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RCB Retain Playoffs Hopes With A Jail-Break Win

The second game of the blockbuster Sunday between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was an absolute humdinger. The jam packed Chinnaswamy crowd got to witness a brilliant thrilling encounter which went down the wire with RCB prevailing through off just the final ball with an astonishing 1-run victory. CSK bowling trio of Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja delivered sensational spells to restrict the RCB batsmen within a modest first innings total.

In the second innings, Dale Steyn and Umesh Yadav wrecked havoc as CSK lost four quick wickets at the top. MS Dhoni then pulled off a herculean recovery with a marvellous unbeaten innings, but eventually he fell short of guiding his team over the finishing line. With this victory, the Virat Kohli-led team has also kept its playoffs hopes alive and kicking.

CSK bowlers combined efforts limits RCB’s progress

After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, RCB got off to a poor start as the last match’s centurion, Virat Kohli got dismissed in the third over of the innings with just 11 runs on the board. CSK new ball bowler Deepak Chahar bowled a beautiful delivery to send the RCB skipper back to the pavilion. AB de Villiers who was returning from injury then joined hands with Parthiv Patel to steady the RCB innings. However, the former failed to convert his start of 25 runs into a big score, while Parthiv was looking very good, bringing up an excellent half-century off 36 balls.

CSK all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who was coming back after a hamstring injury, then removed Parthiv in the 16th over, which in turn slowed down RCB’s progress. The CSK pace bowling duo comprising of Chahar and Bravo bowled amazingly well in the death to limit RCB towards a total of 161 runs in their 20 overs. For CSK, the trio of Bravo, Chahar and Jadeja bowled really well to finish with two wickets each.

Dhoni’s thunderous late blitz goes in vain

While defending a modest total of 161 runs, RCB new bowler Dale Steyn started things with a sensational opening spell, removing Shane Watson and Suresh Raina off successive deliveries that too in the very first over of the second innings. Steyn’s new ball partner Umesh Yadav did not hesitate for long to join the party, dismissing the likes of Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav to leave the visitors in a reeling situation at 28 for 4. After those early jitters,  CSK duo of Ambati Rayudu and skipper MS Dhoni combined together to bail their team out of the troublesome situation.

The pair added a valuable partnership of 55 runs to lead the recovery and keep CSK’s hopes alive in the run-chase. RCB’s premier leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then came to the rescue of his team, dismissing Rayudu in the 14th over and in turn ending the half-century stand. Rayudu’s wicket once again brought down things to slowness and the required run-rate started reaching the cussing point. But Dhoni did what he does everytime, saving his best for the last.

While requiring 26 runs off the final over, the CSK skipper took Umesh on remand, blasting him for three gigantic sixes, crisp boundary and a double, to bring down the equation to, two runs needed off the final ball. If everybody thought that the drama was over, Shardul Thakur felt short of his crease while completing a single off the last ball which in turn handed RCB an unbelievable win. Dhoni remained unbeaten after playing a staggering knock of 84 runs off just 48 balls which consisted of 5 fours and 7 sixes.

Brief Scores:

RCB: 161/7 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel-53, Moeen Ali-26; Deepak Chahar 2/25, Ravindra Jadeja 2/29)

CSK: 160/8 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni-84*, Ambati Rayudu-29; Dale Steyn 2/29, Umesh Yadav 2/47)

Result: Royal Challengers won the match by 1 run.