For the neutral, it was yet another game to be relished, two rivals – Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore – on a batters’ paradise in Chinnaswamy Stadium. After 20 overs, Chennai looked like they had more chances of winning, with a score of 226, all on the back of a stupendous innings from Devon Conway, who scored a 45-ball 83.
But in the 10th over of the second innings, with RCB at 120/2, the game was running away from the hands of CSK. That’s when MS Dhoni played around with his bowling unit and brought on Maheesh Theekshana, who struck to remove an in-form, Glenn Maxwell. Despite that, Bangalore were in the ascendancy for the longest time.
Requiring 58 runs off 30 balls, with Shahbaz Ahmed and Dinesh Karthik at the crease, Dhoni was seemingly running out of options. But then came the final sucker punch, with Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande bowling a stupendous spell. That’s where RCB’s skipper Faf du Plessis felt that the game slipped away.
“I thought we batted perfectly. The last five overs were set up well, I thought DK would clinch it but those lost four overs we let it slip. At the toss, I said 200 was par, it was 10-15 too many, We went over the short boundary, off Dube,” RCB skipper Faf said in the post-match presentation.
But Faf insisted that the surface was a ‘great wicket’ and bowlers had to strive hard with their lengths and line.
“It was just one of those wickets where you bowl the first few balls and go, 'this is a great wicket.' In the end, it was about minimising the big overs under 20 while bowling. Will tell the boys to take this in stride and move on,” he added.
At one point during the run-chase, visuals suggested that Faf was struggling with an injury, and the South African insisted that he had lost a lot of ‘power’. However, the South African reckoned that the extent of injury will only be known after tests.
“Early on while fielding, I thought I just winded my rib but as the innings went on I felt discomfort. I tried to avoid taking my shirt off but had to do it in the end, sorry boys. Personally, I got stiff and lost some power. I'd have liked to have gone harder in the middle period. I tried but couldn't keep up."