After brilliant victories in both their matches of the campaign so far, head coach Stephen Fleming and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis turned chefs for the rest of the camp.
New Zealand lamb chops seemed to be on the menu as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took to Twitter to post a video of a shirtless Du Plessis donning the chef’s hat in the team hotel on Wednesday night.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 11, 2018
The two-time IPL champions have only just returned to the competition after serving a two-year suspension. They secured a last-gasp victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener before beating Kolkata Knight Riders on their homecoming in Chennai on Tuesday.
That will however be the only match to be played in front of their passionate and loyal home crowd this season after the decision was made on Wednesday to shift the franchise’s remaining games to Pune.
The decision was made due to ongoing unrest over a water dispute between the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka that saw heavy protests outside the M.A Chidambaram stadium before the side’s clash against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The MS Dhoni-led franchise will now take on Kings XI Punjab in their next match, which will take place on Sunday at Mohali.
Rajasthan Royals continued their dominance over Delhi Daredevils in a rain-affected win.
Chasing a revised target of 71 after Royals had made 153/5 in 17.5 overs before the rain, Delhi could only managed 60/4 in reply. It was the Royals’ seventh straight win over Daredevils.
Ben Laughlin starred in the Royals’ defence of their target, taking two wickets and conceding only seven runs in his first over.
Dhawal Kulkarni’s sole over went for just four runs as well, as the Daredevils’ chase never got going. Colin Munro was run out off the first ball of the innings and Glenn Maxwell took too much time to play himself in when the required rate was over 12 an over.
The result meant a triumphant return to the Sawai Mansingh Stadium for Rajasthan following their two-year absence from the IPL.
“Good way to start at home,” Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane, who top-scored with 45 in the first innings, said after the match.
“We thought 71 was difficult to chase. When we were batting, we thought 165 to 170 would be good.”
Sanju Samson was adjudged man of the match for his 22-ball 37, which was propelling Rajasthan to that target score with ease before the match was stopped. Jos Buttler added a quick-fire 29 off of just 18 balls.
Despite the stiff target, Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir said his side had backed itself to chase it down, going by the nature of the wicket.
“It was a beautiful wicket to bat on. One of the flattest wickets,” he said. “I thought if we could contain them to 170, we had a good chance.”
That being said, Gambhir acknowledged the rain-revised score made the chase difficult.
“We had to go from ball one. There are hardly any balls, difficult for our batsmen,” he added.
It was a mixed day for the Royals’ star player Ben Stokes as his cameo of 16 off 12 balls was cut short, while he wasn’t entrusted with the ball at all during the chase.
He did, however, take a crucial catch in the final over.
The remaining IPL matches of Chennai Super Kings are likely to be moved out of Chennai, according to a report, following serious crowd trouble in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.
According to the Indian Express, the IPL Governing Council made the decision following continued protest by local Tamilians as the southern Indian state faces a water crisis.
On Tuesday, protesting crowd threw shoes onto the field at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. One shoe landed near Chennai player Ravindra Jadeja who was fielding. Another shoe landed near substitute fielder Faf du Plessis who was carrying drinks.
Earlier, protesters burned merchandise and jostled with police outside the venue on Tuesday.
Hundreds of demonstrators, some wearing black t-shirts and waving black balloons, gathered near the venue shouting slogans.
The drought-prone state has witnessed mounting protests in recent weeks over a disputed accord with neighbouring state Karnataka on how to share water from the key Cauvery river, a highly contentious issue in southern India.
“We want all seven IPL matches in Chennai to be cancelled until our demands are met. We will also ask the spectators to boycott the match,” one protester was quoted as saying.
The state government had earlier recommended IPL games be moved out of Chennai because of the protests but said they would provide security if they went ahead.
According to reports, Super Kings’ matches have been shifted to Vizag, Pune, Cuttak and Trivandrum.