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Cricket news - Spin does the star turn for CSK in convincing win

Moeen Ali picked up 3/7 and also chipped in with a cameo with the bat

Moeen Ali picked up 3/7 and also chipped in with a cameo with the bat

In the 14 matches Chennai Super Kings had played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, they had never won a game when they had batted first. Until today. They successfully defended 189 against Rajasthan Royals to zoom to second spot on the table on a wicket where spin fetched them five wickets on Monday (April 19), picking up a comprehensive 45-run win.

Is the opening pair of Jos Buttler and Manan Vohra working for RR?

It did for as long as it lasted. Buttler took the onus onto himself to give RR a strong start. Vohra couldn't time the ball as well as he would like. However, he only managed to see through 11 balls for his 14 before the opening stand was broken in the fourth over. Sanju Samson copped another failure as Sam Curran picked up wickets in successive overs to peg Rajasthan back. Curran bowled a brilliant three-over spell in the powerplay, conceding 12 runs for two wickets.

CSK were struggling to rein back RR in the middle overs... until

...until RR lost 5 for 8!

Buttler, despite the early wickets, steadied the ship and led the chase, with no dew coming in to assist RR in the second innings. He belted two sixes and five fours in his 35-ball stay until falling to Ravindra Jadeja for 49. That one wicket brought a flurry of wickets for CSK, whose spinners were able to extract some turn. Jadeja got Buttler and Shivam Dube in the same over, while Moeen Ali accounted for the big scalps of David Miller, Riyan Parag and Chris Morris, potentially sealing the game for CSK in the span of four overs. Moeen just bowled three overs, returning 3-7.

Could RR recover from there?

They wish. It was curtains after the middle period where CSK snared a tad too many wickets for RR's liking. It was Dhoni's masterstroke in the middle when a dry ball was deployed post a six from Buttler into the stands after which he persisted with Jadeja despite him conceding 22 in two overs. It worked with a double-wicket over. Jadeja also was exquisite in the field, holding on to as many as four catches and due credit to Dhoni for having his best fielder in key positions.

Jaydev Unadkat chipped in with 24, while Rahul Tewatia fell for 20, but too many runs were left to get with balls running out as the target set which was touted to be gettable after the first innings, wasn't the same without dew. They eventually finished with 143 for 9.

How did CSK go about building their target?

With an innings of cameos. Despite them getting to an imposing total, no batsman surpassed Faf du Plessis's 33, but almost everyone got starts. They couldn't convert them, however, with RR striking at regular intervals.

RR's pacers found swing early on and would've even struck first ball had Rahul Tewatia held on to an edge at slip. Ruturaj Gaikwad struggled to middle the ball, unable to get going from one end, while du Plessis went about business as usual. He belted Jaydev Unadkat in the fifth over for 19 runs with two paddled scoops, a slice over long on for six and a loft to the boundary. However, he fell in the next over, with his enterprising 17-ball stay coming to an end as CSK ended the powerplay with 46 for 2.

How were their middle overs?

Not too bad. First there was Moeen Alis's cameo in an all-round performance that saw him earn the Man of the Match award. After that, CSK's pair of Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu went after the slower bowlers. They took Riyan Parag for 16 runs in the only over he bowled and Rayudu dispatched Tewatia for successive sixes in an over. It was Chetan Sakariya's double strike in the 14th over that broke the building stand accounting for both the experienced batsmen with CSK needing another revival.

Who gave them the strong finish then?

Dwayne Bravo. MS Dhoni had found the going tough in his 17-ball stay in the middle for his 18. He miscued a slower delivery to give Sakariya his third wicket for the day, his second three-wicket return in three games. Jadeja didn't stay too long in the middle, lasting just 7 balls, while Curran too was run out after having smashed his second ball for a six.

Bravo, however, attacked from ball one, dispatching his first two balls for successive fours before a couple of extras from RR's bowlers with the last three overs fetching 15 apiece. Mustafizur Rahman was quite sloppy in the final over, bowling two wides and a no ball. To make it worse, Bravo dispatched one over long on to end the innings on a high.

What's next for the teams?

CSK are up against KKR in two days' time in Mumbai, while RR will take on RCB on April 22.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 188/9 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 33, Ambati Rayudu 27; Chetan Sakariya 3-36) beat Rajasthan Royals 143/9 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 49; Moeen Ali 3-7) by 45 runs.