well short of where they did, but Parag’s 47 ensured their bowlers had something to defend.

Pace effect at Chepauk

Against the formidable RR batting, CSK kept the total under 150 runs largely due to some outstanding bowling by the pacers. While the spinners maintained pressure, the seamers reaped the rewards. All five wickets were claimed by Simarjeet Singh and Tushar Deshpande. Simarjeet stood out with his three-wicket haul. He was excellent in utilising his variations and exploiting the larger square dimensions. Wicketless with the new ball, Deshpande struck twice in the last over.

Strong start by CSK

It’s always important not to lose early wickets, and CSK didn’t lose many, like they had in the last game in Ahmedabad. Rachin Ravindra made full use of the field restrictions and played a quickfire 27 off 18 balls, laced with two wristy flicks and one ramp shot. After losing him, CSK continued to strike big blows in the Powerplay as Daryl Mitchell got going, which helped the team get to 56 in six overs. This was the start they needed and they got it.

Captain’s knock from Gaikwad

From the first over, it was clear that Ruturaj Gaikwad would anchor one end. This has been his role since 2021. His innings progressed at a slow pace. However, as a senior batter and captain, it was crucial to ensure that the team didn’t falter after reaching a winning position. With RR boasting a strong attack and on a sluggish wicket, it was imperative for CSK that their captain delivered a match-winning innings in a must-win game. Gaikwad did just that.