Chennai Super Kings riding on the magnificent hundred from Shane Watson bagged home their first victory at their new home in Pune. Not just with the bat, MS Dhoni’s men were outstanding with the ball as well as they did outstanding work to keep the Rajasthan Royals top order silently and then ripped through their middle order to hand them an awful 64 runs defeat. Shane Watson showcased his brilliance with the bat as he dispatched the Rajasthan bowlers all around the park and notched up his 6th IPL Ton. Rajasthan Royals chasing a massive 205 were off to a dismal start with openers Rahane and Klaasen going for cheap. Sanju Samson failed to deliver as he too went for cheap. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler stood there for long but did little to trouble the CSK bowlers who ensured their team was always into the game. Karn Sharma wrapped it up with two straight wickets in the last over. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur finished with two wickets each.
Highlights from the Indian Premier League match between Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals form the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium:
Chennai Super Kings have won the match by 64 runs
11:32 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 140/10, 18.3 overs, Gopal – 8
Karan Sharma goes for a boundary on the first ball with Undadkat using all his power to send it past the fence. Bowled! Unadkat walks back. Googly and job done. Laughlin comes and departs. Karn Sharma strikes again and that’s the end of Rajasthan Royals. They have been beaten by 64 runs by the Chennai Super Kings.
11:32 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 136/8, 18 overs, Unadkat – 12, Gopal – 8
Ravindra Jadeja into the attack for Chennai Super Kings. Four singles and a couple on the first five balls of the over as RR batsmen complete the formality of playing the left overs. Dot ball to finish with just 6 runs from it. CSK has won this one unless a miracle happens here in Pune.
11:29 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 130/8, 17 overs, Unadkat – 10, Gopal – 4
Karn Sharma introduced into the attack by MS Dhoni and he starts off well with three singles off the first three balls. Another single from Unadkat on the fourth ball of the over. A boundary to finish off the over with 9 runs from it. 75 required off 18 now for RR to win.
11:25 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 121/8, 16 overs, Unadkat – 4, Gopal – 1
Shardul Thakur with the 16th over for the Chennai Super Kings. Two singles from the first two balls and Binny walks back. Brilliant just phenomenal from Shardul Thakur as he dismisses binny with a stunning caught and bowl effort. One-handed terrific catch from the pacer and he has been solid today. Unadkat is the new man in for Rajasthan Royals. Smacks it away for a boundary to finish the over with 6 runs off it but that won’t hurt CSK.
11:20 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 115/7, 15 overs, Binny – 9, Gopal – 0
Watson with the 15th over for the Chennai Super Kings, two singles of the first three balls and Watto strikes. Gowtham caught! Gowtham c Dhoni b Watson 1(2) It has been his day so far, the centurion gets his first wicket as Gowtham edges it with Dhoni taking a good catch behind the stumps. Just two off the over a brilliant one from Watson after showing his heroics with the bat. Shreyas Gopal is the new man in.
11:15 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 113/6, 14 overs, Binny – 8, Gowtham – 0
As we return back from the strategic timeout, Imran Tahir comes back to bowl the 14th over for the Chennai Super Kings. Two singles off the first two balls before he slots it for a good six. Wait, high in the air and Billings takes the catch. Tahir gets Stokes. OUT! Stokes c Billings b Tahir 45(37). Ben Stokes had to go for it as the required rate was racing up but Imran Tahir got him going at the right time. A well played 45 form the English all-rounder with 10 runs off the over. Krishnappa Gowtham joins Stuart Binny in the middle.
11:09 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 103/5, 13 overs, Binny – 5, Stokes – 38
Dwayne Bravo with the 13th over for the Chennai Super Kings and Stokes starts off with a single. OUT! Caught! Rahul Tripathi removed. Dwayne Bravo strikes again and this time on the second ball of his second over. Tripathi got the elevation and not the distance with Sam Billings taking a comfortable one. Rajasthan Royals are in deep trouble here as Stuart Binny walks in to bat. Three singles off the third, fourth and the fifth delivery from Bravo. A boundary from Binny to finish the over with 100 up on the board.
