Chennai Super Kings 204-5 (Shane Watson 106, Suresh Raina 46, Shreyas Gopal 3-20) beat Rajasthan Royals 140 in 18.3 over (Ben Stokes 45, Deepak Chahar 2-30, Shardul Thakur 2-18, Dwayne Bravo 2-16, Karn Sharma 2-13) by 64 runs.
Seasoned all-rounder Shane Watson smashed his third Indian Premier League century as Chennai Super Kings moved to their new ‘home’ in style by producing a comprehensive 64-run win over Rajasthan Royals, here tonight. Chennai, forced out of Chennai due to the Cauvery dispute, were shepherded by the 36-year-old Australian, who hammered 106 from 57 balls to lead his side to a challenging 204/5 after being invited to bat.
Making full use of a dropped chance in the very first over on a flat track, Watson swung his arms when the ball was pitched outside off and positioned himself nicely against short and straight deliveries to find boundary after boundary.
Watson hit nine fours and six sixes in his entertaining knock as another senior player enthralled the fans after Chris Gayle and C captain MS Dhoni showed their vintage touch in previous matches of the League. Three early wickets pegged Royals back and they were all out for 140 in 18.3 overs.
Royals’ chase was ruined when they lost three key batsmen inside the powerplay overs. They needed Sanju Samson (2), captain Ajinkya Rahane (16) and debutant Heinrich Klaasen (7) to fire at the top but all three could not make much contribution.
Ben Stokes (45) and Jos Buttler (22) added 45 runs for the fourth wicket but the partnership broke when the latter was dismissed by Dwayne Bravo. Left-handed Stokes, who can turn the match on its head, was also dismissed soon and writing was clear on the wall.
Watson shared a 50-run stand with fellow opener Ambati Rayudu (12) and then raised a 81-run partnership for the second wicket with comeback-man Suresh Raina, who hit a fiery 46 off 29 balls with nine shots to the fence.
Watson was in regal touch as the Australian pummelled Royals bowlers after being dropped in the opening over, bowled by Stuart Binny. With no assistance on offer, the bowlers needed to be disciplined with their line and length but they were guilty of bowling either too full or short.
Man of the Match: Shane Watson, for his all-round performance (106 & 1-13)