Yashasvi Jaiswal (50) and Shivam Dube (64 n.o.) clobbered the Chennai Super Kings bowlers with brilliant half-centuries to keep Rajasthan Royals alive in the competition with a six-wicket win in the Indian Premier League match at Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Chasing 190, Jaiswal and Dube’s display of brute power-hitting left the CSK bowlers nowhere to hide as the Royals romped home with 15 balls to spare.
The duo’s fireworks overshadowed a fine maiden IPL century from Ruturaj Gaikwad (101 n.o., 60b, 9×4, 5×6) earlier in the day that helped CSK to what seemed like a competitive total of 189/4 after being asked to bat first.
Jaiswal made full use of an early reprieve when he was dropped on 12 by Ambati Rayudu. The stylish left-handed opener went after Josh Hazlewood, slamming him for three boundaries in his first over.
In the fifth over, Jaiswal further launched into the Australian, with two sixes over mid-wicket followed by a four and another six down the ground to bring up his fifty off just 19 balls.
Jaiswal and fellow opener Evin Lewis helped Royals get to 75 in just five overs.
After the fall of the openers in quick succession, Dube ensured Royals stayed on course as he put his big frame to good use with some clean striking.
The all-rounder struck cleanly down the ground against the spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali with three sixes early in the innings.
Along with skipper Sanju Samson (28), Dube added 89 runs for the third-wicket partnership as the CSK bowlers struggled with dew at the ground. Royals’ fifth win of the season helped it move up to sixth in the table and stay in the hunt for the final playoff berth.
Gaikwad’s knock was in complete contrast to the Royals batters as it was built more on timing and finesse than brute power.
He started with a crisp straight drive down the ground off the first ball of the innings and ended it with a slog over mid-wicket to bring up his ton off the last ball of the innings.
In between, Gaikwad unleashed beautifully timed inside-out shots over covers, lofted drives down the ground and well-executed pull shots but, his efforts went in vain.