RCB Fail Super Kings’ Challenge

If Chris Gayle fails, the Royal Challengers Bangalore fail. That has been the equation. And if Gayle, Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers all fail, how could RCB ever win? That, in a nutshell, is the story of team’s Indian Premier League campaign this year.

In the second qualifier in Ranchi on Friday, RCB put 139 on board. The Chennai Super Kings chased down the total with relative ease, scoring 140 for 7 with a ball to spare. Till the introduction Mitchell Starc and Sreenath Arvind, RCB’s bowling had looked woefully inadequate. But unless the batsmen post enough runs, there is little the bowlers can do.

That apart, the team’s fielding has never been impressive this season. In the qualifier against Chennai, Gayle and Harshal Patel floored catches that should have been taken at this level.

Chennai Super Kings captain M S Dhoni said afterwards, “A total of 140 is the kind of a score with which you don’t know whether to go after the bowlers or keep wickets in hand. Credit to Ashwin. I thought he bowled really well and was supported well by the fast bowlers.”

He said it was difficult to say what would have been a par score on such a pitch. “It was a high-pressure game and maybe, they were 10-12 runs short. We have had a few off games but we have to play according to the situation in the final,” he said.

Bangalore captain Virat Kohli agreed that his team was a few runs short. “I thought we were 15-20 runs short. Credit to the CSK bowlers. They squeezed us. I always think low totals were very tricky. Against top-quality sides like CSK, you have to grab the chances that come your way. It would have been a different result had we held on to our chances.” He expressed pride in the way his team fought, dragging the match to the final over.

Despite Karnataka dominating domestic cricket, few players from the state have been given a spot in the RCB squad. Arvind joined only because New Zealand’s Adam Milne was ruled out due to injury. And the lack of balance showed on Friday, leaving the Bengaluru outfit with much to ponder ahead of IPL 9.

kohli and co falter again

139 a batting failure for RCB, who put up a paltry total

3/28 Ashish Nehra dismantled the RCB top order

56 Mike Hussey’s 46-ball knock guided CSK safely into the final

6 a record sixth final for Chennai, who will face Mumbai Indians in Kolkata on Sunday

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