Moeen Ali Shines With The Bat, Rajasthan Qualifies For Playoffs

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Moeen Ali finally made some notable contributions with his bat for CSK in their final game of the season. The South African notched up the highest score of his IPL career against the Royals tonight. However, that wasn’t enough to get his team over the line.

First Innings

Winning the toss, captain MS Dhoni decided to bat first. However, Chennai didn’t get the perfect of all starts. Rituraj Gaikwad faced Trent Boult in the opening over and got out in the last ball. The pressure built up following 4 back-to-back dots.

Moeen Ali came in next and started firing all engines right from the start. In the fourth over, Ali thrashed Prasiddh Krishna for 18 runs. He was in no mood to stop, adding a further 15 runs off Ashwin in the very next over. If that wasn’t enough, Moeen sent Boult to all corners of the park in the 6th over, scoring 26. He brought up his fifty in mere 19 balls. At the end of the powerplay, CSK were 72/1.

However, Rajasthan bowlers made an impressive comeback post the powerplay. Ashwin broke the partnership in the 8th over, catching Conway in front of the stumps. Jagadeeshan too departed soon in the next over.

By the end of the 10th over, Chennai were 94/3. The Super Kings dealt with yet another heavy blow in the 11th over when Chahal got rid of Ambati Rayudu. Following this wicket, captain MS Dhoni came to the crease. 

CSK had to wait for 45 deliveries to hit their next boundary. Moeen too had to slow down in order to protect his valuable wicket. Both batsmen continued playing carefully through the overs, something Rajasthan Royals was very comfortable with.

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Moeen Ali in action

MS Dhoni departed on the last ball of the 19th over. On the very next ball, Moeen Ali too lost his wicket, scoring 93 off 57 balls. With two new batsmen on the crease, CSK couldn’t do enough damage in the last over. Their innings ended at 150/6, far low than what was expected of them, especially after that fiery start.

Second Innings

Rajasthan Royals too got off to a similar kind of start. They lost their top striker Jos Buttler early. Yashasvi Jaiswal kept finding the boundaries at regular intervals. Sanju Samson too put a good shift in the powerplays. At the end of the 6th over, Rajasthan Royals were at 52/1.

The Royals maintained their momentum even after the powerplays. But, soon lost a wicket. Captain Sanju Samson departed after a somewhat slow knock. At the halfway stage, Rajasthan was steadily placed at 73/2.

Moeen Ali struck early in the 12th over, this time with the ball. He clean bowled Devdutt Padikkal who looked a little short of confidence to play the sweep.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ashwin didn’t let the game shift to the Super Kings. Both of them played their natural game even though CSK kept pressing for a wicket. Jaiswal reached his well deserved half-century off 39 balls in the 14th over. Royals reached the 100 mark an over later.

However, Jaiswal’s stay at the crease didn’t last long. Hetmyer came in replacing Yashasvi, but the Windies man too departed early. Rajasthan was forced under a bit of pressure as they needed 32 off the last three. Ashwin kept his nerves and played some wonderful shots. His contributions finally took the Royals over the line with two balls to spare.

Reflection on the game

Chennai Super Kings had a brilliant start to the game. But, the mid-innings comeback from the Royals pulled them back to a low score of 150 at the end of their quota of overs. In return, Rajasthan followed up with the required rate and never let it go beyond reach. Moeen Ali had a wonderful evening both with the bat and the ball. However, his contributions weren’t enough to give CSK a win in their final match of the season. Royals on the other hand, sealed their place in the playoffs with today’s win. Ashwin won today’s man of the match award for his all-round performances

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