History (and current form) would suggest that’s not likely to change. Chennai are sitting on top of the table, Bangalore at the very bottom. But any team which has Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn in it cannot be ruled out before a single ball has been bowled. Will we see another match filled with glorious uncertainties?
Here, we take a look at the last five occasions when CSK and RCB locked horns with each other.
March 23rd 2019, Chennai Super Kings won by 7 wickets
The opening game of the 2019 IPL season saw Chennai Super Kings trump Royal Challengers Bangalore by 7 wickets at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai.
In what was a rather anticlimactic match compared to the buildup, RCB were all out for just 70 in 17.1 overs with senior spin wizards Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir picking up three wickets each. Spin did the trick for the home side, and the extent of their dominance can be gauged by the fact that Parthiv Patel was the only RCB batsman to enter double digits.
Chennai’s only hiccup in the match was losing Shane Watson for a duck after he had been around for ten balls. Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja took CSK over the line in the eighteenth over of the match, to complete an unhurried chase for the home side.
May 5th 2018, Chennai Super Kings won by 6 wickets
Harbhajan Singh came to the party once again for CSK, as along with Ravindra Jadeja, the duo removed RCB’s big guns in the first eight overs of the first innings itself. Much like the match earlier this season, Parthiv Patel top-scored for RCB with 53 off 41, but apart from Tim Southee’s knock of 36 lower down the order, RCB’s batsmen were yet again single-digit contributors as their innings folded on 127/9 in 20 overs.
Once again, CSK chased down the target comfortably with 12 balls and six wickets to spare on 128/4, MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo taking them home.
April 25th 2018, Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets
In a high scoring game where RCB put on a massive total of 205/8 on the board with a de Villiers special of 68 off 30 balls thrown in, Chennai proved they were more than equal to the task by chasing the total down in the final over of their innings.
It looked like CSK would struggle when Shane Watson was dismissed in the first over for seven runs, but Ambati Rayudu stepped up to the plate. He sent the RCB fielders on a leather hunt, but the concern was that he kept losing batsmen around him – Raina, Billings and Jadeja all falling cheaply.
Of course, captain cool MS Dhoni then stepped in and put up a 99 run stand with Rayudu. Rayudu fell on 82 off 53 balls as they inched towards the target. But the damage had been done, and Dwayne Bravo joined Dhoni to hit the winning runs once again, the captain remaining not out on 70 off 34 balls.
May 22nd 2015, Chennai Super Kings won by 3 wickets
The second qualifier of the 2015 edition of the IPL saw the two southern giants go at it once again, with CSK walking away with the bragging rights, winning by three wickets on the second last ball of the match.
CSK seemed to have a grip over the match from the RCB innings itself when the veteran Ashish Nehra dismissed both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the fifth over of the innings. But a rebuilding mission by Chris Gayle (41) meant that RCB ended on a 139/8 in their 20 overs.
In reply, Michael ‘Mr. Cricket’ Hussey and Faf du Plessis had managed to get CSK to 61 runs by the tenth over. But Yuzvendra Chahal picked up the wickets of du Plessis and Suresh Raina in quick succession to put CSK in a spot of bother.
The match kept swinging like a yo-yo, and MS Dhoni’s 26 off 29 balls was an important contribution to make sure that CSK didn’t lose their way.
In the end, the equation kept getting tighter, but Ravichandran Ashwin’s single off the second last ball of the innings took CSK to their sixth final in eight editions of the IPL.
May 4th 2015, Chennai Super Kings won by 24 runs
In a second innings fight-back, CSK went on to win this low-scoring game by 24 runs after RCB looked like they would run away with the chase of 149 runs. Suresh Raina’s half-century and handy contributions by du Plessis and Dhoni ensured the home side ended their innings at a respectable total.
Despite losing early wickets, RCB were still on course to chase the target down when the score read 97/3 in the 13th over. But the score remained unmoved as Kohli and Dinesh Karthik fell in quick succession, meaning RCB had half their side back in the pavilion.
The away team never really recovered from that point, and crumbled on 124 in the last over as none of the remaining batsmen made any telling contribution.
First Published: April 21, 2019, 9:51 AM IST