Royal Challengers Bangalore (Kohli 90*, Padikkal 33, Thakur 2-40) beat Chennai Super Kings 132 for 8 (Rayudu 40, Jagadeesan 33, Morris 3-19, Sundar 2-16) by 37 runs
Virat Kohli made a superbly paced 90 not out off 52 balls, and Washington Sundar continued to bowl unhittable lengths in the powerplay, as the Royal Challengers Bangalore brushed aside their old rivals the Chennai Super Kings in Dubai.
After choosing to bat on a two-paced pitch, the Royals Challengers quietly saw off the early swing and moved to 103 for 4 in 14 overs. Having set the platform himself, Kohli launched from there, claiming 46 of the 66 runs they amassed in the last six overs, finishing with 169 for 4.
Sundar then removed both the in-form Super Kings openers Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson, limiting them to 26 for 2 – their lowest powerplay score this season. By the time MS Dhoni came out to bat at No.5 in the 15th over, the asking rate was hovering around 15. A fit-again Chris Morris and Isuru Udana eventually closed out the game with their assortment of cutters, helping the Royal Challengers climb to fourth on the points table.
Chahar, Thakur make inroads
After swinging three balls past the outside edge of Aaron Finch in his first over, Deepak Chahar knocked over the opener’s middle stump with an inswinger. Both Devdutt Padikkal, the other opener, and Kohli then simply played themselves in, pushing the Royal Challengers to 65 for 1 in ten overs. However, in the next over, Padikkal (33 off 34 balls) tried to manufacture a boundary off Shardul Thakur, but the cross-seamer messed with his timing, drawing a mis-hit to mid-off. Three balls later, Thakur bowled another cross-seamer, this time having AB de Villiers nicking off for a duck.
The Royals Challengers promoted Sundar to No.5 to potentially counter legspinner Karn Sharma and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Sundar sized up a full legbreak from Sharma and slog-swept him over long-on for six, but when he tried to take on Sam Curran, he also nicked off.
Kohli goes bang
Kohli brought up his half-century, off his 39th ball, when he fiercely pulled Thakur to the fine-leg fence. He then cracked three sixes and a four in the final three overs, taking apart Curran, Thakur, and Bravo. Curran was so rattled that he floated two off-side wides in the 18th over while Thakur bowled a beamer in the 19th. Then, in the final over against Bravo, Kohli shuffled across, picked an attempted Bravo yorker from the tramline and scooped it away through the vacant spaces at fine leg for four despite falling on the floor. Kohli then couldn’t put Bravo’s variations away, but still went 2,2,2,2,1 to give the Royal Challengers a strong finish.
More to follow…