11:04 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 94/4, 12 overs, Tripathi – 5, Stokes – 35
Imran Tahir with the 12th over for the Chennai Super Kings starts off well. Stokes gets a good boundary, that was absolute power from the left-hander. The asking rate has now ent up to 14 per over with 12 overs completed. Stokes keeps the strike with a single as RR get 10 from it. Stokes is playing sensibly here but he needs to up his gear as soon as possible to keep RR in this one.
10:58 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 84/4, 11 overs, Tripathi – 4, Stokes – 27
Bravo takes the ball for the 11th over and strikes on the first. Buttler caught! Rahul Tripathi is the new man in for the Rajasthan Royals. Tripathi starts off with a single. Bravo bowling well and utilising the slower ones fully. A wide and 5 from the first 5 balls with a wicket. A couple to finish the over with 7 off it.
OUT! Buttler c Tahir b Dwayne Bravo 22(17)
That’s the end of Buttler as he gives away an easy catch to Imran Tahir. Dwayne Bravo strikes on the first ball of his 1st over and breaks the partnership.
10:51 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 77/3, 10 overs, Buttler – 22, Stokes – 25
Imran Tahir with the ball for Chennai Super Kings after the strategic break. A couple and a cracking boundary by Stokes as he gets into the groove. If these two can get going no total is too big to get with Rahul Tripathi and Stuart Binny to come. Tahir has gone for runs today but he can strike any time. 4 singles in the last four balls with 10 off the over, another good one for the Rajasthan Royals.
10:46 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 67/3, 9 overs, Buttler – 20, Stokes – 17
Shane Watson with the 9th over for the Chennai Super Kings. Good start for him with two singles before he gives a freebie to Stokes who capitalises well and gets a boundary. That’s the first four from Stokes’ bat. A single to follow it up, Buttler and Stokes will have to stay there to keep Rajasthan into the game. Stokes finishes the over with a single with 10 off it. A good one for Rajasthan Royals with 10 off it.
10:41 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 57/3, 8 overs, Buttler – 18, Stokes – 10
Imran Tahir with the 8th over for Chennai, two good flighted deliveries to start the over with. Two singles so far from the first three ball and Buttler gets down the ground to power this it for a four. Good two quick runs to follow up the boundary from Buttler, a direct hit would have sent Stokes packing. Buttler bags a biggie of Tahir as he sends it into the crowd a monstrous hit from the Englishman. 14 runs off the over, a good one for the Rajasthan Royals who were in desperate search of a big one.
10:36 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 43/3, 7 overs, Buttler – 5, Stokes – 9
Deepak Chahar with his last over of the day, he has been used by MS Dhoni 4 overs on a trot. A single and a dot ball from Chahar to start the over. Quick bouncer, called a white. That’s quite a few extras given away by Chahar today. A good over from him anyway with no boundaries off it in the first 5 balls. Ambati Rayudu got hit on the knee by the shot from Buttler but will not leave the pitch. A beautiful last ball by Chahar which beat Stokes to finish the over. 8 runs off the over, can Buttler and Stokes take it from here?
10:30 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 35/3, 6 overs, Buttler – 1, Stokes – 7
Shane Watson with the last over of the powerplay for Chennai Super Kings. Starts off well with two dot balls and a single off the first three as the required rate races up to over 11. Another dot ball from Watto and it has definitely been a day for him today. No run again on the 5th ball. Superb over from Watson as Buttler completely misses the slower one. That’s the end of the powerplay with just 35 of it for the Rajasthan Royals.
10:25 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 34/3, 5 overs, Buttler – 1, Stokes – 4
Deepak Chahar with the 5th over for CSK starts off with a dot and gives away a single on the next ball. Ajinkya Rahane cleaned up. Just two singles to follow up on the wicket. Wonderful over from Chahar as Rajasthan get just three runs off the over and lose an important wicket.
OUT! Rahane b Chahar 16(11)
Big blow for the Rajasthan Royals, Ajinkya Rahane walks back on just 16. Brilliant knuckleball from Chahar and he gets the second wicket of the day. Chahar is bowling well here as trouble piles up on the Royals.
10:20 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 31/2, 4 overs, Rahane – 16, Stokes – 4
Shardul Thakur brought into the attack by Chennai Super Kings as Ben Stokes walks in to bat. Just five runs of the first five balls from Thakur and Stokes finding it difficult to read him. Just six runs off the over as Shardul finishes a good one for CSK. Stokes will have to carry the pressure from here in this chase if RR have to chase this one down.
