Coming as underdogs against RCB for a change, CSK kept nailing down each and every phase of the game leaving RCB in a catch-up mode all throughout. RCB continued their poor run in the green kit as their batting was bereft of intent and bowling lacked accuracy and bite to trouble MS Dhoni's men.
RCB 6/10 - RCB didn't utilize the powerplay overs well making 46/1 despite it being a dry pitch with difficult to bat against spinners later on. Padikkal for the nth time this season couldn't start quick, making 22* off 20 while Finch got off to a flyer only to get out at 15 off 11. It was an average start, at best.
CSK 8/10 - The Men in Yellow have had their t(h)rust with 'intent' in the powerplay. But today in the chase of 146, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, especially the latter was off with all guns blazing making 25 off 13 as Dhoni's men made 48/1 off the first six attacking pacers, Morris and Siraj with ease and showing great intent on a dry wicket.
Middle overs maneuvering
RCB 6/10 - RCB batted slowly yet again in the middle-overs with AB and Virat looking defensive despite the addition of Moeen Ali today. RCB managed 55 runs in nine overs in the middle-overs and focused on rotating the strike. Perhaps, they could have sent in Moeen Ali to play aggressively at 4 with the spinners' stock deliveries coming into the left-hander.
CSK 9/10 - After a great start in the powerplay, CSK never got complacent and kept going hard against the RCB bowlers with Ruturaj Gaikwad showing his class against spin and Ambati Rayudu nailing the pacers down. They showed the kind of aggression that CSK fans had longed for throughout the tournament, adding 79 in nine overs.
RCB N/A - With 19 needed off 30 and CSK having eight wickets in hand, it was a dead game by the time RCB entered the death bowling phase. So, it would be unfair to rate them on that, their poor bowling earlier was enough for CSK to nail the total down.
CSK 9/10 - It was a phenomenal death bowling display by CSK giving merely 44 runs despite both ABD and Kohli set at the end of 15 overs. It's a tough wicket to bat on and as soon as new batsmen like Moeen and Morris came in, they struggled to get going. After giving 24 in first two death overs, CSK pulled back things in some style giving only 20 in the final three.
RCB's opening woes
It seems RCB will only drop Aaron Finch after they are done with the tournament to the airport. After looking good early on with a couple of boundaries, Finch flattered to deceive as he was a goner on 15, failing yet again, putting pressure on his young partner to make a move. Devdutt Padikkal hasn't been a quick starter and again faltered as he made 22 off 20 in powerplay overs. In a bid to hit a biggie against Santner, he perished not making any use of the slow start. For him to score big, he needs to anchor or else, he finds himself in troubled waters. The Reds need to open with Josh Philippe before it's too late and it leaves way too much to do for the other three in top four.
AB de Villiers' slow down in middle-overs in IPL 2020
Kohli was lambasted for demoting AB de Villiers against KXIP. But de Villiers has had his struggles in the middle-overs with spinners dominating the run of play. Leading up to the game, his strike-rate in middle-overs was 107. And today, he was striking at run-a-ball, in overs between 7 and 15. Most of the ABD specials have come in with him killing it in the final five overs against pacers. Coming into this edition, ABD's middle-overs strike-rate was 134.7, which has taken a sharp fall and it won't be a bad idea to send him keeping in mind the overs than the batting position given his ineffectiveness against spin thus far.
Sam Curran does it again
In what has been a listless season for the three-time IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings, English all-rounder Sam Curran has made some telling contributions for the franchise. Surprisingly, MSD didn't let him finish his quota of overs against RCB yet he emerged as the top CSK bowler with figures of 3/19 after three overs. His 19th over was a crucial one where he gave away just six runs and got big fishes Moeen Ali and Virat Kohli out. Kohli could have easily helped RCB add 15-20 more runs with his mastery at the end. In Curran, CSK have found a quality long-term investment and he can continue turning heads in the upcoming years.
AB de Villiers might have had his issues against spinners but he has been freakish, to say, the least against pacers at death. With RCB taking 24 off first two death overs, they must have fancied to finish with a flourish especially with a set ABDv in the middle looking to go big. But, it wasn't to be as Deepak Chahar dismissed the Proteas great on the third ball of the 18th over on 39 off 36 after which the Reds could only manage 17 runs off the final 15 deliveries to end with a total of 145.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Boring-o-zzzz
After a thrilling Sunday last week, with both games going right down to the wire and requiring Super Overs' intervention for a result, today, the first game of the super Sunday was one where fans couldn't help but doze off consistently. It was largely a one-sided game with CSK exhibiting the kind of domination we have seen them do over the years against RCB.