Opting to bowl first, MS Dhoni’s decision massively backfired as their rivals posted 194 for the loss of six wickets, with AB de Villiers putting a show, scoring 65 runs. Despite that, it required inspiring performances from Navdeep Saini and Moeen Ali to take the Reds home and register a win.
MS Dhoni is almost always right on point with his decision making, certainly always knowing whether to bat or bowl first on a particular wicket. However, this time around, his decision backfired miraculously and hilariously when RCB openers put on a show with the bat. Furthermore, in the RCB innings, Virat Kohli’s partnership alongside AB de Villiers was enough to take them to a massive total. However, that was not all, as Mooen Ali and Chris Morris gave the final touches to propel RCB to a score of 194 at the end of their quota of 20 overs.
The visitors, the Men in Yellow, were so close to the target from the word go, where they religiously chased the total, matching RCB toe-to-toe in terms of the rate of scoring. The openers were on pace with the target, as they scored 53 in the powerplay, losing the Proteas star Faf du Plessis. Later on, it was the partnership between Shane Watson and Suresh Raina which kept the innings going; the engine running. However, once Watson and Raina walked back to the hut, the game was over with the lower order showing no intention of chasing the total.
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Up until the 13th over of the CSK innings, the tourists had a chance of pulling off a heist-like win against their arch-rivals, Royal Challengers Bangalore. But right there, when CSK were pulling things back after the first innings disaster, things fell flat when Suresh Raina walked a long-walk back to the pavilion. He was dismissed after a 27-ball 43 and just from the face of the fans, you could see how dear the wicket was for the home side.
Highs and Lows
AB de Villiers’ knock was a thing of beauty- the way he kick-started things off for RCB was a thing of joy for the home team. While the fans were exuberant watching their star perform at the highest calibre, every stroke from his blade looked magnificent. A 35-ball 65 was what he managed at the end of the innings. However, like always, his innings was more than just the 65 runs he put on board; it was all about the way he phased his knock to help the team get to an overpowering total at the end of the innings.
For just this encounter, it was a confusion choice between Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur for the 'low point'. First, Thakur’s powerplay overs, two of them, where he conceded over 27 runs helped the home side get off to a great start. On top of that, his spell towards the end too did not help his cause, as he conceded 40 runs from his four overs, picking up just the one wicket. CSK’s over-reliance on their Indian pacers dearly cost them the game, with Thakur putting on yet another lacklustre show.
Powerplay exploitation: RCB 8/10 and CSK 8/10
The duo of Parthiv Patel and Aaron Finch took the mickey out of the Chennai Super Kings’ bowlers early on in the powerplay, especially piling misery on a struggling Shardul Thakur. His two-over spell in the six-over phase was enough to give the hosts a great opportunity to put up a spectacular start to their innings. While Aaron Finch took over the aggresor role, Patel stood at the other end being the balanced opener. The duo together added 52 runs for the first wicket in the powerplay overs.
If RCB thought 52 was the best anyone could do in the powerplay phase in the encounter, they were proved to be terribly wrong by the visiting side. Dhoni’s men at the top of the order - Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis - put on a spectacle, displaying a range of shots, scoring runs at a steady pace, especially when 194 was looming large. While Faf was dismissed after scoring a 19-ball 24, his partner at the other hand continued his domination. Chasing 194, CSK were right on pace, scoring 53 runs in the powerplay phase.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: RCB 9/10 and CSK 5/10
RCB’s middle-over phase in the innings was by far one of the best in this IPL SRL, with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers putting on a great show for the hosts. After the great start, where the openers put on a show, the middle-order took over the mantle and put on a show. In the overs leading to the tenth, the hosts scored 36 runs before stepping up the ante. While Bravo conceded 13 runs in 11th over of the innings and Jadeja, too, conceded 11 runs to hand the momentum over to RCB personally. In the ten over phase, they scored 92 runs at 9.2 runs per over, putting the visitors in a spot of bother.
On the other hand, CSK’s middle and lower-order were tested truly by their fierce rivals on the day. After Watson and Rayudu fell cheaply in the ninth and tenth over, the contest looked done and dusted but with the presence of gigantic figures like MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo, the contest can never be deemed done. However, just like the other times in this SRL, Dhoni’s blade yielded nothing as did Bravo’s willow. Combined, the middle order could only score 77 runs, which did not help the run-chase for the Men in Yellow.
Death bowling: RCB 5/10 and CSK 4/10
In the last five, it became slightly easier for the home side to score at a steady pace, given that they were three down. Combined with the tourists’ lacklustre bowling performance, it just became easier for the hosts to pile up the misery. They added 50 more runs to the total, with de Villiers continuing his blitzkrieg. The Proteas’ star scored 65 off just 35 deliveries to take RCB to a high-scoring total 194/6 at the end of their innings.
Kohli and co’s death bowling was, for once, right on money despite them conceding over 51 runs in the phase. It all lied in the fact that they picked up two crucial wickets lower down the order, with Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja putting on a show towards the end. However, chasing over 65 runs in the last five, CSK's approach in the last two overs was condescending.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Good
The game had all segments worthy of a contest between the bat and ball. RCB dished out a large total to the visiting CSK side early on, but as it turned out, the contest was fierce and it see-sawed its way between the two teams right till the 20th over in the second innings. A quality T20 contest, overall.
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