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So then, we come to the end of Super Sunday. The second weekend of the Indian T20 League is done and dusted. Only one team remains unbeaten at the end of it, no prizes for guessing, it is Chennai. The action though rolls on in the League. We head to the north of the country on Monday to see Punjab hosting Delhi at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Join us for the coverage of the same at 2000 local (1430 GMT). Till then, take care and have a good night. Cheers!
MS Dhoni, the victorious Chennai skipper, is also the Man of the Match in tonight's game for his 75 not out off 46 balls. He says that he wanted to get a partnership going when he came out to bat, recognized they should take it deep with the dew coming in. Adds that he knew that they bat long, especially with Santner coming into the side. He states that they are comfortable with the playing eleven and there is no need for change when they keep performing. He hopes that the batsmen keep playing well and reckons the bowlers will only get better with time. He mentions that he was hoping for initial breakthroughs from the fast bowlers as the conditions were really tough for the spinners. Reserves special praise for the leg spinner Imran Tahir for bowling so well in tough conditions. When asked about Bravo's performance, he feels that the result was not worrying him but the execution of the balls. Stresses upon the fact that the decision has to be made quickly on what to bowl and when as factors like dew cannot be controlled by them and the toss is also not in their control. Thanks the crowd here at Chepauk for the exceptional support but informs us that all the franchises have backing at home and the game is played for the people who pay and come to watch the game and they should enjoy it in the end.
Imran Tahir, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, says that he is feeling pretty good. He states that he was trying to use his experience while bowling in the tough conditions. Laughs when asked if he has nerves trying to take a catch and says that every catch is a pressure one. Mentions that he does not take anything for granted and always strives to give his best for the team.
Ajinkya Rahane, the Rajasthan skipper, says that he is very disappointed with the way they bowled in the last five overs. Despite Dhoni being known as a great finisher, Rahane feels that they needed to bowl to the plan and not give so many runs away in the end. He reckons that with the conditions being the way they were, even 175 was chaseable. Mentions that the conditions cannot be blamed and he praises the Chennai bowlers for bowling well. Feels that his team needs to step up together and win the crucial moments in the game. States that the team is playing good cricket over the last 3 games and with some luck on their side, they should start racking up the wins soon enough.
Chennai once again doing the business. There are players with age probably not on their side, but with age, come experience, maturity and the calm to weather out the tense situations. First, captain Dhoni led the charge in the death overs, powering his side to 175 with Raina and Bravo's help. And then, the home side's bowlers played their part. Barring Santner and Jadeja, everyone picked up two wickets each. It was a collective performance, something which they will be most proud of.
When all seemed lost, Stokes kept the fight going and eventually, found an able partner in Archer. Their 44-run stand almost got the job done, but Bravo's amazing final over, where he had to defend 11, turned the game on its head. Got Stokes off the very first ball and didn't let anything leak after that. It proved to be too much for Archer alone to conquer.
Another humdinger involving Chennai. No surprise there, eh? This went right down to the wire, well almost, but the hosts came out on top. Their experience showed in the death overs which helped them bag another win under their belt. Rajasthan were rocked early after losing their top order in the Powerplay itself, but then Smith and Tripathi took things under their control before they started to motor along. The latter's wicket saw the former also depart quickly and that dented the visitors' momentum a lot.
19.6DBravo to JArcher
That is it! CHENNAI WIN BY 8 RUNS and continue their winning streak! Bravo yet again proves why he is one of the best going around. Defending 11 runs in the final over, he has just conceded 3 and taken his team over the line. Coming to the final ball, it was a pacy delivery on middle, skid on after landing. Archer looks to pull but is late. The ball goes towards cover. A single is taken but Raina does not care. The people in the stands all go up in unison.
Jaydev Unadkat walks out to bat next.
19.5DBravo to SGopal
OUT! Tahir settles under the ball, takes it and starts running! This game is all but over! A length ball on off, slower in pace. Gopal goes for the swing over mid-wicket but fails to hit it well. The ball flies off the leading edge and goes towards third man where Tahir is there and takes a good catch.
19.4DBravo to JArcher
Misses out! That one was a half-volley outside off, Archer looks to hit it over cover but fails to hit it well. He seems to have broken his bat as well in the process. A single taken to cover.
A discussion between Dhoni and Bravo once more regarding the field placement for Archer.
19.3DBravo to SGopal
Slower bouncer on middle, Gopal is past his shot even before the ball arrives. He misses it and gets hit on the shoulder. The batsmen steal a leg bye as the ball runs towards short third man.
19.2DBravo to SGopal
Short of a length ball, Gopal goes back and looks to cut the ball but fails to put bat on ball. Huge roars from the crowd and huge pressure on the batsman.
Shreyas Gopal walks into a tense situation. Rajasthan need 11 runs to win off 5 balls.
19.1DBravo to BenStokes
OUT! Is that the game? Is that the game? Bravo, the man for all seasons does it yet again! A fuller length ball outside off, almost yorker length. Stokes goes deep in the crease, tries to lift it over cover. He does not get the elevation though and the ball goes straight to Raina who pouches it safely. The Chennai crowd has come alive once again!
