IPL: Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 wickets, coach Fleming not concerned about Dhoni brigade’s last over finish


Chennai Super Kings are roaring again in their den.  After Bangalore and Pune, it was Rajasthan’s turn on Saturday to get a feel of Team Chennai’s domineering presence at home. Playing before an unabashedly partisan crowd, a flummoxed Jaipur looked on as the hosts notched up an easy seven-wicket win on Saturday, their third win in a row at home this season, writes The Times Of India.


“147 never looked like a great total on a flat Chepauk track, given that the hosts had chased down a daunting 206-run target against Bangalore here a week ago. Ghosts of the previous season returned to haunt Rajasthan, with the visitors having lost both their matches against Chennai last year. The script wasn’t any different on Saturday. Chennai opener Faf du Plessis was his usual remorseless self, as he took the bowlers to the cleaners. He struck a fluent 73 runs off 52 deliveries before being dismissed in the 16th over by Kevon Cooper. The hosts cruised past the finish line. With eight runs required off the last six balls, the match went to the wire and skipper Dhoni took it upon himself to get 2 runs off the last ball,” adds the national daily.


Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming was not concerned by the late finish by his side in their seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, saying that the home side were always in control of the IPL match, says a report in The Indian Express.

Asked why his side left it so late to win the match in the last ball, Fleming said, "We should not have but we were always in control of things. It got tight in the end after we lost Suresh Raina and Faf (du Plessis) and they also bowled well. They did not give us any easy runs, especially Brad Hogg. They put a lot of pressure and the pitch was getting slower and lower. It was not easy to get beneath the ball and clear the field. A few more runs and it would have been tighter," he said.


According to a report in TOI,  with more than a month still to unravel, the IPL plot can suddenly and will dramatically change. “One or two sides will almost certainly lose steam and fall by the wayside. Somebody will pick up speed and gallop ahead too. The intriguing part, though, is that the points table is not revealing the full story. Team Delhi’s formidable lineup has lived up to expectations while Hyderabad are definitely not so fragile to be totally pointless,” writes the paper, adding that since the arrival of KP and Mahela, and now Ross Taylor, Delhi almost seem like the unstoppable force.


“Once David Warner too arrives, they will metamorphose from guns into howitzers; of course, there is the little matter of Sehwag firing too. But it’s unlikely that the captain is losing any sleep over that. Delhi, though, seem invincible not just because of their mighty batting: their bowling too is equally sharp, lead by the pacy Morne Morkel. Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Ajit Agarkar have emerged as an effective troika while left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem is the secret shock weapon.”


The surprising part, however, is the way Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai have all but imploded; true, they are in the same rocky boat on six points, with three wins each. None of them, however, will be comfortable with the losses they’ve notched up.