Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals resume rivalry in Pune

Chris Lynn

Chris Lynn

The Super Kings' display will have been a boost for the 1,000 fans who made the 1,000-kilometre journey from Chennai to Pune, with safety concerns stopping them from hosting matches at home.

CSK suffered their first loss of the season in their last match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Mohali recently, as former player Ravichandran Ashwin and co completed a thrilling last-ball finish to win by three wickets.

Shane Watson and MS Dhoni. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler form the aggressive Rajasthan middle but the former in particular has had his fair share of troubles against legspin. Now, both the teams are at 3 wins against the four games played by them taking the second and the third spot, respectively. When Ajinkya Rahane was bowled after charging down the pitch and missing Deepak Chahar's knuckle ball, Royals were 33 for 3 in the fifth over. While CSK have had late flourishes from Dwayne Bravo, Sam Billings and MS Dhoni; young Sanju Samson has been a huge plus for the RR. On Friday, Royals left out Short but did not open with Tripathi, instead sending out Heinrich Klaasen. With an extended practice session for Jofra Archer, he can make a debut, if declared fit before the match. At half-way mark, CSK were 107 for one. He added 50 for the first wicket with Ambati Rayudu (12) in 4.3 overs.

The Chennai bowlers backed up their strong batting performance, with Deepak Chahar removing the unsafe Ajinkya Rahane and Samson early on.

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Asked about the wicket, he said, "As far as the wicket is concerned, I'm not sure that it was coming on nicely, especially when the ball got old". Then in his next over, he got the big fish - Ajinkya Rahane. The Chennai Super Kings will play on their remaining matches of the 11th season on the field of Maharashtra Cricket Association, Pune.

Dhoni acknowledged that CSK teams of the past had started slow and picked up steam towards the business end of the tournament.

Having finally found the winning touch, Mumbai Indians will look to continue in similar vein when they lock horns with beleaguered hosts Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game here tomorrow. The toss will happen at 7:30 pm IST, 30 minutes right before the match actually kicks off.

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