10:14 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 25/2, 3 overs, Rahane – 14, Samson – 2
Deepak Chahar with the third over for the Rajasthan Royals. Accurate first two balls, a length ball into the pads and MS Dhoni has gone for a review. The third umpire stays with the umpire’s decision and Rahane is safe. CSK wasted a review. That was a good knuckleball from Chahar. Great start by the CSK bowlers as they keep Rajasthan Royals at bay, not giving them room to go all guns blazing. A couple from Sanju Samson on the 4th ball, he will have to remain on the crease if Rajasthan has to chase this one down. OUT! Sanju Samson dismissed. Samson c Karn Sharma b Chahar 2(3). Chahar gets his first wicket of the match.
10:07 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 20/1, 2 overs, Rahane – 11, Samson – 0
A for to deep mid-wicket to start the over from Shardul Thakur. Klaasen timed it well and got the reward. Two dot balls to follow it up from Shardul before Klassen gets a couple of deep square leg. Beautiful ball and bowled! Sanju Samson is the new man in, it was a huge shout from Shardul for an lbw but Dhoni didn’t go for a review. Brilliant over from Shardul with a wicket and six off it.
OUT! Klaasen b SN Thakur 7(7)
Shardul Thakur draws the first blood for the Chennai Super Kings and ensures that the struggle continues for the RR top order which has failed to click. A beautiful ball and Klaasen had no answers to that one.
10:02 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals – 14/0, 1 over, Rahane – 11, Klaasen – 1
Deepak Chahar starts off with a wide. Rahane with a single and dropped! Watson has dropped Klaasen. He was himself dropped by Binny in the first over and he has dropped Klassen now, let’s see how destructive this proves for CSK? Down the ground and a perfectly balanced shot into the crowds for a six. Four to finish the over with 14 runs as Rahane ups the ante.
9:57 PM IST: Heinrich Klaasen will open the chase for the Rajasthan Royals with Ajinkya Rahane. Deepak Chahar with the ball for Chennai Super Kings.
9:55 PM IST: Shane Watson absolutely bossed it here in Pune with his third IPL century in just 51 balls against his former team Rajasthan Royals but credits to Shreyas Gopala and Ajinkya Rahane for keeping the CSK batsmen silent in the majority of the death overs. 200 was always going to be easy with 150 up in the first 13 overs but RR managed to contain the boundaries well and gave away just 54 runs in the last 7 overs. Shreyas Gopal finished with figures of 3/20 in his four overs and was the best bowler for RR today. Watto showed his masterclass and paced his innings beautifully plundering the opposition bowlers all around the park. Suresh Raina who was making a comeback from injury also played a quickfire 45 and supported Watson well in his assault. Not impossible but definitely a tough one to get for Rajasthan Royals.
9:41 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 204/5, 20 overs Jadeja – 2, Bravo – 24
Laughlin with the finals over for the Royals and Watson starts off with a single. A dot ball and a wide ball to follow it up from Laughlin as Bravo looks for the slog. Heaped away for 2 runs and 200 up for CSK. A mighty total on board and Watson is the third in the list of top run-getters in the IPL 2018 so far. A wide from Laughlin as he continues to target wide yorkers. Good bowling from him so far with 6 runs off the first 4 balls. Watson dismissed but he has done the damage already. 8 runs off the over as CSK post 204/5 in 20 overs.
OUT! Watson c Buttler b Laughlin 106(57)
Watson after a superlative inning walks back giving away a comfortable catch to Jos Buttler with an edge. Brilliant innings from the Aussie to take CSK past 200.
