Champions raise their level of performance in big battles. Virat Kohli did exactly that as he led from the front to guide Royal Challenges Bangalore to a crucial 37-run victory against their old rivals Chennai Super Kings in the Dream11 Indian Premier League at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his side suffered yet another batting collapse as they were restricted to mere 132 for 8 while chasing a tricky target of 170. Barring Ambati Rayudu (42) and newcomer N Jagadeesan (33) rest of the CSK batsmen found wanting against some disciplined bowling and sharp fielding by RCB.
With fifth loss in seven matches, three-time champions CSK have a task cut out for them now as they have only four points to their credit. The batting failure of Dhoni will certainly add to their woes as they are struggling to recreate the stupendous success of earlier years.
By the time Dhoni came out to bat at No. 5 in the 15th over, the asking rate was hovering around 15 runs per over. All eyes were on Dhoni as critics and die-hard CSK fans were gunning for him. He looked determined to arrest the slide but after hitting a straight six off Yuzvendra Chahal he was holed out to Gurkeerat Singh Mann at long-off, a couple of balls later.
Sam Curran nicked one from Morris to AB de Villiers behind the stumps to pick up a golden duck. N Jagadeesan looked impressive and added crucial 64 runs with Ambati Rayudu for the third wicket. However while going for a quick single, he appeared too casual and was run out by a direct hit from Chris Morris.
The veteran pair of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis, who dazzled when CSK thrashed Kings XI Punjab by ten wickets last week, were both dismissed early on by tall spinner Washington Sundar.
Last year’s runners-up CSK lost quick wickets in the end and fell short by a big margin. Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja were both dismissed in Morris’ over.
Earlier, Virat Kohli recorded his best score of this season by hammering an unbeaten 90 as RCB posted a challenging total of 169 for 4 on the board. Kohli, who won the toss and opted to bat, struck four sixes and an equal number of boundaries during his innings.
AB de Villiers and Devdutt Padikkal were both dismissed by Shardul Thakur. It was yet another poor match for Aaron Finch as he was cleaned up by a fantastic inswinger from Deepak Chahar.
Shivam Dube played a good cameo, cracking an unbeaten 22 runs off 14 balls to boost the total in the death overs.
On Sunday it will be another double decker. In the afternoon game, Sunrisers Hyderabad will lock horns with Rajasthan Royals in Dubai while defending champions Mumbai Indians will square off against the table toppers Delhi Capitals in Abu Dhabi. It will be a daunting task for Rohit Sharma-led side to halt the dream run of Delhi Capitals.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 169 for 4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 90 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 33, Shivam Dube 22 not out, Washington Sundar 10; Shardul Thakur 2-40, Deepak Chahar 1-10, Sam Curran 1-48) beat Chennai Super Kings 132 for 8 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 42, N Jagadeesan 33, Shane Watson 14, MS Dhoni 10; Chris Morris 3-19, Washington Sundar 2-16, Isuru Udana 1-30, Yuzvendra Chahal 1-35) by 37 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore).