Bangalore: Robin Uthappa bludgeoned an unbeaten 68 from just 38 balls to inspire Royal Challengers Bangalore to an emphatic 36-run victory over Chennai Super Kings at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.
Uthappa’s fiery knock powered Bangalore to a healthy 171-5 on a lively Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch before the hosts’ bowlers strangled Chennai’s batting order to seal the win. R Vinay Kumar took four wickets but it was Dale Steyn and captain Anil Kumble’s economical spells that never let the visitors get away.
Chennai were off to a cautious start to their run chase and the wicket of opener Parthiv Patel put them on the backfoot early. Matthew Hayden experimented with the Mongoose bat yet again but Rahul Dravid’s direct hit ended his stay for 32.
Steyn’s opening burst followed by skipper Kumble’s introduction derailed Chennai’s run chase as Australian George Bailey, promoted to No. 3, failed to accelerate before perishing to Vinay Kumar after using up 27 balls for his 18. Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay fell in quick succession as Chennai fell behind at the halfway stage.
S Badrinath staged a mini-revival for the visitors but his 17-ball 31 wasn’t enough, while Albie Morkel failed to score the crucial boundaries as Chennai suffered their second consecutive defeat.
Earlier, Bangalore were struggling in the middle overs but Uthappa’s quickfire knock, which included six massive sixes, propelled the home side to a defendable total after Chennai captain Suresh Raina won the toss and put them in to bat.
Bangalore lost their first wicket in the form of Jacques Kallis who was dismissed for the first time in the tournament. The opening batsman moved too far across the stumps but was bowled by L Balaji after making 19. Chennai kept the Bangalore scoring in check thereafter, as Rahul Dravid and Manish Pandey failed to break the shackles.
The twin dismissals of Dravid and Pandey before the halfway mark had Bangalore wobbling but Uthappa and Virat Kohli pulled the hosts out of trouble. Kohli, however, was stumped by Muttiah Muralitharan in a bid to clear the boundary.
Uthappa, dropped twice on 5 and 25, made full use of his lives and belted sixes at will. The last five overs saw eight sixes being hit, three of them coming in a Balaji over which cost Chennai 24 runs.