Shane Watson's 34-ball 70 combined with Stuart Binny to form a 93-run stand that rescued Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings.
IPL: Rajasthan Royals perfect at home; Kallis and Kolkata deal Bangalore a blow
TOSS Rajasthan, chose to field
CHENNAI M Vijay 55, M Hussey 40, D Bravo 23; M Sharma 4-21-1, J Holder 4-20-2, D Bravo 3-35-1
RAJASTHAN S Watson 70, S Binny 41, R Dravid 22; V Malik 3-19-0, K Cooper 4-32-2, S Binny 3-17-1
MAN OF THE MATCH Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals)
Shane Watson and Stuart Binny rescued Rajasthan Royals from a precarious situation with a 93-run stand that inspired an emphatic five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings on Sunday at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
By doing so, Rajasthan denied Chennai the opportunity to seal their spot in the IPL play-offs, while boosting their own chances.
They also completed the perfect home season, winning all eight matches.
Given the way Rajasthan started their chase of 142, a win looked unlikely. They were three down for 19, after Chennai came out blazing with their pace bowlers. Jason Holder accounted for both Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner in the same over, before Mohit Sharma had Sanju Samson caught behind.
Rahul Dravid, the captain, and Watson put on a slow 26 as they aimed to keep wickets intact. But the runs dried up and the pressure eventually cost Dravid his wicket, as he tried to cut Chris Morris but only succeeded in edging to MS Dhoni.
It was then that Binny arrived, and the complexion of the game changed. He and Watson set about getting to the target by hitting their way out of trouble. It all started with three sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin in an over that went for 23.
From there on, both Dwayne Bravo and Morris were given a bashing. Watson raced past 50 and finished with 70, off just 34, with a total of 12 boundaries, six of them sixes. He was dismissed right at the end, but Binny who hit an unbeaten 41 off 23, finished things off with his third six.
Earlier, Chennai had got off to a good start through Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay. The two were solid as they put on 83.
They raced past 50, taking 15 off a Siddharth Trivedi over, after consecutive fours off Watson started proceedings.
Dravid then effected a change in the bowling that made all the difference. He tossed the ball to Binny, and he soon had Hussey's leg stump knocked back. Soon after, Kevon Cooper, returning for his second spell, dismissed Suresh Raina, before sending back Dhoni.
Vijay was run out shortly after scoring his second half-century of the tournament, and it was left to Bravo, who took 14 off a Cooper over and 11 off Faulkner, to lift the score to 141.
But with Watson in such a mood, it was nowhere near enough.
- MANOJ NARAYAN
Manoj Narayan is a subeditor with Wisden India
KALLIS AND KOLKATA DEAL BANGALORE's PLAY-OFF HOPES A BLOW
TOSS Kolkata, chose to field
BANGALORE C Gayle 33, A de Villiers 28, V Kohli 17, R Vinay Kumar 14; R Rampaul 4-17-1, A Mithun 4-37-1, R Vinay Kumar 3.2-17-2
KOLKATA J Kallis 41, M Tiwary 24, Y Pathan 18, G Gambhir 14, R ten Doeschate 11; S Narine 4-22-4, J Kallis 4-17-2
MAN OF THE MATCH Jacques Kallis (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Chasing Bangalore’s below-par score of 115 for nine, Kallis struck 41 off 45 balls, including four boundaries, as Kolkata made it home on 116 for five.
Bangalore remain fourth in the table as a result.