Ravindra Jadeja was named Man of the Match for his game-changing spell of 3 for 18.

CSK reclaim IPL top spot after beating RCB at Pune
Sports IPL 2018 Saturday, May 05, 2018 - 21:34

The Chennai Super Kings, on the back of some stellar bowling by Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh, defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets chasing a total of 128. Jadeja was named Man of the Match for his game-changing spell of 3 for 18. Harbhajan finished with 2 for 22 from his 4 overs.

Choosing to bowl first, CSK had a wonderful time in the field. Four out of the six bowlers used picked up wickets and were backed wonderfully in the field and by MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Ravindra Jadeja starred with the ball as he picked up a scintillating 3 for 18 in his 4 overs. This included the wicket of an in-form Virat Kohli with the first ball of his spell. He was supported well by Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan had his skipper to thank for both of his scalps as Dhoni first spectacularly stumped AB De Villers after collecting the ball done the leg-side after the South African missed an attempted reverse-sweep and then caught Murugan Ashwin short of his crease after missing the ball while playing a forward-defence. During the 8 over period when Jadeja and Harbhajan operated on either side, RCB lost 5 wickets for 40 runs. This turned out to be the turning point in the innings.

After the game, Jadeja said, “It's good to be Man of the Match in a T20 game. Very happy with my performance today. I think today (the pitch) was a little bit dry. I was looking to give them full deliveries and everything was working well. Finally, I took important wickets. Overall I'm very happy. I've been bowling well in the nets, and I look forward to doing better in the coming games."

After a good start to the innings despite losing Brendon McCullum early, RCB found themselves at 1 for 47 with Parthiv Patel, who was playing his first game in the tournament starting to hit his stride. But when Kohli lost his wicket, it started a collapse that RCB was not able to recover from. RCB lost 7 wickets for 42 runs before Tim Southee’s late flurry runs took Bangalore to a fighting total of 127. Parthiv top-scored with 53, while Southee finished with an unbeaten 36.

Chasing a modest score of 128, CSK started the solid fashion despite losing Shane Watson at the end of the third over for 11. Orange Cap holder Ambati Rayudu who in this innings became the first player this year to score 400 runs in the tournament along with Suresh Raina put CSK in pole position for a comfortable victory. Raina was dismissed for 25 in the ninth over after putting on 44 for the second wicket with Rayudu. Ambati then was caught at point off the bowling of Murugan Ashwin for 32. Debutant Dhruv Shorey soon followed after scoring just 2 runs to give RCB a sniff at coming back into the game with CSK at 80 for 4.

With MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo at the crease, RCB had a chance to really pile on the pressure but dropped 2 crucial catches of Bravo within the span of 6 balls. These missed opportunities would prove costly as the veteran pair guided CSK home to victory by 6 wickets and with the comfortable margin of 2 overs to spare. Dhoni finished on 31 while Bravo was on 14.

During the post-match presentation, the losing captain Virat Kohli said, “A close game of cricket. Dropped catches don't help. Not the ideal day for us: losing so many wickets. But that's how this game goes. We gave a really good effort in the second half. It did play slow in the first half but it played slow throughout which was surprising. Had we taken our chances, we could have made it harder for themselves. The boys showed good fight, but we lost too many wickets.”

The victory takes CSK to the top of the IPL leaderboard with 14 points from 10 games. RCB now find themselves needing to win another 4 out of 5 games to qualify for the knockouts.

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