It’s 12:20 am and that MS Dhoni innings has left us feeling as if we just woke up and had a run. The adrenaline rush that a run-chase led by MS Dhoni provides is something else.
70 runs off 34 balls. One four. SEVEN sixes.
One Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
And CSK go top of the table once again, while problems persist for RCB.
12:08 am: Man of the match? MS Dhoni, of course.
DHONI: ‘When I saw AB batting to see them over 200, I felt it was 15-20 beyond par. We also lost some key batsmen early but it’s a small ground, the ball travels a lot here, there was some dew, not a lot. Overall, it went according to the script. It was just about calculating which bowler had how many overs left. Great having Rayudu bat like that, he keeps the scoreboard moving.’
12:05 am: Another iconic moment in Dhoni’s career, for sure...
12:00 am: Some tricky issues for RCB and the team management to reflect on. The plan to have Umesh and Chahal finish off their quota of overs early proved costly. With Dhoni in the opposition was it a smart call to make?
CSK were tottering on 74/4 when Dhoni came into bat. He teamed up with Rayudu from there on and the duo shared a game-changing 101-run stand. A six to finish things off by Dhoni was just a cherry on top of a well executed chase.
Virat Kohli: Our bowling was unacceptable. Criminal. Great game to watch for everyone. Great to see Dhoni strike the ball that well, he is in a good space.
Orange cap for Ambati Rayudu, who seems lost for words.
MS DHONI FINISHES IT OFF IN STYLE: A six over midwicket, clears his front leg and sends it soaring over the boundary line. Oh dear, RCB. And simply stunning, MSD!
Alright, 16 needed off the final over...
19.1: CSK 194/5, Bravo gets an edge, goes for four!
19.2: CSK 200/5, Bravo has been trying this shot over and over, good length ball sent over long-off. Strained his every nerve, and that’s a six! Six needed off four balls.
After 19 overs, CSK 190/5 - need 16 off the last over
Pressure, this is all about pressure. Siraj starts with a dot ball to Bravo, followed by a single. Two full, fast deliveries. Dhoni back on strike. It’s full and wide this time, he can only hit it straight to point, couldn’t slice it past the fielder. Great first half of the over by Siraj.
Bowls a high full toss then, but Bravo was down the track, not given a no-ball. That had to be a six.
Never mind though, Dhoni hits a remarkable six off the next ball. SLICES a low full toss over point and it’s gone all the way! How cool was that? Remarkable cricket. Remarkable cricketer.
Last ball coming up... or not. Siraj bowls a slow bouncer, that’s too high. Called wide. An extra ball. Make that two extra balls! Oh dear, two wides in a row. Siraj tries to tread the tramline, overshoots it. More conversations. More discussions. Wow, make it a hat-trick! This is good length but too wide again.
Two off the final ball. The over finally comes to an end! And crucially, Dhoni not on strike.
After 18 overs, CSK 176/5 - need 30 runs from 12 balls
Anderson trusted with another over. Rayudu hits a short and wide ball uppishly to cover for a single. Dhoni on strike, Anderson bowls a wide, perhaps under pressure. Brings one full and Dhoni short-arm jabs it straight back for a six! WHAT A HIT. 82 metres. BRUTAL. That’s 50 for Dhoni off 29 balls.
Takes a single off the next ball and Rayudu back on strike. Anderson bowls short and wide again, and unlike the first ball Rayudu finds the boundary by going square this time. Dhoni and Rayudu try to steal a double off the next ball. AND RAYUDU IS RUN OUT AGAIN! Umesh Yadav with a direct hit from deep. Has he made up for that dropped catch!? What a moment. Rayudu is gone for 82 off 53 balls.
Bravo walks in, just a single.
After 16 overs, CSK 161/4 - need 45 runs off 18 balls
Siraj starts well, just a single each off the first two balls. Dhoni then squeezes one through point for a couple. A single off the fourth and fifth balls, that doesn’t help Chennai’s cause at all. Dhoni cuts one between point and short-third man for a four to make it a decent over but Kohli would be happy with that, one thinks.
After 16 overs, CSK 151/4 - need 55 runs off 24 balls
Oh dear, Umesh hands Rayudu a reprieve! The batsman smashes it high off Anderson, but doesn’t get the distance. Umesh though makes a meal of the catch. Rayudu rubs salt into RCB’s wounds by hitting two sixes off the last two balls! First, a flat hit over cover and the next sent soaring over cow corner.
