In a high-scoring six-fest at the Chinnaswamy stadium, Chennai Super Kings won despite exceptional batting performances from Glenn Maxwell (76 off 36) and Faf du Plessis (62 off 33) to inflict Royal Challengers Bangalore their third loss of the year. Through the exciting shot-making of Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, and Shivam Dube, CSK was first propelled to their third-highest IPL total before the bowlers pulled the game to their corner in the dramatic closing overs.
CSK’s belated return at the end
With RCB needing 46 off 24 and Dinesh Karthik playing the finisher’s role, Dhoni brought in Tushar Deshpande in the 17th over as the game was on the line. Ruturaj Gaikwad dropped him at long-on after he had scored four runs to start the over. In order to further distort the equation, he drew the next ball for another four but was immediately disqualified when he whacked one straight to Theekshana in the deep. Karthik left the pitch after a 14-ball 28. In his outstanding 18th over, which he began by dismissing Shahbaz Ahmed, Pathirana allowed just four runs, leaving RCB needing to score 31 runs off just 12 balls. Suyash Prabhudessai hit Deshpande for six in the last over, but RCB still had a mountainous task ahead of them: scoring 19 runs off the final six balls. With a reverse-ramp six, Prabhudessai kept the game close. However, Pathirana bowled his yorker next and mixed it up with a slower ball after that to deprive RCB of a final chance to change the outcome once more. RCB ultimately fell eight runs short.
The massacre between Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell
There was only one option to proceed with the chase for the two RCB mainstays after Virat Kohli and Mahipal Lomror went early. In a thrilling 126-run partnership off only 61 balls, these pair cleared the boundary at will after CSK had hit as many as 17 sixes. Du Plessis was moving cautiously due to an injury he sustained on the pitch, but it had no effect on the way he swung for the fences. He scored two fours and a six in a 17-run Deshpande over to quickly escape the first devastation. Maxwell started by smashing two sixes against Akash Singh, showing that he too was playing along. In the last PowerPlay over, Maxwell attacked Theekshana, allowing Du Plessis to smash another six and two more fours, bringing RCB to 75/2 in six overs.
The fireworks that followed PowerPlay
Although Ravindra Jadeja’s seventh over, which was filled with singles, was excellent, it stood out in an otherwise devastating display of batting from both teams. Du Plessis and Maxwell simply never let up, leading the team to a score of 121/2 at the midway point while Pathirana and Jadeja also had frenetic hitting. Du Plessis seemed to be slowing down, but Maxwell persisted with an essay that had eight sixes. When Theekshana got lucky, the equation had been reduced by the duo to 86 off 48 balls. Finally, Maxwell misfired a ball, sending the leading edge sky-high as he attempted to strike every ball in his line of sight. To make the first significant dent in the RCB’s pursuit, Dhoni moved forward, called for the catch, motioned for his fielders to get out of the way, and finished the catch.
Du Plessis fell in a similar way during the next Moeen Ali over because he also mistimed an attempted slog sweep, and once more Dhoni moved forward to grab a high catch while under duress. The turnaround for CSK may have begun with the captain of the RCB leaving.
When CSK returns home, they will play host to SRH on Friday, April 21. The match between RCB and PBKS will be played on Thursday, April 20, in Mohali.