Super Kings vs Royal Challengers, Talking Points: Did Dhoni’s refusal of singles cost CSK the game?
CSK and RCB played out an enthralling contest Sunday night. (AFP Image)

As Royal Challengers Bangalore escaped with a narrow one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and managed to stay alive in the tournament, we look back at certain passages of play which emerged as the major talking points of the match.

Parthiv plays anchor

With the centurion of RCB’s previous match, Virat Kohli departing early, Parthiv Patel led with a second half-century of the season. With Kohli and de Villiers being RCB’s prime run-getters this season, not many are aware that Parthiv is third on RCB’s leading run-getters list this season with 283 runs, even though his contributions have been shadowed by RCB’s struggles. With Kohli and de Villiers not contributing much, Parthiv played a plucky little knock, getting to his half-century of 36 balls. But more importantly, he ensured that RCB did not lose wickets in a cluster and decided to almost play through before he was removed by Dwayne Bravo immediately after his fifty.

Moeen provides impetus

Talking of contributions apart from Kohli and de Villiers, Moeen Ali too isn’t far behind. In the previous game against KKR, he took apart Kuldeep Yadav and bludgeoned 66 off 28 balls. Coming into the match with back-to-back fifties, Moeen played yet another crucial knock, this time coming at No.6, and provided RCB a much-needed boost towards the end. With just 4.2 overs left and RCB far from a competitive total, Moeen entered and cracked five rapid boundaries to finish on 26 off 16 and pushed RCB above the 150-mark.

Steyn double-strike triggers CSK’s top-order failure

Dale Steyn was once again among wickets for RCB. Following his 2 for 40 against KKR, the Steyn claimed with 2 for 29 against CSK, but more importantly, it was a disciplined spell, one which brought back memories of the Steyn of old. First over of the innings, Steyn had Shane Watson flashing outside off to a catch from Marcus Stoinis at slips before Rattling Suresh Raina’s stumps to deal the batsman a golden duck. CSK were dented early in their chase and were reduced to 6 for 2. The scoreboard soon became 28 for 4 with Umesh Yadav taking out Faf du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav in consecutive overs before MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu forged a 55-run partnership to give CSK hope

Dhoni misses, Parthiv doesn’t

MS Dhoni has played some wonderful knocks already this season but perhaps none so enthralling and captivating such as the one on Sunday. With 70 needed off the final five overs, Dhoni went into overdrive and breezed to a 35-ball fifty. He smoked Steyn down the ground and upper-cut Navdeep Saini for a six. But with 36 needed off the final two overs, Dhoni played out three dot balls, deliberately defusing single to a batsman of Dwayne Bravo’s calibre. With 25 to defend in the final overs, Umesh was bludgeoned for 24 off the first five balls before Umesh bowled a cutter to beat Dhoni. The batsman scampered for the single but an alert Parthiv Patel scored a direct hit to run Shardul Thakur out. CSK fell short by one run. Was Dhoni’s refusal to take singles cost them?