Pune: Shane Watson starred with the bat, scoring a century, before bowlers completed the job as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered a clinical 64-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Pune yesterday.
Put into bat, CSK openers Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson (106, 57b, 9×4, 6×6), put up 50 runs for the first wicket, with Watson being particularly aggressive. He was dropped in the first over as Rahul Tripathi dropped a sitter at first slip, which proved to be costly.
After Rayudu’s departure, Suresh Raina — who was returning after an injury — scored a blistering 46 off just 29 deliveries, with 9 boundaries as he put on a 81-run stand for the second wicket with Watson going big at the other end.
Royals did manage to fight back as leg spinner Shreyas Gopal got Raina, M.S. Dhoni and Sam Billings in quick succession. He was the standout bowler, picking 3/20 in his 4 overs.
But Royals didn’t have an answer to their former player, who was particularly brutal and was clearing boundaries at will. He hit six sixes and nine boundaries in his innings, and scored 104 off just 57 balls, at strike rate of 186.
Binny, Gowtham, Stokes and Unadkat all felt Watson’s force as CSK ended at 204/5.
For Royals to have any sort of a chance, they needed a bright start but CSK bowlers ensured that there weren’t any easy runs on offer.
Thakur removed Klaasen and Chahar picked up Rahane & in-form Sanju Samson as Royals were reduced to 32/3.
Buttler and Stokes did get together, to put up 45-runs for the fourth wicket to spark some sort of a contest but then Bravo got Buttler off a slower ball to extinguish all hopes.
CSK used seven bowlers and almost all of them were among wickets with Chahar, Thakur, Bravo and Sharma picking two each while Tahir and Watson getting one each. It was a comprehensive performance by CSK in what is to be their home ground for the remainder of the season.
Shane Watson was adjudged as the Man of the Match.