Corey Anderson cannot be pleased, it was shaping up to be a good over.
What a finish we have on our hands!
After 15 overs, CSK 135/4 - need 71 off 30 balls
A nine-run over from Siraj, especially when he conceded a six to Rayudu, is not a bad deal for RCB at the moment. Chennai had to make more from that over to keep the momentum going, and the required rate is over 14 now. Still RCB’s game to lose.
Rayudu has upped the ante after a rut, batting on 61 off 44 balls now.
After 14 overs, CSK 126/4
Oh dear, Negi. This match might have another twist or two, folks. Dhoni is in some mood tonight, bludgeoning two sixes off the first two balls in that over. Two full balls, one hit straight back, one sent soaring over long on! Negi then overcorrects against Rayudu - the short ball is pulled over midwicket for the third six in that over. Should have had another extra ball there, a blatant wide not called off the last ball. Costly?
After 13 overs, CSK 107/4
Just six runs from Chahal’s over as he wraps up his spell. Rayudu has made 13 off the last 13 balls he has faced.
Something’s gotta give in this run-chase... will Dhoni take it upon himself now?
After 12 overs, CSK 101/4
Dhoni just about keeping this run-chase interesting. In his slot, he heaves this over long on for another six. 87 metres, that one flew. 11 runs from Corey Anderson’s over that also saw RCB lose their review with a horrendous appeal. Just Kohli things, eh?
Required rate is over 13 now. Rayudu has gone very quite over the last few overs.
After 11 overs, CSK 90/4
Chahal continues and concedes just seven, which Kohli wouldn’t mind at all. Oversteps off the final ball, but Rayudu plays all over the freehit.
After 10 overs, CSK 83/4
Dhoni is up and running! A massive six off the second ball he faces, just as Negi offers him a hint of flight. Brutal. There is still life in this run-chase then? Let’s wait and watch.
After 9 overs, CSK 74/4 - Jadeja gone!
Rayudu continues to fight, moving into the 40s with a lofted inside out drive for six off Chahal over cover. Followed the turn on that one and to good effect. Chahal continues to get the ball to turn sharply though and off the last ball of the over, cleans up Jadeja with an absolute peach! Pitches outside offstump, turns back in at pace and the stumps are rattled.
After 8 overs, CSK 66/3
“Very good spell, a match-winning spell,” says Michael Clarke as Umesh Yadav bowls out four on the trot and finishes with outstanding figures of 1/23. Rayudu and Jadeja can manage only five singles.
After 7 overs, CSK 61/3 - Billings gone!
There was clear help for spinners later on in the first innings and Chahal makes the most of that in his first over. That was a ripper to get Billings out! Flight, drift, and sharp turn. Billings dances down, is beaten, QdK makes no mistake.
Jadeja gets a promotion in the batting order...
End of powerplay, CSK 55/2 - Raina gone!
Raina did not look comfortable at all in that brief innings and he is done in by some sheer pace by Umesh! Walks across, tries to flick through midwicket, but is beaten for speed, gets a leading edge that carries to Mandeep at point.
Billings is the new batsman and he is beaten for pace a couple of times as well, but gets one boundary.
After 5 overs, CSK 50/1
Another big over for Chennai and they have nearly caught up with the required rate. Siraj comes on and concedes 15! Two boundaries for Rayudu (pulled one to square leg, slapped one over the umpire’s head), one for Raina (who gives himself room and hits one through cover).
After 4 overs, CSK 35/1
Another good over for the visitors, 11 from Umesh’s second. Rayudu starts it off with a six over square leg to make it three sixes off four balls for himself. Raina gets his first boundary, giving himself room and playing a tennis shot to a bouncer. Didn’t look comfortable against the bouncer (when will he?) but effective.
After 3 overs, CSK 24/1
When does playing out dot balls doesn’t affect your team so much? When you can hit two sixes in an over. Rayudu continues his great form, hits two big sixes off Washington Sundar’s first over. Both over long on.
After 2 overs, CSK 10/1
A great over from Umesh Yadav, as he continues to impress with the new ball in this IPL. Gets a good shape, at a good clip, that troubles both Rayudu and Raina.
After 1 over, CSK 8/1 - Watson gone!
Pawan Negi, who has dismissed Watson twice in four innings, makes it three times now! Six and out for Watson. Gets a full ball, that is dispatched over long on for six. Negi shortens his length then and Watson can only pull this to mid-on, where Siraj takes a good low catch. Good tactics by RCB. That’s a big wicket.
