Royal Challengers Bangalore made full use of the batting paradise at the Dubai International Stadium against Rajasthan Royals to win the game by seven wickets on Wednesday night.
After stopping the Royals at 149, RCB reached the target with 17 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli’s men now maintain their third spot with 14 points, separating them from third-placed KKR with 10 points.
RR slumped to the seventh spot with eight points.
Lewis makes it big
Did Evin Lewis come to the Royals’ huddle too late?
The Caribbean juggernaut struck a fiery fifty as he opened for Rajasthan only the second time in the tournament.
Replacing Liam Livingston as the opener, Lewis put up a 77-run stand for the first wicket with Yashasvi Jaisal.
His 58 off 37 put the Royals on track to a big total, but fate had other plans.
RCB spinners deliver the goods
Shahbaz Ahmed and Yuzvendra Chahal changed the momentum of the game in the middle overs to put RCB into the driver’s seat.
Shahbaz’s 2/10 in two overs stunted the pace at which Royals were cruising.
Chahal finished his quota at 2/18 to remind everyone how significant his contribution is in the middle overs.
Maxwell hits another fifty
Glenn Maxwell (50*) capitalized on a great start that Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli provided in the powerplay.
His extended partnership with Srikara Bharat (44) meant that the RR were out of the contest before the game moves into final overs.
It was down to AB de Villiers to finish the game with a four.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 153 for 3 (Maxwell 50*, Bharat 44, Mustafizur 2-20) beat Rajasthan Royals 149 for 9 (Lewis 58, Jaiswal 31, Harshal 3-34, Shahbaz 2-10, Chahal 2-18) by seven wickets.
Match preview – SRH vs CSK
Chennai Super Kings will have the easiest task in their Indian Premier League campaign on Thursday when they take on low-spirited Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Expected Man of the Match
Faf du Plessis
With an average of 49, Faf du Plessis is showing that he ages like a fine wine.
The former South African skipper is in the form of his life in IPL 2021, putting up hefty partnerships with his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Their opening stands have been instrumental throughout the season, providing the middle-order batters to build on the foundation they build in every game.
Du Plessis has been consistently utilizing powerplay overs, playing seamers all over the park.
With 394 runs in 10 games already, he will be a potent weapon for the CSK for the Thursday game.
Chennai Super Kings have two things on their side: the best net run rate (+1.069) and most number of points (16).
This has helped them dominate the points table in both legs of the campaign.
While Mahendra Singh Dhoni is yet to get in his usual groove, the World Cup winner has made phenomenal strategic decisions to maintain CSK’s dominance over other teams after a disappointing last season.
Hyderabad have, however, faced victories rarely.
With an ever-changing team, they haven’t yet found the momentum that is needed to thrash CSK in a big game.
Hence, the Super Kings should ease past the Sunrisers.