Royal Challengers Bangalore edged by Chennai Super Kings in thriller
The Royal Challengers Bangalore were edged out by the Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets in a runfest that saw 413 runs being scored at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Thursday evening.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, RCB were given a flying start by Mayank Agarwal who scored 45 off 26, taking on heavyweights such as R Ashwin and Doug Bollinger. The team scored the fastest 50 of the tournament off just 4.5 overs as Mayank let loose with Chris Gayle reduced to a spectator at the other end.
When his turn came, Gayle cut loose in even more spectacular fashion, slamming 68 off 35 with six 6s and two 4s as he added 109 with Virat Kohli (57) for the second wicket in 66 balls. He brought up the fastest 50 off the tournament, beating Gautam Gambhir by one run to get there off 27 balls with the hapless Chennai bowlers unable to do anything.
Kohli reached his 50 off 43 balls, accelerating at the end in two smaller stands with AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary. Things went pear shaped at the end of the 19th over though when Tiwary was dismissed off the next ball. The 20th over by Bollinger (3/24) read W-W-1-W-W-6 with 3 wickets for Bollinger, one run out from him and a six by Vinay Kumar to help RCB post the first 200+ total of the 2012 IPL -205/8.
CSK’s batsmen got off to a good start as well, their batsmen posting 52 in their powerplay overs. Muttiah Muralitharan’s (3/21) introduction at that point saw the dismissal of Murali Vijay with a superb caught and bowled. Raina (23) who came in immediately began in the fifth gear before Murali returned to claim his wicket three overs later. They were helped by some poor fielding and fortune to keep themselves in the game.
Faf du Plessis (71 off 46b) was on a rampage at the other end, adding 40 with Dhoni in 4 overs before perishing in Muralitharan’s final over. Bravo and Dhoni added 35 in the next partnership but Zaheer cut it off with a change of pace that surprised Dhoni and had him holing out to long off at the end of the 18th over.
With Bhatkal (replacing the injured Harshal Patel) proving too costly by then, Daniel Vettori chose to bowl Virat Kohli in the 19th over with Chennai needing 43 off 12 balls. For a man who had just arrived in the middle, Albie Morkel was quick to latch on to the opportunity and proceeded to slam 28 with three 6s, two 4s and a double.
With 15 required, Vinay Kumar removed Morkel in the next over but followed it up with two full tosses, the first a no ball that Dwayne Bravo managed to put away for a four and a six before facing a dot ball and taking a single.
1 ball to go, 2 runs to win and the million dollar Vinay to bowl to the two million dollar Ravindra Jadeja. A short of length delivery caught the outside edge and raced past de Villiers towards the third man boundary as Chennai posted 205/8 to bring up a 5 wicket win eerily similar to their win in the first Qualifier last year in Mumbai.
Faf du Plessis picked up the Man of the Match award for his knock, RCB picked up a valuable experience and timely reminder of what it takes to win this hard fought tournament.