Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the umpteenth time was in line to pull off another incredible chase, but finally ran out of luck as Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to beat CSK by one run in another last-ball IPL thriller on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 162, CSK needed a near-impossible 26 off the last over bowled by Umesh Yadav and Dhoni with 84 off 48 balls that had seven sixes showed that nothing is indeed impossible until the Cricketing Gods intervened.
Only that Dhoni was at the crease and having consumed dot balls off the previous over, he had to go for the jugular and he did it with three sixes and a four.
With two needed off the last ball and Umesh looking increasingly helpless, he managed to bowl a slower delivery and Dhoni missed it only for Parthiv Patel to effect a run-out as non-striker Shardul Thakur inches out of his crease.
In the end, it was Dhoni who lost to RCB, who eked out their third win of the tournament.
It could have been an easy win in the manner Dale Steyn (2-29) has brought the necessary zing that was lacking in RCB’s bowling effort as he bowled perfect outswinger to get rid of Shane Watson caught by Marcus Stoinis at the slips.
He followed it up with a perfect yorker against an out-of-form Suresh Raina (0), who has always been found wanting against quality fast bowling.
Umesh Yadav despite the odd loose delivery produced extra pace and bounce to get rid of Faf du Plessis (5) and Kedar Jadhav (9) as CSK were left tottering at 28 for 4.
The trusted pair of Ambati Rayudu (29 off 29 balls) and Dhoni started resurrecting the innings. Dhoni hit Stoinis for a six and Rayudu having struggled for long finally found some touch as he pulled Umesh over deep mid-wicket for a six and then hit a one-bounce for over extra cover.
They had a 55-run stand before Rayudu got one from Yuzvendra Chahal (1-24 in 4 overs) angled into his pads. He missed the line and the ball hit the pads and then onto the stumps leaving Dhoni with an onerous task.
Once Jadeja was run-out for 11, CSK were in deep trouble at 108 for 6 but Dhoni carried the fight till the end.
Earlier, Parthiv Patel’s attacking half-century and Moeen Ali’s final flourish wasn’t enough as Royal Challengers Bangalore put up a sub-par 161 for 7 after being put into bat.
Parthiv smashed 53 off 37 balls, but didn’t get a lot of support from the other end until Moeen Ali used the long handle to hit 26 off 16 balls even as AB de Villiers (25 off 19 balls) and Akshdeep Nath (24 off 20 balls) delivered little after promising a lot.
Deepak Chahar (2-25 in 4 overs) was impressive as usual while Ravindra Jadeja’s (2-29 in 4 overs) twin breakthrough during partnership was also important in the context of the innings.
Dwayne Bravo (2-34 in 4 overs) also chipped in with a couple of wickets in the end.
Virat Kohli (9) hit a couple of boundaries before a thickish edge off a Chahar outswinger brought about his downfall. Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a nice catch behind the stumps.
However, Parthiv and AB de Villiers (25 off 19 balls) added 47 runs in only 4.2 overs with the former South African skipper looking in fine touch.
De Villiers smashed Chahar over square leg while Parthiv also flicked Shardul Thakur (0-40 in 4 overs) for a couple of sixes.
Having picked 16 runs off the final Powerplay over, RCB looked in control before Jadeja induced De Villiers to go for a big shot only to be holed by Faf du Plessis at Long-off.
Parthiv was joined by the burly Akshdeep Nath (24, 20 balls), who hit a six off Jadeja, added 41 runs with his senior partner before being caught by Du Plessis at long-off Jadeja’s bowling at the stroke of team’s 100-run mark.
The baby-faced Parthiv, whose form has been inconsistent during the tournament so far, was ready to punish the loose balls on the day as he sent a Jadeja half-tracker soaring into the stands for his third six and hit Imran Tahir for a fourth one.
He reached his half-century by pulling Bravo in-front of square but was out off the very next ball. Parthiv’s innings had two fours and four sixes.
Just when 150 was looking a bit dicey, Moeen hit five boundaries to take RCB past 160-run mark.