Rajasthan beats Chennai, reclaims top spot in IPL

JAIPUR, India (AP) — Australian wrist spinner Adam Zampa took 3-22 as Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 32 runs to rise atop the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Ravichandran Ashwin also took 2-35 as the spin duo wrecked Chennai’s lineup with five wickets in tandem and restricted it to 170-6 (20 overs).

This was after 21-year-old opener Yashasvi Jaiswal struck 77 off 43 balls to help Rajasthan score 202-5 (20 overs).

Jaiswal and Jos Buttler (27) gave a flying start to Rajasthan adding 86 runs off 50 balls for the first wicket.

They took 42 runs off the first three overs, but Chennai pulled it back with only 22 more from the next three. Buttler fell in the ninth over to Ravindra Jadeja, who went on to take 1-32 in four overs.

Jaiswal continued the momentum for Rajasthan with a 26-ball half-century. Overall, he hit eight fours and four sixes.

He put on 39 off 29 balls with Sanju Samson (17). Rajasthan though lost 3-21 in the space of 18 deliveries to lose its way in the middle overs.

Tushar Deshpande picked up two wickets in that interim, dismissing both Samson and Jaiswal thereafter.

Shimron Hetmyer was promoted to number four but he fell for eight runs. Dhruv Jurel (34) and Devdutt Padikkal (27 not out) then rescued Rajasthan from 146-4 in 16.1 overs.

The duo added 48 off 20 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes, to set a challenging total for Chennai.

In reply, Chennai lost in-form Devon Conway for only eight runs. But he added 42 runs in six overs with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored 47 off 29 balls.

Gaikwad hit five fours and a six to propel Chennai’s start, before he top-edged a catch to long on to give Zampa his second wicket.

Then came the turning point as Ashwin had both Ajinkya Rahane (15) and impact player Ambati Rayudu (for a two-ball duck) caught in the space of three deliveries. It was the 11th time Ashwin had dismissed the two batsmen in total in the IPL.

Chennai was down to 73-4 in 10.4 overs and never recovered its momentum, despite Shivam Dube striking 52 off 33 balls, his third half-century of the season.

Moeen Ali scored 23, as did Jadeja, but Chennai was unable to make a comeback.

Rajasthan is now top of the table with 10 points. Chennai is down to third, and Gujarat Titans second, as all three teams are equal on points but separated by net run-rate. ___

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