Rajasthan Royals clinched a seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings to keep their IPL 2021 play-off hopes alive.
Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a maiden T20 century as Chennai posted a season's-best total 189-4 but that was just not enough as Rajasthan chased it down at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis 25 gave Rajasthan a flying start knocking cracking 77 off 32 balls.
But Lewis fell to Shardul Thakur for 27, pulling one down Josh Hazlewood’s throat at deep square leg, and Jaiswal was gone less than an over later caught behind off KM Asif’s first delivery after reaching his half-century from 20 balls.
Shivam Dube and captain Sanju Samson took the score to 170 before Thakur removed the latter in the 16th over for 28.
Dube's superb 42-ball 64 took Rajasthan over the line to seal a seven-wicket win and join Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians on 10 points apiece and two games each left.
“It was a bad toss to lose to start off, but I feel the Royals batted really well,” the Chennai captain MS Dhoni said.
“There was dew and the ball started coming on well, still you needed to bat well and that's what they did. An ideal start in a tall chase.
“Rutu's was an outstanding knock. When you lose the game, it can get brushed under the carpet but he batted very well to get us up to 190.”
Gaikwad reached the milestone by bludgeoning the last delivery of the innings from quickie Mustafizur Rahman to the grass banks of the stadium for a magnificent 60-ball 101 not out.
Gaikwad thumped nine fours and five sixes, and with Ravindra Jadeja added 55 off 22 deliveries for Chennai to amass 189 after Rajasthan sent them to bat first.
That knock from the 24-year-old opener moved him on top of the IPL 2021 scoring chart on 508 runs in 12 innings.
Gaikwad shared a 47-run stand for the first wicket with Faf du Plessis (25) and finished off the Chennai inning in a flourish with Jadeja producing a little cameo 15-ball 32 not out.
“The plan was if I could bat till 13-14 overs, I could capitalise later,” Gaikwad said. “I'm looking to just time the ball and hold my shape, I wasn't looking to hit big. We were looking for 160, then I thought 170, then why not 180, and finally we got 190.
“I timed the ball really well, the short boundary on the leg side meant I knew it was six off the last ball.”