On a lively night at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium when 444 runs were scored and 33 sixes were hit, Chennai Super Kings prevailed by the skin of their teeth against hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday.
A high-scoring contest saw Glenn Maxwell and Faf du Plessis nearly lead a massive run-chase but CSK prevailed by eight runs.
Earlier, CSK were powered to 226/6 with superb batting efforts of Devon Conway (83 off 45 balls) and Shivam Dube (52 off 27 balls). There were useful contributions from Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 20 balls), with Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali too.
Despite losing Virat Kohli in the first over, Du Plessis (62 off 33 balls) and Maxwell (76 off 36 balls) put together a stunning 126-run stand in 10.1 overs. When it seemed they will pull off the chase, MS Dhoni took two crucial high catches and then in the end, the RCB batting lineup were left with too much to do.
Having to defend 19 runs in the last over, Matheesha Pathirana – the Sri Lankan youngster with the Lasith Malinga action – did the job for Dhoni.
Bangalore skipper Du Plessis (62) and Maxwell (76) brought the home crowd alive in a blazing partnership of 126.
The pair tore into the opposition attack, striking 12 sixes between them after losing two early wickets including Kohli for six in the first over.
Dhoni played his part with two high catches to dismiss the dangerous pair, with Maxwell and Du Plessis falling in the space of two overs.
Sri Lankan mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana removed Maxwell after his 36-ball blitz, including eight hits over the boundary, and England spinner Moeen Ali sent back Du Plessis.
Dinesh Karthik attempted to keep up the attack with his 14-ball 28 but Chennai regained control with regular wickets as Bangalore failed to keep up with the asking rate.
With 19 runs needed to win from the final over, Matheesha Pathirana, a fast bowler with a slinging action, kept his calm to give away just 10.
Having been asked to bat first, Mohammed Siraj continued his brilliant form in the powerplay, picking up the wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Indian pacer has conceded at less than 5 runs per over in powerplays this season, bowling 50 dot balls out of the 72 he has bowled in the first six overs of the innings.
But there was little pressure elsewhere on the RCB batters, with Conway and Rahane putting together a brilliant second wicket stand. The fireworks came during the Conway-Dube stand too. Siraj, in all the chaos, finished with 1/30 in his four overs.
Conway set the tone for the match with his 45-ball knock, laced with six sixes, as he put on big partnerships with Rahane and then Dube.
Rahane smashed 37 before being bowled by Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga but Conway kept up the charge with Dube for company in a partnership of 80 off 37 balls.
Bangalore attempted to pull things back with the wickets of Conway and Dube, who departed after a 27-ball innings.
But Moeen steered the team to the mammoth total with his unbeaten nine-ball 19.
In the end, RCB conceded a few too many runs for Du Plessis’ liking and the unlikely run-chase fell short.
Conway was declared player of the match.
CSK moved to third on the points table and RCB stayed 7th.
With AFP inputs