An CSK vs RCB match is always a highly awaited fixture of the Indian Premier League. And it never fails to disappoint.
Monday's IPL match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru saw both sides put up record-setting performances.
The 24th game of the season saw several dropped catches, but it was the ones that were picked up which saw the match turn in CSK's favour. What made it even more special was that Thala himself picked up the two crucial catches.
After inviting the Super Kings to bat first, RCB got an early wicket, with Ruturaj Gaikwad falling for just 3.
But following that, Devon Conway (83 off 45) took the RCB bowlers to the cleaners. The Kiwi opener put up strong partnerships with the seasoned Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 20) and the young Shivam Dube (52 off 27).
Player Of The Match Conway's knock saw Chennai post a mammoth 226/6. But as we've seen in recent times, the T20 format is becoming more and more unpredictable. One would think 226 is a winning score. Well, it was, but for most of the chase it didn't look like a challenging ask.
RCB got their chase off to a shaky start losing two quick wickets: Virat Kohli (6) and Mahipal Lomror (0). With the Challengers reduced to 15/2 in the first two overs, it looked like the hosts would crumble to a crushing defeat.
But with Glenn Maxwell arriving at the crease, the Challengers shifted gears as Chennai were left looking clueless.
Maxwell and Faf du Plessis put up the highest third-wicket partnership for RCB as they scored 126 off 61 for the third wicket.
CSK Skipper M S Dhoni introduced the spinners early, but to no avail.
Maxwell (76 off 36) and du Plessis (62 off 33) scored in tandem.
The 12th over saw the tide turn in CSK's favour as Maheesh Theekshana picked up Maxwell. Theekshana, who dropped two sitters earlier in the game, made amends with the breakthrough wicket.
The Australian all-rounder skied the delivery; Dhoni called it and settled under it to pick up the big wicket.
The age-defying Dhoni continues to be a crucial part of the Chennai line-up. The CSK captain, who many believe is playing his final IPL season, went on to take another similar catch to remove du Plessis next as the match turned in CSK's favour.
Having lost momentum, RCB went on to lose quick wickets, and the game by 8 runs.
Just before the game, Moeen Ali, who picked up du Plessis, had said, 'He (Dhoni) could definitely play again next year. The way he's playing, I don't think it'll be his batting that stops him from playing, even if it's two, three years's time.'
With Dhoni continuing to deliver with the bat, as wicket-keeper and stellar skipper, Thala fans would be hoping that Ali's words come true.