Ruturaj Gaikwad scored his maiden IPL half-century to guide Chennai Super Kings an elusive victory in the IPL as Mahendra Singh’s side defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 wickets with 8 balls to spare. Gaikwad remained unbeaten at 65 in 51 balls.
Batting first, Royal Challengers Punjab could only put up 145-6 in 20 overs with skipper Virat Kohli finishing as the top-scorer by playing a knock of 50 in 43 balls. AB de Villiers made 39 in 36 deliveries.
Sam Curran picked up three wickets by conceding 19 runs in three overs, while two wickets went to Deepak Chahar.
Before coming to this match, the side led by Dhoni had lost four out of five matches, adversely impacting their chances of qualifying for the playoff stage in the competition. Chennai Super Kings have now accumulated 8 points after playing 12 matches and are sitting at the bottom of the points table.
Dhoni said after the match, “I felt this one was one of the perfect games. Everything went to plan, and the execution was there. We kept picking wickets, and kept them to a total that was slightly below par. The wicket was on a slower side, and the spinners did a good job. We haven’t been very consistent with the batting. Today the start was very good. Rutu batted well. He backed himself to play the shots he is known for. Looking to time the ball, if you look for four, you can get six. It does hurt when you don’t do well so you try to amplify certain emotions. So that the guys just don’t drop the game. That can leave with 12 painful hours of the remaining time in the tournament. You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table. If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become cruel and painful. So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded.”
Kohli, for his part, said, “What you saw in the second innings wasn’t a true reflection of how difficult the pitch was. We didn’t hit the areas. Too many boundary balls. They bowled really well. We hardly got any drive balls from them. We were looking for 150, but we were happy with 145. Our extra pace might be a factor but that can’t be an excuse. We just didn’t bowl enough slower balls. No change of pace, no bouncers. We saw how difficult it was to get under those slower balls.”
Gaikwad was declared Man Of the Match.