9:36 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 196/4, 19 overs Watson – 105, Bravo – 21
Dwayne Bravo with a one hand boundary to start off the 19th over from Stokes. Pulled the length back this time with Bravo taking a single from the next ball. A good short ball from Ben Stokes with Watson getting nothing on it. Watson tries to smack the ball into the gap but settles with a couple, good death bowling from Stokes. Watson plays it in the air but the ball land in the no man’s land as he takes a single. Bravo smacks it to deep extra cover for a boundary. What a shot from the CSK all-rounder. 12 runs off the over for CSK
9:31 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 184/4, 18 overs Watson – 102, Bravo – 12
Jaydev Unadkt with the 18th over for Rajasthan Royals and Bravo takes a single to put Watto on strike. Just one run for his third IPL century. Century for Shane Watson against his former team. Took just 51 balls to clinch it. His 3rd IPL ton. A slower one and Bravo gets a four to compliment the over, Sanju Samson drops him on the next ball. Shane Watson goes hard but Shreyas Gopal with a brilliant effort ensures thats just a couple. 9 off the over with two more to go.
9:26 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 175/4, 17 overs Watson – 99, Bravo – 6
Laughlin with the 17th over for the Rajasthan Royals and Shane Watson welcomes him with a boundary. A single from the Aussie all-rounder as he moves to 99. Dwayne Bravo joins the party with a fine four it was a slower one and Bravo send it to the short fine leg for 4 runs. A Single from Bravo to end the over with 10 runs from it.
9:21 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 165/4, 16 overs Watson – 94, Bravo – 1
Gopal strikes on the first ball with Dwayne Bravo walking into bat for the Chennai Super Kings. A single and a two in the next 4 balls from Gopal as he continues his good show. He completes his 4 overs conceding just 20 with three wickets. Brilliant from him. 4 runs off the over and the onus is now on Bravo and Watson to take it to a good finish.
OUT! Billings c Stokes b Shreyas Gopal 3(7)
Sam Billings goes for cheap as Shreyas Gopal strikes again. The spinner has been so far the best bowler for his side with three wickets. Billings wanted to find the fence but was caught by Stokes who took an easy one.
9:16 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 161/3, 15 overs Watson – 91, Billings – 3
Shane Watson is dealing in boundaries here as he welcomes Unadkat with a boundary and follows it up with a single. He has been striking it cleanly today. Three singles in the next three balls as Unadkat makes a good comeback. A boundary and 4 singles to finish the over with 8 runs.
9:11 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 153/3, 14 overs Watson – 85, Billings – 1
Shreyas Gopal starts the over with a single and Dhoni gone. A mistimed shot and a good catch from Gowtham once again as Pune goes silent. Sam Billings is the new batsman to walk in for CSK. Brilliant over from Gopal with a wicket and just three runs from it.
OUT! Dhoni c Gowtham b Shreyas Gopal 5(3)
Dhoni had smoked it hard towards the long on but couldn’t get the bottom hand as Gopal struck again. Shreyas Gopal will be a happy man as he has got a big fish.
9:05 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 150/2, 13 overs Watson – 83, Dhoni – 5
Stuart Binny with the 13th over for Rajasthan Royals as Watson continues his assault. Two smacking fours from the Aussie as Binny struggles to find his line. A wide and another boundary from Watson, he smashes a short ball this time with all the power. He is not in the mood to spare anyone today. And MS Dhoni finishes off the over with a four to the third man as umpires call a strategic timeout. 19 runs off the over and CSK are racing towards a big total. 150 up for the men in yellow.
8:59 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 131/2, 12 overs Watson – 70, Dhoni – 0
Raina goes after Shreyas Gopal right from the first ball, a thick edge and it races down for a boundary. A dot and another rocket launched towards the cover, brilliant shot and the second boundary off the over. Raina is looking in phenomenal touch after injury return and is making his intentions clear of hitting it all. Wicket! a stunning effort from Krishnappa Gowtham and Raina walks back. MS Dhoni is the new man in for CSK.
OUT! Raina c Gowtham b Shreyas Gopal 46(29)
Was looking fabulous today and goes back just 4 runs short of his 50. A well played 46 from Raina as Shreyas Gopal gets a much-needed breakthrough for the Rajasthan Royals. It was flat towards the deep mid wicket and Gowtham pulled off a stunner to grab it.
8:52 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 122/1, 11 overs Watson – 70, Raina – 38
Ben Laughlin with the 11th over for the Rajasthan Royals and Suresh Raina ensures boundaries continue to come. A great shot towards the extra cover as Raina hammers it. Watson goes bonkers and dispatches Laughlin for a six. That’s the sixth one from the Aussie. A single to end the over and Watson moves on to 70. 15 runs off the over as momentum continues for CSK.
