On This Day: Watson’s Hundred Propels CSK to 64-run Victory Over RR in IPL 2018
On this day, Shane Watson scored the second century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association International stadium, in Pune. It was also his overall third IPL century as CSK moved to their new home ground in style by producing a thorough 64-run win over his former side RR. Ahead of the season, CSK were forced out of Chennai due to the Cauvery dispute. They were driven by Watson’s 106 from 57 balls to post a mammoth 204/5 after being invited to bat first.
The seasoned all-rounder made full use of a dropped chance in the very first over on a flat MCA track. He then positioned himself nicely against short and straight balls which were smashed all over the park. Watson’s 106-run entertaining knock was peppered with nine fours and six sixes.
Watson also shared a 50-run partnership with fellow opener Ambati Rayudu (12) and then stitched an 81-run partnership for the second wicket with CSK’s talisman batsman Suresh Raina, who hit a fiery 46 off 29 balls that included nine fours. Raina fell in the 12th over to a Shreyas Gopal delivery which left CSK on 131/2.
CSK then lost the wickets of MS Dhoni (5) and Sam Billings (3) with the addition of another 30 runs. It was leggie Gopal again, who struck to dismiss both the Chennai batsmen. Meanwhile, the Australian was in regal touch as he pummelled Royals bowlers after getting a lifeline in the opening over bowled by Stuart Binny. Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane had used five different bowlers, who were guilty of bowling either too full or short and needed to be disciplined for their line and length issues.
Watson completed his century in the 18th over and kept the scoreboard ticking by adding 41 runs with Dwayne Bravo to take CSK past the 200-run mark. He was eventually out on the penultimate ball of the innings.
In reply, RR lost wickets at regular intervals and were bundled out for 140 in 18.3 overs. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo and Karn Sharma took two wickets each while Ben Stokes top scored with 45 for RR.