Date: 21th April 2012, 4 pm
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Toss: Rajasthan Royals, Batting
Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 7 wickets, 0 balls to spare
MoM: Faf Du Plesses
Last ball finishes seem to have become a trend this IPL, proving how close and evenly contested games this IPL is seeing. Faf Du Plesses laid a brilliant platform to ensure that Chennai get home in a thriller just edging out the Rajasthan Royals in a last ball finish.
Dravid won the toss for the Royals and decided to bat. Rahane and Dravid got the Royals off to a slow and steady start until a Bravo over that went for 15 to get the innings going. Ashwin then got the dangerous Rahane to a soft dismissal. Chennai followed up with some tight bowling and kept a check on the Royals scoring. Dravid fell to Jakarti in pursuit of some quick runs and Royals seemed to struggle at 50/2 after 8 overs.
How often have over 13-15 changed the course of the batting teams innings; a poor 15th over from Jadeja gave much needed momentum to Royals innings. Shah got a six and a four but Jadeja slipped 10 wides down both sides of the wickets. While runs kept coming off Bollinger and Bravo, it was Kulasekara who pulled things back for Chennai, going for just 17 in his four overs bowling towards the death.
Owais Shah scored a well-paced 50 and Menaria gave him good company. But 146 seemed at least 20 runs short, given that Dravid mentioned they would like to pile a big score for the long Chennai batting line-up.
Chennai were off to a great start courtesy Badrinath and Du Plessis. After a quite Menaria over, Du Plessis struck three boundaries off Binny, making his first appearance in IPL 2012. Hogg provided the break through having Badri stumped. Du Plessis on the other end not only held fort but also scored freely at will. In the process, he bought up his third fifty of this IPL off just 34 balls.
Hogg kept it tight for the Royals and gave them some hope by pushing the run-rate to 9 in the last six overs. However, it was the lack of wickets that was hurting the Royals. Super Cooper did the trick to pick the set Du Plessis and Raina in the space of three balls. That did set the match up with 29 required off 18.
Singh bowled a tight first three balls but the next three went for 9 runs, which hurt the Royals dearly. 16 runs were required from the last two overs. While no boundaries were scored, Captain Cool made it look easy for the Chennai. Binny was trusted with the final over who did well with a few yorkers. It was a humdinger that headed for a last ball finish but alas, a disappointing one for the Royals; so near yet so far.
Rajasthan Royals: 146/4 (20) Owais Shah 52(43b, 4x4, 3x6), Ashok Menaria 36(34b, 2x4, 1x6), Rahul Dravid 26 (28b, 3x4, 1x6), Nuwan Kulasekara 1/17 (4)
Chennai Super Kings: 147/3 (20) Faf Du Plessis73 (52b, 6x4, 2x6), Suresh Raina 26(24b, 3x4),Brad Hogg1/17 (4), Kevon Cooper 2/23 (4)