Chennai Super Kings managed to bounce back from the narrow defeat against the Rajasthan Royals at home last week with a victory over southern rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday.
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The RCB vs CSK rivalry is perhaps the fiercest in the history of the Indian Premier League alongside that between Chennai and five-time champions Mumbai Indians, and this was the first time in four years that the two sides were locking horns in a venue that was not either in the UAE or in Maharashtra.
And the game certainly did live up to its expectations of being a cracker of a contest at a packed Chinnaswamy where, for a change, there was more yellow in the stands than red.
In Photos: CSK defeat RCB by eight runs in front of a sold-out Chinnaswamy
Chennai’s eight-run victory over Bangalore in the high-scoring contest at the batting paradise that is Chinnaswamy takes the MS Dhoni-led side to the third spot on the points table, while Bangalore remain static at seventh though they will most certainly be overtaken by the winner of the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.
As we look back at the events of the 24th match of the season, we bring to you five top moments from the contest:
Conway leads the way
Devon Conway is in roaring form with the bat at the moment, with the Chennai Super Kings opener smashing a second-consecutive half-century. While he was relatively sedate in his 38-ball 50 against the Rajasthan Royals last week, he was a different beast against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, smashing six fours and as many sixes in a 45-ball 83 and forging valuable partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube to help CSK overcome a slow start and post the second-highest total of the season, one that would prove a winning total in the end.
Dube’s towering sixes
Shivam Dube had been guilty of getting dismissed after getting off to promising starts until smashing a 25-ball half-century — his first of the season and fourth overall in the IPL — against the Royal Challengers on Monday.
The all-rounder didn’t waste much time in taking the attack to RCB after arriving at the crease following Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal, and was responsible for producing two of the biggest shots of the evening — a 101-metre six off Glenn Maxwell off his fourth delivery of the evening followed by an even bigger 111-metre maximum off Harshal Patel two overs later.
Faf and Maxi’s brutal assault
Bangalore were off to the worst possible start after being set a massive 227 to win, losing the wickets of Virat Kohli and Mahipal Lomror with just 15 runs on the board. Skipper Du Plessis and all-rounder Maxwell, both of whom produced big knocks in a losing cause against Lucknow Super Giants at home earlier, remained unfazed and utilised the batting-friendly conditions along with the short boundaries to give the Chinnaswamy faithful plenty of catching practice, propelling Bangalore to 75/2 at the end of the powerplay and turning the game on its head.
Aside from a few mishits and thick edges that ended up clearing the fence, Du Plessis and Maxwell were timing the ball like a dream and appeared to be competing with one another to reach the half-century mark more quickly; FdP would be faster by just one ball, taking 23 deliveries to bring up his third half-century of the season. The Aussie-South African pair would add 126 for the third wicket in just 61 balls to put RCB in pole position for a record victory.
Dhoni’s game-changing catches
Du Plessis and Maxwell, however, were also aided by some sloppy fielding by the Super Kings, who put down as many as four chances throughout the game. It ultimately took two well-judged catches by skipper MS Dhoni that got rid of du Plessis and Maxwell in near-identical fashion to bring Chennai back in the contest.
Maxwell was the first to depart, sending the ball high up in the night sky off Maheesh Theekshana’s bowling with Dhoni signalling his teammates, especially the bowler, to steer clear before pouching the ball safely between his gloves. RCB skipper du Plessis would follow Maxwell to the dugout the next over, off Moeen Ali’s bowling.
Chennai hold their nerve
Chennai sensed an opportunity after Maxwell and du Plessis’ dismissals and had to put the dropped catches and wayward bowling behind them and maintain their discipline in the business end of RCB’s chase if they were to walk out victors. And the Super Kings delivered, with the likes of Theekshana and Gaikwad completing catches to dismiss Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed just when a partnership was starting to build between the two.
And Matheesha Pathirana displayed nerves of steel in sending down two of the last four overs, including the 20th, where he was able to stave off a spirited charge from Impact Player Suyash Prabhudessai to clinch an eight-run win for Chennai.
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