CSK humbles Kohli’s RCB

Sharjah: Chennai Super Kings produced a clinical all-round show to humble Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets and claim the top spot in the IPL pecking order on Friday.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli (53) and young Devdutt Padikkal (70) struck brisk half-centuries in an impressive 111-run stand but CSK pulled the strings to restrict them to 156 for six after electing to bowl. The in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad came good again with a quick 38 while Faf du Plessis made 31 at the top to lay a strong foundation for CSK to chase the modest target in 18.1 overs.

The win took CSK to the top spot with 14 points. They overtook Delhi Capitals, who also have 14 points, but the yellow brigade has better net run-rate of 1.185, compared to 0.613 of the Delhi team. While it was the second consecutive win for CSK, the RCB now have lost both the games post the league’s resumption.

MS Dhoni, wnning skipper, said, ‘We were worried about the dew and we saw that last season. They got off to a great start and after the eighth or ninth over, the pitch slowed down a bit. Jadeja’s spell was very crucial especially with the way Padikkal was batting from one end. I told Moeen that he would bowl from one end during drinks, but then I changed my mind. I decided Bravo should bowl because the more you delayed him, the more difficult it was given that he’d have to bowl four straight overs in these difficult conditions. Our players have worked hard and understood their roles and responsibilities. All three grounds here are different. This one is the slowest of the lot. I felt the left-right combination here was important with the bat. We bat deep with a lot of lefties and all of them are good to bat at any position, which is why we pushed Raina and Rayudu down. Bravo is fit and executing them well. I call him my brother and we always have fights over whether he should bowl the slower ball. But now everyone knows that he has the slower ball, so I told him to bowl six different balls in an over.’

Dwayne Bravo, MoM, said, ‘IPL is the toughest competition in the world. It works on some days and on some days it doesn’t. My pride and my love for this game keeps me going. Virat was a very important wicket and RCB are a big side. I just wanted to keep it simple. As I said, preparation is the key for me. I practice in the nets, keep myself healthy and use my experience to come up in these situations. That gets the batsmen thinking about where it will go. Experience will always get us through in this franchise. The message from the coach in the dressing room is that we might not always be the quickest, but we will get the job done. We need to stay safe from the over-rate fines as well’.

Virat Kohli, losing skipper, said, ‘ The wicket did slow down a bit. But I feel we left out 15-20 runs out there. 175 would’ve been a winning total. Didn’t bowl consistently. Didn’t show that much courage I guess with the ball. They bowled well in the back end of the innings, executed the slower balls and yorkers nicely. We spoke of areas we didn’t want them to hit and we didn’t do that. That little bit of X factor was missing in the first 5-6 overs. Got to get on that winning run again. This one is a bit more disappointing. The first one we just weren’t in the game. Have to show more courage in crunch moments. This tournament goes by quickly.’

Agency