Rajasthan Royals reached the final of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 after a thrilling 14-run win over Chennai Super Kings in the semi-final on Friday. They held their nerves towards the end as Chennai rallied to make a game out of a near no-win scenario. Ajinkya Rahane, Pravin Tambe scripted Rajasthan’s win and Ravichandran Ashiwn and Chris Morris starred for Chennai. Shrikant Shankar analyses the contributions of all the players in the first semi-final at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
When Chennai Super Kings lost their final Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 Group B clash against Trinidad and Tobago, they lost the top spot in the standings. That meant they would play against Rajasthan Royals in the semi-finals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. This was always going to be an arduous task. Rajasthan have a royal record at their home ground and continued that form on Friday. They beat Chennai by 14 runs to enter the final.
Rahul Dravid will play his final competitive match in T20 cricket in the final in New Delhi on Sunday. Although he did not perform all that well individually in the semi-final, his team got through due to some of his teammates. There were some excellent performances from both sides to make this a memorable match. Let’s take a look at the contributions made by all the players who played the match.
Rajasthan Royals (According to batting order)
Rahul Dravid — 3/10
Rahul Dravid would easily forget this match on a personal level. He was bowled for five off eight balls by Chris Morris in the third over. Being the team man that he is, Dravid would always remember the match for his team’s win.
Ajinkya Rahane — 9/10
If Ajinkya Rahane did not score the runs on Friday, Rajasthan’s total would nearly be halved. He scored 70 off 56 balls to steer the home side to a challenging total. His innings included six fours and two sixes. He was dismissed by Dwayne Bravo.
Kevon Cooper — 5/10
To the surprise of many, Kevon Cooper was sent in at No 3 in the batting order. The plan seemed to work for the brief time Cooper spent in the middle. He scored a seven-ball 14 with the help of two fours and a six. He did not bowl all that well, though, as he gave away 41 runs in four overs. In the end one could say, his 14 was the difference.
Sanju Samson — 3/10
Not the best of days for Sanju Samson with the bat. Hobbled along for an 11-ball 10. He tried hitting a short-of-a-length delivery from Jason Holder straight down the ground, but top-edged and Ravichandran Ashwin took the catch at mid-wicket.
Shane Watson — 6/10
Shane Watson made his contributions count. The Australian all-rounder gave good support to Rahane in the middle with a 23-ball 32. He struck four fours. Off Morris’s bowling, Watson top-edged an expansive shot towards the leg-side and Holder took the catch at covers. He did, however, take one wicket to help Rajasthan cross over the line.
Brad Hodge — 3/10
Brad Hodge could not repeat his fireworks from a few das back as he was bowled by Holder for 11 off nine balls. Hodge did injure his knee while fielding as Watson crashed into him.
Stuart Binny — 3.5/10
Stuart Binny was dismissed for five off five balls by Bravo. It is also a little surprising that he bowled only one over and that gave away only two runs.
Dishant Yagnik — 3/10
Rajasthan’s wicketkeeper was bowled first ball by Bravo. Dishant Yagnik did make his contributions though. He was involved in a run-out, a stumping and also took a catch, but nothing spectacular.
James Faulkner — 4/10
James Faulkner scored one run off the only ball he faced. With the ball, he was on the expensive side giving away 36 runs in four overs. The left-arm seamer did take the wicket of Ashwin in the last over.
Rahul Shukla — 5/10
Like Faulkner, Rahul Shukla also scored one run off one ball. He was impressive with the ball and accounted for the all-important wicket off MS Dhoni. That itself gets him a few extra points.
Pravin Tambe — 9/10 (Man of the Match)
It was a close call between Rahane and Pravin Tambe, as to who would get the Man of the Match award. It went to Tambe in the end. The reason Tambe got the award was for some extraordinary bowling. The leg-spinner took three wickets, while conceding a meager 10 runs in four overs.
Chennai Super Kings (According to batting order)
Michael Hussey — 3/10
Mr Cricket was involved in a needless run-out when things started smoothly for Chennai. Michael Hussey pushed for a single and took off. Murali Vijay was not interested and Hussey was stranded in the middle. Hussey scored nine off 11 balls.
Murali Vijay — 3/10
If Hussey’s run-out was avoidable, then so was Vijay’s. He hit one straight to extra-cover and took off. But Samson did not miss as he hit the timber and Vijay was short.
Suresh Raina — 5/10
Suresh Raina tried to pull the innings together after wickets fell in a heap. He was dismissed for 29 off 23 balls. Unfortunately more was needed from him. Tambe got his wicket as Raina mistimed a lofted drive straight to the fielder at mid-off. When he got out, one would have expected Chennai to wilt, but they did not.
Subramaniam Badrinath — 3/10
Subramaniam Badrinath played an out-of-character shot to get dismissed for eight of 10 balls. He charged down the track and looked to hit one over extra-cover off Tambe’s bowling. But he missed and the ball ricocheted off the wicketkeeper’s pads and onto the stumps.
As mentioned earlier, Shukla dismissed Dhoni. The Chennai captain was beaten for pace and away swing as he was out LBW for three off seven balls.
Dwayne Bravo — 6/10
Before Tambe’s spell, Dwayne Bravo was the pick of the bowlers from the match. He picked up three wickets for 26 runs in four overs. Bravo only scored three off five balls with the bat.
Ravindra Jadeja — 3.5/10
The all-rounder has had a poor outing during the CLT20 2013 campaign. Ravindra Jadeja bowled well on Friday, but went wicket-less. He also could only manage two off four balls, before edging a Watson delivery to Yagnik.
Chris Morris — 8/10
Chris Morris was excellent with the ball and bat. He first took two wickets — Dravid and Watson, then he scored an unbeaten 26 off 17 balls. If the top-order had done its duty, then Morris could have probably done more.
Ravichandran Ashwin — 9/10
Ravichandran Ashwin bowled one over and conceded 16 runs. But it was with the bat that he shone on Friday. Everyone always knew that Ashwin was talented with the bat, but he showed that he also possesses a wide variety of expansive strokes. He scored a brilliant 46 off 28 balls. He struck three fours and three sixes. Ashwin shared a 73-run partnership with Morris.
Jason Holder — 5/10
The West Indies bowler picked up two wickets. He dismissed Samson and Hodge for 11 each. He came out to bat, but did not face a single delivery due to Rajasthan’s win.
Mohit Sharma — 3.5/10
The right-arm seamer was expensive and conceded 37 runs in four overs. He did get the wicket of Cooper.
(Shrikant Shankarpreviously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)