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IPL 2024: Batters, Yash Dayal shine as RCB enter playoffs with a stunning 27-run win over CSK (ld)

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Bengaluru, May 19 (IANS) Left-arm pacer Yash Dayal starred with 2-42, including taking out MS Dhoni in a seven-run final over, as Royal Challengers Bengaluru held their nerve to enter the IPL 2024 playoffs with a stunning 27-run win over Chennai Super Kings in front of their faithful fans at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

After captain Faf du Plessis (54), Virat Kohli (47), Rajat Patidar (41), and Cameron Green (38 not out) excelled in a collective batting show to post a challenging 218/5, with a 40-minute rain interval in between, RCB then had CSK in trouble right from the start of the chase.

Though Rachin Ravindra made 61 which Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni shared a 61-run stand off 27 balls, it wasn’t enough as CSK were restricted to 191/7 to bow out of the competition, as RCB got their sixth consecutive win of the competition to grab the last remaining playoffs spot.

It’s the fourth time RCB entered the IPL playoffs in the last five seasons and they will now play the Eliminator on May 23 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. RCB have also become the first team to qualify for the playoffs with seven wins in a 10-team competition.

Kohli and du Plessis set the platform for the big total through the 78-run opening stand. It was followed by Patidar and Green having a 71-run association for the third wicket, with Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell firing in late cameos to get a massive total on board for RCB.

Tournament’s leading run-getter Kohli began in stunning fashion with a square drive off Shardul Thakur for four, before skipper Faf du Plessis drove the all-rounder for four more and thumped a six over the bowler’s head.

Kohli used his supple wrists to flick Tushar Deshpande for six, before pulling him for another maximum in the third over, while also completing 3000 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Just as Maheesh Theekshana was to bowl the fourth over, heavy showers lashed the venue and forced players as well as on-field umpires to get off the field, with covers quickly covering the field of play.

After 40 minutes of interruption, with moisture caused by rain seeping into the pitch, Theekshana and Mitchell Santner found turn, grip, and bounce. It meant RCB didn’t get many runs and ended their power-play at 42/0. Despite Kohli striking some lovely boundaries off Santner and Ravindra Jadeja, he fell three runs short of his fifty when he whipped uppishly to wide long-on off the former.

Du Plessis continued the attack by hitting Jadeja for four and back-to-back sixes in his third over before reaching his fifty. But his knock ended when Santner got a finger off a straight drive from Patidar before the ball hit the stumps at the bowler's end, catching the batter short of the crease. After several replays, umpire Michael Gough confirmed du Plessis’ bat was in the air and adjudged him out for 54 off 39 balls.

Patidar and Green hit three boundaries collectively off Simarjeet Singh, before giving the same treatment to Shardul Thakur. Patidar then smashed Deshpande for a brace of sixes, before Green hit consecutive maximums off Thakur.

But Patidar fell for a 23-ball 41 after holing out to long-on off Thakur. Karthik and Maxwell hit quickfire boundaries in the last three overs of the innings as RCB slammed 80 runs in the last five overs to post their highest total against CSK in the IPL.

In reply, CSK were never in the hunt to chase down 219 from the word go. Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad fell for a golden duck after top-edging a short ball straight to short fine leg off Maxwell. Daryl Mitchell couldn’t do much, lasting just six balls before miscuing a loft to mid-off against Dayal.

Ravindra, with his cuts and pulls, along with Ajinkya Rahane steadied CSK's ship after the early blows by hitting seven boundaries between themselves in a 66-run stand off 41 balls for the third wicket. But pressure built by RCB spinners meant Rahane looked to take on Lockie Ferguson’s first ball, but top-edged to wide mid-off to fall for 33 off 22 balls.

Ravindra marched forward to get a 31-ball fifty, his first in the IPL, by heaving Ferguson over deep mid-wicket for six. Luck was going CSK’s way when Siraj dropped Shivam Dube’s catch at long-on. But in the same over, a massive mix-up resulted in Ravindra being run out for 61 off 37 balls.

Though Jadeja was dropped by Karthik off Green, RCB continued to strike as Dube holed out to long-on off Ferguson, while du Plessis took a leaping one-handed catch at mid-off to dismiss Santner cheaply.

Jadeja and Dhoni hit nine stunning boundaries between themselves to valiantly take CSK close to 200, but once the latter fell to Dayal in the final over, the match turned in RCB’s favour.

CSK needed 10 runs to qualify off the last two balls, but Dayal got his redemption by not giving a single run to spark frenzied celebrations in the venue.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 218/5 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 54, Virat Kohli 47; Shardul Thakur 2-61, Mitchell Santner 1-23) beat Chennai Super Kings 191/7 in 20 overs (Rachin Ravindra 61, Ravindra Jadeja 42 not out; Yash Dayal 2-42, Cameron Green 1-18) by 27 runs

--IANS

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