Half-centuries from Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube guided the Rajasthan Royals to an emphatic seven-wicket victory over the table-topping Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening.
Jaiswal gave the Royals the perfect start with a blustering 50 from only 21 balls before Dube finished off the game with an unbeaten 64 from 42 deliveries to clinch victory with 15 balls to spare, ending on 190 for three.
Ruturaj Gaikwad had earlier registered his maiden IPL century, scoring 101 as the Super Kings posted 189 for four after Sanju Samson had won the toss and put MS Dhoni’s men in to bat first.
The Royals, who needed to win to keep their slender hopes alive of making the play-offs, faced the daunting task of chasing down 190 and needed a good start – which Jaiswal and Evin Lewis (27) gave them. The pair smashed 77 runs for the first wicket from only 32 deliveries with both openers ruthless.
Lewis cracked two fours and two sixes from 12 balls while Jaiswal smashed six boundaries and three sixes, bringing up his fifty off only 19 balls, taking 22 runs from four Josh Hazlewood (4-0-54-0) deliveries to reach his milestone.
The golden arm of Shardul Thakur (4-0-30-2) was needed to break the stand, having Lewis caught by Hazlewood on the legside fence. But Jaiswal continued, with Samson (28) providing excellent support. However, shortly after reaching his fifty, Jaiswal gloved a short ball from KL Asif (2.1-0-18-1) through to Dhoni behind the stumps.
This did not deter the Royals batting lineup as Dube played carefree cricket, launching four sixes to go with his four boundaries to finish off the game and guide his side over the line. Glenn Phillips accompanied the young left-hander over the line, cracking one four and smashing a six to end unbeaten on 14 from eight balls.
Earlier, Gaikwad was absolutely brilliant, smashing nine boundaries and five sixes, the last of which came off the final ball of the innings to reach his first IPL century. Gaikwad faced 60 deliveries for his unbeaten 101 and shared in an opening stand of 47 from 41 balls with Faf du Plessis (25), who was stumped by Samson from the bowling of Rahul Tewatia (4-0-39-3).
Suresh Raina (3) and Ambati Rayudu (2) fell cheaply, while Moeen Ali (21) managed one four and a six from 17 balls in a 57-run stand for the third wicket with Gaikwad. But the boost to the above-par score came for the unbeaten fifth-wicket stand between Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja struck four boundaries and a six for an unbeaten 32 from only 15 balls along with Gaikwad in a 25-ball stand. Jadeja had looked to deny Gaikwad the chance at making his century by keeping the strike, but Gaikwad faced the last two balls, missing the first and then smashing the final one for his biggest six of the night.
Chennai remain top despite the top while the Royals join the Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians on 10 points with two games remaining in the league phase of the tournament.