RCB beat CSK for sixth win in a row, qualify for playoffs | Crickit
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RCB beat CSK for sixth win in a row, qualify for playoffs

May 19, 2024 04:55 AM IST

The 27-run win victory gave Royal Challengers Bengaluru a slot in the playoffs while it eliminated the defending champions

Living up to the challenge, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru batters had put up a total of 218/5 on the board after being put into bat in the all-important IPL game against defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

Virat Kohli celebrates after taking the catch of Chennai Super Kings batter Daryl Mitchell during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 cricket match (PTI)
Virat Kohli celebrates after taking the catch of Chennai Super Kings batter Daryl Mitchell during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 cricket match (PTI)

It meant RCB had to restrict CSK to 200 or less to take the fourth spot and make the playoffs. If CSK scored anything more than 200, then they would qualify at the expense of RCB even if they lost.

The CSK chase never really took off and at the end of the 18th over, they needed 35 off 12 balls. But the visitors had their two all-time greats at the crease in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. If CSK failed to get to the target, it could well be Dhoni’s last IPL game. At the end of 19 overs, it was 184/6 and CSK needed 17 to qualify. RCB captain Faf du Plessis entrusted the responsibility of the last over to Yash Dayal. Dhoni hit the first ball for six but the left-arm pacer held his nerve to deliver the right ball to have the legend caught in the deep. Jadeja was left to get 10 runs off the last two balls. Dayal followed it up with a perfect slower one for a dot ball and helped RCB qualify for the play-offs with a 27-run win.

Earlier, a dynamic finish by the RCB power-hitters in which they smashed 80 runs in the last five overs ensured their bowlers had plenty to defend in the do-or-die game.

Playing superb cameos, Glenn Maxwell hit 16 off five balls, Dinesh Karthik 14 off six and Cameron Green 38* off 17 to power RCB to 218/5, their highest total against CSK.

Fully charged up, the home side were off to a dream start by picking the wicket of CSK’s main batter, Ruturaj Gaikwad, on the first ball. Trying to hit off-spinner Glenn Maxwell’s half-tracker, the CSK skipper hit it straight to the short fine-leg fielder Dayal.

The visitors were two down for 19 runs when Daryl Mitchell perished trying to hit Dayal over mid-off to be caught by Virat Kohli.

CSK’s third wicket pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Rachin Ravindra, however, buckled down and ensured the powerplay wasn’t entirely wasted. They got their side into the game by taking the total to 85 after nine overs. When Rahane fell for 33 (22 balls), deceived

by Lockie Ferguson’s slower delivery, CSK needed 116 off 11 overs to beat RCB to the last play-offs spot. Rachin, who had hit a terrific hundred in the last 50-over World Cup against Pakistan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, played another terrific knock at the venue.

He kept CSK in the hunt with an innings of 37-ball 61 before being run-out in a terrible mix-up with Shivam Dube. At 115 for 4 in 13 overs, CSK needed 86 more in seven overs to qualify. A sensational one-handed catch at mid-off by a leaping Faf du Plessis to dismiss Mitchell Santner saw Dhoni’s entry to join Jadeja at the crease. The two veterans presented CSK’s last hope. At the end of 16 overs, the score read 138/6, CSK needing 63 off 24 balls to qualify. But this time there were no last over heroics.

Earlier, the RCB openers Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis overcame a rain-break to lay the foundation with a 78-run partnership.

Rajat Patidar and Green provided the impetus to the innings with a third wicket partnership of 71 (28) before Karthik and Maxwell gave the finishing touch.

RCB in no way had it easy while batting. The CSK spinners led by an excellent Santner and Maheesh Theekshana held the batters on a tight leash. At the 10-over mark, RCB only had 78/1 on the board. After 15 overs, RCB's total read 138/2. On the small ground with a fast outfield, it was clearly sub-par. From 7 to 15 overs, it was slow progress with just 96 runs added for two wickets. But once the pacers were on, the batters pounced. The boundary hits started to come in a flurry.

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