Watson brings fireworks to CSK’s new home

Amol Gokhale
Saturday, 21 April 2018

Shane Watson, after being dropped on the fifth ball of the innings by none other than local lad Rahul Tripathi, made Rajasthan Royal pay dearly, scoring a scintillating century (106 off 57) as Chennai Super Kings posted a mammoth 204/5during their Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MCA International Stadium on Friday.

PUNE: What does one expect after travelling for over 24 hours to watch the match of your home team being played at a neutral venue.

Shane Watson, after being dropped on the fifth ball of the innings by none other than local lad Rahul Tripathi, made Rajasthan Royal pay dearly, scoring a scintillating century (106 off 57) as Chennai Super Kings posted a mammoth 204/5during their Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MCA International Stadium on Friday.

The former Australian all-rounder was at home from the word go as after Rajasthan Royals’skipper Ajinkya Rahane opted to bowl first. 

WATSON TAKES THE GAME AWAY
The 36-years-old, started with two boundaries off the bowling of Stuart Binny, before he was given the life. He flashed hard at the fifth ball of the innings, but Tripathi, at the first slip, dropped a sitter.

Playing against the franchise where Watson made his name under none other than Shane Warne, spared none of the Rajasthan bowlers. 

He along with Raina (46 off 29) put 69 runs on board at the end of the powerplay on Friday.

After Raina’s departure, skipper Dhoni lasted on the field for 11 minutes, but it was Watson who had kept entertaining the fans throughout, finding the boundary at will as he completed his 50 with three fours and four sixes. 

Despite losing Dhoni and Raina in quick succession, Watson was taking the game away from the visitors single-handedly as he brought up his century in just 51 balls, an innings laced with fours and six sixes. 

Watson kept the scoreboard ticking and added 41 runs with Dwayne Bravo to take CSK past the 200-run mark The destructive opener departed on the penultimate ball of the innings but he had done enough damage as CSK finished their innings on 204/5.

SPARSE SEA OF YELLOW AT THE MCA STADIUM
- The sea and sparse are two words with contrasting connotations, but such was the case at the MCA International Stadium in Gahunje on Friday. The stadium of around 37,000 capacity was sparsely filled, but yellow was the only colour to be seen at the venue, so much so that one can think that Rajasthan Royals’ outfield players might have outnumbered the fans RR fans in the stands. 
- As the opener Shane Watson and Suresh Raina enthralled the crowd, the decibels level kept going up, the crowd witnessed what cricket means to fans sport in India.After the departure of Raina, skipper MS Dhoni walked in, and so did one fan. 
- As Dhoni walked to the centre, the onrushing fan greeted the captain, touched his feet, shook hands, and walked away from the scenario with the happiness of seeing his God, before security personnel escorted him out. The joy of fans was short-lived as Dhoni lasted for only three deliveries, scoring five runs.

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