The four-time winners and the defending champions Chennai finally ended their four-match losing streak in the ongoing Indian T20 Cricket League 2022, spanking their favourite opponents Bangalore by 23 runs in a high-scoring contest played at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win helped Chennai open their account in the points table for the Indian T20 Cricket league 2022 tournament as they earned 2 vital points to move up to the second last position, one place above the most successful team in history and five-time title winners Mumbai, who are still winless.
With Chennai finally getting off the block in context to registering a win, Mumbai will look to draw inspiration from their arch-rivals and open their account as well, since they are currently at the 10th position with four straight losses so far in the 15th edition of the world’s biggest T20 cricket league.
Mumbai will face a wobbly Punjab on Wednesday night in the Match No 23.
Chennai and India all-rounder Shivam Dube hammered 8 sixes and 5 fours to score 95 from just 46 balls and make a mockery of the Bangalore bowling attack in the rich company of the veteran right-handed batsman Robin Uthappa.
Robin Uthappa was belligerent in his knock of 88, which came from only 50 balls and was studded with 9 sixes and 5 fours.
In one of the most aggressive and stunning partnerships seen in the recent history of the tournament, Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa added a whopping 165 runs from only 74 balls for the third wicket.
Their association began in the 7th over of the innings when Chennai lost their star all-rounder Moeen Ali for a 8-ball 3, and by the time they were separated, Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa had put their side in the driver’s seat for the contest with Chennai reaching 201/3 in the 19th over.
Bangalore’s Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was the most economical bowler amid the onslaught from Chennai batsmen, as the right-arm lanky pacer returned with 4-0-33-1 while their Sri Lankan import Wanindu Hasaranga returned with an impressive 3-0-35-2, snaffling the wickets of Robin Uthappa and Chennai captain Ravindra Jadeja, who was dismissed for a rare first-ball duck.
Chennai finished at a high of 216/4 in their 20 overs, and if Bangalore were to put a strong fightback, they needed their big guns to fire.
However, Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis perished for a 9-ball 8 early in the innings and V Kohlii, coming off a match-winning 48 against Mumbai in the previous outing, was caught at deep fine leg for a 3-ball 1.
Glenn Maxwell tried to take the attack to the opposition but he could not last longer, falling to Jadeja after cracking a couple of sixes and as many fours to make 26 from 11 balls.
With Bangalore in a desperate need of a partnership in the middle, their young players in Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed and Suyash Prabhudessai provided them with exactly that, adding 60 from 33 balls for the 5th wicket.
Shahbaz Ahmed once again played a high-quality knock under pressure, scoring 41 from 27 balls with 4 fours whereas his partner Suyash Prabhudessai was more aggressive, cracking 5 fours and 1 six t to make 34 from 18 balls.
Their partnership was broken by Chennai’s Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who finally made his mark in the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament with a match-winning spell of 4-0-33-4.
But Chennai had far too many runs on the board and even though Bangalore kept coming back at them with spirited knocks, the Ravindra Jadeja-led team kept chipping away with wickets and kept the scoreboard pressure firmly on the opponent.
This season has also witnessed teams holding back one or two aggressive batsmen for late overs in their innings — irrespective of batting first or second — and Bangalore sent in their explosive senior batsman Dinesh Karthik a tad too late in the game.
Dinesh Karthik, however, did not disappoint in his individual capacity as the right-handed batsman hammered 3 sixes and 2 fours to make 34 from only 14 balls. But Dinesh Karthik kept running out of batting partners and Bangalore’s unlikely hope of winning the contest fizzled out eventually.
As if to compensate for his first-ball duck, the incumbent Chennai captain Ravindra Jadeja proved to be all over his opponents on Tuesday night, taking 3/39 from his 4 overs and also grabbed a fine, athletic catch in the deep to dismiss Dinesh Karthik off Dwayne Bravo to seal the deal in favour of his side.
The left-arm Chennai seam bowler Mukesh Choudhary took the all-important wicket of former Bangalore captain V Kohlii.
Chennai will draw a lot of confidence from their all-round show against Bangalore when they take the field against a formidable Gujarat on April 16, whereas Bangalore will look to bounce back against Delhi in what promises to be a thrilling contest between two talented sides.