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IPL-14: Chennai’s Royal victory

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Sharjah, September 24

Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered their third consecutive defeat in IPL-14, going down to Chennai Super Kings by six wickets here tonight. CSK easily chased down RCB’s 156 with 11 balls to spare.

CSK’s seventh win took them to the top of the points table at 14 points, the same as Delhi Capitals, but CSK have the better net run rate. RCB remain third with 10 points from nine matches.

The win, powered by a fine opening partnership of 71 from 51 balls between Ruturaj Gaikwad (38 off 26 balls) and Faf du Plessis (31 off 26), became a formality after Moeen Ali whipped a quick 23 off 18 balls and Ambati Rayudu made 32 off 22. This left the old veterans Suresh Raina and captain MS Dhoni needing to chase 24 off the last 26 balls, and they managed to do in only 15 deliveries.

Raina remained unbeaten on 17 off 10 balls while Dhoni — who led India to the 2007 T20 World Cup win exactly 14 years ago — was 11 not out off nine balls.

RCB pulled back

Earlier, Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal struck brisk half-centuries in an impressive 111-run stand before CSK pulled the strings to restrict RCB to 156/6.

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Openers Kohli (53) and Padikkal (70) were going hammer and tongs after being asked to take first strike but once the partnership was broken by Dwayne Bravo, RCB lost the momentum and allowed CSK to wrest control.

RCB managed only 45 runs in the remaining 6.4 overs after being in a position from where they could have pushed for a score in the vicinity of 200. Bravo’s bowling made a huge difference to the conclusion of the RCB innings as he conceded only 24 runs in his four overs, also getting the wickets of Glenn Maxwell (11) and Harshal Patel (3).

CSK had no dearth of quality bowlers with Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood opening the attack but Kohli and Padikkal went about striking the ball cleanly. Kohli began with consecutive boundaries off Chahar but took a bit of time to find his rhythm. The skipper lofted the same bowler for a massive six on the on-side while Padikkal was fluent with his well-timed shots on the off-side.

CSK captain Dhoni shuffled his bowlers but none could either trouble the batsmen or stop the run flow.

Padikkal used his feet well against left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, sending the ball soaring over long-on. He completed his fifty with a crushing four off Chahar which also raised the team’s hundred.

The breakthrough came when Bravo sent back Kohli, caught near the boundary ropes.

That wicket stemmed the run flow and while trying to break the shackles, both AB De Villiers (12) and Padikkal became victims of Shardul Thakur. Maxwell was expected to go after the bowlers and he did that, striking a six off Bravo to raise the team’s 150 in the 18th over, but RCB could not effect a late flourish. — TNS, Agencies

Brief scores: RCB: 156/6 (Devdutt Padikkal 70, Virat Kohli 53; Shardul Thakur 2/29, Dwayne Bravo 3/24); CSK: 157/4 in 18.1 overs (Ruturaj Gaekwad 38, Ambati Rayudu 32, Faf du Plessis 31).

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