The heroics of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yashasvi Jaiswal on Friday night powered the Rajasthan Royals with a 5-wicket win against the Chennai Super at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Ashwin remained unbeaten on 40 off 23 balls as RR completed the chase of 151 with two balls to go, grabbing the second place to set up a blockbuster clash with Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier on May 24.
Moeen Ali’s classic 57-ball 93 went in vain as the defending champions suffered a terrible middle-order collapse. After a terrific start to their innings, CSK lost the momentum in the last 14 overs and were restricted to 150 for 6 in 20 overs.
By the time the first over of their innings came to an end, RR qualified for the play-offs on net run rate, leaving Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals to fight for the fourth spot.
As Rajasthan Royals qualify for the playoffs and defeat defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their last league match this season, let’s have a look at the talking points of the game:
Dhoni not to retire: The match began with a piece of great news for the CSK fans. Skipper MS Dhoni confirmed that he will continue to play in the IPL 2023 but couldn’t say if that would be his last season. Later, he played a handy cameo of 26 runs in 28 deliveries and featured in a 51-run stand with Moeen Ali before losing his wicket to Yuzvendra Chahal in the penultimate over of the CSK innings.
The Moeen Ali Show: The English all-rounder on Friday smashed his first fifty in the IPL 2022. He walked out to bat after the early dismissal of Ruturaj Gaikwad and took the RR bowlers to the cleaners in the Powerplay. He smashed a six followed by 5 consecutive boundaries to bring his half-century off just 19 balls. However, with the fall of some quick wickets in the middle overs, his innings also turned a bit slower. He went on to stitch a 51-run stand with MS Dhoni for the fifth wicket. Unfortunately, he fell 7 runs short to complete his century and was dismissed by Obed McCoy for 93 in the final over. Ali smashed 13 boundaries and 3 maximums during his stay at the crease.
Yuzvendra Chahal gets back the Purple cap: RR’s bowling mainstay this season, Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday returned with two wickets in his pocket. He dismissed the likes of Ambati Rayudu (3) and MS Dhoni (26), surpassing Wanindu Hasaranga to get the Purple cap back on his head. He registered bowling figures of 2 for 26 in 4 overs.
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s impressive knock: Yashasvi once again showcased his rich form in the IPL 2022, smashing his 2nd fifty of the season. His 44-ball 59 set the course of RR’s successful chase of 151. The 20-year-old batter showcased a great performance in a crucial game against the defending champions. His innings was laced with 8 boundaries and a maximum.
Ashwin’s finishing touch: This IPL season has witnessed his T20 batting skills at the fullest. Even captain Sanju Samson appreciated his efforts stating that the team expected something special from him. He walked in when RR were reduced to 112/5. He smashed 3 sixes and 2 boundaries and returned unbeaten on 40 off 23, ensuring a terrific win for his team.