8:47 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 107/1, 10 overs Watson – 62, Raina – 32
Jaydev Unadkat with the 10th over for the Rajasthan Royals as they look to break the budding partnership between Raina and Watson. Good bowling from Unadkat who keeps Raina on the backfoot. Two back to back boundaries from Raina’s bat to finish the over with a good 10 runs for CSK. That also brings up the second 50 run partnership of the match for the men in yellow. Raina looking in splendid touch.
8:44 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 97/1, 9 overs Watson – 61, Raina – 23
Fifty for Shane Watson! Took just 28 balls to reach there. A spectacular effort from the Aussie all-rounder and follows it up with another four and a biggie into the crowd. That’s the 15th IPL fifty for Watto and he has achieved it in style. 19 runs off the over as CSK race towards 100 inside the first 10 overs. Brilliant batting by the men in yellow.
8:41 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 78/1, 8 overs Watson – 44, Raina – 21
Shreyas Gopal brought into the attack by the Rajasthan Royals and he becomes the sixth bowler off the day for RR. 6 changes already inside the first eight overs from Rahane. Three singles in the first 4 deliveries as Watson and Raina play sensibly against the leg-spinner. Raina with a single to finish the over as CSK settle with just 4 off it.
8:36 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 74/1, 7 overs Watson – 42, Raina – 19
Gowtham back into the attack for the Rajasthan Royals with the 7th over. A couple, dot and a single to start off with for the all-rounder. Suresh Raina too keeps the bat low against Gowtham. A good over from him with just 5 runs from the over. Watson just eight runs away from his first half-century of the IPL 2018. He has batted superbly today.
8:31 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 69/1, 6 overs Watson – 38, Raina – 18
Ben Stokes with the 6th over for the Rajasthan Royals, he starts off well with two dot balls. Nice bowling from the Big Ben who has been bowling much fuller. Ran away this one from Raina, went over the cover fielder and earned a boundary with a brilliant short. Another boundary a fine one, went inside the line and a four to fine leg. Once again a four to the fine leg, third straight one in this over from Stokes. That’s classic Suresh Raina, another one into the fence with a cheeky shot towards the third man. 16 runs off the over and its a brilliant powerplay for CSK.
8:26 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 53/1, 5 overs Watson – 36, Raina – 2
Ben Laughlin introduced into the attack by Rahane and he starts off with two singles from the first two ball. Edge and taken, finally a catch taken by those in blue. Ambati Rayudu gone. Laughlin continues the good work with the ball and gives away just three singles off the last three balls. A great over from Laughlin with just 5 off it. Suresh Raina is the new man in for CSK.
OUT! Rayudu c Buttler b Laughlin 12(8)
The dangerous Ambati Rayudu was not looking in best of form and this was coming. He attempted a cut on a outside off delivery and ended up handing a comfortable one to Buttler. Laughlin strikes in his very first over for the Royals.
8:21 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 48/0, 4 overs Watson – 36, Rayudu – 11
Ben Stokes brought into the attack by Rahane and he is welcomed by Amabati Rayudu with a cracking four. Boundaries are flowing here for the Chennai Super Kings as they make full use of the powerplay overs. Both Rayudu and Watson are plundering the bowlers ruthlessly. Good comeback from Stokes with a much better line. Watson tickles it away fine towards the third man and Watson finishes the over with a boundary. 11 runs off the over as CSK move close to 50.
8:16 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 37/0, 3 overs Watson – 31, Rayudu – 5
Jaydev Unadkat introduced in the attack by Ajinkya Rahane. Watson is hitting it well but hasn’t looked at it best. Two dot balls to start off with from the most expensive Indian player in the tournament. A huge six from Watson and he is on fire here in Pune. Was a fuller length delivery which Watson slotted over the covers. Pulled away strongly and a four to finish another good over for CSK. 12 runs off it.
8:12 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 25/0, 2 overs Watson – 19, Rayudu – 5
Krishnappa Gowtham with the second over for the Rajasthan Royals. Two singles to start off the over. CSK are off to a perfect start and would like to capitalise on it. A good dot ball for Gowtham before Watson goes for the slog which is cut off by Stokes with a brilliant effort. Stokes has saved his side three runs. Biggie! Watson gets on the ball and sends it blazing into the crowd. First six of the match from Watto’s bat. 11 off the over, a good one for CSK.