11 runs to defend in the last over. Dwayne Bravo to bowl it. His captain has a small discussion with him on where the fielders must be placed.
18.6SThakur to BenStokes
Short of a length on middle, pulled away for a single to deep mid-wicket. Stokes will keep strike for the last over.
18.5SThakur to BenStokes
Full toss low on the off side, Stokes pushes it in the gap through point for a couple of runs.
Change of gloves for Stokes. The dew not only affecting the ball, but the batsman and his gear as well.
18.4SThakur to BenStokes
SIX! One-handed sixer and the Chennai crowd has its hands on its heads. A length ball at the body of Stokes. He goes deep in the crease and lifts it over deep square leg for a maximum. Ben's right hand came off the bat during the shot and that is what makes it even more special. 15 off 8 now.
18.3SThakur to JArcher
Slower ball on middle, Archer mistimes the pull. The bottom edge goes to the leg side for a single.
18.2SThakur to JArcher
Good running! On a fuller length outside off, Archer swings across the line but gets the outside edge and the ball flies on a couple of bounces towards third man. Two runs are taken. Excellent running but not such good fielding.
18.1SThakur to BenStokes
A good ball from Thakur to start the over! On the pads from around the wicket, Stokes comes down the ground and looks to lift it over long on but fails to put bat on ball. It goes off the pad towards the off side and a leg bye is stolen.
Another change of ball. The dew here is insane and the ball has to be changed as the water has got into it and lost its shape once more!
17.6DBravo to JArcher
Good yorker to end the over. Off the pads, Dhoni runs to the ball and stops it well, preventing any run. 19 runs off the over though. 25 needed off 12 balls now.
17.5DBravo to JArcher
SIX! That is into the stands! The Archer show is starting to trouble the Chennai crowd here. A fuller length ball on middle, lifted by Jofra way back into the long on stands. 92 meters!
17.4DBravo to JArcher
Full toss on the pads, flicked away well by Archer through square leg for a couple of runs. 13 off the first 4 balls, how many off the next 2?
17.3DBravo to BenStokes
Slower ball from over the wicket, Stokes hits it to cover and runs to the other end. Raina at cover makes a good stop and prevents the second from being taken.
17.2DBravo to BenStokes
FOUR! That is smart stuff from big, burly Ben. A length ball from around the wicket, Stokes gets inside the line and paddles it over fine leg for a boundary. 10 runs off the first two balls.
17.1DBravo to BenStokes
SIX! That is the brute power of Stokes. A length ball outside off, Stokes stands tall and gets it over the rope at wide long off. That is the perfect start for Rajasthan to this over.
Dwayne Bravo to bowl now.
16.6SThakur to JArcher
SIX! That is a beautiful strike! A length ball on middle, Jofra Archer lifts it over long on to spoil what was a good over from Thakur until that point. 44 off 18 is the equation now.
16.5SThakur to JArcher
Peach! A length ball outside off and it holds its line. Archer looks to push it towards the off side but fails to put bat on ball. Ends up getting beaten.
16.4SThakur to BenStokes
On a length outside off, driven to deep cover for a single by Stokes.
16.3SThakur to JArcher
Good bouncer! Archer manages to fend it towards the leg side and gets to the other end, bringing Stokes on strike.
16.2SThakur to JArcher
FOUR! That is some kind of a start for Archer. A length ball wide outside off, cut away wide of point and to the right of third man for a boundary.
Jofra Archer walks out to bat next.
16.1SThakur to KGowtham
OUT! Thakur strikes and another nail in the coffin of Rajasthan. A length ball outside off, the idea was right from Gowtham to go over mid off who was in the circle but the execution was not right out there. The bat turns in his hand and the ball flies towards cover. Raina there makes no mistake and completes the catch. Things not looking good for the away side, they need 56 runs off 23 balls now.
Shardul Thakur is called back into the attack.
15.6ITahir to KGowtham
Gowtham dances down the track and pushes it down the ground for a single. Stokes was out of his crease there and if Tahir had got the ball in his hand well and onto the stumps, he could have run out the Englishman at the bowler's end. Nevertheless, that is the end of an insane spell from the leggie, 4-0-23-2 are his figures.
15.5ITahir to BenStokes
Full toss on the off stump line, pushed along the ground to long off for a single by Stokes.
15.4ITahir to KGowtham
Overthrow conceded! Unnecessary from the hosts. A really flat one on middle, Gowtham looks to flick but misses once more. The ball goes off the pads and towards the short third man fielder who throws the ball when it was not needed. An overthrow is taken.
15.3ITahir to KGowtham
Flatter one on the pads, Gowtham misses his flick and gets hit on the pads. The ball goes towards the leg side where Dhoni goes after it immediately and stops the ball.
15.2ITahir to KGowtham
Beaten by the turn this time! A flighted ball outside off and Gowtham goes for the slog once more but fails to put bat on ball as the turn takes it away from the batsman.