RCB Clinch Playoff Spot with Thrilling Win Over CSK in IPL 2024

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) clinched their place in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 playoffs with a dramatic 27-run victory over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. The match reached a fever pitch as it all came down to the final over, with CSK needing 17 runs to secure their own playoff spot. Yash Dayal delivered a full toss on his first ball, and MS Dhoni sent it soaring over fine-leg for a mammoth 110m six. The next ball was slower and pitched outside the leg stump; Dhoni attempted to clear the square-leg boundary but only managed to pick out the fielder in the deep.

Shardul Thakur then took to the crease, missing the third ball, which was a short and slow one. On the fourth delivery, he edged the ball to short third man, acquiring just a single and leaving Ravindra Jadeja with 10 runs to get off the last two balls to emulate his heroics from the 2023 final. Dayal showed nerves of steel, delivering two impeccable slower balls to deny CSK and Jadeja, thus securing RCB’s passage to the playoffs. The intensity of the contest between these fierce rivals underscored how their playoff fates hung in the balance.

In this high-stakes virtual knockout match, CSK opted to bowl first after winning the toss. This decision set a clear-cut equation: RCB needed to win by 18 runs to secure their playoff berth. The Chinnaswamy Stadium, known for its scoring-friendly pitches, lived up to its reputation. However, there was a phase during RCB’s innings when even 200 runs seemed challenging.

RCB’s innings started with a bang as Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis took an aggressive approach in the initial overs. Kohli’s standout shot was a flick over mid-wicket off Tushar Deshpande for a six. With RCB at 31 for three after three overs, rain temporarily halted the proceedings. Fortunately, it was a brief shower, and play resumed without any loss of overs.

Post-resumption, batting conditions appeared tougher as the ball started gripping and turning, prompting CSK to bring their spinners into the attack. In the two overs following the rain break, RCB managed only six runs. Du Plessis broke the shackles in the final over of the powerplay, hitting Mahesh Theekshana down the ground. Kohli, energised, took on CSK spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner post-powerplay, smashing a six off Jadeja in the ninth over and another off Santner in the tenth before getting caught by Daryl Mitchell at long-on.

Du Plessis then took charge, hitting Jadeja for two sixes and a four to reach his half-century. Rajat Patidar, one of RCB’s in-form batsmen, joined the fray with a six off Theekshana.

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. Du Plessis was eventually dismissed for 54 when a drive by Patidar diverted by Santner struck the stumps at the non-striker’s end. At 113 for three in 13 overs, RCB needed a powerful finish.

Patidar and Cameron Green then ignited RCB’s innings with a blistering 71-run partnership off just 28 balls. Their aggressive batting meant that in the last seven overs, only one returned under 13 runs. Patidar scored 41 off 23 balls, while Green remained unbeaten on 38 off 17 balls. Late cameos from Dinesh Karthik (14 off six balls) and Glenn Maxwell (16 off five balls) pushed RCB to a daunting 218. Consequently, CSK needed to achieve 201 runs to secure their playoff spot.

CSK’s chase began with a setback as Ruturaj Gaikwad was caught by Yash Dayal at short fine-leg off the first ball. Glenn Maxwell, having been successful during RCB’s innings, opened the bowling. By the third over, CSK were reeling at 19 for two after Dayal got Mitchell to edge one to mid-off.

Rachin Ravindra and Ajinkya Rahane then attempted to salvage the innings with a measured partnership, mixing caution with aggression to add 66 off 41 balls. The duo kept the required rate manageable by hitting regular boundaries, but Rahane fell for 33 to a high catch by du Plessis off Lockie Ferguson’s first ball in the ninth over.

With the door slightly ajar, RCB tightened the screws further. The 12th over saw Ravindra hitting a four and two sixes to reach his half-century, somewhat alleviating the pressure on CSK.

Drama continued to unfold as Shivam Dube was dropped by Mohammad Siraj at long-on in the 13th over but was soon run-out in a mix-up for 61. Dube’s struggle culminated when he was caught at long-on off Ferguson. The pressure further mounted on CSK when Santner was brilliantly caught by du Plessis in the 15th over.

With 71 needed off the last five overs, Dhoni joined Jadeja. The duo made significant strides towards the target, with Jadeja hitting the first ball after the timeout for a six. CSK managed 13 and 15 runs off the following two overs, with Jadeja predominantly shouldering the responsibility, striking Siraj for a six and a four.

Ferguson’s penultimate over began with a beamer, yielding two fours from Jadeja and Dhoni and ending with a six over mid-wicket by Jadeja, setting up a thrilling finale. However, despite Jadeja’s late assault, RCB’s Yash Dayal held his nerve in the final over, ensuring RCB’s place in the playoffs with a nail-biting finish.

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