Rajasthan Royals found themselves in trouble as they looked to hunt down an average total of 150 against CSK. The team knew it was heading for a tight finish if they lose this one with Delhi Capitals and RCB still in fray. They had bowled well to restrict CSK to just 150/6 despite Moeen Ali and Devon Conway going great guns; at one stage they were 84/1 within the seventh over. To pull things back from there and restrict them to a score of 150 was a superb effort to say the least.

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Now, as they batted, they had victory in sight. Suddenly, they stuttered and got reduced to 95/4. In came Ravi Ashwin and then ‘brought out the David Warner’ in himself to finish things off. He scored 40 off 23 balls and remained unbeaten. Skipper Sanju Samson, who scored 15 off 20 balls, came out at the post-match presentation, lauding Ashwin. He revealed how he practiced hard in the nets.

“Ashwin has done a great job and has turned out to be a great all-rounder for us. He batted a lot in the nets before the season.”

Feels good. The way we’ve played throughout the league stage stands out. We’ve had great games where almost everyone has stood up to win games. We deserve to be in this position is what I feel. It was important to understand that the wicket was good and they just kept going,” Samson said.

CSK were powered earlier in the innings by Moeen Ali who slammed 93 runs. Despite his effort, they managed a below-average total. But the threat was real, said Samson.

“It’s hard to stop someone like Moeen Ali. It was okay to go for runs. We knew we could believe in our bowlers to come back stronger, we came back stronger than expected to give just 75 after the powerplay. I wanted to bring McCoy over when the powerplay was done and he was more confident and comfortable. He used his change-ups and is maturing as a cricketer really well.”

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