The match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday was an absolute nail-biter, and one of the best matches of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. When Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, two of the most popular and loved Indian cricketers ever, play against each other in the IPL, it is, mostly, a great spectacle, and the CSK skipper made it memorable with his outstanding hitting and career-best IPL knock of 84 runs off 48 balls. His innings included five boundaries and seven sixes. 


Batting first, RCB made 161 runs in 20 overs. Kohli and AB de Villiers fell early but Parthiv Patel held one end up and played a very solid innings of 53 runs off 37 balls. Moeen Ali, who was pushed down to No 6 in the batting order, made 26 runs off just 16 balls and added some quick runs in the last few overs for RCB. 

In reply, Chennai Super Kings lost four early wickets and allowed the RCB bowlers to take charge of the game. Dale Steyn dismissed Shane Watson and Suresh Raina in the first over of the CSK innings, and Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav also threw their wickets away by playing lose strokes off Umesh Yadav’s bowling. Suddenly, chasing a modest target of 161 runs, CSK were 28/4 in six overs.

Also read: 3 ways Chennai Super Kings buried Kolkata Knight Riders in their own garden 

The match was firmly in the grip of RCB but Dhoni batted in his trademark style, and even when Ambati Rayudu was struggling to get going at one end, he kept playing his shots and scored runs freely. However, after losing Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja in quick succession, Dhoni decided to change gears and tore RCB’s bowling apart with his ruthless hitting. 

With 26 needed off the final over, Dhoni went berserk and smashed 24 runs off the first five balls. He showed no mercy towards his India teammate Umesh and smashed three big sixes and a boundary, including a 111-meter six which went out of the stadium. However, he missed the final delivery, and Parthiv hit the stumps directly and effected a run out to give RCB a very important win.

RCB won the match by just a run but the match will be remembered by many for Dhoni’s brilliant hitting. 


Very poor planning and calculation by CSK’s top order

While chasing a modest total as 161, it is very important to see off the new ball, especially when the opposition doesn’t have good death bowlers. In IPL 2019, we have seen how RCB bowlers succumb under pressure, especially in death overs. The inexperienced bowling unit of RCB is one of the biggest reasons they are at the bottom of the points table. 

CSK’s top order should have taken some time before playing extravagant shots because, these days, Steyn is not as fast and sharp as he used to be, and he is not a big threat once the ball gets old. Similarly, Umesh leaks a lot of runs with the old ball, and we saw how Dhoni smashed 24 runs off his last over and almost took the match away from RCB. 

CSK lost their top four batsmen to Steyn and Umesh and this is where they made the biggest mistake. The plan should have been to see the new ball off and keep wickets in hand, in the first six overs. 

It is true that T20 cricket is all about aggression and risk but, as CSK captain Dhoni said in the post-match interview, it’s also important to calculate the risk and pick the right bowlers to attack.