Brilliant Bravo defies Archer’s fireworks, Hetmyer fails again in RCB loss

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo … grabbed two wickets in the final over to hand CSK victory.

CHENNAI, India, CMC – Former West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo struck twice in a brilliant final over as Chennai Super Kings held its nerve to beat Jofra Archer’s Rajasthan Royals by eight runs, and notch their third win in as many matches in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.

Playing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Royals started the final over requiring 12 run in order to pull off their first win of the new season, in pursuit of 176.

But medium pacer Bravo removed the dangerous Ben Stokes for 46 from 26 deliveries off the first ball of the over, the England all-rounder slicing a low full toss to Suresh Raina at cover.

Bravo then conceded just two runs from the next three deliveries before having Shreyas Gopal taken at third man off the game’s penultimate ball without scoring, to all but end Royals’ bid.

Archer, who finished on 24 not out from 11 balls, had earlier hauled Royals back into the contest courtesy of a 44-run, seventh -wicket stand with Stokes, after the visitors found themselves in trouble at 120 for six in the 17th over.

Rahul Tripathi stroked 39 and former Australia captain Steve Smith, 28, as Royals rebounded from 14 for three in the fourth over.

Bravo finished two for 32, one of four bowlers to pick up a brace of wickets.

The former Windies one-day skipper had earlier produced a cameo 16-ball 27 as CSK, sent in, rallied to 175 for five off 20 overs.

Captain MS Dhoni slammed an unbeaten 75 off 46 balls with four fours and four sixes, posting 61 for the fourth wicket with Raina (36) and a further 56 for the fifth wicket with Bravo.

Their performance defied a brilliant spell from speedster Archer who snatched two for 17 in four excellent overs of pace to leave the hosts tottering on 27 for three in the fifth over.

In the other game played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, West Indies star Shimron Hetmyer failed for the third straight match as his Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a 118-run crushing at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad, to remain winless and rooted to the bottom of the standings.

England’s Jonny Bairstow (114 not out) and Australian David Warner (100) slammed hundreds in a pulsating 185-run opening partnership as the hosts piled up 231 for two off their 20 overs.

The left-handed Hetmyer then perished for nine at the top order – his third consecutive single digit score – as RCB plunged to 35 for six in the eighth over and never recovered.

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