IPL 2020 | CSK vs KKR: Match Preview, Predicted XI & Dream 11 Fantasy Picks
28 Oct 2020
Denied the blue jersey for the umpteenth time, Suryakumar Yadav fleeced a panache-laden 73* to remind the national selectors of his ball-striking pedigree as Mumbai Indians bombed down Royal Challengers Bangalore's innocuous 164 in the 48th match of the Indian Premier League. Jasprit Bumrah's bouncer salvo reeled figures of 3 for 14 after MI won the toss and opted a bite of the cherry before Yadav's sumptuous display took the gloss off Devdutt Padikkal's vibrant 74 as the two vital points rushed MI within touching distance of a seat in the playoffs. Only a miracle of biblical proportions can now devoid them of a richly-deserved qualification.
Bangalore tighten the noose early
Virat Kohli throwing the mind-conditioned cherry to Chris Morris and Dale Steyn left many with a puckered brow, taking into account Mohammed Siraj's new-ball ferocity the other day. Quinton de Kock and incumbent opener Ishan Kishan packed a punch, hoisting some delectable whips and thundering pick-ups to nudge MI off to a rollicking start. Just when the association was flicking on the switch, de Kock heaved his trademark jab into mid-wicket's bucket.
Kishan, who'd smashed 99 in the reverse fixture against RCB, couldn't resist going after Yuzvendra Chahal's tantalizing donkey-drop at his own peril. The canny leg-spinner fabricated an encore of sorts in Krunal Pandya's dismissal later, but the extravaganza that transpired meanwhile had Suryakumar Yadav written all over it.
Somebody get this man an India jersey
In a world harrowed by swashbucklers who wield their willows like an axe, Yadav is a knight in shining armour, all rhythm and grace. He was progressing steadily with 22 off 18 when Devdutt Padikkal dived head-first and plucked an absolute blinder inches from the surface to remove Saurabh Tiwary. Yadav's visual treat kicked off with an exquisite lofted inside out drive off Chahal. Dale Steyn was next in the firing line, although one must admit that he did little wrong to receive the third-degree torture. Hard, just short of good-length balls were carresed mellifluously through backward point and then arrived the stand-and-deliver backfoot crunch, like a dollop of butter on a frying pan.
Spin and pace alike disappeared off his blazing willow, no discrimination whatsoever. Siraj proved the next casualty with Yadav plundering three boundaries in his 16th over, the initial bagging him the fifty-run milestone. Hardik Pandya did bit the dust towards the fag end after unfurling a helicopter shot over long-on, but the shopping spree of MI's boundary merchant ensured the job was done and dusted in grand style. Never mind an "I got this'' gesture to cap off an innings to remember. Cool as you like it. Take a bow, champ!
Bangalore take a few brave calls
RCB made a host of changes which left the fandom weighing the pros and cons. The misfiring Aaron Finch copped the snub with keeper-bat Josh Phillipe stepping into his boots. Moeen Ali and Navdeep Saini too freed room to allow Dale Steyn and Shivam Dubey a crack at redemption, the former's exclusion defying logic given an off-spinner would have augured well against an opposition comprising of three left-handers in the top four.
Young blood to the fore
Devdutt Padikkal extended the rich vein of form in his debut season, thumping a flurry of cold-blooded swats to put MI under the pump straight away. Finch's run drought must have been suffocating to endure for RCB's true-blue devotees, but safe to say, Phillipe came like a breath of fresh air. RCB have sustained the lowest run rate amongst all franchises in the middle overs in the ongoing edition, and thus the left-right combo hit the gas pedal in the latter stages of their 71- run stand. In essence, the two rookies performed a trapeze with the safety net of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at their disposal.
Boom Boom turns the tide
However, even the best-laid plans go astray. And this is cricket after all, where nothing's cast in stone. Phillipe fell prey to a lightning-quick stumping from Quinton de Kock while Jasprit Bumrah hustled Kohli on the pull. Interestingly, the skipper is now both Bumrah's maiden and 100th scalp in IPL history. Padikkal held RCB's fort in light of the sudden setback, brandishing Rahul Chahar for a six and a couple of fours to see them through to 129/2 at 15 overs.
AB de Villiers brought out the ramp to fetch an audacious maximum before camping back to swivel a lifter over mid-wicket. Believe it or not, military-medium Kieron Pollard has the numbers stacked in his favour against de Villiers and he vindicated that stat once again. Although more by accident than by design as the veteran spliced a rank full-toss on the hip to deep square leg. Bumrah's second wind produced a double-wicket maiden, with both Shivam Dubey and Padikkal locating catchers on the rope to precision.
Washi-Mann spare RCB a few blushes
Chris Morris gelled a wide tempter down third man's throat, but snappy cameos from Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Washington Sundar dealt RCB the much-needed final kick. However, that they were granted a skimpy 35 off the last five illustrated MI's phenomenal resurgence at the death. It's easy to get drunk on superlatives and go gaga in Bumrah's praise, but we shouldn't turn a blind eye to Krunal Pandya, who slipped in his quota of four overs at an excellent economy of a tick under seven.
Next rides on the roller-coaster
Such has been the volatile nature of events this year, we're talking about IPL, that MI are yet to qualify in official terms despite having 16 points in the bag. They'd aspire to hammer that final nail in the coffin versus late stutterers Delhi Capitals, who share similar aspirations of cutting the ticket to the eliminators, in the first of Saturday's doubleheader. RCB still have fate in their own hands. They'll take a trip to Sharjah where Sunrisers Hyderabad come hunting in the afternoon game of the weekend.
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