IPL 2021 - CSK vs RCB - Five backend strikes by Bravo, Shardul fizz out RCB; CSK numero uno again

Chennai Super Kings 157 for 4 (Gaikwad 38, Rayudu 32, Harshal 2-25) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 156 for 6 (Padikkal 70, Kohli 53, Bravo 3-24, Thakur 2-29) by six wickets

IPL 2021, CSK vs RCB: CSK beat RCB by six wickets in 35th match of IPL 2021, CSKvsRCB Twitter Reactions
CSK claims top spot in Points table, RCB remain at 3. (©BCCI/IPL)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) top and middle-order collapsed in the face of some innovative bowling interspersed with variation by Dwayne Bravo (3/24) and Shardul Thakur (2/29) after a brilliant partnership by the openers Devdutt Padikkal (70) and Virat Kohli (53) in the first half.

The two partnerships for Chennai Super Kings - first between Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis and then between Ambati Rayadu and Moeen Ali - helped them in chasing down the target of 157 runs in 18.1 overs.

IPL 2021, RCBvsCSK: Virat Kohli scores half century (53) against CSK at Sharjah. CSK beat RCB by six wickets at Sharjah.
From 111 for 0 in 13 overs, RCB could manage only 156 for 6 (©BCCI/IPL)

Dhoni’s inventive field setting helps eke out Virat Kohli’s wicket; RCB choked from 111/0 in 13 overs to 156/5 in 20

It was excellent captaincy on display by MS Dhoni as he used Dwayne Bravo exceedingly well in the backend of RCB’s innings. Even though RCB openers Devdutt Padikkal and captain Virat Kohli registered a brilliant partnership of 111 runs in 13.2 overs, Bravo gave a breakthrough by dismissing the RCB captain after he scored a half-century. What was interesting was that Ravindra Jadeja was placed wide of long on by Dhoni almost close to the cow corner where Kohli holed out playing a short-arm jab off Bravo. Given Kohli’s liking for the on-side in limited overs, this was a move that paid off for the CSK skipper.

It was all downhill from that moment for RCB as their star batter AB de Villiers was subsequently dismissed by Shardul Thakur. In the final analysis, they managed a paltry 45 runs in the final 7 overs and ended up at 156/5 where they looked good for at least 190.

Earlier, Kohli came back into form against CSK when he scored 53 runs from 41 balls with six fours and a six. The other opener, Paddikal also scored an important 70 runs in 50 balls which included five fours and three sixes. T