09:55 pm: The run-chase will soon begin. Surely CSK can’t pull off a big run-chase again? Or can they?
If you are looking for omens, Chennai fans...
09:47 pm: Orange cap for ABD!
“I actually felt quite dodgy in the first few balls, but got a couple off the middle later and went from there. I did pretty well tonight.”
You don’t say, ABD. You don’t say. 30-ball 68. Eight sixes and two fours!
END OF RCB’S INNINGS: 205/8 after 20 overs - what an eventful final over.
19.1: OUT! Negi beaten by the slower ball, Dhoni runs CdG out with his gloves on.
19.2: OUT! Negi wants a second, Washington doesn’t. Jadeja’s bullet arm does the trick.
19.3: Wide, another run out chance for Dhoni but missed this time!
19.3: OUT! A slower ball again, Umesh Yadav finds Billings in the deep.
19.4: SIX! Washington picks up the slower ball, just clears the fielder in the deep.
19.5: 200 UP! Washington slaps one down the ground, gets a double easily.
19.6: FOUR! Washington connects with a wide ball, hit past point for four.
After 19 overs, RCB 191/5 - big over for the hosts!
Wowzer, just when you thought CSK have pulled things back, Mandeep responds in some style. Thakur is taken to the cleaners in his final over. Two sixes, one square driven over point and one flat-batted over long-off. Thakur bowls a couple of wides, under pressure. The knuckle ball works finally, as Jadeja takes a skier to send Mandeep back for a 17-ball 32.
After 18 overs, RCB 173/4:
How did CSK not get a wicket in that Bravo over? Mandeep gets a reprieve. It was a tough chance. The batsman hit it straight down the track. Bravo got his hands to the ball in the follow-through, but couldn’t hold on. De Grandhomme should have been runout twice as well, Dhoni missing a direct hit followed by the most feeble throw from deep you’ll see. Dhoni gives a death stare to Chahar. CdG finishes the over with a four to add insult to injury.
After 17 overs, RCB 164/4
Good finish to a roller-coaster spell from Tahir. Just five singles and a double in that over. Mandeep and de Grandhomme tasked with taking their team close to 200 which seemed a given a while back.
After 16 overs, RCB 157/4
Right, ABD might be gone, but this is still a good over for RCB. But boy, the ball is turning quite a lot now! The over starts with perhaps the ball of the IPL - that wouldn’t fetch a wicket. Jadeja angles it on to Mandeep’s pads, the ball lands on the leg stump, and turns past the off stump. Beats everyone, goes for four. Mandeep hits a sweep for six and a reverse sweep for four in an over that would warm the hearts of Chahal and Washington.
After 15 overs, RCB 142/4 - ABD is gone, two in two for Tahir
Imran Tahir, take a bow! What a couple of overs for CSK this has been. First up, a wide leg-spinner is chased down unsuccessfully by ABD, as he hits with the bottom of his bat, and finds Sam Billings at deep cover. That felt like a trap and ABD seemed to have fallen right into it.
Cue: Tahir gone wild.
Last ball of the over, a perfect wrong-un that is edged by Anderson to Harbhajan at slip.
Cue: Tahir gone wilder!
He’ll be on a hat-trick in the next over. What a way to bounce back from that 111-metre six.
After 14 overs, RCB 138/2 - finally a breakthrough for CSK
De Kock falls on 53. Bravo hands #CSK the breakthrough. The batsman looks for a big heave but mistimes it completely and hits it straight to the bowler. The dismissal ends a 103-run stand between De Kock and ABD.
Bravo follows that up with five dot balls! A combination of bouncers and slower ones, and a very loud LBW shout that Dhoni should have reviewed one feels.
Amid all the carnage, we have had two wicket-maiden overs in this match!
After 13 overs, RCB 138/1 - duck for cover if you are in the stands!
This is unreal hitting by the Superman. ABD is putting on quite the show in Bengaluru!
12.1: Good length ball, heaved over square leg for SIX.
12.2: Fuller, pace taken off, slapped over long-on for SIX.
12.3: Thakur goes wide, but still full enough for ABD to free his arms and send this soaring over long-off to complete a hat-trick. SIX!
25th IPL fifty completed but ABD is looking good for much more! Batting on 66 off 27 balls.
After 12 overs, RCB 118/1 - fifty for de Kock!
