IPL 2020: RR vs RCB & DC vs CSK - AB de Villiers' Heroics, Chennai's Poor Day in the Field and Other Talking Points

A double header match day in the IPL 2020 usually means a lot of hard-hitting action and Saturday did not disapppoint in that regard. Here are the talking points from RR vs RCB & DC vs CSK.

IPL 2020: RR vs RCB & DC vs CSK - AB de Villiers' Heroics, Chennai's Poor Day in the Field and Other Talking Points

A double header match day in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 usually means a lot of hard-hitting action for the fans and Saturday (October 17) did not disapppoint in that regard. The first day of the match saw the Rajasthan Royals (RR) take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) whereas the second match of the day saw Delhi Capitals (DC) take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Both matches went down to the wire and both were high-scoring affairs, which meant that fans were in for some entertaining cricket even though the nature of the matches meant that there were plenty of questions posed for all sides. (IPL 2020 FULL COVERAGE |  IPL 2020 SCHEDULE  | IPL 2020 POINTS TABLE)

The run to the play-offs is becoming clearer now; DC lead the pack with 14 points whereas defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) sit in second place, ahead of RCB on Net Run Rate (NRR) only as both have 12 points. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) occupy 4th spot but given their recent shaky form, it seems likely that another team could usurp them from that position. (IPL 2020 ORANGE CAP  |  IPL 2020 PURPLE CAP)

Here are the talking points from Saturday's matches.

De Villiers Weaves His Magic... Again

Batting first, Rajasthan Royals had done well to post 177-6 in what were tricky conditions to bat in. Given the surface was only going to slow as the match wore on, one could argue the target was well above par. And going into the last two overs, RCB needed 35 to win. But none of that matters if you're AB de Villiers.

De Villiers' blitiz ensured Jaydev Unadkat's penultimate over went for 25 runs, including 3 sixes by the South African to start the over. Fittingly, it was ABD who then smashed the winning runs when he hit a six off Archer in the fourth ball of the final over.

Smith's Tactics Leave RR in Muddle

One of RR's biggest issues this season has been figuring out how to best use the personnel at their disposal. They have chopped and changed batting and bowling orders as well as their starting XI. Skipper Steve Smith, generally regarded as an astute tactician, was once again in the spotlight for a couple of questionable calls.

The decision to continue to open with Ben Stokes - best suited to a middle-order role - continues to pay no dividends, even if promoting Robin Uthappa to the top of the order worked handsomely. Saving Archer for the 20th over and relying on Unadkat - never a death overs specialist - to bowl the penultimate over was another head-scratcher.

Dhawan Comes Through Strong for DC

Shikhar Dhawan had scored two half-centuries prior to the match against CSK so he was in decent form coming into this match, but what stood out about his innings against Chennai was the way he looked to take the attack to the bowlers from early in the innings.

Dhawan generally plays the anchor role for DC, with the younger Prithvi Shaw tasked with taking the attack to the opposition. However, Shaw's early dismissal saw Dhawan cut loose and the result was his maiden IPL century. There was an element of luck to his innings, of course, given he was handed numerous reprieves by CSK. Speaking of which...

Poor Fielding Costs CSK

Batting first, CSK had posted a more than respectable 179-4 thanks to a half-century from Faf du Plessis and good knocks from Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja. In the end it was Jadeja who dominated headlines as he was picked to bowl the final over of the second innings due to Dwayne Bravo being unavaible due to an injury and was unable to defend 17 runs.

However, the man who had inflicted the majority of the damage stood at the other end - Dhawan. His century meant he had scored the bulk of the runs but he was dropped on three occasions - including once by MS Dhoni himself - and even survived a run-out. One can't help but feel if he was dismissed earlier, CSK might have emerged victorious.