CHENNAI, Apr 21:
Faf du Plessis stroked his way to a 52-ball 73 but Chennai Super Kings had to wait till the very last ball before eking out a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in a thrilling Indian Premier League match here today.
Needing two runs off the last ball of the match, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni clipped Stuart Binny off his pads to help the Super Kings overhaul the target of 147 set by Rajasthan.
Du Plessis was the main scorer as he smashed six fours and two sixes to set the tone for the defending champions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
This was the Super Kings’ fourth win from seven matches while Rajasthan, who had four wins prior to this match, suffered their third defeat in this edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 league.
Chasing a rather modest total, the Super Kings were off to a sedate start, by IPL’s standards, as openers du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath (15) added 55 runs in eight overs.
Slow left-arm spinner Brad Hogg gave the visitors their first breakthrough when he had Badrinath stumped by Shreevats Goswami with a ball that had a bit of flight.
The dismissal, though, hardly had any effect on du Plessis as he continued with his attacking game and, along with Suresh Raina, added 61 runs for the second wicket, much to delight of the home crowd.
Raina scored 26 runs in 24 balls and hit three fours.
While he started hitting fours from the second over, du Plessis struck his first six in the seventh over, when Ashok Menaria’s delivery was lofted over the extra-cover region.
The South African struck his second six, against medium pacer Siddharth Trivedi, before Kevon Cooper brought to an end his stay by having the batsman caught by Goswami.
Cooper then sent back Raina, thanks to Ajinkya Rahane’s excellent catch in the deep, but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja denied the visitors any further success while taking Chennai home. (PTI)
CHENNAI, Apr 21: