Moeen Ali’s excellent all-round performance for Chennai Super Kings was not enough to prevent Rajasthan Royals from winning the Indian Premier League by five wickets.
Moeen hit 93 in Chennai’s 150-6 innings before taking 1-21 with the ball. Rajasthan, on the other hand, reached the target with two balls to spare thanks to Ravichandran Ashwin’s unbeaten 40.
They will face the league champions Gujarat Titans in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to the final.
The losers of that match will face the winners of the play-off between the third and fourth-placed teams in the final.
The Lucknow Super Giants will face either the Royal Challengers Bangalore or the Delhi Capitals in that game.
Moeen, batting at number three, launched a blistering attack on the Rajasthan bowling, reaching 50 off only 19 balls. He scored 26 runs off Trent Boult’s seventh over, including a six and five fours.
In his stunning knock, Moeen, 34, hit 13 fours and three sixes. However, Chennai, the IPL champions last year, lost steam and their total appeared to be below par.
Rajasthan’s pursuit paralleled Chennai’s earlier struggle. After Jos Buttler was dismissed for two runs, his opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal put the Royals in command. They lost their way when he was out for 59 minutes due to a mid-order collapse.
However, Ashwin, who had earlier claimed 1-28 with his off-spin, was able to resurrect the Royals by hitting two fours and three maximums.