Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa’s scintillating strokeplay was complemented by a stellar performance from the spinners as Chennai Super Kings notched up a 23-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore to open their account in the 15th IPL here on Tuesday.
Invited to bat, Dube (95 not out) and Uthappa (88 off 50 balls) conjured up commanding unbeaten half-centuries, smashing 17 sixes and 9 fours between them en route to a 165-run stand — the overall highest for the third wicket and the highest of this season — to take CSK to an imposing 216 for 4.
In reply, RCB was restricted to 193 for nine, with young spinner Maheesh Theekshana (4/33) and skipper Ravindra Jadeja (3/39) running riot with seven wickets between them in CSK’s 200th IPL game.
With this win, the defending champions finally snapped their four match losing streak, while for Bangalore, it was just their second loss in five matches.
Chasing an improbable 217, RCB lost skipper Faf du Plessis (8), who became Theekshana’s first victim and star-batter Virat Kohli (1), who was removed by Mukesh Choudhary, inside the first five overs. In-form Anuj Rawat (12) too fell inside the power-play after being trapped in front of the wicket by Theekshana.
The 21-year-old spinner from Sri Lanka, who was picked for Rs 70 lakh in the mega auction, then cleaned up debutant Suyash Prabhudessai (34) and Shahbaz Ahmed (41), who tried to take the game deep with their quick 60-run stand off 33 balls.
Theekshana castled Prabhudessai, after the ball beat the inside edge and crashed into the middle stump and then used the carrom ball to dismiss Ahmed and cap off a match-winning spell under the lights. Dinesh Karthik did create a scare with his 14-ball 34, but that was too little and too late as CSK heaved a sigh of relief with their first points on the board.
At the start, Dube and Uthappa feasted on the RCB attack, smashing scintillating half-centuries.
Earlier, invited to bat, Uthappa and Dube showed their six hitting prowess as they rallied the innings after CSK was reeling at 36 for 2.
Both Dube and Uthappa posted their highest IPL scores to set up the match for defending champions CSK, who are reeling from four straight losses and are still looking for their first win this season.
The carnage started from the 11th over as the duo went hammer and tongs and CSK cruised to 133 for 2 in the 15th over, with 73 runs coming in the five overs.