Sharjah, Sep 24 : On the back of brilliant bowling performance by Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur, Chennai Super Kings registered an assertive six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on Friday. With this win, Chennai have now moved back to the top of the points table with 14 points from seven wins out of nine matches. Though they are tied with Delhi Capitals for points, Chennai is on top due to superior net run rate.
Chasing 157, Chennai got off to a good start and cruised to victory with 157/4 in 18.1 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad (38) and Faf du Plessis (31) put up on 71 for the first wicket, hitting some superb shots around the wicket. However, both Gaikwad and du Plessis got out on the same score in successive overs.
It looked like Chennai would lose their way just like Bangalore did earlier in the evening but Ambati Rayudu (32) and Moeen Ali (23) steadied the ship, peppering their knocks with three big hits, two of them by Ali, and by the time both of them were out, Chennai was 133/4 and cruising towards victory. Suresh Raina (17) and MS Dhoni (11) helped them across the line without much trouble.
Earlier, Kohli slammed Deepak Chahar for back-to-back boundaries on the first two balls of the innings before Padikkal ended the opening over with a gorgeous cover drive. With the ball not doing much, Kohli and Padikkal were able to give Bangalore a blistering start, racing to 55 for no loss at the end of power-play with Chahar conceding 23 runs in two overs.
Padikkal was the first to reach his half-century, reaching in 35 balls with a boundary off Chahar in the 12th over. The boundary also brought a century for the opening partnership. It was also the second century stand between Kohli and Padikkal in the tournament after an unbeaten 181 against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai.
In the next over, Kohli reached his half-century, flicking Ravindra Jadeja through fine leg for a boundary. Kohli, who was at 33 off 21 balls at the end of the power-play, managed to get 20 runs off 20 balls before hitting straight to deep mid-wicket off Bravo in the 14th over, ending the opening stand at 111.
After Kohli's dismissal, Chennai slowed down the runs. Shardul Thakur made a big strike in the 17th over with de Villiers miscuing a slice and top-edge flying to Raina at extra cover. One brought two for Thakur as Padikkal's pre-mediated ramp went to hands of Bravo at short third man.
Debutant Tim David miscued a loft off Chahar to Raina at extra cover. Glenn Maxwell tried to give his team a big flourish, but miscued slog to long-on in the final over off Bravo. Bravo dismissed Harshal Patel on the final ball of the innings to complete a last ten overs (66 runs for six wickets) fightback from Chennai, which was eventually enough to win the match.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 156/6 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 70, Virat Kohli 53, Dwayne Bravo 3/24, Shardul Thakur 2/29) lost to Chennai Super Kings 157/4 in 18.1 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 38, Ambati Rayudu 32, Harshal Patel 2/25, Glenn Maxwell 1/17) by six wickets.
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