Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa’s sparkling stroke play was complemented by a stellar performance from the spinners as Chennai Super Kings took a 23-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore to open their account in the 15th IPL on Tuesday. Dube (95 not out) and Uthappa (88 off 50 balls) were invited to bat and conjured up undefeated undefeated half centuries, crushing 17 sixes and 9 fours en route to a 165 point tie – the overall highest for third wicket and this season’s highest — to take CSK to an impressive 216 for 4.
In response, RCB was limited to 193 for nine, with young spinner Maheesh Theekshana (4/33) and skipper Ravindra Jadeja (3/39) rioting with seven wickets between them in CSK’s 200th IPL match.
With this win, the defending champions have finally broken their four-game loss streak, while it was only their second loss in five games for Bangalore.
Chasing an unlikely 217, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis (8), who became Theekshana’s first casualty, and star batter Virat Kohli (1), who was eliminated by Mukesh Choudhary, lost within the first five overs.
In-form Anuj Rawat (12) also fell into the power play after being pinned for the wicket by Theekshana.
The 21-year-old spinner from Sri Lanka, who was picked for Rs 70 lakh in the mega auction, went on to clear out debutant Suyash Prabhudessai (34) and Shahbaz Ahmed (41), who were trying to get the game deep with their fast 60. -run stand-off 33 balls.
Theekshana pacified Prabhudessai, after the ball hit the inside rim and crashed into the center stump, then used the carrom ball to fire Ahmed and cap off a match-winning spell under the lights.
Dinesh Karthik caused a scare with his 14-ball 34, but that was too little, too late, as CSK heaved a sigh of relief with their first points on the board.
In the beginning, Dube and Uthappa feasted on the RCB attack, which crushed sparkling half-centuries.
Uthappa and Dube, who were previously invited to bat, showed their six batting skills when they rallied the innings after CSK faltered 36 for 2.
While Uthappa’s knock was littered with nine sixes and four limits, Dube also knocked eight sixes and five fours in his undefeated 46-ball.
Both Dube and Uthappa posted their highest IPL scores to set up the game for defending champions CSK, who are recovering from four consecutive losses and are still looking for their first win of the season.
Uthappa took his time to settle down and only reached his first limit in the fifth over, a cut off from Mohammed Siraj (0/37), before hitting Akash Deep (0/58) for his first maximum in the next over .
Uthappa and Dube then upped the ante as they each hit a boundary on Deep, then lanky left-handed batter Glenn Maxwell (0/29) launched for his first six over long-on.
The carnage started from the 11th over when the duo went hammer and tongs and CSK crossed to 133 for 2 in the 15th over, taking 73 runs in the five overs.
Dube was brutal on Wanindu Hasaranga (2/35), who bled 13 runs, in the 11th over.
Uthappa and Dube spared no bowler with Maxwell’s former standout three sixes left in the 13th while CSK amassed 19 runs.
Continuing the attack, the duo penalized Deep in the 15th over, as it rained bounds and sixes here.
Uthappa stepped up the attack after he was 50 and launched into Siraj, hitting him with two sixes and a four in the 17th for 18 runs.
Deep again took the brunt of Dube, getting two sixes and a line across in the 18th, while 200 looked imminent. Deepblood 24 runs in the 18th over.
Uthappa missed a creditable hundred when he fell in the penultimate over, yielding 14 runs and then Dube compounded the bowling team’s woes by hitting over two sixes in the last to end the innings in style.
CSK lost cheaply to Ruturaj Gaikwad (17) and Moeen Ali (3). But then it was the Uthappa and Dube show.
RCB missed the services of Harshal Patel, who had left the bio-bubble after his sister’s death on Saturday.
RCB players wore black armbands into the game to show solidarity with Patel and his family.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)