Virat Kohli’s epic skill level complemented by peak fitness proved to be too good for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings which slumped to its fifth defeat by 37 runs in an Indian Premier League campaign already gone awry. It was captain Kohli’s unbeaten 90 off 52 balls that powered RCB to a competituve 169 for 4 on a slowish track after opting to bat.
The CSK batting, which has been wobbly throughout the first four weeks fared no better after Washington Sundar (2/16 in 3 overs) removed Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis inside the Powerplay overs. In the end, they finished on 132 for 8 in 20 overs. Ambati Rayudu (42 off 40 balls) and rookie N Jagadeesan (33) added 64 but the partnership never took off on a track where ball wasn’t coming onto the bat.
RCB did not get off to a rapid start as the CSK bowlers kept them on a leash after an out-of-sorts Aaron Finch (2) went early. Young Padikkal and skipper Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking but there were no big hits to be seen. Padikkal hoisted leggie Karn Sharma for a huge six in the 10th over.
However, his attempt to clear mid-off did not materialise as he ended up giving a catch to Faf du Plessis to give Thakur his first wicket. Three balls later, Thakur struck a huge blow for CSK, getting AB de Villiers to nick one to Dhoni with a cross-seam delivery with the South African ace not troubling the scorers.