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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL PIX: Spirited RCB knock out CSK; qualify for play-offs!

IPL PIX: Spirited RCB knock out CSK; qualify for play-offs!

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 19, 2024 00:56 IST
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Images from the IPL 2024 match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

IMAGE: RCB's players celebrate after Lockie Ferguson got the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: BCCI

Royal Challengers Bengaluru continued their fairytale run to grab the fourth and final play-offs berth with a 27-run victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their must-win last IPL league game in Benglauru on Saturday.

 

It was the sixth straight win for RCB, who first posted a solid 218/5 after being put into bat before a spirited showing from their bowlers helped the hosts restrict CSK to 191/7 to make it to the IPL play-offs for the ninth time in 15 seasons.

RCB survived a scare as Ravindra Jadeja (42 not out) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (25) had conjured up hopes of a late turnaround after Rachin Ravindra's 61 but Yash Dayal held his nerves in the final over to take the hosts home.

IMAGE: Yash Dayal held his nerve in the final over to bowl RCB to a famous win. Photograph: BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad have already qualified for the play-offs.

While it was ecstasy for RCB, the legion of fans of Dhoni sank into despair as it could potentially be the last time they witnessed the CSK legend perform on a cricket field.

Down and out after losing seven out of their first eight games, RCB had weaved five wins on the trot to script a remarkable turnaround and give themselves a chance to make it to the final four.

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni's late attack revived CSK's hopes. Photograph: BCCI

On Saturday, the hosts needed to win by at least 18 runs to book the final play-off berth and they did that in style with yet another impressive show at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The two teams finished level on 14 points but RCB sneaked into the final four on the basis of a better net run-rate.

IMAGE: Rachin Ravindra top-scored for CSK with a blistering 61 from 37 balls. Photograph: BCCI

The equation was in favour of CSK when they began their run-chase as a 200-plus score would have sealed their place in the final four at the expense of RCB even if they had lost the game.

However, CSK lost skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad (0) and Daryl Mitchell (4) in the early overs to find themselves reeling on 19/2 in the third over.

IMAGE: Cameron Green celebrates after taking the wicket of Shivam Dube. Photograph: BCCI

Ajinkya Rahane (33) and Ravindra (61) steadied the innings with a 64-run stand but Lockie Ferguson broke the partnership as the former was holed out by du Plessis before the Kiwi youngster was run out.

Du Plessis then took a screamer to remove Mitchell Santner as CSK slipped to 129/6 in 15 overs.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates after taking the catch to dismiss Daryl Mitchell off the bowling of Yash Dayal. Photograph: BCCI

With their backs to the wall, Jadeja and Dhoni added a whirlwind 61 off 27 balls to bring the equation down to 11 off five balls to qualify for the play-offs.

With CSK needing 17 runs off the last six balls to qualify, Yash Dayal bowled the final over and he was straight away smashed for a six by Dhoni but the pacer came back strongly to dismiss the former CSK skipper and then conceded just one run in next five balls to seal it for RCB.

IMAGE: Captain Faf du Plessis top-scored for RCB with a quickfire half-century against Chennai Super Kings. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, sent in to bat, RCB's top-order, led by skipper du Plessis, fired in unison to power the hosts to a huge total.

Du Plessis hit three fours and three sixes on his way to a 39-ball 54, his fourth fifty of the season, while Virat Kohli (47 off 29 balls), Rajat Patidar (41 off 23 balls) and Cameron Green (38 not out off 17 balls) also went on a six-hitting spree to put RCB on solid ground.

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes the catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell off the bowling of Shardul Thakur. Photograph: BCCI

According to the play-offs qualification scenario,  RCB, who made a fairytale turnaround with a five-match winning streak, needs to win by 18 runs at least to make the cut. CSK, however, will qualify if they score more than 200 at the expense of RCB even if they lose the game or if the match is washed out.

IMAGE: RCB opener Virat Kohli hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

In the battle for the last available playoffs berth, openers Kohli and du Plessis began on a positive note and were 31 for no loss when there was a short rain interruption, causing a 40-minute delay.

However, on resumption, CSK pressed the spinners into the attack. With the ball gripping and turning, the spin duo of of Maheesh Theekshana (25/0) and Mitchell Santner (23/0) troubled the batters as RCB reached 42 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay

Kohli brought out his slog sweep to clobber two more sixes before holing out to Daryl Mitchell off Santner as RCB slipped to 78/1 in 10 overs.

IMAGE: Mitchell Santner deflects the ball on to the stumps to run out Faf du Plessis. Photograph: BCCI

Ravindra Jadeja (40/0 in 3 overs) was however slaughtered by du Plessis, who blasted a four and two sixes to pile up 20 runs off his third over and then completed his 35-ball fifty.

Rajat Patidar (41) then got into the act, depositing Theekshana for a maximum.

IMAGE: Cameron Green smashed an unbeaten 38 from 17 balls to power RCB past the 200-run mark. Photograph: BCCI

In the 13th over, du Plessis was unfortunately run out at the bowler's end but Patidar continued his onslaught, smashing Simarjeet Singh for a four and a six, while Thakur conceded 17 with Green thumping one over long-on to bring up the 150.

Green was, however, dropped by Gaikwad in the deep but Patidar continued to put the bowler under pressure as he smoked Deshpande for two sixes.

Green then picked up successive sixes off Thakur, who had Patidar caught at the other end but it was too late as cameos from Dinesh Kartik (14) and Glenn Maxwell (16) swelled the total.

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