Kohli-Led RCB Gain Steam, Outplay Dhoni’s CSK
Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have not won the IPL title in 12 previous attempts. But they are now gradually gaining steam in the 13th edition and on Saturday they thrashed three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 37 runs.
RCB now are placed joint second with eight points from six matches, but the other two teams that also have eight points — Mumbai (+1.488) and Kolkata Knight Riders (+0.017) — have a better net run rate than Virat Kohli’s team (-0.820).
CSK are languishing in the sixth position with four points from seven matches, and have a negative net run rate, though it is better than the seventh-placed Rajasthan Royals, who have -1.073.
Despite restricting the RCB to a chase-able 169/4 wickets in 20 overs, after Kohli won the toss and bated, CSK once again succumbed under pressure and couldn’t overhaul the target though they once again still had wickets in hand when the game ended. MS Dhoni’s team scored 132/8 wickets in 20 overs.
This was CSK’s fifth defeat from seven games so far while RCB’s fourth win from six games.
Chasing a 170-run target, Washington Sundar came with the first breakthrough, packing back Faf du Plessis (8) before he also picked Shane Watson (14) to reduce CSK at 25/2.
Ambati Rayudu (42) and N Jagadeesan (33) then showed some resistance, sharing a 64-run partnership for the third wicket. However, the duo’s slow approach hurt CSK’s run-chase.
Jagadeesan fell in the 15th over before the next batsman, Dhoni (10), also became a victim of Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16th over while trying to increase the run-rate.
Sam Curran (0), Rayudu and Dwayne Bravo (7), too, didn’t trouble the scorers much as CSK scorecard read 122/7 in 18.4 overs.
While Chris Morris accounted for the wicket of Curran and Bravo, Isuru Udana got rid of a good-looking Rayudu.
Morris seemed in no mood to spare any CSK batter as two balls later, he sent back Ravindra Jadeja (7), with CSK still 44 runs away from the win.
Deepak Chahar (5 not out) and Shardul Thakur (1 not out) managed six runs off the final over which was anyway not enough to cross the line.
For RCB, Morris returned with impressive figures of 3/19 while Sundar bagged two for 16 runs.
Earlier, opting to bat, RCB rode skipper Kohli’s (90 unbeaten) scintillating knock along with some valuable contributions from Devdutt Padikkal (33) and Shivam Dube (22 not out) to post a respectable 169/4 in the 20 overs.
Shardul picked two wickets for 40 runs while Curran and Chahar settled with one each.
Brief scores: RCB 169/4 wkts in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 90 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 33; Shardul Thakur 2/40) beat CSK 132/8 wkts in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 42, N Jagadeesan 33; Chris Morris 3/19) by 37 runs