Rajasthan Royals were outgunned and outplayed as Chennai Super Kings ran out comfortable winners in an IPL 2018 match at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Friday night. Australian all-rounder Shane Watson smashed his third IPL century as the emphatic 64-run win took CSK to the top of the IPL 2018 standings. The defeat, Rajasthan's third in five games, dropped them to fifth in the table. Following the loss, mentor of the Rajasthan team, Shane Warne took to Twitter and apologised to fans for the poor performance and pleaded with them to not lose hope.
Apologies to all the @rajasthanroyals fans as that was a terrible display tonight in all 3 departments. The boys are trying & will come good so don't lose hope, stay patient - we will get it right. Win the next 2 games and be 4/3 at the halfway stage - 2/5 is not ok !#IPL2018— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) April 20, 2018
While Warne asked fans to be patient, Rajasthan supporters would have been disheartened at not so much the loss but the manner of the defeat.
There was no intensity in the field from the outset and that was clear to see as CSK centurion Shane Watson was dropped in the first over. He made them pay dearly blasting 106 off 57 balls, including nine fours and six sixes.
Watson's knock helped Chennai post 204 for five in their allotted 20 overs.
Royals' reply was pretty much over in the first five overs as the visitors lost three key batsmen inside 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 of a contribution.
Ben Stokes (45) and Jos Buttler (22) provided the team with a glimmer of hope by adding 45 runs for the fourth wicket but the partnership broke when the latter was dismissed by Dwayne Bravo.
Stokes was also dismissed soon after and writing was clear on the wall.
Rajasthan have now lost their last two matches and face another stern test on Sunday in defending champions Mumbai Indians, who registered their first win of the tournament in the previous match.