Jadeja and Harbhajan take CSK closer to playoffs
Tipped to be CSK’s batting vs RCB’s batting, the second leg of the South Indian Derby turned out in a contrasting manner as CSK won with their bowling might for the first time in the season. Jadeja came back to form with a match winning spell to help Chennai win the match by 6 wickets.
On a regulation run chase of 128, Chennai started on a cautious note by scoring 42 for the loss of Shane Watson. Umesh Yadav beautifully set up the dismissal of Watson by bowling a barrage of short balls before nailing a toe-crushing yorker. He also picked up the wicket of Raina but RCB bowlers did not have the runs in the board to make a match out of it. Rayudu continued his fine form with a well made 32 followed by the dismissal of Dhruv Shorey. It was down to Dhoni again to take CSK home and he did that in style by blasting Chahal’s last over for 3 sixes. RCB’s bowlers did their best but were let down by their poor fielding effort as they dropped four catches and missed a clear run-out chance. Umesh Yadav, Murugan Ashwin and Colin de Grandhomme bowled well with economy rate less than 6.
Earlier in the day, MS Dhoni won the toss and without any hesitation chose to field first. Both teams made a handful of changes to their XIs, but the biggest change of the fixture was AB de Villiers making a comeback for RCB to bolster their batting. For CSK, Dhruv Shorey and David Willey were given their maiden IPL start. Dhoni went for an all-out pace attack in the powerplay overs, however the pacers mixed up slower balls effectively with seam up deliveries to make things difficult for RCB.
Ngidi snapped McCullum’s wicket as Bangalore accumulated 47 runs in the powerplay. After the powerplay, Dhoni employed spin from both ends and as always, it turned out to be a masterstroke. Bangalore batsmen tumbled like a pack of cards as they displayed a lackluster batting performance failing to show any kind of application. Parthiv Patel(53 off 41) and Tim Southee(36 off 26) showed some character with fighting innings to take the tally to 127 while the rest of the batsmen failed to reach double figures. On a slow strip that gripped and spun, CSK spinners put on a show by picking up 5 wickets and conceding only 40 runs off their full quota of 8 overs. Debutant Willey and Ngidi pitched in with similar figures of 4-0-24-1.
One major takeaway should be the overall bowling performance of the side as Chennai bowlers steamrolled RCB batsmen with their best bowling execution of the season. Ravindra Jadeja, who has been quiet all through the season, reminded the world what he can do with the ball in his hand. If he can get going in the business end of the competition, Chennai Super Kings will look like a different unit altogether. Willey was impressive in his debut and Rayudu was amongst the runs once more.
What’s next for CSK?
Chennai face Rajasthan in their next encounter at Jaipur and will look to seal their playoffs spot with a win. Deepak Chahar will walk into the side in place of Shardul Thakur if he is declared fit. Sans that, Dhoni is unlikely to change the winning combination.