Retaliating after their previous 10-wicket defeat against Mumbai Indians, MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets on Sunday while chasing down a 146-run total with eight deliveries to spare. By snatching two vital points, CSK finally provided fans with a glimmer of hope in their pursuit to qualify for the playoffs.
After falling for a duck in the previous encounter, youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad proved his worth and slammed an impressive half-century to lay the foundation of CSK's innings.
The trail of CSK's successful run-chase started with Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis stitching a 46-run opening stand. However, after Du Plessis' departure in the sixth over, it was Ambati Rayudu who assisted Gaikwad by scoring 39 off 27, including 3 fours and 2 sixes.
In the end, Gaikwad, joined by skipper Dhoni, finished things off for CSK by hunting down the target in the penultimate over. Gaikwad scored 65* off 51 while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 21-ball 19.
Batting first, RCB managed to post 145 on the back of impressive knocks by skipper Kohli and AB de Villiers. The trusted pair put up an 82-run stand after RCB lost both their openers- Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal- cheaply. The Kohli-De Villiers duo kept shuffling the scoreboard with occasional boundaries and running between the wickets.
Kohli scored 50 off 43 deliveries with a four and a six while De Villiers assisted him by gathering a 36-ball 39. The RCB skipper, leading his side from the front, registered his third half-century of the on-going edition. Kohli also etched his name into the record books, becoming the third Indian to hit 200 sixes in the IPL history.
Talking about CSK's bowling unit, youngster Sam Curran stepped up to the occasion yet again by scalping three wickets and conceding just 19 runs in his four overs.
On the back of an impressive bowling display at death, CSK managed to halt RCB on their way to cross the 150-run mark. CSK bowlers conceded just 20 runs in the last three overs and scalped four wickets to hinder RCB's run-flow. Deepak Chahar also took two wickets at the end including the prized scalp of De Villiers.
With this victory, CSK are now tied with SunRisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals on eight points. By winning their next two games, Dhoni's men will aim to finish their season on a positive note by taking their tally to 12 points. They're next slated to face Kolkata Knight Riders at Dubai on Thursday. RCB, on the other hand, will have to wait for another game to book a certain playoffs berth.