Ravichandran Ashwin once again proved his utility with the bat when his team needed it the most as Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings by five wickets to finish the IPL league phase in top-2 here today.
Ashwin remained unbeaten on 40 off 23 balls as Rajasthan chased down 151 with two balls to go, grabbing the second place to set up a clash with Gujarat Titans in the first playoff next Tuesday.
Moeen Ali top-scored for Chennai with a 57-ball 93 before Rajasthan restricted the Southerners to 150/6 in 20 overs.
Young Yashasvi Jaiswal (59 off 44) got Rajasthan off to a brisk start with back-to-back boundaries off Mukesh Choudhary in the innings’ first over. In fact, by the time the first over of their innings came to an end, Rajasthan had qualified for the playoffs by the virtue of net run-rate, leaving Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals to fight for the fourth spot.
Simarjeet Singh struck early for Chennai, sending back the dangerous Jos Buttler (2).
Jaiswal then struck two more boundaries in the next over and stabilised the innings by adding 51 runs for the second wicket with captain Sanju Samson (15).
Brief Scores: CSK: 150/6 in 20 overs (Ali 93; McCoy 2/20; RR: 151/5 in 19.4 overs (Jaiswal 59, Ashwin 40*; Solanki 2/20). — PTI
‘Technology didn’t help this time’
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya rued that technology did not come to their rescue when Matthew Wade was adjudged LBW in a controversial call against Royal Challengers Banglore on Thursday. “I think it was slightly there (spike) in the ultra-edge. From the big screen, it was not visible. If technology is not helping, then I don’t know who’s going to help,” he said. PTI