Will Royals reign at home again?

Rajasthan Royals will look to keep their home record intact when they take on Indian Premier League (IPL) runners-up Chennai Super Kings in the first semi-final of the Champions League T20 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here today.

Rajasthan Royals players
Rajasthan Royals players celebrate an Otago Volts wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Tuesday

The Royals have won all 12 matches at home this year — eight in the IPL and four in CLT20. The Royals have succeeded so far, thanks largely to their consistent batting display.

Ajinkya Rahane has led the batting charts, scoring 153 in four matches at an average of 51.00, while wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson has managed 121 in four outings.

All-rounder Brad Hodge hogged the limelight with a quickfire unbeaten 52 off 23 balls in the last match against Otago Volts on Tuesday. In addition, the team has also found a surprise performer — the 41-year-old Pravin Tambe, who has picked up seven wickets in three matches at an impressive economy rate of 4.45.

CSK, on the other hand are the most successful team in the 20-20 format. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team, who failed to top the group, would be looking to make up for the disappointment. On Wednesday, Trinidad & Tobago beat CSK to top Group ‘B’ at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

The Caribbean side bowled out CSK for only 118 in 19.4 overs. In reply, they chased down the target in 15.1 overs.  “Ideally, we would have liked to keep our winning ways and stay here at one place. We would have loved to face Mumbai in the semi-finals but you can’t pick and choose and we are now heading to Rajasthan.

They are a pretty formidable side at home and we need to be on top of our game. It’s a good challenge for us,” CSK coach Stephen Fleming said at the post-match press conference. 

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