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Home   /   Kohli Reaches 6000 T20 Runs as Royal Challengers Bangalore Thrash Chennai Super Kings

Words by Riley Taylor. (@rileyttaylor21)

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Sub-edited by Tony Robertson.

With two sides captained by two Indian greats, it should have been a barnstormer, but the same problems of a slow run-rate, poor fielding and bad death bowling for Chennai made the contest a walk in the park for RCB as the 2018 champions were hammered by 37 runs.

Virat Kohli passed 6000 T20 runs on his way to an unbeaten 90 before superb bowling displays from Chris Morris and Washington Sundar helped restrict Chennai Super Kings to 132/8.

On a slow pitch, RCB struggled to 93/4 off 15 overs but a 76-run partnership from Kohli and Shivam Dube catapulted them to 169/5 with the help of three dropped catches from Chennai.

In reply, Chennai struggled to get going after Sundar removed Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson early and failed to keep up with an ever-rising run rate. After Kedar Jadhav was criticised for a slow strike rate in their last game versus Kolkata Knight Riders, CSK failed to learn their lesson as Ambati Rayudu and Narayan Jagadeesan left the explosive lower order of MS Dhoni, Sam Curran, Ravi Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo with too much to do yet again.

After Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first, Deepak Chahar looked to set the tone early on for Chennai, a tone which Aaron Finch failed to match in the opening overs, with the Aussie batsman playing and missing the ball in 45% of his deliveries before he had his middle stump knocked out the ground by Chahar as he attempted to aim an ugly slog down the ground.

Opener Devdutt Padikkal was joined by his childhood hero Kohli and mirrored his icon in his approach, both batsman playing low-risk shots to take RCB out of the powerplay without any more losses. Despite Kohli’s T20 prowess with the RCB captain bringing up 6000 T20 runs in his partnership with the opener, it was Paddikal who led the way and having already become the first IPL player ever to hit three half-centuries in his first four games, the 20-year-old looked like he was going add to his tally when he hit the first six of the innings over long-on off Karn Sharma in the 10th over.

However, RCB’s casual approach to their batting soon turned into more of a stutter when Padikkal was dismissed for 33, splicing a shot off Shardul Thakur before being caught by du Plessis. Two balls later, Dhoni and Thakur combined to see the back of AB de Villiers for a duck, his fourth versus Chennai. It could have been worse for Bangalore if not for Dhoni’s hesitance to use one of two reviews available, with Jadeja having a caught behind appeal against Kohli turned down which on replay showed the Indian captain to have gloved the ball.

Kohli was joined by Sundar with a clear idea in mind that they had to up the run rate, which the latter abided by, smashing the second six of the innings off Sharma before the former top-edged another off Curran to get the scoreboard moving.

However, Sundar’s lack of balance which saw him trying to leather everything out of Dubai brought about his downfall when Curran took his revenge to have the all-rounder caught by Dhoni for just 10.

RCB’s now aggressive approach finally paid off when Dube joined Kohli as the latter struck boundaries in consecutive overs off Sharma and Thakur before Kohli got in on the act by striking Thakur for four to take him to a well-earned half-century.

However, RCB were still way off the mark as they ended the 17th over on just 117/4 but CSK were able to lend a hand as some poor bowling from Curran saw the pair strike three sixes off his final over which included a dropped catch from Jagadeesan.

The sloppy fielding and poor bowling, a statement which epitomises CSK’s less than ideal season so far, continued into the final three overs with Kohli dropped three times on his way to 90 not out. This utter car crash of a fielding display from CSK had allowed Kohli and Dube to add 76 for the fifth wicket to set a par chase of 170, a world away from where they were at the halfway stage.

With their knowledge that the ball was coming off the pitch two-paced, Chennai’s openers Shane Watson and du Plessis started hesitantly, and this combined with pressure from the RCB bowlers brought about their demise.

Sundar picked up both wickets, first removing du Plessis for eight when the South African Test skipper smacked a length ball into the hands of Chris Morris and had to depart for just eight before the all-rounder bowled Watson for 14 to get RCB off to a flier.

Rayudu was joined by debutant Jagadeesan and despite the pair adding 64 for the third wicket they did so at a turgid pace of 7.1. The partnership was tough to watch and ended in an abysmal way, Jagadeesan mistiming a punch to mid-on before attempting a run that wasn’t on and just giving up halfway down the wicket and letting Morris run him out for 33.

Chennai needed something special from their lower order but they were unable to fire when needed, and capitulated under pressure as CSK lost six wickets for 37 runs starting with Dhoni as Yuzvendra Chahal had him caught at long-off for just 10. Curran was caught behind by de Villiers off Morris for a golden duck the following over before Isuru Udana compiled the misery for CSK when he bowled Rayudu for 42.

Morris all but finished the job when he dismissed Bravo and Jadeja (both for seven) in the same over before Chahar and Thakur survived the final over as CSK finished on 132/8, the defeat seeing them stay sixth and putting them four points off the finals spots.

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June 2024