2nd semi-final: Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super KingsRajasthan were lucky to get a semi-final on their home ground against a formidable side like the Chennai Super Kings. Many predicted it to be the Match of the tournament as both sides boast of some world class players. MS Dhoni won the toss and he decided to field first.
Rajasthan once again lost the wicket of their skipper early in the innings and Kevon Cooper who was promoted up the order also perished after hitting a few aggressive strokes. Rahane (70) and Shane Watson (32) provided some stability in the middle-order when they added 59 runs for the fourth wicket. Dwayne Bravo did the job in the death overs for his side and Rajasthan managed to reach 159 runs after the Jamaican picked three wickets.
And Chennai who are known to deliver their best in big matches were soon reeling at 51/3 after their key players – Michael Hussey (9) and Suresh Raina (29) were dismissed early in the innings. CSK suffered a massive blow when MS Dhoni was dismissed by Rahul Shukla for just 3. It wasn’t their day as Ravindra Jadeja (2) and Dwayne Bravo (3) too perished soon and the score read 72/7. But CSK weren’t going to lose without a fight as Ashwin and Chris Morris added a brave partnership of 73 runs for the eighth wicket, it wasn’t sufficient as they lost the match by 14 runs and Rajasthan advanced into the final in style!
Match 4: Rajasthan Royals vs Otago VoltsBrendon McCullum-led Otago Volts had become a force to reckon with in the tournament and their encounter with the Royals was expected to be a close match.
But that wasn’t the case and Rajasthan found a new hero in Rahul Shukla who bowled a brilliant over where he dismissed three key batsmen including Brendon McCullum for a first-ball duck. The Otago were reeling at 22/4 at one stage and with some decent knocks from James Neesham (32) and Nathan McCullum (28), they reached a total of 139 runs which looked improbable at one stage. Apart from Shukla, Cooper continued his good form as he picked two wickets.
Considering their form, it was supposed modest score for Rajasthan and their openers added to the woes of their opponents by adding 49 runs for the first wicket. From 49/1, the Royals were 72/4 within no time as Neesham picked some key wickets. Towards the end, Rajasthan needed 24 to win off the last two overs and as he often does under crunch situations, Brad Hodge once again played a brutal knock down the order and the single-handedly won the match for his team.
Match 3: Rajasthan Royals vs Perth ScorchersRajasthan were high on confidence after winning two matches in a row and their third match of the tournament proved to be a cakewalk for the Dravid-led side. Dravid won the toss and decided to field first.
The Scorchers’ innings was in complete disarray as they lost their first five wickets for just 77 runs. Adam Voges (27) was their highest scorer and they managed to reach just 120 runs by the end of 20 overs. Kevon Cooper was the pick of the bowlers as he scalped four wickets while Pravin Tambe and James Faulkner picked two wickets each.
Jason Behrendorff got his side to a dream start when Rahul Dravid was bowled for a third-ball duck in the first over. But after that the Royals were in total command of the game as in-form Samson (50) and Rahane (62) stitched unbeaten 120 runs for the second wicket as Rajasthan won the match comprehensively by nine wickets.
Match 2: Rajasthan Royals vs Highveld LionsIn their second match of the tournament, Rajasthan Royals were up against Alviro Petersen-led Highveld Lions who won the toss and decided to field first.
Their decision was right initially when Rajasthan lost the wickets of Samson and Rahane for just 36 runs. Dravid and Watson added 31 runs for the third wicket but towards the end of the innings, Rajasthan were heading towards a modest total as they were 145/5 at the end of 17 overs. But as he often does down the order, Brad Hodge hit some lusty blows all across the ground in the death overs as a result of which his team scored 38 runs in the last three overs, 21 off which came of the last over bowled by Sohail Tanvir.
The Lions never looked like chasing down the total and apart from their skipper Petersen (40), none of the other batsmen managed to play a big knock as Lions lost the match by 30 runs.
Match 1: Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai IndiansThere was a lot of hype as Rajasthan Royals kicked off their campaign against IPL 2013 winners Mumbai Indians where everybody was anxious to see Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar playing together in limited overs cricket, probably for the last time.
Batting first, Mumbai Indians got off to a disastrous start after they lost four wickets for just 43 runs in 8.1 overs. Following the early losses, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard stitched a crucial 52-run partnership as a result of which Mumbai managed to reach a respectable score of 142 runs.
Rajasthan too got off to a bad start as Rahul Dravid was back to the pavilion after scoring just one run. From there, Ajinkya Rahane (33) and Sanju Samson (54) added 74 runs for the second wicket and with crucial knocks from Shane Watson (27) and Stuart Binny (27), Rajasthan won the match by seven wickets.