CSK complete RCB miseries

Super Kings romp home by eight-wickets as Challengers finish at seventh spot

CSK complete RCB miseries

Royal Challengers Bangalore fans had created an electric atmosphere at the M Chinnaswamy on Saturday, but the home side couldn’t repay their enthusiasm, dishing out a coy performance to end this season of IPL with a heavy defeat against Chennai Super Kings.

Electing to bat, Royal Challengers laboured to 154 for six in 20 overs, courtesy a sparkling fifty by skipper Virat Kohli and Super Kings scaled down the target with ease in 17.4 overs, losing just two wickets. Dwayne Smith, Faf Du Plessis and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni led their chase with turbocharged knocks.

Royal Challengers entered the match with four changes in their ranks, dropping Chris Gayle, Ashok Dinda, Muttiah Muralitharan and Abu Nechim Ahmed, hoping to make one final charge. Gayle had been woefully out of touch in this tournament but his replacement Rilee Rousssouw too failed to bring any change in the way Royal Challengers started off the block.

The South African’s stay at the crease lasted just four balls before getting castled by Ashish Nehra. From that point, the Bangalore batsmen looked to be carrying heavy stone on their back, except Kohli (73, 49b, 2x4, 5x6). The elegant right-hander proved the placidness of the pitch and along with it he offered a master class in taming an accurate set of bowlers.

Spinners Samuel Badree and R Ashwin, usually difficult customers to score off, were dealt with quite easily, while medium pacers – Nehra and Mohit Sharma – were treated with caution without wasting any chances to make runs.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get any real support from other batsmen. Of course, Yuvraj Singh helped him to add 55 runs for the fourth wicket, but the alliance, unlike some of their earlier associations, consumed 50 balls that somewhat robbed Royal Challengers of momentum after a leisurely start. The blooming alliance was snapped when Ravindra Jadeja had Yuvraj caught at deep, and the hosts slipped into the valley of struggle.

For the second straight match, Royal Challengers failed to exploit the six Power Play overs, and they managed just 56 runs after the 10 overs upfront. They upped the tempo slightly in the second half, scoring 98 runs, largely due to Kohli’s chutzpah, but damage done in the initial overs ensured that the home side would end up with a below par total.

But here, the Super Kings bowlers too should be given credit for keeping the big-hitters in the Royal Challengers line-up silent for a good part of their innings.

Veteran left-arm pacer Nehra, who was playing his second game in this edition of the IPL, didn’t allow any freedom for RCB batsmen in his first spell, and though he went for a few runs in his final spell, the Delhi man more than compensated for it with the wickets AB de Villiers and Kohli with perfect yorkers. Royal Challengers managed to add 55 runs in the final five overs but the ship had already sailed by then.

Once Smith and du Plessis milked 57 runs in a little over four overs, the writing on the wall was clear for the hosts. Super Kings slowed down considerably after the dismissal of Smith, failing to score a boundary between overs nine and 15.

There was a chance for RCB to exert further pressure on Chennai, but wicketkeeper Yogesh Takawale missed a stumping chance off Yuvraj when Dhoni was on 15. The asking rate was close to nine at that stage, but once the Jharkhand man carted Yuvraj all around the park to take 22 runs in the 16th over, there was only one winner.

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