Super Kings v Royal Challengers, IPL 2014, Ranchi May 18, 2014

RCB win spinfest to stay alive

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Royal Challengers Bangalore 142 for 5 (Gayle 46, Ashwin 2-16) beat Chennai Super Kings 138 for 4 (Raina 62) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 07:42
Prasad: Mohit better choice than rusty Hussey

Why did MS Dhoni go with David Hussey for the final over? That's the question IPL fans will be asking after a gripping low-scoring encounter on a spinning Ranchi track went down to 10 off the final over.

The ball was turning square, and Dhoni had three options: legspinner Samuel Badree, who had figures of 3-0-15-0, Mohit Sharma, who has been one of the standout bowlers of the tournament, and Hussey, who had no playing contract and was part of the IPL commentary team till last week. This was also Hussey's first game since March, he has bowled more than one over only once in his previous 14 Twenty20 matches, and had conceded 25 in his two overs on the day.

Still, Dhoni went with Hussey, perhaps wanting the ball to turn away from the main remaining threat, Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni has famously made unconventional bowling choices towards the end of an innings to conjure victories, but this was not one of those occasions. Yuvraj mowed the first ball over wide long-on for six, and the game was effectively over. With four needed off five deliveries, it was too little for Super Kings to play with. Abu Nechim clubbed a boundary to long-on to complete the game off the penultimate delivery.

Despite making only 138, Super Kings looked to be in control of the game for most of the chase. R Ashwin was outstanding with the new ball, giving away only three in three overs as he repeatedly made Chris Gayle look clueless. He would have sealed the game in the 15th over had he pouched an overhead chance off AB de Villiers at extra cover.

De Villiers was yet to get off the mark then, and the asking-rate was over 10 - perhaps par for the course for Twenty20s, but incredibly tough on this surface. On a track where even Gayle and Virat Kohli struggled to get the ball away, de Villiers was at ease, pummelling the ball to all parts as he scored at a strike-rate of 200. Three sixes in successive overs had brought the asking-rate down to a run-a-ball, but de Villiers went for another big hit in the 18th to perish and leave Yuvraj the job of hitting 14 off the final two overs.

There was drama as Yuvraj missed three deliveries from Ravindra Jadeja in the 19th, to leave 10 for the final over. Hussey was given the responsibility, but he couldn't pull it off.

He hadn't looked at ease with the bat either, after coming in following a rare early fall of Super Kings' openers. Suresh Raina and Hussey, however, put on 75 for the third wicket as Super Kings seemed set for their patented formula of bludgeoning the bowling in the second half. Though Raina went on to make 62, there was to be no bludgeoning as first the spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Yuzvendra Chahal stifled the batsmen, before Abu Nechim and Mitchell Starc did the same at the death. Dhoni, dismissed only once in his previous seven innings, fell for 7, and there were no boundaries in the final four overs as Starc and Nechim profited by bowling a full length.

The result isn't too much of a blow for Super Kings, who are still almost certain of making the playoffs, but was huge for Royal Challengers as it kept them alive and hoping.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ladycricfan on May 19, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    It was unfortunate Faf got injured. David was the only like for like replacement available and he had to play straight from the commentary box before having some hits in the nets. He will be better prepared for the coming games.

  • mjrvasu on May 19, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    RCB can win remaining 3 games, and post a higher NRR. CSK can lose remaining 3 with this casual attitude, and regret on the choice of David over Mohit for over number 20 when they are eliminated from play-offs.

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    @SNAMBIDI you seem to be a hardcore fan of uv I am guessing you only saw the 20th over of the game as the great uv you are saying who won the game was trying the glory shot ball after ball and unable to connect against sir jee and thanks to dhoni's generosity to give the final over to dave uv was able to swing and this time connected else it was goners.Rather than saying uv won the game i'd abd gayle laid the platform and dhoni in the end gifted the game.Guess dhoni has something for the 20th over finishes either with bat or ball in a similar scenario gave 20th to ashwin who almost gave away runs required by RR to win the game

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    ABD knock is very crucial.He came to bat when 53 is needed of 30 balls and took the game away from CSK. He took the attack to the opposition from ball one. Many say that he went for glory shot but that is the way AB plays. Unfortunately that shot didn't come off. He doesn't want to take the match to last over unlike Dhoni. For me ABD played a crucial role in RCB victory.

  • D-Coach on May 19, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    I am also die hard fan of CSK and Dhoni but when does such brainless things, we are to suffer as a fan. He did not used the resources properly in this IPL 7 inplaying 11 (eg. Manhas). This could backfire CSK later. He should send Manhas always to accelerate and rotate in middle order. On his present base, CSK does not need any bowlers. Let him stop his showcase his image and play for the team. Any his reply for the lose in Ranchi at post presentation is not acceptable at all. He made us to see one of the worst match played by CSK and loose the interest in IPL 7. Finally we have seen Dhoni Drama in last 3 matches and lets see where and when it ends. I want him first to play for the team even though CSK has other weak links. Love to see some flamboyant innings from Dhoni as he does and spoils few in all IPLs for CSK ;) Because this actor prevails media in such manner. All the best CSK.

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    Raina's innings in that wicket was a gem. His timing and placement was fabulous. Almost everyone else struggled.

  • ssenthil on May 19, 2014, 5:25 GMT

    Dhoni and his stubborn attitude costing another match for his hard bought team in which he did nothing. He does the same to Indian team and for CSK as well. Ishwar haven't been bowled and he is a specialist bowler in the team. Mohit Sharma the specialist death over bowler for CSK has 1 over left and the only overseas bowler in the CSK team Sam Badree has 1 over left in a spinner paradise and he choose the man jumped right from the commendatary box to bowl the last over despite he has leaked over 10 an over already to depend 10. Only Dhoni and his blind fanboys can justify this and his WAST Knowledge and awareness of the situation. I don't know why Baba Aparajith is not even considered when he offers a decent off spin and he SHOULD bowl better then Suresh Raina any day, perhaps Dhoni keeping him to surprise Maxwell? LOL. Only Dhoni can do it, not every day is September 21.

  • caught_knott_bowled_old on May 19, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Disappointed with the induction of David Hussey into the squad and straightaway into the playing XI. He wasn't picked at the auction for a reason. How did he suddenly merit selection and therefore straightaway into the side. If anything, they could've played Hastings or Matt Henry. Enough has been said about giving the last over to Hussey. I won't add to that except agree vehemently. Finally, the CSK team looks a bit out of sorts. McCullum is going to be away for a couple games. Faf isn't playing and we haven't heard how he's doing. Hussey comes in from the cold for Bravo -- which is a bit of a disappointment. I just hope we don't lose steam in the last phase. If Faf is still not OK, lets please draft in Matt Henry and see how he goes. He may be a future star for CSK...its not going to be Hussey, thats for sure.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on May 19, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    @Rory baxendale: square turning pitch which produced 140 runs in both innings is ruining context between bat and ball? ah! You should be biased cricket fan! Seaming pitch with 100 odd run in test innings is really ruining cricket! This is the best and perfect t20 pitch, produced good contex between bat and ball.

  • dummy4fb on May 19, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    Its just a league match and in a comfortable position, MS tried to experiment with the team. So brought Dave in the squad, as Baz will leave after next match, Dave will take more responsibility in last couple of matches, and i just wonder why mohit was not bowl last over, as he was good in death overs. And Ishwar pandey was forgotten. This shows more experimental and just take it easy match as they played yesterday. No tensions, no awareness etc., Hope they rectify mistakes and try to win to keep position.

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