Masterful half-centuries from Sanju Samson (74) and Steve Smith (69), coupled with Jofra Archer’s four consecutive sixes in the final over that fetched 30 runs, helped Rajasthan Royals post a mammoth 216/7 against Chennai Super Kings here on Tuesday.
CSK will have to break the record for the highest run chase in IPL history to win the match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
RR lost their first wicket early, of Yashasvi Jaiswal, who fell to Deepak Chahar in the third over. However, Samson joined captain Smith, who opened the innings, and the pair put up a blistering 121-run stand off just 57 balls.
Samson led the charge, smashing as many as nine sixes and a four, as he put on 74 runs off just 32 balls.
CSK seemed to be clawing their way back into the match after Samson’s dismissal in the 12th over. Even as Smith dropped sheet anchor, his teammates departed one after the other at the other end. However, the wheels came off in the final over in which Ngidi, who had accounted for Samson earlier, leaked 30 runs due to a combination of Jofra Archer’s belligerence and unwanted extras.
Archer smashed four consecutive sixes off the first four balls, two of which were off back to back no-balls.
Brief scores: RR 216/7 in 20 overs (Samson 74, Smith 69; S Curran 3/33) vs CSK
Umpires came under the spotlight for ‘wrongly’ declaring Rajasthan Royals’ Tom Curran out after Chennai Super Kings captain-wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni claimed a catch behind off pacer Deepak Chahar in an IPL match in Sharjah on Tuesday. The replays, asked for by the umpires on second thought, showed the ball bouncing before Dhoni took the supposed ‘catch’ and appealed.
Curran, who hadn’t opened his account by then, looked shocked but walked some distance away after being given out by Chettithody Shamshuddin and stood there even as confusion reigned in the 18th over of the innings. And while the two umpires were conferring, Dhoni joined them in the animated discussion.
Dhoni seemed to suggest to the umpires to ask the third umpire for the reply. A replay was sought and it suggested that the ball had bounced just before Dhoni grabbed it in front of him, after hitting Curran’s thigh pad – and not the bat.
Curran promptly returned to the crease and resumed batting. He went on to scored 10 off nine balls and remained not out, as Rajasthan Royals finished at 216 for seven wickets in 20 overs.
The on-field umpires were Shamshuddin and Vineet Kulkarni while the third umpire was KN Ananthapadmanabhan.