8:07 PM IST: Chennai Super Kings – 14/0, 1 over Watson – 9, Rayudu – 4
No ball to start off with from Binny. Nerves there. Shane Watson hits the slower ball down the ground for a boundary, making full use of the free hit. Another spectacular shot, cut away this time to sweeper cover, no fielder moved there. Binny makes a comeback with a good length ball. Edged and dropped! Rahul Tripathi drops a sitter and Watto has a life. Ambati Rayudu finishes off the over with a cracking boundary. Good start for CSK with 14 from the first over.
8:00 PM IST: The umpires are walking on to the pitch now with Chennai Super Kings openers Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson stepping on the ground. The Rajasthan Royals players are also on the ground now, Watson will be at the striker end for CSK. Stuart Binny will bowl the first over for the Rajasthan Royals.
7:55 PM IST: Heinrich Klaasen has been given a chance over a struggling D Arcy Short who has failed to get going for the Rajasthan Royals in the past four games. The South African who was picked as the replacement for the banned Steve Smith has a solid track record against spin and can be the game changer for RR today.
7:45 PM IST: Suresh Raina is making a comeback into this one which means he is match fit and has recovered well from the calf injury. However, his inclusion in the eleven is a bit surprising considering he was in the nets with the straps on. Mr IPL as he is rightly called can make the difference in the game for CSK tonight. No Harbhajan agin is a surprise but they cannot have traded a relatively successful Tahir for Karn Sharma so it had to be Bhajji.
7:40 PM IST: Playing XIs
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane(c), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Heinrich Klaasen, Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin
7:35 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and opted to bowl first. The chasing trend continues after winning the toss in the Indian Premier League 2018. Both the teams have made two changes each – Stuart Binny and Heinrich Klaasen replace Dhawal Kulkarni and D Arcy Short for RR, Suresh Raina and Karn Sharma come in for Murali Vijay and Harbhajan Singh.
7:28 PM IST: In Chennai Super Kings to there is MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir who were a part of the Rising Pune Super Giants in the previous IPL. Can MS Dhoni turn their new home into a fortress? Well, Rajasthan after suffering a loss at home will be rearing to get things back on track in Pune.
7:25 PM IST: It might be a home game for Chennai Super Kings, but there a host of Rajasthan Royals players who have played in the IPL with the Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 and 2017. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat are all aware of the conditions in Pune.
7:20 PM IST: Den away from the den: The Chennai Super Kings as a token of love fro fans organised a special train named the Whistle Podu Express from Chennai to Pune to ensure the travelling fans can flood Pune yellow on the match day.
7: 17 PM IST: We are minutes away from toss here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune where two of the returning teams will clash for the first time in the IPL after a gap of two years. The last time they met Steve Smith was in charge of the Rajasthan outfit and Chennai was CSK’s home. A ball-tampering scandal in RR’s case and rising political tensions due to the Cauvery water issue in CSK’s case have piled up miseries on both the teams.
7:13 PM IST: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at his brilliant best in CSK’s last defeat against the Kings XI Punjab where he almost notched up the victory with his career-best 42-ball 76. His performance in tonight’s game will be crucial for CSK in the absence of veteran Suresh Raina. The likes of Sam Billings and Ambati Rayudu have also shown good signs with the bat but on a bowling friendly track like Pune, CSK batsmen will have to lift their gear and deliver.
7:10 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals who invested heavily in Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat to lead their pace line have only got some respite from Ben Laughlin. Ajinkya Rahane’s men have picked the least number of the wickets in the competition so far which reflects on their woeful bowling performance.
7:02 PM IST: For both Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, the bowling department has been a major issue. Their pacers have failed to deliver up to the potential and spinners too have roughly gone about their jobs. For CSK the average economy rate of the 8 different bowlers that they have used so far in the IPL 2018 sums up close to around 9 which is poor. Harbhajan Singh has been their best economical bowler with an economy rate just over 8.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, Santner, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, M Vijay, Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi.
Rajasthan Royals: Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.