Images from Saturday's IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, in Dubai.
Virat Kohli's brilliant unbeaten 90 powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to an easy 37 runs victory over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League match, in Dubai, on Saturday.
The skipper, who walked in at the fall of Aaron Finch’s wicket in the third over, led from the front with a majestic 52-ball knock, displaying the finest blend of skills and peak fitness, as the Royal Challengers put up a competitive 169 for 4 after a sluggish start.
Young Devdutt Padikkal also made a vital contribution with 33 off 33 balls.
In reply, former champions Chennai Super Kings, propped by Ambati Rayudu's dogged 42 off 40 balls, could only muster 132 for 8, restricted in the chase by Chris Morris (3/19) and Washington Sundar (2/16).
Chennai Super Kings’s batting, wobbly throughout the first four weeks, fared no better on Saturday after Washington Sundar (2/16 in 3 overs) removed Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis inside the Powerplay overs.
Rayudu and rookie N Jagadeesan (33) added 64 runs, but the partnership never took off on a track where the ball wasn't coming on to the bat.
Once the wily Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10) with a brilliantly set-up plan, the match was as good as over
Chennai now have four points from seven games and are in danger of missing out on the play-offs for the first time in 11 seasons.
Royal Challengers Bangalore moved to fourth in the points table with eight points from six matches.
Dhoni was in a mood to make amends, but Chahal lured him with a few tossed up deliveries on his pads as he shaped for the big hits.
He tried to pre-empt Chahal's next move as the leg-spinner slid one on the imaginary fifth off-stump and the former India captain was in a tangle as he failed to get required elevation. The catch at long-off was gleefully accepted by Gurkeerat Singh Mann.
Once Rayudu was dismissed by a back of the hand slower from Isuru Udana (1/30 in 4 overs), the match was all over.
Special mention for Morris (3/19 in 4 overs), who was brilliant in his first appearance for the Royal Challengers bowling tight lines with a hint of away movement from right-handers.
Earlier, Kohli's innings had four fours and as many sixes, but in searing Dubai humidity ran four doubles in the final over, a testament to the hours put in physical training.
He was involved in two half-century partnerships - one with opener Devdutt Padikkal (33 off 33 balls) and Shivam Dube (22 off 14 balls) for the fifth wicket, an unbeaten 76-run stand, which boosted the total.
The last five overs yielded 74 runs, as Kohli and the left-handed Dube went on the overdrive, the Chennai bowlers faltering after allowing the Royal Challengers to score only 95 in the first 15.
Deepak Chahar finished with 1 for 10 from three overs while Shardul Thakur (2/40) was the best in terms of wickets. Veteran Dwayne Bravo (0/29 in three overs) again showed his value by being economical at the death.
Royal Challengers took time to settle into a rhythm as the Chennai bowlers kept them on a leash after an out-of-sorts Aaron Finch (2) went early.
Young Padikkal and Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking but there were no big hits coming. Padikkal hoisted leggie Karn Sharma for a huge six in the 10th over.
However, his attempt to clear mid-off did not materialise as he ended up giving a catch to Faf du Plessis to give Thakur his first wicket.
Three balls later, Thakur struck a huge blow, getting AB de Villiers to nick one to Dhoni with a cross-seam delivery, the South African ace not troubling the scorers.
Chennai made one change by handing N Jagadeesan a debut in place of the struggling Kedar Jadhav while Bangalore made a couple of changes, bringing in Chris Morris and Gurkeerat Singh for Moeen Ali and Mohd Siraj respectively.