Chennai, May 4: A sensational bowling effort by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) saw them defend a modest total as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 24 runs to regain their position at the top of the table in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8) tournament, here today.
Having posted a modest 148 for nine in 20 overs, CSK bowlers, led by Ashish Nehra (3/19 in 4 overs) and Dwayne Bravo (2/19 in 3.4 overs) exhibited brilliant death over skills to bundle out RCB for 124 in 19.4 overs.
Such was the dominance of CSK bowlers at the back end of the innings that RCB lost as many as 7 wickets for 27 runs in only 5.5 overs.
From a relatively comfortable 97/3 with another 52 runs to get, RCB's slump started when Bravo effected a superb reflex run-out off his own bowling to get rid of opposition skipper Virat Kohli (48, 44 balls).
Kohli had hit two fours and a six during his knock as he added 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Dinesh Karthik (23) after they were left tottering at 34 for three.
Once Kohli was gone, the procession started, with Karthik being snapped up in the deep off Nehra's bowling in the 15th over.
In his very next over, the veteran seamer removed Safaraz Khan (8) and Harshal Patel (0) to take his wickets tally to 17 in the tournament.
Bravo, on his part, bowled an exceptional 18th over with clever change ups and the off-cutters which led to Mitchell Starc playing four dot balls.
On his part, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni read the pitch perfectly as he knew that it would slow down with passage of time and strokemaking would be extremely difficult in the second half. His intuition turned out to be spot on as his bowlers vindicated his decision.
CSK restricted to 148/9
Earlier, CSK posted 148/9 in 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat. They didn't have a particularly bright start after West Indian Dwayne Smith was bowled for zero by Australian pacer Mitchell Starc.
The other opener, Brendon McCullum (20) also departed early after raising hopes of putting together a partnership with Suresh Raina (52).
But Raina remained unperturbed by the setback and carried on gracefully and compiled a 64-run third-wicket stand with South African Faf du Plessis (24).
The Raina-Plessis partnership didn't allow the run-scoring momentum to dip. But RCB broke the momentum in the 15th over when pacer Harshal Patel dismissed both du Plessis and Raina.
The twin blow snapped CSK's initiative and they struggled to force the pace from there on, managing to score only 47 runs in the last five overs.
CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29) unleashed some powerful hits to the fence to get their total close to the 150-run mark but even his best efforts looked modest as his team lost wickets at regular intervals to manage just an average total.