Ambati Rayudu top scored with 32 © AFP
Ambati Rayudu top scored with 32 © AFP

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) regained top spot in the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 after beating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 6 wickets at Pune. The 128-run target proved to be a stroll for CSK. MS Dhoni continued his form with bat, taking Chennai to victory in the end, while Ambati Rayudu consolidated on his lead over others in the hunt for the Orange Cap.

CSK’s innings started poorly after Umesh Yadav cleaned up Shane Watson for 11. Yadav set up Watson perfectly with a couple of short-pitched balls. Then an overpitched delivery uprooted the off stump.

Soon after Suresh Raina walked out, Rayudu slammed Tim Southee for 14 (4 6 4). Taking the cue, Raina opened his arms as well. CSK’s fifty was up in the 7th over without much fuss.

After leaking runs, Southee took a brilliant catch at long on to dismiss Raina for 25; Yadav getting his second of the day. Rayudu went next, top-edging a slice off Murugan Ashwin. IPL debutant Dhruv Shorey holed out to backward point for 8, off Colin de Grandhomme.

Dwayne Bravo walked out to join Dhoni. It was a welcome change to batting-order (the ploy to push Ravindra Jadeja above Bravo had never paid off). Bravo was dropped by Parthiv Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal on 0 and 1 respectively, and never looked back. Dhoni clobbered Chahal for 3 sixes in the 19th over to take CSK to top spot in the IPL points table. He remained unbeaten on 31 and Bravo on 14.

Earlier, Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh had pinned RCB down to 127 for 8, with only Parthiv and Southee reaching double figures.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 127 for 9 in 20 overs [Parthiv Patel 53 (41), Tim Southee 36*; Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-18-3, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-22-2] lost to Chennai Super Kings 128 for 4 in 18 overs [Ambati Rayudu 32 (25); MS Dhoni 31*; Umesh Yadav 4-0-15-2] by 6 wickets with 12 balls to spare.

Player of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja.