Royals gift Chennai a seven-run victory

2014-04-24 00:00

RAJASTHAN Royals, having given themselves a great chance to add a second win in their campaign, pushed the self-destruct button to gift Chennai Super Kings a seven-run win in Dubai yesterday.

Superb bowling by Royals had cut through the much-vaunted Kings batting line-up, restricting them to just 140 for six, giving them a run-rate of just seven an over. But in their eagerness, they threw their bats at simple, controlled spin, and threw away their chances.

Having been blown away for 84 by the Kings XI Punjab in their previous match, they will need some serious reflection on their attitude.

The Royals’ success had been based on slower deliveries; and the Kings took that on board. They brought in their spinners in the sixth over, having been given an early breakthrough with the ridicu­lous run-out of Abhishek Nayar who was so far down the wicket on an lbw appeal that he was outpaced by Brendon McCullum from mid-off.

After that it was a procession of poor shots that killed momentum and any rational partnership. The turning point came when left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets in two balls in the seventh over, leaving the Royals at 44 for four.

Chennai will take the win with gratitude, but they too will reflect on their innings. Only Dwayne Smith showed any initiative after they were put in to bat.

After the power play, 51 runs had been scored, of which 44 came from Smith with six fours and two sixes. Four of those fours came in succession as if to punish James Faulkner for the wicket of McCullum. The New Zealander had top edged high into the sky and the race to the ball was won by the athletic Steve Smith, who took a brilliant diving catch.

That’s when the wheels came off for Royals.

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