As ABD shows he is human after all with a couple of mishits in that Watson over (one falls just short of long-on and the ground heaves a sigh of relief), QdK shows he is in good touch as well! Finishes the over with a pick-up shot over midwicket for six. And brings up his 6th IPL fifty off 35 balls.
After 11 overs, RCB 106/1:
The ABD masterclass is well and truly on! He is going after the CSK bowling now. Dispatches Tahir for back to back sixes. One lands on the roof! That second one is officially the longest six of IPL 2018 but 111 metres feels like an understatement for how far that ball travelled. Monster hit by ABD. The over started with a delicate reverse sweep for four.
Tahir’s first over went for 5, second went for 19!
After 10 overs, RCB 87/1:
It’s DJ Bravo time. And QdK welcomes him with a slap straight down the ground! Reads the slower ball, and gets enough distance on it to make it a six. Bravo bowls a couple of good yorkers after that. ABD tries to get cheeky and sweep Bravo over fine leg, but luckily for him, it was mishit and doesn’t carry to square leg.
After 9 overs, RCB 77/1
Superb over from Tahir, coming in at a time when two set batsmen (fellow countrymen) looking dangerous. QdK tries to slog a couple of times, but fails to read the flight. ABD finishes the over with a couple, a good-looking sweep shot fielded well in the deep by Thakur.
After 8 overs, RCB 72/1:
Watson comes into the attack after a couple of overs of spin. QdK continues to look in good touch, cutting a short ball fine past point, and picking up a boundary. Varies the length and pace in that over decently, but still goes for 9 runs, thanks to that boundary off de Kock’s bat.
Time for Imran Tahir... it’s an all-South African battle now.
After 7 overs, RCB 63/1:
Jadeja comes in early today, and concedes 11 from his first over as ABD carries on in style. At Jadeja’s pace, a good length ball on the pads is asking to be hit, and de Villiers sweeps this over square leg for another six.
End of powerplay - RCB 52/1:
Oh, ABD! After a few hits and misses in that Shardul over, de Villiers gets going in some style! Two sixes and a four to finish off the powerplay. First, down the track and hit over long on. Second, inside out cover drive, goes flat and all the way. Then slashes one over point. This man is in some form! 17 runs from that over.
Who had the better powerplay though? Think RCB would be happier after that sixth over.
After 5 overs, RCB 35/1 - KOHLI GONE!
This is now a solid start for CSK! Despite looking in good touch, Kohli and QdK did not run away with this powerplay and Shardul gets the breakthrough that will warm the hearts of Chennai fans. This is full and fast (not the knuckle ball as it initially seemed), Kohli tries to whip this through midwicket, but hits it a lot straighter than he wanted. Jadeja puts in a good dive and completes a sharp catch. Shardul is overjoyed!
A WICKET MAIDEN BY SHARDUL THAKUR - bowling to Kohli and Ab de Villiers. Wow.
After 4 overs, RCB 35/0:
Time for the Turbanator. Another big hit from QdK, as steps out and deposits a full ball into the stands over long-on again. Despite conceding a six, there were only 7 runs from that over. Harbhajan wouldn’t mind it.
After 3 overs, RCB 28/0:
RCB getting a move on. QdK hits a massive six, as he reads the knuckle ball from Chahar and just produces a proper golf swing, goes way back into the stand over long-on. Kohli gets a boundary through midwicket despite Sam Billings’ best efforts in the field.
The highlight of that over though? A top-edge from QdK went mighty high and straight behind the stumps, Dhoni put in a proper sprint and pulled the ball back on time. Quite the effort, that!
After 2 overs, RCB 13/0:
No spin yet as Shardul Thakur comes in from the other end. Kohli gets another boundary to his name, this time going with the swing and lofting a full ball over cover. Not the best timing, but the placement good enough. QdK still finding his feet, just another single in that over as he tried to walk into a shot.
After 1 over, RCB 5/0
As he has done often this year so far, Deepak Chahar bowls a solid first over. There is a good hint of away movement (shaping in to QdK). Kohli gets going with a whip over midwicket for four off a perfectly good delivery. But apart from that, there’s just a single and four dot balls.
08:00 pm: Quinton de Kock and Virat Kohli open the batting, Deepak Chahar has the brand-new white ball in his hand. The noise is reaching fever pitch! We are all set for RCB v CSK in the IPL again...
07:58 pm: As we get ready for the first ball, a reminder that hardly any game this year has ended on time. More of the same tonight? Let’s find out.
07:55 pm: We are not far away from the action, as RCB will walk out to bat first.
