By BV Swagath
Chennai Super Kings surprisingly choked under pressure to hand over a comprehensive victory to Rajasthan Royals in the First Semi Finals of CLT20 2013. Although the victory margin for the Rajasthan Royals was only 14 runs, it was clearly a crushing victory for them over the tournament favourites. The Royals will travel to Delhi for the Finals on the 6th and it would be against the winner of tomorrow’s 2nd Semi Final between Mumbai Indians and Trinidad & Tobago.
Chasing a target of 160, CSK were off to a nervous start with its openers Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay getting run out. While Suresh Raina was batting well, the trio of S Badrinath, Skipper MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo all got out cheaply. Raina (29 from 23 balls) perished too to leave CSK in tatters at 61 for 5 by the 11th over.
The match was certainly over but R Ashwin, who could get to bowl just the one over in the first half, provided a serious fightback for CSK. But his efforts went in vain as the required run rate had sky rocketed out of his reach. Ashwin scored a superb 46 from 28 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes to give some false hopes for the Chennai Super Kings who finished with 145 for 9.
Pravin Tambe, the 42-year-old leg spinner was the hero of the match for Rajasthan Royals. In his four overs, Tambe was very difficult to score runs off. Even a seasoned campaigner like MS Dhoni struggled to score anything off him. Tambe bowled out his 4 overs for just 10 runs while capturing the wickets of S Badrinath (stumped out), Dwayne Bravo (lbw to a slider) and Raina (slogging to long on). Tambe was well supported by the pacy Rahul Shukla who trapped MS Dhoni (3) lbw in the 10th over.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals posted a healthy total of 159 for 8 thanks to a solid knock from Ajinkya Rahane. With able support from Shane Watson (32 from 23 balls), Rahane built the Rajasthan Royals’ innings on a pitch that had extra bounce for the seamers but no turn for the spinners. The 25-year-old scored his third consecutive fifty of the tournament and finished with 70 from 56 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Dwayne Bravo bowled well in the death for CSK taking 3 for 26 in 4 overs.
Toss and Teams: Chennai Super Kings have won the toss and asked hosts Rajasthan Royals to bat first at Jaipur in the 1st Semi Final of CLT20 2013. CSK have made one change with Chris Morris coming in for Albie Morkel. Rajasthan have also made one change with Wicket Keeper Dishant Yagnik coming in for Ashok Menaria.
Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Morris, Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (WK), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe