Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Saturday coasted to a 37-run win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL at the Dubai International Stadium. Chasing a target of 170, CSK were restricted to 132/8, thus suffering their heaviest ever defeat against RCB.
CSK hardly ever got going in their innings with the in-form Faf du Plessis (8) falling to Washington Sundar in the fourth over. Sundar removed Shane Watson (14) in the sixth over after which Ambati Rayudu (42) and N Jagadeesan (33) looked to provide some stability to the CSK innings.
The pair put up 64 for the third wicket off 52 balls, but their stand ended with a meek run out. Jagadeesan set out for a quick single but seemed to have given up before he reached the crease as Chris Morris managed a direct hit.
It was all downhill for CSK from there, as they lost five wickets in the next four overs. Morris, playing his first game of the season, ended up with 3/19.
RCB notched up their fourth win in six outings, while CSK slumped to their fifth loss in seven games.
Earlier, a brilliant unbeaten 90 by captain Virat Kohli powered RCB to a competitive 169/4 after a slowish start.
Kohli, who walked in at the fall of Aaron Finch in the third over, led from the front with a majestic 52-ball knock that was the finest blend of skill and peak fitness.
His innings had four fours and as many sixes but in searing Dubai humidity ran four doubles in the final over, a testament to the hours put in physical training.
The RCB captain was involved in two half-century partnerships - one with opener Devdutt Padikkal (33 off 33 balls) for the second wicket and in the company of Shivam Dube (22 not out off 14 balls). The unbeaten 76-run stand for the fifth wicket powered the total.
The last five overs yielded 74 runs as the CSK bowlers appeared to falter after having allowed RCB to score only 95 in the first 15 as Kohli and the left-handed Dube went on the overdrive.
Deepak Chahar finished with 1 for 10 from three overs while Shardul Thakur (2/40) was the best in terms of wickets. Veteran Dwayne Bravo (0/29 in three overs) again showed his value by being economical at the death.
RCB did not get off to a rapid start as the CSK bowlers kept them on a leash after an out-of-sorts Aaron Finch (2) went early.
Young Padikkal and skipper Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking but there were no big hits to be seen. Padikkal hoisted leggie Karn Sharma for a huge six in the 10th over.
However, his attempt to clear mid-off did not materialise as he ended up giving a catch to du Plessis to give Thakur his first wicket.
Three balls later, Thakur struck a huge blow for CSK, getting AB de Villiers to nick one to Dhoni with a cross-seam delivery with the South African ace not troubling the scorers.