Royal Challengers Bangalore 142-5 (Gayle 46)
Chennai Super Kings 138-4 by five wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Ranchi
The Royal Challengers Bangalore won a thrilling low-scorer against the Chennai Super Kings by five wickets to keep their Indian Premier League 2014 chances alive.
On a pitch that got slower as the game went on, Chennai posted 138 for four largely thanks to a Suresh Raina half-century.
Bangalore then needed some late hitting from AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh to get them home with a ball to spare.
With this win, Royal Challengers Bangalore moved up to fifth in the table, with 10 points from 11 matches (five wins) the but Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad both have a game in hand.
Thanks to this defeat, Chennai Super Kings stay in the second spot with 16 points from 11 matches (eight wins).
Chasing a below-par 139 runs, Bangalore lost Parthiv Patel (10) early, but Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli put on a 61-run stand for the second wicket to provide their team with a platform to launch for victory. The 50-run mark came up in the 11th but they had managed to save wickets and that helped the Royal Challengers to make the push.
Gayle scored 46 runs off 50 balls, with three fours and three sixes, while Kohli made 27 runs off 29 balls, including one four and one six, as they put on 50 runs off 49 balls.
The latter fell in the 15th over and Gayle was dismissed two overs later but only 29 more runs were required at that stage.
De Villiers and Yuvraj then put on the finishing touches as Bangalore reaped the benefits of finally getting their batting order right. The South African scored 28 runs off only 14 balls, hitting one four and three sixes, calming the nerves in the dugout but getting out in the 18th over.
Yuvraj then steered them home, staying unbeaten on 13 off 9 balls, with one six to his name, as the Royal Challengers won with a ball to spare.
Sachin Rana (1) had fallen at the edge of victory, while Abu Nechim (4 not out) was the other unbeaten batsman.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2-16) and new recruit David Hussey (2-38) took two wickets each, while Ravindra Jadeja (1-31) was the other wicket-taker for Chennai.
Earlier, Chennai won the toss and elected to bat first on a slow, turning wicket. They got off to a decently quick start, unlike their previous standards though, and this cost them a bit as they lost both openers in the fifth over bowled by Varun Aaron (2-29).
Losing both Dwayne Smith (9) and Brendon McCullum (19) cheaply meant that they needed to rely on the middle order a bit more than earlier in the tournament and the unfamiliarity of the situation cost them.
Raina rose to the occasion with only his second fifty of the season, but a very timely one. Thanks to his efforts, the 50-run mark came up in the ninth over and then the 100-run mark came up in the 14th over as he put on 75 runs for the third wicket with Hussey.
Raina scored 50 off 35 balls, with six fours and one six, while Hussey scored 25 runs off 29 balls, including one four and one six.
Hussey fell shortly thereafter, and then skipper and cool finisher MS Dhoni (7) was dismissed cheaply in the 17th over, hurting them towards as the end and denying them momentum in the death overs, even as Raina scored an unbeaten 62 runs off 48 balls.
Abu Nechim (1-18) was the best bowler for Bangalore, while Muttiah Muralitharan (1-29) too played his part in stopping the Super Kings’ batting.
© Cricket World 2014