Chennai: A sensational bowling effort by Chennai Super Kings saw them defend a modest total as they crushed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 24 runs to regain their position at the top of the table in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, here on Monday.
Having posted a modest 148 for nine in 20 overs, CSK bowlers led by Ashish Nehra (3/19 in four overs) and Dwayne Bravo (2/19 in 3.4 overs) exhibited brilliant death over skills to bundle out RCB for 124 in 19.4 overs.
Such was the dominance of CSK bowlers at the back end of the innings that RCB lost as many as seven wickets for 27 runs in only 5.5 overs.
From a relatively comfortable 97 for three with another 52 runs to get, RCB's slump started when Bravo effected a superb reflex run-out off his own bowling to get rid of opposition skipper Virat Kohli (48, 44 balls).
Kohli had hit two fours and a six during his knock as he added 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik (23) after they were left tottering at 34 for three.
Once Kohli was gone, the procession started, with Karthik being snapped up in the deep off Nehra's bowling in the 15th over. In his very next over, the veteran seamer removed Safaraz Khan (8) and Harshal Patel (0) to take his wickets tally to 17 in the tournament.
Bravo, on his part, bowled an exceptional 18th over with clever change ups and the off-cutters which led to Mitchell Starc playing four dot balls.
On his part, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni read the pitch perfectly as he knew that it would slow down with passage of time and strokemaking would be extremely difficult in the second half. His intuition turned out to be spot on as his bowlers vindicated his decision.