Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: Challenge is still on

Written by Express news service | Ranchi | Updated: May 19 2014, 11:30am hrs
There was an on-field conference that lasted for more than two-and-a-half minutes before the last over of the game was bowled. In the end, MS Dhoni decided that David Hussey was the man to bowl. It turned out to be the mistake that cost the Chennai Super Kings the game.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore needed 10 runs to win from six balls on a track that had kept low and assisted the spinners. Husseys previous two overs had cost 25 runs and it helped the opposition come back into the low-scoring contest Chennai could only manage 138 batting first despite losing just four wickets. Before the last over of the chase, Mohit Sharma (on 18 wickets and the joint-leading wicket-taker for the edition) had two overs left, Samuel Badree had one, while Ishwar Pandey was not used at all. Still Dhoni chose the part-time off spinner who was playing his first match for CSK after a stint in the commentary box this season.

Husseys first ball was right in the slot for Yuvraj Singh and a six over long-on was the result. Though Sachin Rana was out a couple of balls later, Abu Nechim Ahmed carted Hussey to the long-on boundary to finish things off. RCB won by five wickets and kept themselves in contention for a play-off place.

Crucial drops

The CSK captain, however, blamed poor catching for the loss. The skippers logic was correct, because his team allowed AB de Villiers a big reprieve when he was yet to open his account. Ravichandran Ashwin at extra cover put down the catch off Ravindra Jadejas bowling. The left-arm spinner had accounted for Virat Kohli just two balls ago to a smart stumping by Dhoni with still 64 runs needed in 33 balls. De Villiers wicket in that over could have turned the tide completely in CSK favour. The South African went on to score a 14-ball 28.

It was, as Man of the Match de Villiers said, a difficult wicket to bat on and Chennai spinners, led by Ashwin, kept the pressure on the opposition. So much so that RCB could manage only 17 runs for the loss of Parthiv Patels wicket in the six power-play overs. After 10, they limped to 45 with Chris Gayle batting on 15 from 27 balls and Kohli giving him company on 13 from 19 balls. Bangalore needed a spark and de Villiers provided that.

He celebrated the drop by hitting Hussey over the deep square leg boundary in the next over. Ashwin came and fired in a carrom ball. De Villiers moved across well outside the off stump and went very deep in his crease to dispatch it over the square leg fence. Then he treated Hussey with disdain, hitting a six and a four in the first two balls of the 18th over. By this time Gayle (46, 50 balls), too, had departed and the onus was on de Villiers to take his side home.

He got out in the final ball of that over to a spectacular catch by Jadeja who charged down for more than 30 yards to grab the skier. But RCB were very close and the stage was well set for Yuvraj to provide the finishing touches.

Earlier, Chennai never really got going despite a good hand played by Suresh Raina. It was one of those matches when both Dwayne Smith and McCullum departed early. So Raina had to build the innings and he did it well, scoring 62 not out in 48 balls. He also added 75 runs for the third wicket with Hussey (25) but there was no late charge in the Chennai innings. Only 24 runs were scored in the last four overs.