MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday occupied the top spot in the IPL points table after hammering the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Ravindra Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 62 off 28 deliveries including 37 runs off the final over and then picked 3/13 with the ball, along with a direct-hit as CSK, after scoring 191/4, restricted RCB to 122/9 to seal a 69-run win.
RCB’s poor batting
In the chase, RCB openers – skipper Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal – responded confidently with a solid start and were 28/0 after the two overs. While the RCB skipper started the innings with a four, Padikkal smacked two sixes and a four, continuing his fine form from the last game.
The left-hander then creamed three fours in an over off Deepak Chahar but RCB lost Kohli after he edged one to Dhoni off Sam Curran. Shardul Thakur then got rid of the dangerous Padikkal, who was caught inside the circle.
Maxwell started his innings with a couple of fours and joined Washington Sundar on the other end. Jadeja struck twice in his two overs, scalping the wickets of Sundar and then Maxwell. While Sundar holed out into the deep, Maxwell was castled by Jadeja after the right-hander tried to play across the line.
There was no stopping the CSK all-rounder as a bullet throw by him wrapped things for Dan Christian, who got out for a single-digit score. In the very next over, Jadeja bamboozled AB de Villiers with a beauty, deceiving the right-hander with flight that went on to hit the stumps.
Imran Tahir joined the wicket-taking party after he dismissed Harshal Patel and Navdeep Saini and RCB were reduced to 94-8 at the end of 14 overs. While the leg-spinner disturbed the timber to dismiss Patel, Saini edged it to Raina at slips. Kyle Jamieson smacked a six off Bravo in the 16th over but was on his way, courtesy a successful direct-hit from Imran Tahir.
Siraj and Chahal continued taking the singles and remained unbeaten at the end, carrying RCB to 122/9 at the end of 20 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja changed the game for CSK
Earlier, CSK opted to bat first, with both sides making two changes each – Bravo and Tahir replaced Moeen Ali and Lungi Ngidi – while Christian and Saini replaced Kane Richardson and Shahbaz Ahmed in their respective sides.
Openers – Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis found it difficult to attack initially and RCB seamers started well with the new ball. But, it didn’t take too long for du Plessis to hit the first maximum after he came down the track to Mohammed Siraj, followed by a four by Ruturaj, who hit the ball in similar fashion.
du Plessis then creamed two fours off Jamieson in the fourth over and CSK were off to a fine start. Ruturaj added two more fours on the other end as CSK finished the powerplay, scoring 51 without losing a wicket.
Ruturaj then attacked Chahal and smacked his first six, straight down the ground. CSK openers continued playing the aggressive shots in the middle overs but RCB finally found the breakthrough after Ruturaj tried to slog Chahal but was caught in the deep.
Raina came in at number 3 and was straightaway on the move after he smacked a maximum each against Chahal and Sundar along with a four off Christian as CSK brought their 100 up in the 13th over that was bowled by Saini, who conceded 13 runs, including a six from Raina.
While du Plessis reached his half century, Harshal Patel struck twice in the same over, scalping the wickets of Raina and du Plessis, both getting caught in the deep.
The two new batsmen – Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu counter-attacked and stitched a quick partnership as RCB misfielded on a couple of occasions. Jadeja hit two fours while Rayudu hit one out of the ground in the 16th over by Jamieson, who conceded 17 runs.
Siraj conceded only 6 runs in the next over and bowled excellently. Harshal took advantage of that pressure and dismissed Rayudu, who tried to clear the boundary.
Jadeja finished off in grand style, that too off the bowling of Harshal and completely changed the course of the game, smashing 37 runs off the final over, clobbering five sixes and one four as CSK finished the innings with a commanding total of 191/4 on board.
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