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Rajasthan Royals thrash Chennai Super Kings to go level at the top of the IPL

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The Rajasthan Royals thrashed the Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets in a thrilling contest to finish their home season with a perfect 8 from 8 record at Fortress Jaipur. An excellent bowling effort in the second half of their innings from the Royals helped them restrict the Super Kings to 141-4 in their 20 overs, before a brilliant match winning partnership between Shane Watson (70) and Stuart Binny (41*) saw the side recover from 45-4 in the 10th over to romp to victory in just 17.1 overs.

The Rajasthan Royals stuck with their winning formula of winning the toss and putting the opposition in at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur, where they continued to remain unbeaten heading into this game.

The Super Kings got off to a terrific start, adding 83 runs for the opening wicket before the returning Stuart Binny ended Michael Hussey's innings for a run a ball 40. Two wickets in the following over for Kevon Cooper, and big ones at that of Suresh Raina (1) and MS Dhoni (2) set Chennai back a bit as they lost 3 wickets for 6 runs in 8 deliveries.

Murali Vijay brought up his half century at the other end before being run out for 55, the Rajasthan fielders finally hitting the stumps, having missed at least half a dozen run out opportunities in the match. A late flourish from Dwayne Bravo (23*) took Chennai to 141-4, but given Rajasthan's form at home, one would have to fancy their chances. For the first time in an innings this season, a six wasn't hit in the 20 overs bowled.

The Rajasthan Royals had a nightmarish start to their innings, finding themselves 19-3 inside the 5th over. The only piece of good news for the hosts was that they still had an ace up their sleeve, having dropped Shane Watson down the order to no.5.

Ajinkya Rahane, their star with the bat this season, fell for 9, and that started the carnage as pinch hitter James Faulkner (1) and young Sanju Samson (0) failed to trouble the scorers sufficiently.

Skipper Rahul Dravid chipped in with 22 before was out caught behind off Chris Morris, leaving Rajasthan in a world of trouble at 45-4.

The Royals decided to hit their way out of trouble with Stuart Binny taking on Ravi Ashwin in the 11th over before Watson decided to join in the party and spanked Ashwin for two more maximums.

The Royals followed up that 23 run over with two 10 run overs before Dwayne Bravo was spanked for another 22. In the space of 4 overs, the game had changed dramatically as Shane Watson smashed 70 from 34 balls before Bravo cleaned him up with the Royals needing just 4 to win.

Binny smashed another 6 to notch up the winning runs, thus taking the Royals to an incredible win with 17 balls to spare.

The Royals are on the road for their remaining two games when they head to Mumbai and finally Hyderabad, and they will hope to cement a top two berth. Chennai meanwhile will return to home comforts where they take on the beleaguered Delhi Daredevils before heading to Bangalore to take on the Royal Challengers.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Siddharth Trivedi, Vikramjeet Malik

Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Morris, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma

Mini Scorecard:

Chennai Super Kings 141-4 (20 overs, 7.05rpo)

M Vijay 55 (50) K Cooper 2-32

M Hussey 40 (40) S Binny 1-18

Rajasthan Royals 144-5 (17.1 overs, 8.38rpo)

S Watson 70 (34) J Holder 2-20

S Binny 41* (23) M Sharma 1-21

Royals win by 5 wickets