Chennai, May 4 (IANS): Chennai Super Kings (CSK) snapped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)’s four-match unbeaten streak and returned to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table as they defeated their southern rivals by 24 runs at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday.
Suresh Raina’s 52 piloted CSK to 148 for nine in 20 overs and in reply, RCB were bowled out for 124 runs in 19.4 overs despite skipper Virat Kohli’s 48. Following this win, CSK registered their seventh win in 10 matches. They have 14 points — same as Rajasthan Royals.
But the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side has a better run rate and have also played a game less than Royals. However, RCB’s third place was not affected and they have nine points from as many matches. Earlier, CSK won the toss and elected to bat. They didn’t have a particularly bright start after West Indian Dwayne Smith was bowled for zero by Australian pacer Mitchell Starc.
The other opener, Brendon McCullum (20) also departed early after raising hopes of putting together a partnership with Suresh Raina (52). But Raina remained unperturbed by the setback and scripted a 64-run third-wicket stand with South African Faf du Plessis (24).
The Raina-du Plessis partnership didn’t allow the run-scoring momentum to dip. But RCB broke the momentum in the 15th over when pacer Harshal Patel dismissed both du Plessis and Raina. The twin blow dampened CSK’s initiative and they struggled to force the pace from there on, managing to score only 47 runs in the last five overs.
CSK skipper Dhoni (29) unleashed some powerful hits to the fence to get their total close to the 150-run mark. But even his best efforts looked modest as his team lost wickets at regular intervals to manage just an average total. But even that average total proved enough as RCB kept losing wickets at regular and critical intervals.
After losing opener Nic Maddinson (4) early, AB de Villiers scored a 14-ball 21 and looked to be taking the game away from the hosts. But medium pacer Ishwar Pandey halted the South African’s progress and got a vital breakthrough for his team.
Mandeep Singh (0) ran himself out and that left the visitors reeling at 34/3. After this, skipper Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (23) initiated a rebuilding phase putting together a 63-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Dwayne Bravo ran Kohli out and later seasoned left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra struck two telling blows in quick succession, removing Karthik and young Sarfaraz Khan (8) to dash RCB’s hopes. Bravo sent Harshal Patel packing for zero to leave RCB struggling at 112/7 in 17 overs with 37 runs still required. RCB tailenders found the CSK bowlers tough and failed to even get close to the target, losing by 24 runs.