An all-round effort by RCB seals tough away win!
RCB keep their hopes alive by battling it out on a tough Ranchi pitch.
RCB faced CSK at their new home ground, the JSCA stadium - Ranchi. MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first, having made 2 changes to his side - David Hussey and Mithun Manhas coming on for Faf du Plessis and Vijay Shankar. RCB made just the 1 change with Varun Aaron coming back into the side in place of Vijay Zol.
Brendon McCullum was looking promising in the start, hitting the ball with immense power and timing. But Varun Aaron countered the threat in his 2nd over when he dismissed both the dangerous batsmen - McCullum and Smith, in the span of 3 balls to push CSK on the back foot. With 2 new batsmen at the crease in Suresh Raina and David Hussey, CSK looked to regroup and avoid losing more wickets. RCB continued bowling tight overs to restrict CSK to 39/2 in the powerplay overs.
Things were quiet from the CSK point of view with not many runs scored in the middle overs. David Hussey was looking a bit rusty after his long layoff from competitive cricket, but Suresh Raina got some runs under his belt with some glorious strokes and intelligent maneuvering of the bowlers. CSK were just starting to get set to launch an onslaught, after building a decent platform, but Muralitharan struck by dismissing the Hussmeister. After 16 overs, CSK were 114/3 with a set Suresh Raina and dangerous MS Dhoni at the crease.
Abu Nechim bowled economically and topped it up by dismissing MS Dhoni cheaply for just 7 runs. Some excellent death bowling ensured no boundaries were hit in the last 4 overs. Raina and Jadeja had to make do with just some good running between the wickets to take them to a dicey score of 138/4.
Parthiv Patel started off the chase in brilliant fashion, hitting 2 boundaries off the first over by Mohit Sharma. CSK started tightening the screws from here on by unleashing a spin barrage which put the batsmen in a real fix. Parthiv Patel was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli was the next man in. They were just not getting the bowlers away, either for boundaries or singles. At the end of the powerplay, RCB were struggling at 17/1.
CSK continued to attack with their spinners but RCB did not lose any more wickets. Slowly and steadily, Kohli and Gayle got into their groove. Jadeja managed to get Kohli stumped and almost dismissed AB de Villiers the same way on the very next ball. Gayle ended that over on a positive note hitting a four and a six to get RCB closer. At the end of 16 overs, RCB were 96/2.
Dhoni surprised with his tactics by entrusting his spinners with the job of bowling the death overs. His spinners bowled 18 off the 20 overs in the innings. The 17th over by Ashwin shifted the momentum in favour of the RCBians as they hit 2 sixes. Though Gayle lost his wicket in the effort, RCB were in the driving seat now. Hussey conceded 15 runs in the next over but also picked up the wicket of AB de Villiers. Ravindra Jadeja caused some problems to Yuvraj Singh and 10 runs were needed off the last over.
Dhoni tossed the ball to Hussey and it was upto Yuvraj to Seize the Day. Yuvraj smacked 9 off the first 3 balls but Rana fell on the next ball. Abu Nechim walked in and coolly smacked a boundary off his first ball to get the win for RCB, and keep their hopes alive in the competition.