Head to head: Matches – 20, RCB won – 7, CSK won – 12, No Result – 1
At the M Chinnaswamy Stadium: Matches – 7, RCB won – 3, CSK won – 3, No Result – 1
07:50 pm: How about that for a photo, eh? That’s one for the albums!
07:45 pm: Interesting changes to the lineups by both sides. By dropping Faf for Tahir, CSK have gone back to having an extra bowling option. And so have RCB, by going for Negi over Vohra. Both captains banking on their top orders to deliver and going for protection on the bowling side.
07:40 pm: Both captains were full of praise for the atmosphere that is building inside the stadium. It’s a sea of red and yellow. ‘Great to see so many fans for us,’ says Dhoni. ‘Usually you don’t see so much red and yellow,’ says Kohli. This promises to be a cracker!
CSK XI: Watson, Rayudu, Raina, Billings, Dhoni, Bravo, Jadeja, Harbhajan, Chahar, Thakur, Tahir.
RCB XI: de Kock, Kohli, de Villiers, Mandeep, Anderson, de Grandhomme, Sundar, Negi, Yadav, Siraj, Chahal.
Confirmation of the playing XIs (via IPL / Twitter)
07:35 pm: Changes for both teams.
For CSK: Harbhajan, Tahir in while Faf du Plessis, Karn Sharma are out
For RCB: Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi are in while Chris Woakes, Manan Vohra are out
07:30 pm: MS Dhoni wins the toss and CSK will chase. ‘Not easy to defend at Chinnaswamy,’ he says.
07:20 pm: Away from the Chinnaswamy, there was a massive development in the IPL earlier in the day.
Gautam Gambhir announced that he is stepping down as Delhi Daredevils captain on Wednesday, saying he takes full responsibility for the team’s performance this season. Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer will take over the captain for the remaining eight matches.
Delhi are currently at the bottom of the IPL 2018 table after losing five of their six matches. Gambhir, a two-time IPL winning captain with Kolkata Knight Riders was sought to revive the teams fortunes ahead of the player draft this season.
“It is absolutely my decision. As leader of the ship, I take complete responsibility for where we are in the points table. I have decided to step down. Shreyas Iyer will take my place and take this franchise forward,” Gambhir told the gathered media.
07:15 pm: Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni had a long chat ahead of the game, while inspecting the pitch. Michael Clarke reckons the dew will make batting easier in the second half, and the first half will see a slow wicket. Toss, it looks like, could play a crucial role.
Who’s going to come out on top today?
- The Chennai Super Kings have been unbeaten in matches played on April 25. On this day, they have played six matches and won five; one match against Bangalore in 2012 was washed out.
- MS Dhoni reserves his best for Bangalore. In eight innings, the former Indian captain has smashed 309 runs at a whopping average of 61.80. His runs have come at an astounding strike rate of 177.58.
- Kohli has 12 30+ scores against CSK - the most by any batsman against a single opposition. Kohli has scored more runs against Chennai than against any other opposition. He needs to score just 18 more runs to complete 2,000 IPL runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
- Kohli is set to take field for his 100th match as captain in Twenty20 cricket. He will be the third Indian to captain in 100 or more matches after MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir.
07:05 pm: The atmosphere inside the Chinnaswamy Stadium should be electric. It almost always is but when it’s the return of the team in yellow, this evening promises to be extra special.
07:00 pm: MS Dhoni’s team lead their opponents in the overall head-to-head record, both teams have won three games each out of the seven played at the high-scoring Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Chennai have been in rampant form, winning four out of the five games they have played so far. Virat Kohi’s RCB have won just two out of their five matches, and would be eager to maintain momentum after their win against Delhi Daredevils at home last week.
Good news for the hosts is that AB de Villiers is in devastating form, which he exhibited in the last match with a whirlwind unbeaten 39-ball 90 to power his team to a convincing win.
Kohli has also been in good nick, scoring 57 and an unbeaten 92. The spin duo of Yuzuvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, who have taken five and four wickets each respectively, would be itching to put up a better show. Chennai are struggling against spin this season; they have lost 10 wickets to them and only managed to score at 7.70 runs per over.
06:59 pm: Hello all and welcome to the match that many a fan has been waiting for this year. It’s RCB v CSK after a gap of over two years. It’s Virat Kohli vs MS Dhoni after a gap of more than a year. It’s time for the South India derby in the IPL as the men in yellow go to Bengaluru, looking to extend their great form.