CHENNAI, May 4 (PTI): A sensational bowling effort by Chennai Super Kings saw them defend a modest total as they crushed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 24 runs to regain their position at the top of the table in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, here today.
Having posted a modest 148 for nine in 20 overs, CSK bowlers led by Ashish Nehra (3/19 in four overs) and Dwayne Bravo (2/19 in 3.4 overs) exhibited brilliant death over skills to bundle out RCB for 124 in 19.4 overs.
Such was the dominance of CSK bowlers at the back end of the innings that RCB lost as many as seven wickets for 27 runs in only 5.5 overs.
From a relatively comfortable 97 for three with another 52 runs to get, RCB�s slump started when Bravo effected a superb reflex run-out off his own bowling to get rid of opposition skipper Virat Kohli (48, 44 balls).
Kohli had hit two fours and a six during his knock as he added 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik (23) after they were left tottering at 34 for three. Once Kohli was gone, the procession started, with Karthik being snapped up in the deep off Nehra�s bowling in the 15th over. In his very next over, the veteran seamer removed Safaraz Khan (8) and Harshal Patel (0) to take his wickets tally to 17 in the tournament.
Bravo, on his part, bowled an exceptional 18th over with clever change ups and the off-cutters which led to Mitchell Starc playing four dot balls.
On his part, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni read the pitch perfectly as he knew that it would slow down with passage of time and strokemaking would be extremely difficult in the second half. His intuition turned out to be spot on as his bowlers vindicated his decision.
Earlier, Mitchell Starc bowled brilliantly for his figures of 3/24 in four overs as RCB managed to restrict CSK to 148 for nine in stipulated 20 overs after Dhoni had decided on batting first. Starc was supported well by Harshal Patel (2/19) and David Wiese (2/29). Suresh Raina, CSK�s most consistent player over eight seasons, again top-scored with a 46-ball-52 that had five sweetly-timed boundaries apart from a six.
But Starc was the most impressive of the RCB bowlers as he first yorked Dwayne Smith (0) off the very first over that went for a maiden.
However, Brendon McCullum (20) was in his usual aggressive self as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and seamer Wiese came in for some harsh treatment during that initial period.
Chennai Super Kings: Brendon McCullum c Iqbal Abdulla b Wiese 20, Suresh Raina lbw b Patel 52, Faf du Plessis b Patel 24, Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Starc b Wiese 29, Ravindra Jadeja c Kohli b Chahal 3, Pawan Negi b Starc 13, Dwayne Bravo c Wiese b Starc 2, Mohit Sharma run out (Karthik) 0, Ashish Nehra not out 0. Extras: (w 5) 5. Total: (9 wickets; 20 overs) 148. Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-34, 3-98, 4-101, 5-122, 6-139, 7-147, 8-148, 9-148. Bowling: Mitchell Starc 4-1-24-3, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-36-1, David Wiese 4-0-29-2, Harshal Patel 4-0-19-2, Iqbal Abdulla 3-0-34-0, Virat Kohli 1-0-6-0.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: N Maddinson b Pandey 4, V Kohli run out (Bravo) 48, AB de Villiers c du Plessis b Pandey 21, M Singh run out 0, D Karthik c Smith b Nehra 23, S Khan c Smith b Nehra 8, D Wiese c Negi b Bravo 17, H Patel c Dhoni b Nehra 0, M Starc c Raina b Sharma 1, I Abdulla c Negi b Bravo 0, Y Chahal not out 0. Extras: (LB-1, WD-1) 2. Total: (All out in 19.4 overs) 124. Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-34, 3-34, 4-97, 5-97, 6-111, 7-112, 8-124, 9-124. Bowling: I Pandey 4-0-28-2, A Nehra 4-0-19-3, M Sharma 4-0-29-1, R Jadeja 2-0-11-0, P Negi 2-0-19-0, D Bravo 3.4-0-17-2.