No target, however big, has proved to be Chennai Super Kings undoing.It was no different situation at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday. Set to score 155 for victory, one of the fancied teams in fray, Chennai Super Kings made mockery of a weak Royal Challengers Bangalore attack, while romping home in style with eight wickets.
That they have a most balanced batting was on display again when CSK began their chase. Dwayne Smith (34) and F Du Plessis (54 no, 43b, 3x4, 3x6) put on 57 runs for the opening wicket to set a perfect stage. Promoting himself up the order after the dismissal of Smith and Suresh Raina, CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (49, 28b, 4x4, 3x6) showed why he is one of the most feared captains in the world.
Dhoni, who always loves to lead his team from the front, was at it again with another awesome batting display. Showing little respect for the bowlers, he clobbered them all over the ground much to the despair of their captain Virat Kohli. Du Plessis and Dhoni put on 75 runs for the third wicket and stayed till the end as CSK made 160 for 2 in 17.4 overs.
It was a good wicket to bat first. With the ball coming on to the bat nicely, one would have expected RCB to put up a challenging total. But it was not to be. Dhoni won the toss and invited RCB to take the first strike. At the end of the first session, Dhoni seemed to be happy that his team could restrict the hosts to 154 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs.
Out of reckoning in the ongoing IPL-7, RCB were all but playing for pride. The spectators, who had turned up in large numbers, must have been thoroughly disappointed with the turn of events. The only silver lining in RCB's innings was Kohli's entertaining 73 off 49 balls, studded with two fours and five sixes. There were good contributions from Yuvraj Singh (25) and Yogesh Takawale (19). Yuvraj, in particular, threatened to take the fight into the enemy camp but he perished while trying a big heave over mid-wicket off Ravindra Jadeja.
RCB, deciding to rest Jamaican Chris Gayle, opened the innings with Riley Rossouw and Yogesh Takawale. If Kohli had thought the new opening pair would bring in the desired results, he was mistaken. Back in the team after a long break, Ashish Nehra struck in his first over, to send Rossouw back in the pavilion.
With the early setback, RCB could never really stabilize their innings. With Vijay Zol and Takawale also back in the hut with only 33 runs on the board, RCB fortunes depended on Kohli and Yuvraj. A patchy tournament so far, Kohli was a different customer today as he held one end up to retrieve the innings. Dominating all the bowlers right from the start, Kohli stabilized team's total, while expecting other batsmen to make useful contributions. Yuvraj raised some hopes initially but much to the disappointment of the crowd, he could not continue the momentum.
In came AB de Villiers to a thunderous applause, but the South African did not stay long. With his departure, RCB's hopes of putting up an imposing total also vanished. At the other end, Kohli ensured his team reached the 150-mark before falling to Nehra for his third wicket.