IPL 2022 | Sport

Ashwin, Jaiswal help Royals seal second spot

Vital knock: R. Ashwin guided Rajasthan Royals to victory.

Vital knock: R. Ashwin guided Rajasthan Royals to victory. | Photo Credit: Sportzpics/IPL

R. Ashwin (40 n.o., 23b, 2x4, 3x6) donned the role of finisher to give Rajasthan Royals a five-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings at Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.

The win helped Royals (18 points) seal the second spot and set up a clash against Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1 in Kolkata on May 24. Lucknow Super Giants is the other team to qualify.

Pursuing a target of 151, Royals were cruising at 104 for three. Leg-spinner Prashant Solanki took out Yashasvi Jaiswal (59, 44b, 8x4, 1x6) and Shrimron Hetmyer (6, 7b, 1x4) in quick succession to set the alarm bells ringing in the dressing room.

The experienced Ashwin, undaunted by the climbing required run-rate, managed to hit the big shots to ease the pressure. Ashwin and Riyan Parag (10 n.o., 10b, 1x4) carried Royals home with two balls to spare.

Earlier, Super Kings posted a sub-par total, with only Moeen Ali (93, 57b, 13x4, 3x6) showing positive intent. Super Kings failed to make best use of a flying start provided by Moeen.

The Englishman was in full flow even as wickets tumbled around him. He got going by smashing Prasidh Krishna for 18 runs in the fourth over. Fellow pacer Trent Boult had it worse, as Moeen unleashed his full array of strokes. The New Zealand left-arm seamer was carted for five fours and a six as a whopping 26 came off that over. An upper cut, which easily cleared short third-man, brought up Moeen’s first fifty of the season.

Moeen’s pyrotechnics powered Super Kings to 75 for one after six overs. He was helped by some poor tactics from the Rajasthan Royals bowlers, who either overpitched or bowled short dollies.

At the other end, Ruturaj Gaikwad (2), Devon Conway (16), N. Jagadeesan (1) and Ambati Rayudu (3) fell cheaply. The fall of Rayudu’s wicket was welcomed by the packed house as their hero M.S. Dhoni made an entry.

Though Moeen and Dhoni took Super Kings to 150, it wasn’t enough. Dhoni was typically circumspect, taking time to settle down. He received two lives, on zero and three, dropped both times by wicketkeeper Sanju Samson. The Super Kings supporters, a boisterous, overwhelming majority at the stadium, had to wait a while for a Dhoni highlight — a big six over mid-wicket.

The Super Kings skipper exited in the 19th over, lofting a length ball outside off from Yuzvendra Chahal to long-on. Moeen departed just short of a century. Chahal and West Indian left-arm pacer Obed McCoy were impressive, taking two wickets each.


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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 7:43:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/ashwin-jaiswal-help-royals-seal-second-spot/article65440904.ece